Help:IPA for Sanskrit

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Sanskrit pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

Sanskrit has many complex phonological processes, called sandhi, that alter sounds due to the presence of neighboring sounds at morpheme or word boundaries. See Shiksha for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Sanskrit.

IPA Nagari IAST English approximation
b b about
bh abhor ('h' not silent)
c c chew
ch Churchill (stress on 'h')
d this
d̪ʱ dh roughly like old house
ɖ roughly like border
ɖʱ ḍh roughly like birdhouse
ɡ g again
ɡʱ gh doghouse
h head
j y yak
d͡ʑ j juice
d͡ʑʱ jh roughly like hedgehog
k k scan
kh can
l l leaf
m m much
n n tenth
ɳ roughly like burnt [1]
ɲ ñ roughly like canyon[1]
ŋ bank [1]
p p span
ph pot
r r three (Scottish English)
s s sue
ʂ roughly like shtick
ʃ ś sheep
t thrill (Scottish English)
t̪ʰ th roughly like math
ʈ roughly like curt
ʈʰ ṭh roughly like courthouse
ʋ v between wine and vine
Vowels [1][2]
IPA Nagari IAST English approximation
ə अ, प a quota
आ, पा ā bra
ए, पे e Somewhat like wait
i इ, पि i happy
ई, पी ī feet
ऌ, पॢ Syllabic ‹l›: bottle
l̩ː ॡ, पॣ Long syllabic ‹l›
ओ, पो o old (Irish English)
ऋ, पृ Syllabic ‹r›: better
r̩ː ॠ, पॄ Long syllabic ‹r›: bird
u उ, पु u look
ऊ, पू ū loot
əi ऐ, पै ai Somewhat like bail
əu औ, पौ au open (British English)

Other symbols
IPA Nagari IAST English equivalent
 ̃ nasal vowel ([ãː], [õː], etc.) [1]
ˈ stress
(placed before stressed syllable)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Vowels may occur nasalized as an allophone of the nasal consonants in certain positions. See anusvara, chandrabindu.
  2. Sanskrit distinguishes between long and short vowels. Each monophthong has a long and short phoneme. The diphthongs, historically /ai, aːi, au, aːu/, also have a difference in quality: /e, əi, o, əu/. Vowels may rarely occur extra-long.


  • Zieba, Maciej; Stiehl, Ulrich (June 9, 2002). "The Original Pronunciation of Sanskrit" (PDF). Ulrich Stiehl. Retrieved 27 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>