The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Icelandic 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.

See Icelandic phonology and Icelandic orthography § Function of symbols for a more thorough look at the sounds of Icelandic.

IPA Examples English approximation
c gys skew
kær cute
baggi, seggja American backgammon
ç hjá hue
ð veður weather
f fyrir, dýpka fun
kaffi offfield
ɣ laga Spanish trigo
h hús hop
ʰc ekki skew (with an h sound before it)
ʰk þakka sky (with an h sound before it)
ʰp tappi spy (with an h sound before it)
ʰt stutt sty (with an h sound before it)
j jú, lagi yes
k göng, líka sky
koma kite
hryggur stockgirl
l líf leap
stelpa, jökull same as above but voiceless, like hl
bolla Italian bella
m miði moon
lampi same as above but voiceless, like hm
hlemmur roommate
n níu noon
hnífur same as above but voiceless, like hn
brenna unknown
ɲ lengi canyon
ɲ̊ banki same as above but voiceless, like hny
ŋ ungs sing
ŋ̊ þungt same as above but voiceless, like hng
p böl, hjálpa, nafni spy
páfi pie
kobbi flipbook
r rós ring, but trilled
hreinn same as above but voiceless, like hr
marra Italian terra
s saga between sip and ship (retracted)
messa between this sip and trash ship (retracted)
t dagur, út, jökull sty
tala tie
oddur outdo
θ þ think
v verk, afi very
x sjúkt, sagt Scottish loch
hver[note 1] why (without the winewhine merger)
Vowels[note 2]
IPA Examples English approximation
a karl art
raka father
ɛ kenna bet
ɛː nema[note 3] roughly like yes
i fínt, sýndi leaf
líf, hlýt leave
ɪ yi kit
ɪː yfir, vita kid
ɔ loft RP or Australian hot
ɔː von[note 3] roughly like water
œ dökk nurse
œː öl[note 3] French actuel, but with lips rounded from start to end
u full Like pig, but with lips rounded.
núna food
ʏ upp German Mütter; like kit with lips rounded
ʏː kul German schön; like kid with lips rounded
ai ætla RP right
aiː æfing pie
au sjálfur mouth
auː páfi allow
ei engi pace
eiː heim pay
ɔi bogi choice
ou hóll goat
ouː kópur goal
œy laust Scottish or Canadian rite
œyː auga
ʏi hugi No English equivalent, similar to gooey
Other symbols
IPA Explanation
ˈ◌ primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable, e.g. langur [ˈlauŋkʏr̥])
ˌ◌ secondary stress (placed before the stressed syllable, e.g. afmælisdagur [ˈamailɪsˌtaːɣʏr̥])


  1. ^ Hver is usually pronounced as if spelled kver. [xʷ] is a part of a dialect from the Southern Region and is rare nowadays.
  2. ^ Vowels are usually long if they are stressed and followed by no more than one consonant, double consonants counting as more than one. Vowel length is not phonemic.
  3. ^ a b c Long [ɛː, ɔː, œː] are most typically realized as smooth transitions from [ɪ, ʊ, ʏ] to [ɛː, ɔː, œː]. Thus, they are monophthongs phonologically and diphthongs phonetically (Árnason 2011:60, Gussmann 2011:71, 88).


See also[edit]