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 {{IPA-is}} 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
ç hjá hue
ð veður weather
f fyrir, dýpka fun
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
l líf leap
stelpa, jökull same as above but voiceless, like hl
m miði moon
lampi same as above but voiceless, like hm
n níu noon
hnífur same as above but voiceless, like hn
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
r rós ring, but trilled
hreinn same as above but voiceless, like hr
s saga sing
t dagur, út, jökull sty
tala tie
θ þ think
v verk, afi very
x sjúkt, sagt Scottish loch
hver (rare)[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 ungur boot
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
ou hóll goat
ouː kópur goal
œi laust Scottish or Canadian rite
œiː auga
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).


  • Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson (2013). Hljóðfræði og hljóðritun (PDF) (in Icelandic).
  • Kristján Árnason (2011). The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4.
  • Gussmann, Edmund (2011). "Getting your head around: the vowel system of Modern Icelandic" (PDF). Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia. 12: 71–90. ISBN 978-83-232-2296-5.
  • Haugen, Einar (1958). "The Phonemics of Modern Icelandic". Language. 34 (1): 55–88. doi:10.2307/411276. JSTOR 411276.
  • Volhardt, Marc Daniel Skibsted (2011). Islændinges udtale af dansk. En sammenlignende analyse af lydsystemerne i islandsk og dansk, og islandske studerendes danskudtale (Bachelor's degree essay) (in Danish). Reykjavík: University of Iceland.

External linksEdit

  • Icelandic Pronunciation Dictionary (Note: The dataset has multiple minor errors, it is often missing aspiration signs and some entries use a non-standard transcription of diphthongs)