Help:IPA/Vietnamese

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

There are two major standards: one of Hanoi and one of Ho Chi Minh City. Each makes distinctions that the other does not; neither standard is preferred over the other at Wikipedia. The central dialects, which make the distinctions of both, are generally represented in articles here, except if a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant.

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

Initial consonants
H C S Examples English approximation
ʔ anh (unwritten, occurs before initial vowels) uh-oh; informal British button
ɓ ba bee with a gulp
ɗ đi day with a gulp
f ph fight, photo
ɣ ga; ghế Spanish: amigo
h hàng high
k cô, kem [1] scan, kid
w quanh quick (Northern dialect)
wow (Southern dialect)
x khô loch (Northern dialect)
cat (Southern dialect)
l là low
m mai my
n nam no
ɲ nhà can you,

Spanish: señorita, French: compagnie

ŋ ngâm; nghe singer
p pin[2] sport
s s xa so
ʂ sáu show, but with tongue curled
t tây stop
thầy top, get him
t͡ɕ ~ c t͡ɕ ~ c chè change
ʈ ~ ʈ͡ʂ tra trend, but with tongue curled
v j v[3] victory
z/ ʑ/ ʝ j già, giết yes
z da, danh zero
r ra, rồi similar to red; variably pronounced as a fricative, flap or trill
Medial glide
ʷ oanh; quốc; Nguyễn, tuy[4] quick
Final consonants
j i, tay[5][6], tui[7] boy
m thêm pom
n ŋ ban pin
ŋ trứng long
n n n,n (after i, ê)[8] hen
ŋ̟ nh[8][5] onion (various pronunciations)
n ŋm bốn[9], bún (after u, ô) pen
ŋm chúng (after u, ô, o)[10] like long, but with an 'm' after the 'ng'
tiếp clasp, but the p almost-pronounced (lip closed)
t k xuất pit
k ác pick
t t chít (after i, ê)[8] hit
ch[8][5] technical (various pronunciations)
t kp một (after u, ô) cut
kp học (after u, ô, o)[10] backpack
w tao, triệu[10],đau how
Monophthongs
IPA Examples English approximation
a ăn, may; cau RP cut
ba, mai, cao father (Australian English)
e v, cây day, said (monophthongal)
ɛ: xe set
ə ân balance
əː bơ RP hurt
i khi; tuy[4] seat
ɨ or ɯ tư similar to glasses; Russian ты
o cô, sâu bowl (monophthongal)
ɔː có, xoong[11] off
u ru, tui[7] rule, too
Diphthongs
vn, bia beer but don't curl your tongue up
ɨə xương, chưa near
uống, mua influence
Tones
IPA Vietnamese name Diacritical mark Examples Hanoi Saigon
ā ə̄ thanh ngang no mark a [˧] [˧]
à ə̀ thanh huyền grave accent à [˨˩] [˨˩]
ǎ ə̌ thanh sắc acute accent á, ấc[12] [˧˥] [˧˥]
â ə̂ thanh hỏi hook above [13] [˧˩] [˧˩˧]
ǎˀ ə̌ˀ thanh ngã tilde ã [˧ˀ˥] [˧˩˧]
âˀ ə̂ˀ thanh nặng dot below ạ, ậc[12] [˧ˀ˩] [˨˧]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ [k] as "qu" appears only in northern dialects.
  2. ^ [p] appears only in loanwords, and is often replaced by [ɓ].
  3. ^ [v] may be used as a spelling pronunciation in southern dialects.
  4. ^ a b Read as [tʷi], not confuse with "tui" that is read as [tuj]
  5. ^ a b c In northern dialects, when the velar finals /k, ŋ/ follow the front vowels /i, e, ɛ/, the consonant becomes pre-velar [k̟, ŋ̟], and the vowels /e, ɛ/ become [əj, aj].
  6. ^ "ai"read as [aːj]; "ay"read as [aj]
  7. ^ a b Read as [tuj], not confuse with "tuy" that is read as [tʷi]
  8. ^ a b c d In southern dialects, the vowels /i, e, ɛ/ become [ɨ, ə, a] before the alveolar consonants [t, n].
  9. ^ bốn /oːŋ͡m/ vs. bống /ăwŋ͡m/ in Saigon Vietnamese
  10. ^ a b c In most dialects, when the velar finals /k, ŋ/ follow the round vowels /u, o, ɔ/, the consonant is strongly labialized [kʷ, ŋʷ] or doubly-articulated [k͡p, ŋ͡m], and the vowels /o, ɔ/ become [əw, aw].
  11. ^ [ɔ] appears only in loanwords, and is often replaced by [ɔː].
  12. ^ a b Before a final /p, t, k/, the six tones of Vietnamese are reduced to two.
  13. ^ In isolation, this can be a dipping tone. The usual IPA diacritic for dipping tone is [a᷉ ə᷉], which differs from the nasalization mark [ ˜ ] only in being angular in shape, and is not widely supported by fonts.