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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Japanese language and Okinawan pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. Sounds occurring only as allophones are included for narrow transcription.

See Japanese phonology for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Japanese.

Examples in the charts are Japanese words transliterated according to the Hepburn romanization system.

Consonants
IPA Hiragana example Transliteration English approximation
b しょ, basho, kibun bug
びょうき byōki beauty
ç , ひょ hito, hyō hue
ɕ , しょ shita, shō sheep
d うも, dōmo, dōdō doctor
dz[1] っと, , くし zutto, zenzen, dzukushi cards
z[1] , aza, tsudzuku zoo
[1] ぶん, ょじょ jibun, jojo jeep
ʑ[1] かい, じょ mijikai, jojo vision
ɸ , fuji, fūfu roughly like baffle
ɡ[2] っこう, ごご gakkō, gogo gap
ɡʲ[2] んこう, ぎょ ginkō, kigyō argue
h , ほほ hon, hoho hat
j くしゃ, ゆゆしい yakusha, yuyushii yacht
k , っきょ kuru, kekkyoku skate
, きょうかい kita, kyōkai skew
m かん, ぱい, もんも mikan, sempai, monmon much
みゃ myaku mute
n っとう, nattō , kinen not
ɲ , んにゃ, ちょう niwa, konnyaku, kinchō canyon
ŋ[2] , きょく ringo, nankyoku pink
ɴ にほ nihon roughly like long
p ン, たんぽぽ pan, tampopo span
いっぴょ ippyō pew
ɾ , roku, sora American better
ɾʲ りょうり ryōri dew
s , さっそ suru, sassō soup
t べる, とって taberu, totte stop
ts なみ, つつ tsunami, tsutsumu cats
かい, ちち chikai, chichi itchy
w[3] さび wasabi roughly like was
ɰ̃[4] いき fun'iki sin
ʔ あつ atsu'! uh-oh! (glottal stop)
Vowels
IPA Hiragana example Transliteration English approximation
a aru between cut and father
e , eki hey
i iru meet
[5] , yoshi, shita whispered meet
o , oni American owe
ɯ[6] なぎ unagi roughly like food
ɯ̥[6][5] , きやき desu, sukiyaki roughly like whispered food
Suprasegmentals
IPA Description Japanese example English approximation
ː Long vowel ojiisan re-equalize
Double consonant seppuku unnecessary (compare innovation)
̚ No audible release kekka, ippan doctor (compare docking)
Tone drop[7] /kaꜜki/ (‎"oyster"), /kakiꜜ/ (‎"fence") /ˈmɛri/ (merry), /məˈriː/ (Marie)
. Syllabification saikin [sa.i.kiɴ], zasshi [d͡zaɕ.ɕi] react /ri.ækt/

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d In dialects including the Tokyo dialect, the voiced fricatives [z] and [ʑ] are generally pronounced as the affricates [dz] and [] in word-initial positions and after the moraic nasal /N/ (pronounced [n] before [(d)z] and [ɲ] before [(d)ʑ]). However, actual realization of these sounds varies greatly depending on the region and on the speaker (see Yotsugana).
  2. ^ a b c When placed between vowels, /ɡ/ is sometimes pronounced [ŋ] or [ɣ] by older speakers.
  3. ^ The Japanese w is not equivalent to a typical IPA [w] since it is pronounced with lip compression rather than rounding.
  4. ^ The moraic nasal /N/ is pronounced as some sort of nasalized close vowel before a vowel, semivowel or fricative. [ɰ̃] is a conventional notation undefined for the exact place of articulation.
  5. ^ a b In many dialects including the Tokyo dialect, the close vowels /i/ and /ɯ/ becomes voiceless (marked by a ring under the symbol) when placed between two voiceless consonants or, unless accented, between a voiceless consonant and a pause.
  6. ^ a b There is no simple symbol in the IPA for Japanese u, which is not rounded [u] or unrounded [ɯ] but compressed [ɯᵝ]. The labial spreading diacritic is an extended IPA character.
  7. ^ The position of this downstep, which does not occur in all words, varies between dialects and is frequently not indicated. The downstep is a drop in pitch, and the word rises in pitch before the . When occurs after the final syllable of a word, any attached grammatical particles have a low tone.