The charts below show how the International Phonetic Alphabet represents pronunciations of Standard Italian in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Italian phonology and Italian orthography for a more thorough look at the sounds of Italian.

IPA Examples English approximation
b banca, cibo about
d dove, idra, dado today
dz zaino, azalea, mezzo[2][3] dads
gelo, giù, magia job
f fatto, cifra, fon fast
ɡ gatto, agro, ghetto, glicosio[4] again
j ieri, saio, più yes
k cosa, acuto, finché, quei, kiwi, koala scar
l lato, tela, glicosio[4] ladder
ʎ figli, glielo, maglia[3] billion
m mano, amare[5] mother
ɱ anfibio, invece[5] comfort
n nano, punto, pensare, mangiare[5] nest
ŋ unghia, anche, dunque[5] sing
ɲ gnocco, ogni[3][5] canyon
p primo, ampio, apertura spin
r Roma, quattro, morte[6] trilled r
s sano, scusa, presentire, pasto[7] sorry
ʃ scena, scià, pesci[3] shoe
t tranne, mito, altro star
ts zio, sozzo, marzo[2][3] cats
certo, ciao, farmacia check
v vado, povero vent
w uova, guado, qui wine
z sbirro, presentare, asma[7] amazon
Non-native consonants
h hobby, hertz[8] house
θ Thatcher, Pérez[9] thing
x jota, Bach, khamsin[10] loch (Scottish English)
ʒ Fuji, garage, casual vision
IPA Examples English approximation
a alto, sarà fast (Scottish English)
e vero, perché fade
ɛ etto, cioè bed
i viso, sì, zia ski
o ombra, otto story
ɔ otto, sarò off
u usi, ragù, tuo rule
Non-native vowels
ø viveur, goethiano, Churchill[12] murder (RP)
y parure, brûlé, Führer[13] future (Scottish English)
IPA Examples Explanation
ˈ Cennini [tʃenˈniːni] primary stress
ˌ altamente [ˌaltaˈmente] secondary stress[14]
. continuo [konˈtiːnu.o] syllable break
ː primo [ˈpriːmo] long vowel[15]


  1. ^ Except /z/, all consonants after a vowel and before /r/, /l/, a vowel or a semivowel may be geminated. Gemination in IPA is represented by doubling the consonant (fatto [ˈfatto], mezzo [ˈmɛddzo]), and can usually be told from orthography. After stressed vowels and certain prepositions and conjunctions, word-initial consonants also become geminated (syntactic gemination): va via [ˌva vˈviːa].
  2. ^ a b ⟨z⟩ represents both /ts/ and /dz/. The article on Italian orthography explains how they are used.
  3. ^ a b c d e /ts, dz, ʃ, ɲ, ʎ/ are always geminated after a vowel.
  4. ^ a b ⟨gli⟩ represents /ʎ/ or /ʎi/, except in roots of Greek origin, when preceded by another consonant, and in a few other words, where it represents /ɡli/.
  5. ^ a b c d e A nasal always assimilates to the place of articulation of the following consonant. It is bilabial [m] before /p, b, m/, labiodental [ɱ] before /f, v/, dental, alveolar or postalveolar [n] before /t, d, ts, dz, tʃ, dʒ, ʃ, l, r/, and velar [ŋ] before /k, ɡ/. Utterance-finally, it is always [n].
  6. ^ Non-geminate /r/ is generally realised as a monovibrant trill or flap [ɾ], particularly in unstressed syllables.
  7. ^ a b /s/ and /z/ contrast only intervocalically. Word-initially, after consonants, when geminated, and before voiceless consonants, only [s] is found. Before voiced consonants, only [z] is found.
  8. ^ /h/ is usually dropped.
  9. ^ /θ/ is usually pronounced as [t] in English loanwords, and [dz], [ts] (if spelled ⟨z⟩) or [s] (if spelled ⟨c⟩ or ⟨z⟩) in Spanish ones.
  10. ^ In Spanish loanwords, /x/ is usually pronounced as [h] or [k] or dropped. In German, Arabic and Russian ones, it is usually pronounced [k].
  11. ^ Italian contrasts seven monophthongs in stressed syllables. Open-mid vowels /ɛ, ɔ/ can appear only if the syllable is stressed (coperto [koˈpɛrto], quota [ˈkwɔːta]), close-mid vowels /e, o/ are found elsewhere (Boccaccio [bokˈkattʃo], amore [aˈmoːre]). Close and open vowels /i, u, a/ are unchanged in unstressed syllables, but word-final unstressed /i/ may become approximant [j] before vowels, which is known as synalepha (pari età [ˌparj eˈta]).
  12. ^ Open-mid [œ] or close-mid [ø] if it is stressed but usually [ø] if it is unstressed. May be replaced by [ɛ] (stressed) or [e] (stressed or unstressed).
  13. ^ /y/ is often pronounced as [u] or [ju].
  14. ^ Since Italian has no distinction between heavier or lighter vowels (like the English o in conclusion vs o in nomination), a defined secondary stress, even in long words, is extremely rare.
  15. ^ Primarily stressed vowels are long in non-final open syllables: fato [ˈfaːto], fatto [ˈfatto].

Further reading

  • Bertinetto, Pier Marco; Loporcaro, Michele (2005). "The sound pattern of Standard Italian, as compared with the varieties spoken in Florence, Milan and Rome" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 35 (2): 131–151. doi:10.1017/S0025100305002148.
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004). "Italian" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 34 (1): 117–121. doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628.

See also