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Symbol Examples Description
[a] (PR-open front unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) German Mann, French gare For many English speakers, the first part of the ow sound in cow. Found in some dialects of English in cat or father.
[ä] (Open central unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Mandarin 他 tā, American English father, Spanish casa, French patte
[ɐ] (PR-near-open central unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) RP cut, German Kaiserslautern (In transcriptions of English, [ɐ] is usually written ⟨ʌ⟩.)
[ɑ] (Open back unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) RP father, French pâte, Dutch bad
[ɑ̃] (Fr-en.ogg 聴く) French Caen, sans, temps Nasalized [ɑ].
[ɒ] (PR-open back rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) RP cot Like [ɑ], but with the lips slightly rounded.
[ʌ] (PR-open-mid back unrounded vowel2.ogg 聴く) American English cut Like [ɔ], but without the lips being rounded. (When ⟨ʌ⟩ is used for English, it may really be [ɐ] or [ɜ].)
[æ] (Near-open front unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) RP cat
[b] (Voiced bilabial plosive.ogg 聴く) English babble
[ɓ] (Voiced bilabial implosive.ogg 聴く) Swahili bwana Like a [b] said with a gulp. See implosive consonants.
[β] (Voiced bilabial fricative.ogg 聴く) Spanish la Bamba, Kinyarwanda abana "children", Korean 무궁화 [muɡuŋβwa̠] mugunghwa Like [b], but with the lips not quite closed.
[ʙ] (Bilabial trill.ogg 聴く) Nias simbi [siʙi] "lower jaw" Sputtering.
[c] (Voiceless palatal plosive.ogg 聴く) Turkish kebap "kebab", Czech stín "shadow", Greek και "and" Between English tune (RP) and cute. Sometimes used instead for [tʃ] in languages like Hindi.
[ç] (Voiceless palatal fricative.ogg 聴く) German Ich More of a y-coloration (more palatal) than [x]. Some English speakers have a similar sound in huge. To produce this sound, try whispering loudly the word "ye" as in "Hear ye!".
[ɕ] (Voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant.ogg 聴く) Mandarin 西安 Xi'an, Polish ściana More y-like than [ʃ]; something like English she.
[ɔ] (PR-open-mid back rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) see under O
[d] (Voiced alveolar plosive.ogg 聴く) English dad
[ɗ] (Voiced alveolar implosive.ogg 聴く) Swahili Dodoma Like [d] said with a gulp.
[ɖ] (Voiced retroflex stop.oga 聴く) American English harder Like [d] with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[ð] (Voiced dental fricative.ogg 聴く) English the, bathe
[dz] (Voiced alveolar sibilant affricate.oga 聴く) English adds, Italian zero
[] (Voiced palato-alveolar affricate.ogg 聴く) English judge
[] (Voiced alveolo-palatal affricate.ogg 聴く) Polish niewiedź "bear" Like [dʒ], but with more of a y-sound.
[] (Voiced retroflex affricate.ogg 聴く) Polish em "jam" Like [dʒ] with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[e] (Close-mid front unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Spanish fe; French clé, German Klee Similar to English hey, before the y sets in.
[ɘ] (Close-mid central unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Australian English bird
[ə] (Mid-central vowel.ogg 聴く) English above, Hindi ठग [ʈʰəɡ] (thug) "thief" (Only occurs in English when not stressed.)
[ɚ] (En-us-er.ogg 聴く) American English runner
[ɛ] (Open-mid front unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) English bet
[ɛ̃] (Fr-Un-fr FR-Paris.ogg 聴く) French Saint-Étienne, vin, main Nasalized [ɛ].
[ɜ] (Open-mid central unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) RP bird (long)
[ɝ] (En-us-er.ogg 聴く) American English bird
[f] (Voiceless labiodental fricative.ogg 聴く) English fun
[ɟ] (Voiced palatal plosive.ogg 聴く) see under J
[ʄ] (Voiced palatal implosive.ogg 聴く) see under J
[ɡ] (Voiced velar plosive 02.ogg 聴く) English gag (Should look like Opentail g.svg. No different from a Latin "g")
[ɠ] (Voiced velar implosive.ogg 聴く) Swahili Uganda Like [ɡ] said with a gulp.
[ɢ] (Voiced uvular stop.oga 聴く) Like [ɡ], but further back, in the throat. Found in Persian and some Arabic dialects for /q/, as in Muammar Gaddafi.
[ʒ] (Voiced palato-alveolar sibilant.ogg 聴く) see under Z English beige.
[h] (Voiceless glottal fricative.ogg 聴く) American English house
[ɦ] (Voiced glottal fricative.ogg 聴く) English ahead, when said quickly.
[ʰ] The extra puff of air in English top [tʰɒp] compared to stop [stɒp], or to French or Spanish [t].
