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

Key for standard Catalan and Valencian[edit]

There are two major standards, one of Catalan (C)—based in the Central Coast of Catalonia, encompassing most Eastern Catalan features—and one of Valencian (V)—based in Southern Valencia, encompassing most Western Catalan features. Neither variant is preferred over the other in Wikipedia articles except in cases where a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant (such as a place in Catalonia or a Valencian artist).

See Catalan phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of standard Catalan and Valencian, and Catalan orthography for the main correspondences between spelling and pronunciation. (For an extensive list of spelling-to-sound correspondences, see this)

IPA Consonants
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
b b bell, àmbit, capgròs[1][2] best
v vell, envit, watt [1][2] best (C) / vest (V)
β avanç, selva[3][2] vest[3]
b abans, arbre[3][2] vest[3] (C) / best (V)
d drac, indret, ritme[1] door
dz dz setze, tots alhora[4][1] adze[4]
z utilitza[4] adze[4] (C) / zebra[4] (V)
viatja, fetge, migdia[4][1] jeep
ð cada, lladre[3] other
f fort, bafs face
ɡ guant, angle, guiar, ècdisi[1] got
ɣ aigües, agrat, lloguer[3] between got and hot[3]
k cors, quan, qui, llarg, kiwi, Kuwait, viking, kelvin scan
l laca, ceŀla,[5] val[6] pile
ʎ llac, cella,[5] Elx[6] billion
m meu, comte[6] mode
ɱ limfa, ínfim[6] lymph
n neu, dansa[6] note
ŋ sang,[6] cigne ring
ɲ nyeu, penges[6] onion
p por, dubte span
r ruc, mirra, honra[7] Scots rook
ɾ mira, truc, per[7] US atom
s set, es, feliç[4] sick[4]
ʃ xec, Barx[4] ship (C) / cheap (V)
jʃ caixa[4] ship (C) / geisha (V)
ʃ Xàtiva, guix[4] ship
t terra, fred stand
ts lletsó, tots[4] cats[4]
txec, veig, mig cheap
v hafni, bafs d'aigua[1] vest
z zel, esma[4][1] zebra[4]
ʒ joc, gespa[4] genre (C) / jeep (V)
j jo[4] genre (C) / young (V)
jʒ caixmir[4][1] genre (C) / beige (V)
ʒ guix verd[4][1] genre
IPA Marginal consonants
h ehem[8], hara hot
θ theta, López thing
x kharja, Bach Scots loch
IPA Semivowels[9]
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
j iode, posa-hi, York young
w quart, Güell, posa-ho, web quick
IPA Vowels
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
a sac, ànecs father
ɛ ɛ set, èxit pet
e sec, què[10] pet (C) / face (V)
e séc, anells, ídem[11] face
ə de[11] alpha (C) / face (V)
a fadrí, entens[11] alpha (C) / father (V)
i naixement alpha (C) / meet (V)
i sic, ties, fillet[11] meet
ɔ soc, això off
o o sóc, molt, ego, mouré[11] story
u oratge[11] rule (C) / story (V)
u suc, dues, fullet, cobert[11] rule
IPA Marginal vowels
y déjà vu[12] cute[12]
IPA Suprasegmentals
Valencian Community
Examples Explanation
ˈ dac
[ˈdiðək] (C) / [ˈdiðak] (V)
primary stress
ˌ Bellpuig
[ˌbeʎˈputʃ] (C / V)
secondary stress
. Maria
[məˈɾi.ə] (C) / [maˈɾi.a] (V)
syllable break
ː Imma
[ˈimːə] (C) / [ˈimːa] (V)
long consonant/vowel
IPA Other representations
( ) Corts
[ˈkoɾ(t)s] (C / V)
optional sound

