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I've heard "visage" pronounced as vee-ZAHZH'. I've also heard it pronounced as vih-SAHZH'. Is the pronunciation vih-SAHZH' also correct?

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Could you translate this phonetical transcription to IPA? I have no idea of what you are asking. –  Evpok Feb 12 at 14:24
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he is asking /visaʒ/ vs. /vizaʒ/. It is always the latter (the one OP spells vee-ZAHZH) according to the wiktionnaire (fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/visage). –  hunter Feb 12 at 14:55
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actually-- it looks like OP was also asking about the nature of the first vowel. OP - in French they do not have the sound "i as in bit" and the orthographic "i" is usually "ee as in feet." –  hunter Feb 12 at 14:57
    
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English pronunciation: /ˈvɪzɪdʒ/. French pronunciation: /vi.zaʒ/. For IPA please visit wiktionary for English, wiktionnaire for French. To listen to words pronounced by natives go to Shtooka Project. –  Laure Feb 12 at 16:36
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3 Answers

I would render the pronunciation as veezahzh (IPA: /vi.zaʒ/), with the understanding that the sounds of vowels in French largely don't match the sounds of English. French does not have vowel length or stress as a phonemic distinction.

The i sound is a close front unrounded vowel, IPA symbol /i/. It is close, but not exactly identical, to the long i (/iː/) vowel of English (I don't have my jaw or tongue in exactly the same configuration when I pronounce the two, though the differences are minute). The a sound is an open front unrounded vowel, IPA symbol /a/. There's a lot of variation in English dialects around this vowel, and I think most don't have a perfect match. In general, there's rarely an exact match between French vowels and English vowels; from a French perspective, English vowels feel like they're somewhere between two known vowels.

The letter s is pronounced /z/. In French, s is pronounced /s/ except when the letter is the single consonant between two vowels, in which case it is pronounced /z/.

There is also a rarer word vissage, pronounced veessahzh (IPA: /vi.saʒ/), which means the action of screwing.

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I agree with @hunter, the question seems to emphasise on the pronunciation of the "i". From what I know There's only one way to pronounce /i/ in French, unlike different ways of pronouncing comme, peur, cœur, faire, frère, différent, cours, mur, Treiz

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To know how to pronounce the French word visage you can start from the English pronunciation and then correct it with comparison to the English sounds because French has different sounds. In English visage is pronounced ['vizidz]. In French, as was mentionned in another answer, there is no particular accentuated syllable. The main difference in the pronunciation of visage is in the second syllable: it would approximately be the equivalent of the English sounds [za:zə]. The whole French word visage (transcripted thanks to the English phonetic) would be: [viza:zə]

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