Help:IPA for Ukrainian

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

Ukrainian makes contrasts between palatalized "soft" and unpalatalized "hard" consonants. Palatalized consonants, denoted by a superscript ‹j› / ʲ /, are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, in a manner similar to the ‹y› sound in yes. All Ukrainian consonants except /j/ have a soft and hard variant, however this distinction is phonemic for only nine pairs—for the others the distinction can be ignored.

See Ukrainian phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Ukrainian.

IPA Examples English approximations
b б boot; beautiful
d д do
дь dew
d͡z дз pads
d͡zʲ дзь
d͡ʒ дж jump; ridge
f ф fool; few
ɡ ґ goo; ague
ɦ г behind
k к cooper; cute
l л[1] leg
ль least
m м moot; mute
n н noon
нь new
p п poo; pew
r~ɾ р trilled r, like in Spanish
rʲ~ɾʲ рь
s с soup
сь super
ʃ ш shop
t т tool
ть tune
t͡s ц cats
t͡sʲ ць
t͡ʃ ч choose
β̞ в between baby and bevy[2]
x х Bach; loch
z з zoo
зь azure
ʒ ж measure; garage
IPA Examples English approximation
ɑ а, я father
ɛ е, є met
i і, ї key
ɪ[3] и six
ɔ о born
u у, ю hook
ɐ а, я cut
IPA Examples English equivalent
j й[4] yes
Other symbols
IPA Explanation
ˈ Stress (placed before the stressed syllable)
ː Gemination[5] (doubled consonant)


  1. ^ Oleksa Syniavsky. The Norms of the Standard Ukrainian Language.: "The hard л is almost always pronounced as the "middle" (l)."
  2. ^ S. Academic Explanatory Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language: The [в] sound is normally a voiced bilabial fricative consonant for the typical Ukrainian pronunciation.
  3. ^ Сучасна українська мова: Підручник / О.Д. Пономарів, В.В.Різун, Л.Ю.Шевченко та ін.; За ред. О.Д.пономарева. — 2-ге вид., перероб. —К.: Либідь, 2001. — с. 14
  4. ^ The "soft" vowel letters ‹є, ї, ю, я› represent a /j/ plus a vowel when initial or following other vowels. Ukrainian may also possess allophones before or between palatalized consonants: /e/, /ʉ/, /æ/ respectively.
  5. ^ In Ukrainian, geminates are found between vowels: багаття /bɑ'ɦɑtʲːɑ/ bonfire, подружжя /pɔdruʒːɑ/ married couple, обличчя face. Geminates also occur at the start of a few words: лляний /lʲːænɪj/ flaxen, forms of the verb лити to pour (ллю /lʲːʉ/, ллєш /lʲːeʃ/ etc.), ссати /sːɑtɪ/ to suck and derivatives.[citation needed]