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

See Finnish phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Finnish.

IPA Examples English approximation
b[1] bussi big
ç vihma human
d ladot adept
f[1] filmi film
ɡ[1] gorilla go
h hevonen horse
ɦ vaha[2] ahead
j joulu yolk
k kala scold
lakki bookkeeping
l laulu lack
pullo taillight
m metsä, onpa[3] may
kammio roommate
n nenä nanny
kannu unnatural
ŋ vangita, ken[4] sing
p puu spill
lippu stepparent
r rauta rolled r, Spanish perro
s sinä sole
kissa dissatisfied
ʃ[1] šakki shy
t tina stand
hattu nighttime
ʋ viha Between v and w
x kahvi Scottish English loch, German Buch
ʔ vaaan, linja-auto the pause in uh-oh
ˈ hevonen Normally placed on the first syllable.
Two syllables in some compound words.
tule! [ˈtuˈle] Both syllables in two-syllable imperatives.
IPA Examples English approximation
ɑ pouta like father, but shorter
ɑː poutaa father
æ pöytä cat
æː päivää mad
e terve let
eesti pay (GA), pair (RP)
i viha like see, but shorter
siika see
o oksa like more, but shorter
koostaa more
ø pöly somewhat like nurse; French feu
øː säröön somewhat like bird; German schön
u surma like loo, but shorter
suu, ruoan loo
y kesy like cube but without the initial y sound; French une
ryyppy like cute but without the initial y sound; German über

Finnish diphthongsEdit

IPA Examples English approximation
ɑi̯ aika aisle, eye
ɑu̯ aura how (RP)
æi̯ äiti main in Australian dialects
æy̯ täytyy down (GA)
ei̯ ei, hei heyday
eu̯ neutraali No English equivalent. Spanish and Italian neutro.
ey̯ keskeytyä No English equivalent
ie̯ kieli No English equivalent. Somewhat like Spanish tierra.
iu̯ viulu somewhat like kiwi
IPA Examples English approximation
iy̯ siistiytyä No English equivalent
oi̯ koittaa, koettaa coin
ou̯ outo American pronunciation of no, oh
øi̯ töi No English equivalent. French feuille.
øy̯ pöyristyä roughly like the British pronunciation of no, oh
ui̯ muita No English equivalent. Spanish muy, French grenouille, Portuguese anuis, Italian lui.
uo̯ Suomi Somewhat like woah. Italian suo (but with diphthong)
yi̯ syi No English equivalent. Somewhat like French huit.
yø̯ , t No English equivalent. French pollueuse (but with diphthong)


  1. ^ a b c d [b], [f], [ɡ], and [ʃ] occur only in loanwords. In casual speech, they may be replaced with [p], [ʋ], [k], and [s], respectively.
  2. ^ Allophone of /h/ between vowels.
  3. ^ Allophone of /n/ before /p/.
  4. ^ Allophone of /n/ before /k/.


  • Suomi, Kari; Toivanen, Juhani; Ylitalo, Riikka (2008), Finnish sound structure, ISBN 978-951-42-8983-5

External linksEdit