Help:IPA for Italian

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The charts below show how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Italian language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Italian phonology for a more thorough overview of the sounds of Italian. There is also an Italian pronunciation guide at Wiktionary.

To learn more about the correspondence between spelling and sounds, see Italian orthography.

Consonants[1]
IPA Examples English approximation
b banca; cibo bike
d dove; idra done (with the tongue touching the teeth)
dz zaino; zelare; mezzo[2][3] dads
giungla; magia; fingere; judo jab
f fatto; fosforo fast
ɡ (ɡ)[4] gatto; agro; glifo; ghetto gas
k cavolo; acuto; anche; quei; kiwi scar
l lato; lievemente; pala lip
ʎ gli; glielo; maglia[3] roughly like million
m mano; amare; anfibio[5] mother
n nano; punto; pensare[5] nest
ŋ unghia; panchina; dunque[5] singing
ɲ gnocco; ogni[3] roughly like canyon
p primo; ampio; copertura spin
r Roma; quattro; morte trilled r
s sano; scatola; presentire; pasto sorry
ʃ scena; sciame; pesci[3] ship
t tranne; mito; alto star (with the tongue touching the teeth)
ts sozzo; canzone; marzo[2][3] cats
certo; cinque; ciao; farmacia watch
v vado; povero; watt vent
z sbavare; presentare; asma zipper
Semivowels
j ieri; scoiattolo; più; Jesi; yacht you
w uovo; fuoco; qui; week-end wine
Vowels[6]
IPA Examples English approximation
a alto; sarà; elica roughly like father in some accents
e vero; perché; come roughly like pay
ɛ elica; cioè bed
i imposta; colibrì; zie; ogni see
o ombra; otto roughly like law (RP)[7]
ɔ otto; sarò off
u ultimo; caucciù; tuo tool
Non-native sounds
IPA Examples English approximation
h hovercraft; hertz[8] household
œ viveur; goethiano; Churchill[9] roughly like murder (RP)
x mojito; Bach[10] loch (Scottish English)
y parure; brûlé; Führer[11] future (Scottish English)
ʒ abat-jour; casual; Fuji vision
Suprasegmentals
IPA Examples English approximation
ˈ Cennini [tʃenˈniːni] primary stress, as in bottle
ˌ lievemente [ˌljɛveˈmente] secondary stress, as in intonation[12]
. continuo [konˈtiːnu.o] syllable break: co-op, rower
ː primo [ˈpriːmo] long vowel[13]

Notes

  1. If the consonants are doubled between vowels, they are geminated. This may also happen between sonorants (genuinely, all consonants can be geminated except for /z/). In IPA, gemination can be represented either by doubling the consonant: fatto /ˈfatto/, mezzo /ˈmɛddzo/; or by the length marker ‹ ː ›. Italian also has a sandhi phenomenon called syntactic gemination, e.g., va via /vavˈviːa/).
  2. 2.0 2.1 ⟨z⟩ represents both /ts/ and /dz/. Italian orthography explains how they are used.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 /dz/, /ts/, /ʎ/, /ɲ/ and /ʃ/ are always geminated between vowels.
  4. If the two characters ⟨ɡ⟩ and ⟨Opentail g.svg⟩ do not match and if the first looks like a ⟨γ⟩, then you have an issue with your default font. See Rendering issues.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The nasals always assimilate their place of articulation to that of the following consonant. Thus, the n in /nɡ/~/nk/ is a velar [ŋ], and the one in /nf/~/nv/ is a labiodental [ɱ] (though for simplicity ⟨m⟩ takes its place in this list). A nasal before /p/ and /b/ is always the labial [m].
  6. Italian contrasts seven monophthongs in stressed syllables. Open-mid vowels /ɛ ɔ/ can only appear when the syllable is stressed (e.g. coperto /koˈpɛrto/), close-mid vowels /e o/ are found elsewhere (e.g. Boccaccio /bokˈkattʃo/, amore /aˈmoːre/). Open and close vowels /a i u/ stay unchanged in unstressed syllables, though word-final unstressed /i/ may become an approximant [j] before vowels in a process known as synalepha (syllable merging), e.g. pari età /ˌparjeˈta/.
  7. "law" in Received Pronunciation has a mid back rounded vowel [lɔ̝ː] whereas in General American, that vowel varies between being open-mid back rounded [lɔː], open back rounded [lɒː] or even open back unrounded [lɑː].
  8. Usually dropped.
  9. Open-mid [œ] or close-mid [ø] if stressed, usually [ø] when unstressed. May be replaced by [ɛ] (stressed) or [e] (stressed or unstressed).
  10. In Spanish loanwords it is usually realized as [h] or dropped; in German ones, it is usually pronounced [k].
  11. Often realized as [u] or [ju].
  12. Since in Italian there isn't a distinction between heavier or lighter vowels (e.g. English o in conclusion vs o in nomination), a defined secondary stress, even in long words, is extremely rare.
  13. Stressed vowels are long when in a non-final open syllable: fato /ˈfaːto/ ~ fatto /ˈfatto/.

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