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This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA) is a variant of SAMPA developed in 1995 by John C. Wells, professor of phonetics at University College London.[1] It is designed to unify the individual language SAMPA alphabets, and extend SAMPA to cover the entire range of characters in the 1993 version of International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The result is a SAMPA-inspired remapping of the IPA into 7-bit ASCII.

SAMPA was devised as a hack to work around the inability of text encodings to represent IPA symbols. Later, as Unicode support for IPA symbols became more widespread, the necessity for a separate, computer-readable system for representing the IPA in ASCII decreased. However, X-SAMPA is still useful as the basis for an input method for true IPA.



Lower case symbols

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description Examples
a a
open front unrounded vowel French dame [dam]
b b
voiced bilabial plosive English bed [bEd], French bon [bO~]
b_< ɓ
voiced bilabial implosive Sindhi ɓarʊ [b_<arU]
c c
voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian latyak ["lQcQk]
d d
voiced alveolar plosive English dig [dIg], French doigt [dwa]
d` ɖ
voiced retroflex plosive Swedish hord [hu:d`]
d_< ɗ
voiced alveolar implosive Sindhi ɗarʊ [d_<arU]
e e
close-mid front unrounded vowel French blé [ble]
f f
voiceless labiodental fricative English five [faIv], French femme [fam]
g ɡ
voiced velar plosive English game [geIm], French longue [lO~g]
g_< ɠ
voiced velar implosive Sindhi ɠəro [g_<@ro]
h h
voiceless glottal fricative English house [haUs]
h\ ɦ
voiced glottal fricative Czech hrad [h\rat]
i i
close front unrounded vowel English be [bi:], French oui [wi], Spanish si [si]
j j
palatal approximant English yes [jEs], French yeux [j2]
j\ ʝ
voiced palatal fricative Greek γειά [j\a]
k k
voiceless velar plosive English scat [sk{t], Spanish carro ["karo]
l l
alveolar lateral approximant English lay [leI], French mal [mal]
l` ɭ
retroflex lateral approximant Svealand Swedish sorl [so:l`]
l\ ɺ
alveolar lateral flap Wayuu püülükü [pM:l\MkM]
m m
bilabial nasal English mouse [maUs], French homme [Om]
n n
alveolar nasal English nap [n{p], French non [nO~]
n` ɳ
retroflex nasal Swedish hörn [h2:n`]
o o
close-mid back rounded vowel French veau [vo]
p p
voiceless bilabial plosive English speak [spik], French pose [poz], Spanish perro ["pero]
p\ ɸ
voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fuku [p\M_0kM]
q q
voiceless uvular plosive Arabic qasbah ["qQs_Gba]
r r
alveolar trill Spanish perro ["pero]
r` ɽ
retroflex flap Bengali gari [gar`i:]
r\ ɹ
alveolar approximant English red [r\Ed]
r\` ɻ
retroflex approximant Malayalam വഴി ["v@r\`i]
s s
voiceless alveolar fricative English seem [si:m], French session [sE"sjO~]
s` ʂ
voiceless retroflex fricative Swedish mars [mas`]
s\ ɕ
voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative Polish świerszcz [s\v'ers`ts`]
t t
voiceless alveolar plosive English stew [stju:], French raté [Ra"te]
t` ʈ
voiceless retroflex plosive Swedish mört [m2t`]
u u
close back rounded vowel English boom [bu:m], Spanish su [su]
v v
voiced labiodental fricative English vest [vEst], French voix [vwa]
v\ (or P) ʋ
labiodental approximant Dutch west [v\Est]/[PEst]
w w
labial-velar approximant English west [wEst], French oui [wi]
x x
voiceless velar fricative Scots loch [lOx] or [5Ox]; German Buch, Dach; Spanish caja, gestión
x\ ɧ
voiceless palatal-velar fricative Swedish sjal [x\A:l]
y y
close front rounded vowel French tu [ty] German über ["y:b6]
z z
voiced alveolar fricative English zoo [zu:], French azote [a"zOt]
z` ʐ
voiced retroflex fricative Mandarin Chinese rang [z`aN]
z\ ʑ
voiced alveolo-palatal fricative Polish źrebak ["z\rEbak]