Other transcriptions

Catalan in Andorra, Western Catalonia and La Franja (NW)
Northwestern, a continuous dialect of the Western Catalan branch, uses the same pronunciation pattern as Standard Valencian (see V above). However, there are some differences that should be used in the transcription of local names in Andorra, Western Catalonia (Lleida and part of Tarragona) and the Aragonese border (La Franja). Those differences are:
Phonetic deviations from Standard Valencian
(i.e. commonalities with Standard Catalan)
Examples English approximation
Betacism[2][3] /b/, /v//b/ bell, vell[2] best
/b/, /v/[β][3] abans, avanç[2] vest[3]
Deaffrication of // (in intervocalic position) /dʒ/[ʒ] dijous, fugir genre
(Note for transcriptions of Northwestern Catalan use the corresponding sounds of Standard Valencian and the sharing features with Standard Catalan)
Transcription of Insular Eastern Catalan
For transcriptions of Insular Catalan dialects:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Obstruents assimilate to the voicing of the following consonant. In syllables produced in utterance-final position (i.e. the coda), voiced obstruents become devoiced (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:63), Wheeler (2005:147–149)).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g While betacism (that is, the merging of /b/ and /v/ into one phoneme) is common in most speakers of Catalan and in Valencia, several dialects still contrast the two sounds (usually represented as ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩ respectively in Catalan orthography). The contrast is also maintained in Standard Valencian (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:61), Wheeler (2005:13)).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Voiced stops /b, d, ɡ/ become lenited [β, ð, ɣ] (that is, approximants or fricatives of the same place of articulation) when in the syllable onset and after a continuant. Otherwise they are pronounced as voiced or devoiced stops, similar to English b, d, g and p, t, k. Exceptions include /d/ after a lateral consonant, and /b/ after /f/. In traditional non-betacist dialects, /b/ usually fails to lenite (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:63), Wheeler (2005:10, 310–326)).
    • [β] (found only in the betacist varieties) is pronounced between /b/ and /v/, or just like /v/ but with both lips.
    • [ɣ] is pronounced between /ɡ/ and /h/, or roughly like /ɡ/ but without completely blocking the air flow.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s The sibilants /ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ/ are alveolo-palatal or palato-alveolar. A variant of /s, z, ts, dz/ includes the retracted [s̠, z̠, t̠s̠, d̠z̠] (with pronunciations closer to postalveolars /ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ/, respectively).
  5. ^ a b Catalan orthography distinguishes between ⟨ll⟩ (representing /ʎ/) and ⟨ŀl⟩ (representing a geminated /lː/). In regular speech gemination of ⟨ŀl⟩ is ignored altogether. Some dialects as well as young speakers can merge /ʎ/ with the glide [j] in a process similar to Spanish yeísmo.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g The sonorants /l/ and /n/ assimilate to the place of articulation of a following consonant (Rafel (1999:14), Wheeler (2005:166–204)). Before palatals, /l/ is [ʎ] and /n/ is [ɲ]. Before velars, /n/ becomes [ŋ] and before labial consonants, /n/ becomes [m]. The labiodental [ɱ] appears before /f/ and /v/.
  7. ^ a b The rhotic consonants ⟨r⟩ /ɾ/ and ⟨rr⟩ /r/ only contrast between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ⟨r⟩ with [r] occurring word-initially, after /l/, /n/, and /s/, and in compounds; and [ɾ] after hard plosives, the soft spirants [β, ð, ɣ], and /f/. Syllable-final /ɾ/ varies according to dialect, emphasis, morpheme and the following sound. In all Catalan dialects, except most of Valencian, /ɾ/ is lost in coda position in suffixes of nouns and adjectives denoting the masculine singular and in the infinitive suffixes of verbs, except when the following morpheme begins with a vowel, although this may vary (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:63–64), Wheeler (2005:24–25)).
  8. ^ Other than in loanwords and interjections, the letter ⟨h⟩ is always silent.
  9. ^ The semivowels /j/ and /w/ can be combined with most vowels to form diphthongs and triphthongs (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:62), Wheeler (2005:90–91)). For a list with all the combinations, see Catalan phonology § Diphthongs and triphthongs.
  10. ^ Many words that have /ɛ/ in Standard Catalan have /e/ in Standard Valencian. The latter is the historical pronunciation.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g In unstressed position, the vowel contrast is reduced in all dialects.
    • Eastern Catalan: [a, ɛ, e] merge to [ə], whereas [ɔ, o, u] merge to [u], leaving only [ə, i, u] in most unstressed syllables.
    • Western Catalan: [ɛ, e] merge to [e] and [ɔ, o] merge to [o]. Exceptionally there are some cases where unstressed ⟨e⟩ and ⟨o⟩ may merge with [a] and [u] respectively (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:62–63), Wheeler (2005:52–77)).
    In Standard Eastern Catalan, unstressed [e] and [o] appear only in some words such as ídem [ˈiðem], oceans [useˈans], ego [ˈeɣo] and mouré [mowˈɾe]. In other cases, they merge with [ə] and [u] (Wheeler (2005:61–72)).
    In Standard Valencian, unstressed [ɛ] and [ɔ] occur in the process known as vowel harmony (e.g. corda [ˈkɔɾðɔ] and tela [ˈtɛlɛ]). In North-western, there are cases where only [ɛ] is found in final unstressed syllables: tela [ˈtɛlɛ].
  12. ^ a b The vowel /y/ is usually replaced by /u/ or /i/.
    • [y] is pronounced like /i/, but with the lips rounded.


External links[edit]