[ħ] (Voiceless pharyngeal fricative.ogg 聴く) Arabic مُحَمَّد Muhammad Far down in the throat, like [h], but stronger.
[ɥ] (Labial-palatal approximant.ogg 聴く) see under Y
[ɮ] (Voiced alveolar lateral fricative.ogg 聴く) see under L
[i] (Close front unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) English sea, French ville, Spanish Valladolid
[ɪ] (Near-close near-front unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) English sit
[ɨ] (Close central unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Russian ты "you" Often used for unstressed English roses.
[j] (Palatal approximant.ogg 聴く) English yes, hallelujah, German Junge
[ʲ] In Russian Ленин [ˈlʲenʲɪn] Indicates a sound is more y-like.
[ʝ] (Voiced palatal fricative.ogg 聴く) Spanish cayo (some dialects) Like [j], but stronger.
[ɟ] (Voiced palatal plosive.ogg 聴く) Turkish gör "see", Czech díra "hole" Between English dew (RP) and argue. Sometimes used instead for [dʒ] in languages like Hindi.
[ʄ] (Voiced palatal implosive.ogg 聴く) Swahili jambo Like [ɟ] said with a gulp.
[k] (Voiceless velar plosive.ogg 聴く) English kick, skip
[l] (Alveolar lateral approximant.ogg 聴く) English leaf
[ɫ] (Velarized alveolar lateral approximant.ogg 聴く) English wool
Russian малый [ˈmɑɫɨj] "small"
"Dark" el.
[ɬ] (Voiceless alveolar lateral fricative.ogg 聴く) Welsh llwyd [ɬʊɪd] "grey"
Zulu hlala [ɬaːla] "sit"
By touching roof of mouth with tongue and giving a quick breath out. Found in Welsh placenames like Llangollen and Llanelli and Nelson Mandela's Xhosa name Rolihlahla.
[ɭ] (Retroflex lateral approximant.ogg 聴く) Like [l] with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[ɺ] (Alveolar lateral flap.ogg 聴く) A flapped [l], like [l] and [ɾ] said together.
[ɮ] (Voiced alveolar lateral fricative.ogg 聴く) Zulu dla "eat" Rather like [l] and [ʒ], or [l] and [ð], said together.
[ʟ] (Velar lateral approximant.ogg 聴く)
[m] (Bilabial nasal.ogg 聴く) English mime
[ɱ] (Labiodental nasal.ogg 聴く) English symphony Like [m], but lips touch teeth as they do in [f].
[ɯ] (Close back unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) see under W
[ʍ] (Voiceless labio-velar fricative.ogg 聴く) see under W
[n] (Alveolar nasal.ogg 聴く) English nun
[ŋ] (Velar nasal.ogg 聴く) English sing, Māori nga
[ɲ] (Palatal nasal.ogg 聴く) Spanish Peña, French champagne Rather like English canyon (/nj/ said quickly).
[ɳ] (Retroflex nasal.ogg 聴く) Hindi वरुण [ʋəruɳ] Varuna Like [n] with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[ɴ] (Uvular nasal.ogg 聴く) Castilian Spanish Don Juan [doɴˈχwan] Like [ŋ], but further back, in the throat.
[o] (Close-mid back rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Spanish no, French eau, German Boden Somewhat reminiscent of American English no.
[ɔ] (PR-open-mid back rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) German Oldenburg, French Garonne
[ɔ̃] (Fr-on.ogg 聴く) French Lyon, son Nasalized [ɔ].
[ø] (Close-mid front rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) French feu, bœufs, German Goethe Like [e], but with the lips rounded like [o].
[ɵ] (Close-mid central rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Dutch hut, French je, Swedish dum Halfway between [o] and [ø]. Similar to [ʊ] but with the tongue slightly more down and front. The Dutch vowel is often transcribed with ⟨ʏ⟩ or ⟨œ⟩, whereas the French vowel is typically transcribed with ⟨ə⟩.
[œ] (Open-mid front rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) French bœuf, seul, German Göttingen Like [ɛ], but with the lips rounded like [ɔ].
[œ̃] (Fr-un-fr BE.ogg 聴く) French brun, parfum Nasalized [œ].
[ɶ] (Open front rounded vowel.ogg 聴く)
[θ] (Voiceless dental fricative.ogg 聴く) see under Others
[ɸ] (Voiceless bilabial fricative.ogg 聴く) see under Others
[p] (Voiceless bilabial plosive.ogg 聴く) English pip
[q] (Voiceless uvular plosive.ogg 聴く) Arabic قُرْآن Qur’ān Like [k], but further back, in the throat.
[r] (Alveolar trill.ogg 聴く) Spanish perro, Scots borrow "Rolled R". (Often used for other rhotics, such as English [ɹ], when there's no ambiguity.)
[ɾ] (Alveolar tap.ogg 聴く) Spanish pero, Tagalog daliri, Malay kabar, American English kitty/kiddie "Flapped R".