Capital symbols

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description Example
A ɑ
open back unrounded vowel English father ["fA:D@(r\)] (RP and Gen.Am.)
B β
voiced bilabial fricative Spanish lavar [la"Ba4]
B\ ʙ
bilabial trill Reminiscent of shivering ("brrr")
C ç
voiceless palatal fricative German ich [IC], English human ["Cjum@n] (broad transcription uses [hj-])
D ð
voiced dental fricative English then [DEn]
E ɛ
open-mid front unrounded vowel French même [mE:m], English met [mEt] (RP and Gen.Am.)
F ɱ
labiodental nasal English emphasis ["EFf@sIs] (spoken quickly, otherwise uses [Emf-])
G ɣ
voiced velar fricative Greek γωνία [Go"nia]
G\ ɢ
voiced uvular plosive Inuktitut nirivvik [niG\ivvik]
G\_< ʛ
voiced uvular implosive Mam ʛa [G\_<a]
H ɥ
labial-palatal approximant ce huit [Hit]
H\ ʜ
voiceless epiglottal fricative Agul мехӀ [mEH\]
I ɪ
near-close front unrounded vowel English kit [kIt]
near-close central unrounded vowel (non-IPA) Polish ryba [rI\bA] 
J ɲ
palatal nasal Spanish año ["aJo], English canyon ["k{J@n] (broad transcription uses [-nj-])
J\ ɟ
voiced palatal plosive Hungarian egy [EJ\]
J\_< ʄ
voiced palatal implosive Sindhi ʄaro [J\_<aro]
K ɬ
voiceless alveolar lateral fricative Welsh llaw [KaU]
K\ ɮ
voiced alveolar lateral fricative Mongolian долоо [tOK\O:]
L ʎ
palatal lateral approximant Italian famiglia [fa"miLLa], Castilian llamar [La"mar]
L\ ʟ
velar lateral approximant Korean 구지 [t6L\gudz\i]
M ɯ
close back unrounded vowel Korean [M:ms\_hik_}]
M\ ɰ
velar approximant Spanish fuego ["fweM\o]
N ŋ
velar nasal English thing [TIN]
N\ ɴ
uvular nasal Japanese san [saN\]
O ɔ
open-mid back rounded vowel American English off [O:f]
O\ ʘ
bilabial click  
P (or v\) ʋ
labiodental approximant Dutch west [PEst]/[v\Est], allophone of English phoneme /r\/
Q ɒ
open back rounded vowel RP lot [lQt]
R ʁ
voiced uvular fricative German rein [RaIn]
R\ ʀ
uvular trill French roi [R\wa]
S ʃ
voiceless postalveolar fricative English ship [SIp]
T θ
voiceless dental fricative English thin [TIn]
U ʊ
near-close back rounded vowel English foot [fUt]
U\ ᵿ
near-close central rounded vowel (non-IPA) English euphoria [jU\"fO@r\i@]
V ʌ
open-mid back unrounded vowel Scottish English strut [str\Vt]
W ʍ
voiceless labial-velar fricative Scots when [WEn]
X χ
voiceless uvular fricative Klallam sχaʔqʷaʔ [sXa?q_wa?]
X\ ħ
voiceless pharyngeal fricative Arabic <ح>ha’ [X\A:]
Y ʏ
near-close front rounded vowel German hübsch [hYpS]
Z ʒ
voiced postalveolar fricative English vision ["vIZ@n]

Other symbols

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description Example
. .
syllable break  
" ˈ
primary stress  
% ˌ
secondary stress American English pronunciation [pr\"eI.S@n]
' (or _j) ʲ
palatalized Russian Земля (Earth) [z'I"ml'a] or [z_jI"ml_ja]
: ː
:\ ˑ
half long Estonian differentiates three vowel lengths
-   separator Polish trzy [t-S1] vs. czy [tS1] (affricate)
@ ə
schwa English arena [@"r\i:n@]
@\ ɘ
close-mid central unrounded vowel Paicĩ kɘ̄ɾɘ [k@\_M4@\_M]
@` ɚ
r-coloured schwa American English color ["kVl@`]
{ æ
near-open front unrounded vowel English trap [tr\{p]
} ʉ
close central rounded vowel Swedish sju [x\}:]; AuE/NZE boot [b}:t]
1 ɨ
close central unrounded vowel Welsh tu [t1], American English rose's ["r\oUz1z]
2 ø
close-mid front rounded vowel Danish købe ["k2:b@], French deux [d2]
3 ɜ
open-mid central unrounded vowel English nurse [n3:s] (RP) or [n3`s] (Gen.Am.)
3\ ɞ
open-mid central rounded vowel Irish tomhail [t3\:l']
4 ɾ
alveolar flap Spanish pero ["pe4o], American English better ["bE4@`]
5 ɫ
velarized alveolar lateral approximant; also see _e English milk [mI5k], Portuguese livro ["5iv4u]
6 ɐ
near-open central vowel German besser ["bEs6], Australian English mud [m6d]
7 ɤ
close-mid back unrounded vowel Estonian kõik [k7ik], Vietnamese mơ [m7_M]
8 ɵ
close-mid central rounded vowel Swedish buss [b8s]
9 œ
open-mid front rounded vowel French neuf [n9f], Danish drømme [dR9m@]
& ɶ
open front rounded vowel Swedish skörd [x\&d`]
? ʔ
glottal stop Cockney English bottle ["bQ?o]
?\ ʕ
voiced pharyngeal fricative Arabic ع (`ayn) [?\Ajn]
*   undefined escape character, SAMPA's "conjunctor"  
/   (a) French vowel archiphonemes or indeterminacies
(b) delimiter of phonemic transcriptions
maison /mE/zO~/
<   begin nonsegmental notation, e.g., SAMPROSA[2]  
<\ ʢ
voiced epiglottal fricative Siwi arˤbˤəʢa (four) [ar_?\b_?\@<\a]
>   end nonsegmental notation  
>\ ʡ
epiglottal plosive Archi гӀарз (complaint) [>\arz]
!\ ǃ
postalveolar click Zulu iqaqa (polecat) [i:!\a:!\a]
| |
minor (foot) group  
|\ ǀ
dental click Zulu icici (earring) [i:|\i:|\i]
major (intonation) group  
|\|\ ǁ
alveolar lateral click Zulu xoxa (to converse) [|\|\O:|\|\a]
=\ ǂ
palatal click  
linking mark  


