Currently I use online collins dictionary but its phonetics is not according to modern french pronunciation. For example: pronunciation of "pas" in collins is /pɑ/ but in modern french /ɑ/ is replaced with /a/. So collins dictionary use vowels such as /ɑ/ and /œ̃/ while they aren't use in today French and in my book. I use mobile A1 book for learning French and this book doesn't use /ɑ/ and /œ̃/.

  • You're pointing to an evolution that is not only generalised, not only in the French speaking world, but in metropolitan France as well (accents vary according to regions). On the whole I find that wiktionnaire is not too bad. And for most of the words you can listen to the words said by a human voice (most of them from shtooka).
    – None
    Jul 8, 2016 at 18:58
  • Forvo.com is good for listening to recordings of words. It also shows you the geographic origin of the speaker, which is useful.
    – dangph
    Jul 11, 2016 at 6:34
  • I find it's not really that difficult to mentally replace /ɑ/ with /a/ when reading transcriptions (or listening to audio pronunciations) from a source like Collins. Your experience may be different though.
    – sumelic
    Nov 6, 2016 at 23:45

2 Answers 2

  • The aforementioned Wiktionary.fr is normally my dictionary of choice, primarily because I always have it with me thanks to Aard Dictionary (aarddict.org). French Wiktionary is quite good in the pronunciation department; it's the clarity of the definitions that occasionally leaves me wanting my Petit Robert.

  • Antidote might be worth a serious look, and not just because it meets the pas as /pa/ criterion. Since it's made in Canada it even indicates regional variants of pronunciations between France and Quebec when applicable. On the downside it costs €119, which is a lot more than a paper reference work, but I just noticed there's also an iPhone app with only the dictionary for €15. I'd probably buy it if I didn't have an Android phone.

NB The following screenshot is of Antidote 8 v4 as I don't have Antidote 9 at my disposal. The new version should be much the same or better.

Antidote 8 v4 in Windows 8


Not really an answer to the question, but I think that replacing /ɑ/ by /a/ and /œ̃/ by /ɛ̃/ is a mistake.

The abolition of the difference between /ɑ/ and /a/, and between /œ̃/ and /ɛ̃/ is advocated by the French education ministry to make teaching easier, but it is not that obvious when speaking to the random Frenchman. And more importantly it depends on 1) the French region, and 2) the word itself.

For example, I always make a difference between /œ̃/ and /ɛ̃/, but I hardly make one between /ɑ/ and /a/, except for the word "pâte" (pasta) which must be said /pɑt/ to avoid confusion with "patte" (paw).

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