[ʀ] (Uvular trill.ogg 聴く) Dutch rood and German rot (some speakers) A trill in the back of the throat. Found for /r/ in some conservative registers of French.
[ɽ] (Retroflex flap.ogg 聴く) Urdu ساڑی [sə.ɽək] "road" Like flapped [ɾ], but with the tongue curled back.
[ɹ] (Alveolar approximant.ogg 聴く) RP borrow
[ɻ] (Retroflex approximant.ogg 聴く) Tamil புழு Puu "Worm", Mandarin 人民日报 Rénmín Rìbào "People's Daily", American English borrow, butter Like [ɹ], but with the tongue curled or pulled back, as pronounced by many English speakers.
[ʁ] (Voiced uvular fricative.ogg 聴く) French Paris, German Riemann (some dialects) Said back in the throat, but not trilled.
[s] (Voiceless alveolar sibilant.ogg 聴く) English sass
[ʃ] (Voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant.ogg 聴く) English shoe
[ʂ] (Voiceless retroflex sibilant.ogg 聴く) Mandarin 少林 (Shàolín), Russian Пушкин (Pushkin) Acoustically similar to [ʃ], but with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[t] (Voiceless alveolar plosive.ogg 聴く) English tot, stop
[ʈ] (Voiceless retroflex stop.oga 聴く) Hindi ठग [ʈʰəɡ] (thug) "thief" Like [t], but with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[ts] (Voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate.oga 聴く) English cats, Russian царь tsar
[] (Voiceless palato-alveolar affricate.ogg 聴く) English church
[] (Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate.ogg 聴く) Mandarin 北京 Běijīng (Zh-Beijing.ogg listen), Polish ciebie "you" Like [tʃ], but with more of a y-sound.
[] (Voiceless retroflex affricate.ogg 聴く) Mandarin 真正 zhēnzhèng, Polish czas Like [tʃ] with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[u] (Close back rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) American English food, French vous "you", German Schumacher
[ʊ] (Near-close near-back rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) English foot, German Bundesrepublik
[ʉ] (Close central rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Australian English food (long) Like [ɨ], but with the lips rounded as for [u].
[ɥ] (Labial-palatal approximant.ogg 聴く) see under Y
[ɯ] (Close back unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) see under W
[v] (Voiced labiodental fricative.ogg 聴く) English verve
[ʋ] (Labiodental approximant.ogg 聴く) Hindi वरुण [ʋəruɳə] "Varuna" Between [v] and [w]. Used by some Germans and Russians for v/w, and by some speakers of British English for r.
[ɤ] (Close-mid back unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) see under Y
[ɣ] (Voiced velar fricative.ogg 聴く) see under Y
[ʌ] (PR-open-mid back unrounded vowel2.ogg 聴く) see under A
[w] (Voiced labio-velar approximant.ogg 聴く) English wow
[ʷ] Indicates a sound has lip rounding, as in English rain
[ʍ] (Voiceless labio-velar fricative.ogg 聴く) what (some dialects) like [h] and [w] said together
[ɯ] (Close back unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Turkish kayık "caïque", Scottish Gaelic gaol Like [u], but with the lips flat; something like [ʊ].
[ɰ] (Voiced velar approximant.ogg 聴く) Spanish agua Like [w], but with the lips flat.
[x] (Voiceless velar fricative.ogg 聴く) Scottish English loch, German Bach, Russian хлеб [xlʲep] "bread", Spanish joven between [k] and [h]
[χ] (Voiceless uvular fricative.ogg 聴く) northern Standard Dutch Scheveningen, Castilian Spanish Don Juan [doɴˈχwan] Like [x], but further back, in the throat. Some German and Arabic speakers have [χ] for [x].
[y] (Close front rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) French rue, German Bülow Like [i], but with the lips rounded as for [u].
[ʏ] (Near-close near-front rounded vowel.ogg 聴く) German Düsseldorf Like [ɪ], but with the lips rounded as for [ʊ].
[ɣ] (Voiced velar fricative.ogg 聴く) Arabic غَالِي ghālī and Swahili ghali "expensive", Spanish suegro Sounds rather like French [ʁ] or between [ɡ] and [h].
[ɤ] (Close-mid back unrounded vowel.ogg 聴く) Mandarin 河南 Hénán, Scottish Gaelic taigh Like [o] but without the lips rounded, something like a cross of [ʊ] and [ʌ].
[ʎ] (Palatal lateral approximant.ogg 聴く) Italian tagliatelle, Portuguese mulher Like [l], but more y-like. Rather like English volume.
[ɥ] (Labial-palatal approximant.ogg 聴く) French lui Like [j] and [w] said together.
