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 {{IPA-ca}}, {{IPA-va}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

Key for standard Catalan and ValencianEdit

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 correspondence between spelling and pronunciation.

IPA Consonants
Examples English approximation
b b bell, àmbit, capgròs[1] best
v vell, envit, watt [1][2] best (C) / vest (V)
β avanç, selva[3] vest[3]
b abans, arbre[3] vest[3] (C) / best (V)
d drac, indret, ritme[1] door
dz dz setze, tots alhora[1] pads
z utilitza pads (C) / zebra[4] (V)
viatja, fetge, migdia[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 hold[3]
k cors, quan, qui, llarg, kiwi 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] need
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 ladder
s set, es, feliç sick[4]
ʃ xec, Barx fish (C) / cheap (V)
jʃ caixa fish (C) / geisha (V)
ʃ Xàtiva, guix fish
t terra, fred stand
ts lletsó, tots cats
txec, veig, mig cheap
v hafni, bafs d'aigua[1] vest
z zel, esma[1] zebra[4]
ʒ joc, gespa rouge (C) / jeep (V)
j jo rouge (C) / young (V)
jʒ caixmir[1] rouge (C) / beige (V)
ʒ guix verd[1] rouge
IPA Marginal consonants
h ehem[8] hold
θ theta, López thing
x kharja, Bach Scots loch
IPA Semivowels[9]
Examples English approximation
j iode, posa-hi young
w quart, Güell, posa-ho, web quick
IPA Vowels
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
IPA Suprasegmentals
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 transcriptionsEdit

Standard 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), but there are some differences that should be used in the transcription of names of Andorra and Western Catalonia (including as well the Aragonese border known as La Franja):
  • Betacism, that is the confusion of /b/ and /v/ like in Standard Catalan: bell and vell /ˈbeʎ/
    • Lenition of /b/: avanç and abans [aˈβans]
  • Maintenance of /dz/ in the suffix -itzar and derivates (in most areas), like in Standard Catalan: utilitza /utiˈlidza/
Transcription of Insular Eastern Catalan
For transcriptions of Insular Catalan dialects:


  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. ^ 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 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 A variant of the sibilants /s, z/ includes:
    • [s̠] (retracted-s) with a pronunciation that ranges between /s/ and /ʃ/.
    • [z̠] (retracted-z) with a pronunciation that ranges between /z/ and /ʒ/.
  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 [ˈidem], 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. ^ The vowel /y/ is usually replaced by /u/ or /i/.


  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1999), "Catalan", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 61–65, ISBN 978-0-521-63751-0
  • Rafel, Joaquim (1999), Aplicació al català dels principis de transcripció de l'Associació Fonètica Internacional (PDF) (3rd ed.), Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans, ISBN 84-7283-446-8
  • Wheeler, Max W. (2005), The Phonology Of Catalan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-925814-7

External linksEdit