X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description
_"   ̈
_+   ̟
_-   ̠
_/ ̌
rising tone
_0   ̥
_<   implosive (IPA uses separate symbols for implosives)
= (or _=)   ̩
_> ʼ
_?\ ˤ
_\ ̂   falling tone
_^   ̯
_}   ̚
no audible release
` ˞
rhotacization in vowels, retroflexion in consonants (IPA uses separate symbols for consonants, see t` for an example)
~ (or _~)   ̃
_A   ̘
advanced tongue root
_a   ̺
_B   ̏
extra low tone
_B_L  ᷅
low rising tone
_c   ̜
less rounded
_d   ̪
_e   ̴
velarized or pharyngealized; also see 5
global fall
_F   ̂
falling tone
_G ˠ
_H   ́
high tone
_H_T  ᷄
high rising tone
_h ʰ
_j (or ') ʲ
_k   ̰
creaky voice
_L   ̀
low tone
_l ˡ
lateral release
_M   ̄
mid tone
_m   ̻
_N   ̼
nasal release
_O   ̹
more rounded
_o   ̞
_q   ̙
retracted tongue root
global rise
_R   ̌
rising tone
_R_F  ᷈
rising falling tone
_r   ̝
_T   ̋
extra high tone
_t   ̤
breathy voice
_v   ̬
_w ʷ
_X   ̆
_x   ̽



Consonants (pulmonic)
Place of articulation Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
Manner of articulation Bilabial Labio‐
Dental Alveolar Post‐
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyn‐
Nasal    m    F    n    n`    J    N    N\
Plosive p b p_d b_d t d t` d` c J\ k g q G\ >\ ?
Fricative p\ B f v T D s z S Z s` z` C j\ x G X R X\ ?\ H\ <\ h h\
Approximant    B_o    v\    r\    r\`    j    M\
Trill    B\    r    *    R\    *
Tap or Flap    *    *    4    r`    *
Lateral Fricative K K\ *    *    *   
Lateral Approximant    l    l`    L    L\
Lateral Flap    l\    *    *    *
W Voiceless labialized velar approximant
w Voiced labialized velar approximant
H Voiced labialized palatal approximant
s\ Voiceless palatalized postalveolar (alveolo-palatal) fricative
z\ Voiced palatalized postalveolar (alveolo-palatal) fricative
x\ Voiceless "palatal-velar" fricative
Affricates and double articulation
ts voiceless alveolar affricate
dz voiced alveolar affricate
tS voiceless postalveolar affricate
dZ voiced postalveolar affricate
ts\ voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate
dz\ voiced alveolo-palatal affricate
tK voiceless alveolar lateral affricate
kp voiceless labial-velar plosive
gb voiced labial-velar plosive
Nm labial-velar nasal stop
Consonants (non-pulmonic)
Clicks Implosives Ejectives
O\ Bilabial b_< Bilabial _> For example:
|\ Laminal alveolar ("dental") d_< Alveolar p_> Bilabial
ǃ\ Apical (post-) alveolar ("retroflex") J\_< Palatal t_> Alveolar
=\ Laminal postalveolar ("palatal") g_< Velar k_> Velar
|\|\ Lateral coronal ("lateral") G\_< Uvular s_> Alveolar fricative


Front Central Back
i • y
1 • }
M • u
I • Y
I\ • U\
• U
e • 2
@\ • 8
7 • o
e_o • 2_o
• o_o
E • 9
3 • 3\
V • O
{ •
a • &
A • Q

See also


  1. ^ Wells, J.C. "Computer-coding the IPA: a proposed extension of SAMPA" (PDF). UCL Phonetics and Linguistics. University College London. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  2. ^ For a summary of SAMPROSA, see Wells, J.C. (19 September 1995). "SAMPROSA (SAM Prosodic Transcription)". UCL Phonetics and Linguistics. University College London. Retrieved 23 October 2021.