[z] (Voiced alveolar sibilant.ogg 聴く) English zoo
[ʒ] (Voiced palato-alveolar sibilant.ogg 聴く) English vision, French journal
[ʑ] (Voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant.ogg 聴く) old-styled Russian позже [ˈpoʑːe] "later", Polish źle More y-like than [ʒ], something like beigey.
[ʐ] (Voiced retroflex sibilant.ogg 聴く) Russian жир "fat" Like [ʒ] with the tongue curled or pulled back.
[ɮ] (Voiced alveolar lateral fricative.ogg 聴く) see under L
[θ] (Voiceless dental fricative.ogg 聴く) English thigh, bath
[ɸ] (Voiceless bilabial fricative.ogg 聴く) Japanese 富士 [ɸɯdʑi] Fuji, Māori [ˌɸaːɾeːˈnuiː] wharenui Like [p], but with the lips not quite touching
[ʔ] (Glottal stop.ogg 聴く) English uh-oh, Hawaii, German die Angst The 'glottal stop', a catch in the breath. For some people, found in button [ˈbʌʔn̩], or between vowels across words: Deus ex machina [ˌdeɪəsˌʔɛksˈmɑːkɪnə]; in some nonstandard dialects, in a apple [əˈʔæpl̩].
[ʕ] (Voiced pharyngeal fricative.ogg 聴く) Arabic عَرَبِيّ ʻarabī "Arabic" A light, voiced sound deep in the throat, articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx (back of the throat).
[ǀ] (Dental click.ogg 聴く) English tsk-tsk! or tut-tut!, Zulu icici "earring" (The English click used for disapproval.) Several distinct sounds, written as digraphs, including [kǀ], [ɡǀ], [ŋǀ]. The Zimbabwean MP Ncube has this click in his name, as did Cetshwayo.
[ǁ] (Alveolar lateral click.ogg 聴く) English tchick! tchick!, Zulu ixoxo "frog" (The English click used to urge on a horse.) Several distinct sounds, written as digraphs, including [kǁ], [ɡǁ], [ŋǁ]. Found in the name of the Xhosa.
[ǃ] (Postalveolar click.ogg 聴く) Zulu iqaqa "polecat" (The English click used to imitate the trotting of a horse.) A hollow popping sound, like a cork pulled from a bottle. Several distinct sounds, written as digraphs, including [kǃ], [ɡǃ], [ŋǃ].
[ʘ] (Clic bilabial sourd.ogg 聴く) ǂ’Amkoe ʘoa "two" Like a kissing sound.
[ǂ] (Palatoalveolar click.ogg 聴く) Khoekhoe ǂgā-amǃnâ [ǂàʔám̀ᵑǃã̀] "to put in the mouth" Like an imitation of a chewing sound.

Marks added to letters[編集]

Several marks can be added above, below, before or after letters. These are here shown on a carrier letter such as the vowel a. A more complete list is given at International Phonetic Alphabet § Diacritics and prosodic notation.

Symbol Example Description
Signs above a letter
[ã] French vin blanc [vɛ̃ blɑ̃] "white wine" A nasal vowel, as with a Texas twang
[ä] Portuguese vá [vä] "go" A central vowel pronounced with the tongue position in the middle of the mouth; neither forward nor back
[ă] English police [pə̆ˈliˑs] An extra-short speech sound (usually a vowel)
Signs below a letter
[a̯] English cow [kʰaʊ̯], koi [kʰɔɪ̯] This vowel does not form a syllable of its own, but runs into the vowel next to it. (In English, the diacritic is generally left off: [kaʊ].)
[n̥] English boy [b̥ɔɪ̯], doe [d̥oʊ̯]

(see also)

Sounds like a loud whisper; [n̥] is like a whispered breath through the nose. [l̥] is found in Tibetan Lhasa.
[n̩] English button A consonant without a vowel (English [n̩] is often transcribed /ən/.)
[d̪] Spanish dos, French deux The tongue touches the teeth more than it does in English.
Signs next to a letter
[kʰ] English come Aspirated consonant, pronounced with a puff of air. Similarly [tʰ pʰ tsʰ tʃʰ tɕʰ].
[k’] Zulu ukuza "come" Ejective. Like a popped [k], pushed from the throat. Similarly [tʼ pʼ qʼ tʃʼ tsʼ tɬʼ].
[aː] English shh! [ʃː] Long. Often used with English vowels or diphthongs: Mayo /ˈmeːoː/ for [ˈmeɪ̯ɜʊ̯], etc.
[aˑ] RP caught [ˈkʰɔˑt] Semi-long. (Although the vowel is different, this is also longer than cot [ˈkʰɒt].)
[ˈa] pronunciation
Main stress. The mark denotes the stress of the following syllable.
[ˌa] Weaker stress. The mark denotes the stress of the following syllable.
[.] English courtship [ˈkʰɔrt.ʃɪp] Syllable break (this is often redundant and therefore left off)