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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 ahead
j joulu yolk
k kala scold
l laulu lack
m metsä, onpa may
n nenä nanny
ŋ vangita, ken[2] eating
p puu spill
r rauta rolled r
s sinä sole
ʃ[1] šakki shy
t tina stand
ʋ viha Between v and w
x kahvi Scottish English loch
ʔ vaaan 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
i viha happy
siika feed
o oksa like thought but shorter
koostaa saw
ø pöly somewhat like nurse
øː säröön somewhat like bird
u surma wood
suu, ruoan coop
y kesy somewhat like cute
ryyppy somewhat like cube

Finnish diphthongsEdit

IPA Examples English approximation
ɑj aika aisle, eye
ɑw aura how (RP)
æj äiti main in some Australian dialects
æɥ täytyy down (GA)
ej ei, hei heyday
ew neutraali No English equivalent. Spanish and Italian neutro.
keskeytyä No English equivalent
ie̯ kieli No English equivalent. Somewhat like Spanish tierra.
iw viulu somewhat like kiwi
IPA Examples English approximation
siistiytyä No English equivalent
oj koittaa, koettaa coin
ow outo American pronunciation of no, oh
øj töi No English equivalent. French feuille.
øɥ pöyristyä roughly like the British pronunciation of no, oh
uj muita No English equivalent. Spanish muy, French grenouille, Portuguese anuis, Italian lui.
uo̯ Suomi Somewhat like woah. Italian suo (but with diphthong)
yj 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] only occur in loanwords. In casual speech, they may be replaced with [p], [ʋ], [k], and [s], respectively.
  2. ^ Allophone of /n/ before /k/.


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

External linksEdit