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 look at the sounds of Italian.

IPA Examples English approximation
b banca; cibo bike
d dove; idra done
dz zaino; zelare; mezzo[2] dads
giungla; magia; fingere; pagina jab
f fatto; fosforo fast
ɡ 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; campo [4] mother
n nano; punto; pensare; anfibio nest
ŋ unghia; panchina; dunque [4] singing (but not finger unless followed by a G)
ɲ gnocco; ogni[3] roughly like canyon
p primo; ampio; copertura spin
r Roma; quattro; morte Trilled r, Spanish: perro[5]
s sano; scatola; presentire; pasto sorry
ʃ scena; sciame; pesci[3] ship
t tranne; mito; alto star
ts sozzo; canzone; marzo[2] cats
certo; cinque; ciao; farmacia chip
v vado; povero; watt vent
z sbavare; presentare; asma zipper
j ieri; scoiattolo; più; Jesi; yacht you
w uovo; fuoco; qui; week-end wine
IPA Examples English approximation
a alto; sarà; elica roughly like father
e vero; perché; come roughly like pay
ɛ elica; cioè bed
i imposta; colibrì; zie; ogni see
o ombra; otto roughly like law (British English)
ɔ otto; sarò bore
u ultimo; caucciù; tuo too
IPA Examples English approximation
ˈ Cennini [tʃenˈniːni] bottle
ˌ lievemente [ˌljɛveˈmente] intonation
. tuo [ˈtu.o] co-op, rower
ː primo [ˈpriːmo] long vowel[7]


  1. ^ If the consonants are doubled between vowels, they are geminated. This can 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 with the length marker ‹ ː ›. Notice as well, syntactic gemination can occur in Italian (e.g. va via [vavˈvi.a]).
  2. ^ a b z represents both [ts] and [dz]. In order to determine which, consult a dictionary.
  3. ^ a b c /ʎ/, /ɲ/ and /ʃ/ are always geminated word-internally.
  4. ^ a b The nasals always assimilate their place of articulation to that of the following consonant. Thus, the n in /nɡ/, /nk/ is a velar [ŋ], the realization before /v/ or /f/ is a labiodental [ɱ] (though this is transcribed here as [m]), and only [m] is ever found before /p/ or /b/.
  5. ^ Most times [r] is pretty short, and is pronounced as a single trill.
  6. ^ Italian contrasts seven monophthongs in stressed syllables. In unstressed syllables, mid vowels occur in complementary distribution; with open-mid vowels [ɛ ɔ] appearing before sonorants (e.g. copertura [kopɛrˈtuːra]), and close-mid vowels [e o] found elsewhere (e.g. Boccaccio [bokˈkattʃo]). 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. ^ Stressed vowels are long when in a non-final open syllable: fato [ˈfaːto] ~ fatto [ˈfatto].

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