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

See Basque dialects for a more thorough discussion of regional variation.

IPA Examples English approximation
b bat best
β alaba[1] between baby and bevy
c kuttun skew
d doa dead
ð adar[1] this
f foru face
ɡ gauak got
ɣ hego[1] between gold and ahold
h hamar[2] hot
j jakintsu[3] you
ɟ onddo argue
k ke scan
l lagun lean
ʎ zailenak million
m maixu mother
n naharo need
ɲ ikurrina canyon
p piztu spouse
r urre[4] Spanish rojo
ʁ French Paris
ɾ zauri American English atom
zeru[5] sip, Polish syty[5]
uso between sip and ship (retracted), Polish sz[5]
ʃ xehe ship, Polish śnieg[5]
t talde stand
ts̻ aitzin cats, Polish cena[5]
ts̺ urretsu between cats and catch (retracted), Polish czekać[5]
tximist catch, Polish ćma[5]
IPA Examples English approximation
a gela father
e eder bed
i nire see
o aho bore
u hiru food
y hirü[6] roughly like cute

IPA Examples English approximation
ai bai eye
oi doinu boy
ei leiho ray
au hau house
eu euri Italian / Spanish Europa
IPA Examples English approximation
. gauak [ɡau.ak] moai
ˈ primary stress[7] eusˈkaɾa
ˌ secondary stress[8]


  1. ^ a b c Lenition of /b d g/ occurs in regular speech in most Southern Basque dialects. Hualde (1991:99-100).
  2. ^ Silent in Southern Basque dialects.
  3. ^ The realisation of the grapheme j varies depending on dialect and can be [j, ʝ, ɟ, , ʒ, ʃ, χ]. The last, resembling Scottish English loch, is typical of Gipuzkoan, and it has also become common in eastern varieties of Biscayan and the Sakana variety of the Upper Navarrese. However, the standard pronunciation ruled by Euskaltzaindia is [j], and is the one followed in this help.
  4. ^ The double rr is pronounced as a trill [r] in Southern Basque dialects but is often a guttural [ʁ] in Northern Basque dialects, especially among younger speakers. Trask (1978:77) Egurtzegi & Carignan (2020:2794, 2800).
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Basque contrasts two consonants that sound similar to the /s/ of Englishː /s̻/, which is laminal, and /s̺/, which is apical. /ts̻/ and /ts̺/ are contrasted the same way. The contrast between /s̻, ts̻/, /s̺, ts̺/ and /ʃ, tʃ/ is similar to the contrast between /s, ts/, /ʂ, tʂ/ and /ɕ, tɕ/ in Polish.
  6. ^ Only occurring in Souletin.
  7. ^ Stress in Basque is complex and varies between regions, the Euskaltzaindia broadly recommends high-pitched weak stress on the second syllable of a syntagma
  8. ^ Secondary stress is low-pitched and weaker than primary stress, with the recommendation being for it to be the last syllable broadly speaking


  • Egurtzegi, Ander; Carignan, Christopher (April 2020). "An acoustic description of Mixean Basque". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 147 (4): 2791–2802. doi:10.1121/10.0000996.
  • Hualde, José Ignacio (1991), Basque Phonology, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-05655-1
  • Saltarelli, Mario (1988), Basque, Croom Helm, ISBN 0-415-03681-X
  • Trask, Larry (June 1978). "Basque (Western Low Navarrese dialect)". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 8 (1–2): 75–79. doi:10.1017/S0025100300001754. JSTOR 44541406.
  • Trask, Larry (1997), The History of Basque, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-13116-2