Help:IPA for Catalan

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Catalan language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-ca}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation#Entering IPA characters.

Key for Standard Catalan and Valencian

There are two major standards, one of Catalan (C)—based in Central Catalonia, encompassing most Eastern Catalan features—and one of Valencian (V)—based in Southern Valencia, encompassing most Western Catalan features. Neither variant is preferred over the other in Wikipedia articles except in cases where a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant (such as a place in Catalonia or a Valencian artist).

See Catalan phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Standard Catalan and Valencian, and Catalan orthography for the correspondence between spelling and pronunciation.

IPA Consonants
Examples English approximation
b b bell, àmbit, capgròs [1] best
v vell, watts [1][2] best (C), vest (V)
β avanç, selva [3] a vest
b abans, arbre [3] a vest (C), the best (V)
d drac, indret, ritme [1] door
ð cada, lladre [3] other
f força, bafs, salv face
ɡ guant, angle, guiar, ècdisi [1] get
ɣ aigües, agrat, lloguer [3] somewhat like away
k cors, quan, qui, llarg, Folch, kiwi scan
l laca, tela, cel·la,[4] val [5] US look – dark l
ʎ llacs, cella,[4] vall, Elx [5] billion
m meu, em, canvi [5] mode
n neu, on, dansa [5] need
ɲ nyeu, any, penges [5] onion
ŋ sang, tinc, cigne [5] ring
p por, dubte span
r ruc, mirra, honra [6] Scots rooktrilled r
ɾ truc, mira, hora, per [6] US ladder
s set, rossa, està, ascens, cel, feliç sack
ts potser, tots, fluids, hertz cats
ʃ ʃ Xixona, guix, ells, sushi [7] fish
jʃ caixa, peix fish (C), geisha (V)
xec, clenxa, Barx fish (C), cheap (V)
txec, empatx, raig, mig [7] cheap
t terra, fred stand
v hafni, bafs d'aigua [1] of
z z zel, onze, rosa, esma, feliçment [1] zebra
dz utilitza pads (C), zebra (V)
dz tretze, tots alhora [1] pads
ʒ ʒ guix blau [1][7] rouge
jʒ caixmir, peix de roca [1][7] rouge (C), beige (V)
j jo, ja [1][7] rouge (C), young (V)
joc, aljub, gespa, sorgir [7] rouge (C), jeep (V)
mitjà, viatge, adjunt, migdia [1][7] jeep
IPA Marginal consonants
θ theta, Pozo [8] thing
h ehem [9] ham
x kharja, Bach, Jaén Scots loch
IPA Stressed vowels[10]
Examples English approximation
a sac, ànecs ah[11]
ɛ ɛ set, pèls, essències led / lad
e sec, cafè / café, què led (C), they (V)
e séc, anells they
i sic, ties, país, raïm ski
ɔ soc, mòlt, nou, noi, això off
o sóc, molt, jou US crow
u suc, dues, ús, reüll rule
IPA Unstressed vowels[12]
Examples English approximation
ə a dona, amb, entens alpha (C), hubbub (V)
e dones, ens, que alpha (C), survey (V)
i naixement alpha (C), happy (V)
i fillet, llavis, hi posa, aïllar happy
u o oratge, baixos, posar-ho input (C), US pillow (V)
u fullet, ritu, cobert, ho posa input
IPA Marginal reduced vowels
a ad hoc (also /a/ in V) hubbub
e ídem, oceans (also /e/ in V) survey
o ego, mourà, caos (also /o/ in V) US pillow
IPA Semivowels[13]
Examples English approximation
j iogurt, llei, hi ha, posa-hi, York young / joy
w quatre, Güell, lleu, posa-ho, web quick / grow
IPA Suprasegmentals
Examples Explanation
ˈ dac [ˈdiðək] (C) / [ˈdiðak] (V) primary stress
ˌ Bellpuig [ˌbeʎˈputʃ] (C / V) secondary stress
. Maria [məˈɾi.ə] (C) / [maˈɾi.a] (V) syllable break
ː Imma [ˈimːə] (C) / [ˈimːa] (V) gemination
IPA Other representations
( ) Corts [ˈkoɾ(t)s] (C / V) optional sound

Standard Catalan in the Balearic Islands

Balearic uses the same pronunciation pattern than Standard Catalan, but there are some differences that should be used in the transcription of names of the Balearic Islands:

  • Distinction of /b/ and /v/, like in Standard Valencian: bell /ˈbeʎ/, vell /ˈveʎ/, avanç /əˈvans/
    • Non-lenition of /b/: abans /əˈbans/
  • Elision of final /ɾ/ in most cases: amor /əˈmo/
  • Higher tendency to maintain /lː/ (spelled ⟨l·l⟩) in learned terms: il·lusió /ilːuziˈo/
  • Replacement of the geminate ⟨tll⟩ /ʎː/ by ⟨tl⟩ /lː/ like in Valencian: espatla /əsˈpalːə/. When ⟨tll⟩ is not substituted by ⟨tl⟩, it is generally pronounced as a degeminated /ʎ/: bitllet /biˈʎət/
  • Usage of /j/ in Ibiza for the words jo /ˈjɔ/ and ja /ˈja/. In the rest of the Balearic Islands /ʒ/ or /dʒ/ should be used like in Standard Catalan: /ˈ(d)ʒɔ/, /ˈ(d)ʒa/. In Majorca, as well as in Barcelona surroundings, /j/ can be found, but that is generally considered nonstandard
  • Deaffrication of /dz/ in the suffix -itzar : utilitzar /utiliˈza/ (this can also be found in some speakers in Catalonia)
  • Preservation of final consonant clusters like in Standard Valencian: tomb /ˈtomp/
    • Complex final clusters followed by /s/ can optionally be simplified: sants /ˈsan(t)s/
  • Existence of a stressed /ə/, similar to the sound "bird" in RP: sec /ˈsək/
  • Occurrence of unstressed /o/ in most of Majorca: baixos /ˈbaʃos/


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Obstruents assimilate to the place of articulation of the following consonant. In syllables produced in utterance-final position (i.e. the coda), voiced obstruents become devoiced.
  2. While betacism (that is, the merging of /b/ and /v/ into one phoneme) is common in most speakers of in Catalan and Valencia, several dialects still contrast the two sounds (represented as ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩ respectively in Catalan orthography). The contrast is also maintained in Standard Valencian and among cultivated Catalan speakers.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Voiced stops /b, d, ɡ/ become lenited [β, ð, ɣ] (that is, approximants or fricatives of the same place of articulation) when in the syllable onset and after a continuant. Otherwise they are pronounced as voiced or devoiced stops, similar to English b, d, g and p, t, k. Exceptions include /d/ after a lateral consonant, and /b/ after /f/. In traditional non-betacist dialects, /b/ fails to lenite.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Catalan orthography distinguishes between ⟨ll⟩ (representing /ʎ/) and ⟨l·l⟩ (representing a geminated /lː/). In regular speech gemination of ⟨l·l⟩ is ignored altogether. Some dialects as well as young speakers can merge /ʎ/ with the glide [j] in a process similar to Spanish yeísmo.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 /n/ and /l/ assimilate the place of articulation of a following consonant.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The rhotic consonants ⟨r⟩ /ɾ/ and ⟨rr⟩ /r/ only contrast between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ⟨r⟩ with [r] occurring word-initially, after /l/, /n/, and /s/, and in compounds; and [ɾ] after hard plosives, the soft spirants [β, ð, ɣ], and /f/. Syllable-final /ɾ/ varies according to dialect, emphasis, morpheme and the following sound. In all Catalan dialects, except most of Valencian, /ɾ/ is lost in coda position in suffixes of nouns and adjectives denoting the masculine singular and in the infinitive suffixes of verbs, except when the following morpheme begins with a vowel (although this may vary).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 While /ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/ are often described simply as "postalveolar" by many sources, phonetic work done by Daniel Recasens shows the postalveolar sibilants to be alveolo-palatal ([ɕ], [ʑ], [] and [], respectively). Nevertheless, since ⟨ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ⟩ are overwhelmingly used in the linguistic literature on Catalan and Valencian, those characters are also used on Wikipedia.
  8. In colloquial Catalan, /θ/ can be replaced by /s/ as in Latin American Spanish, Canarian Spanish and some Galician and Southern Peninsular accents.
  9. Other than in loanwords and interjections, the letter ⟨h⟩ is always silent.
  10. Standard Catalan and Standard Valencian have seven stressed vowels /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/ (Balearic dialects can contrast up to eight stressed vowels—those are /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/, plus /ə/.)
  11. The Catalan /a/ doesn't quite line up with any English vowel, though the nearest equivalents are the vowel of ah (but shorter) and the vowel of uh; the Catalan vowel is usually articulated at a point between the two.
  12. In unstressed position, the seven-way vowel contrast is reduced in all dialects.
    • Eastern Catalan (Alguerese, Balearic, Central and Northern): /e/, /ɛ/, and /a/ reduce to [ə] (though in Alguerese and partially some modern Central accents (e.g. parts of Barcelonan) /e/, /ɛ/, and /a/ merge to [a]) while /o/ and /ɔ/ reduce to [u] (however, in most of Majorcan /ɔ/ and /o/ merge to [o]).
    • Western Catalan (North-Western, Tortosan and Valencian): /ɛ/ reduces to [e] and /ɔ/ reduces to [o]. Exceptionally there are some cases where unstressed ⟨e⟩ and ⟨o⟩ may reduce to [a] and [u] respectively.
  13. The semivowels [j] and [w] can be combined with most vowels to form diphthongs and triphthongs. For a list with all the combinations, see Catalan phonology#Diphthongs and triphthongs.

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