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

See Afrikaans phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Afrikaans, as well as dialectal variations that are not represented here.

IPA Examples English approximation
b beet beet
d dak den
f fiets, ver fast
ɦ hoekom behind
j jas yard
k kat skin
l land land
m mens man
n nek neck
ŋ eng long
p pen, rib, lip sport
r ras rolled r
s sak, seep sock
ʃ sjabloon, chef shall
t tak, hond stop
χ generaal, weg loch (Scottish English)
v wang velvet
ʒ visueel vision
Marginal consonants
ʔ beëindig
the catch in uh-oh!
Jakarta jump
ɡ ghries[1], gholf, berge, erger goal
z Zoeloe zoo
ˈ vóórkom [ˈfuərkɔm]
voorkóm [ˌfuərˈkɔm]
as in commandeer
IPA Examples English approximation
Monophthongs (oral)
a bad up
ɑː aap father
æ ek, hel, reg, blerrie back
æː perd, ver, wêreld, bêre jazz
ɛ met, wenner, Bester met
ɛː nè, mens, Modern RP square
ə vis, hemel, vanaand[2] again
əː wîe[3] fur
i diep deep
spieël, bier[4] need
ɔ bot thought
ɔː môre[5] law
œ hut roughly like book
œː rûe[5]
u hoed boot
koeël, moer[4] food
y fuut roughly like cute
muur[4] roughly like cue
Monophthongs (nasal)
ãː dans No English equivalent, long nasalized [a]; Canadian French élan
ɛ̃ː mens No English equivalent, long nasalized [ɛ]; French main
ɔ̃ː spons No English equivalent, long nasalized [ɔ]; French mon
ai baie price
ɑːi papagaai prize
ɛi byt may
seen, hemel rhea
seun roughly like fear in some accents
iu leeu free will
oːi nooi boy
œi huis house (Scottish English)
əu ou boat
so, boot poor (as in poverty)


  1. ^ /ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Afrikaans; it occurs only in loanwords like gholf or as an allophone of /χ/ at the end of suffixed root nouns or adjectives when followed by a schwa.
  2. ^ In words which feature a short vowel preceding its longer form (like in vanaand, tamatie and bobotie), the short vowel is neutralised (Donaldson (1993:4, 6)).
  3. ^ /əː/ occurs in no other word (Donaldson (1993:7)).
  4. ^ a b c As phonemes, /iː/ and /uː/ occur only in spieël and koeël, respectively. In other cases, [iː] and [uː] occur as allophones of /i/ and /u/ before /r/. /y/ is also lengthened to [yː] before /r/ (Donaldson (1993:4–6)).
  5. ^ a b /œː/ and /ɔː/ occur only in a few words (Donaldson (1993:7).


  • Donaldson, Bruce C. (1993). "1. Pronunciation". A Grammar of Afrikaans. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 1–35. ISBN 978-3-11-0134261. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  • Lass, Roger (1987). "Intradiphthongal Dependencies". In Anderson, John; Durand, Jaques (eds.). Explorations in Dependency Phonology. Dordrecht: Foris Publications Holland. pp. 109–131. ISBN 9067652970. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  • Wissing, Daan (2016). "Afrikaans phonology – segment inventory". Taalportaal. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.