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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.

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, kabin bug
びょうき byōki beauty
ç , ひょ hito, hyō hue
ɕ , っしょ shita, isshō sheep
d うも, dōmo, dōdō doctor
dz[1] っと, , ッズ zutto, zenzen, kizzu[2] cards
z[1] , aza, tsuzuku zoo
[1] ぶん, ょじょ, ッジ jibun, jojo, ejji[2] jeep
ʑ[1] かい, じょ mijikai, jojo vision
ɸ fuji roughly like foot
ɡ[3] っこう, ごご, んこう gakkō, gogo, ginkō goat
ɡʲ[3] ぎょ kigyō argue
h , はは hon, haha hat
j くしゃ, ゆゆしい yakusha, yuyushii yacht
k , っき kuru, hakki skate
きょうかい, っきょ kyōkai, kekkyoku skew
m かん, ぱい, もんも mikan, senpai, monmon much
みゃ myaku mute
n っとう, たん nattō , kantan not
ɲ , んにゃ, ちょう niwa, konnyaku, kinchō canyon
ŋ , きょく ringo, nankyoku pink
ɴ にほ nihon roughly like long
p , たんぽぽ pan, tampopo span
っぴょ happyō spew
ɾ , roku, sora American better
ɾʲ りょうり ryōri American party
s , さっそ suru, sassō soup
t べる, とって taberu, totte stop
ts なみ, っつ tsunami, ittsui[2] cats
かい, っちゃ chikai, ketchaku[2] itchy
ɰ[4] さび wasabi roughly like was
ɰ̃[5] いき, , しん fun'iki, denwa, anshin sin
ʔ あつ atsu'! uh-oh (glottal stop)
Vowels
IPA Hiragana example Transliteration English approximation
a aru father
e eki bet
i iru meet
[6] shita whispered meet
o oni story
ɯ[7] なぎ unagi roughly like food
ɯ̥[7][6] きやき sukiyaki roughly like whispered food
Suprasegmentals
IPA Description Japanese example English approximation
ː Long vowel hyōmei, ojiisan re-equalize
Pitch drop[8] [kaꜜki] (‎"oyster"), [kakiꜜ] (‎"fence") /ˈmɛri/ (merry), /məˈr/ (Marie)
. Syllabification nin'i [ɲiɰ̃.i] react /ri.ækt/

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d In dialects such as the Tokyo dialect, the voiced fricatives [z, ʑ] are generally pronounced as affricates [dz, ] in word-initial positions and after the moraic nasal /N/ (pronounced [n] before [dz] and [ɲ] before [dʑ]) or the sokuon /Q/ (spelled , only in loanwords). Actual realizations of these sounds vary among speakers (see Yotsugana).
  2. ^ a b c d When an affricate consonant is geminated, only the closure component of it is repeated: [kiddzɯ], [eddʑi], [ittsɯi], [kettɕakɯ].
  3. ^ a b A declining number of speakers pronounce word-medial /ɡ/ as [ŋ], but /ɡ/ is always represented by [ɡ] in this system.
  4. ^ [ɰ], romanized w, is the consonant equivalent of the vowel [ɯ], which is pronounced with varying degrees of rounding, depending on dialect.
  5. ^ The syllable-final n (moraic nasal) is pronounced as some kind of nasalized vowel before a vowel, semivowel ([j, ɰ]) or fricative ([ɸ, s, ɕ, ç, h]). [ɰ̃] is a conventional notation undefined for the exact place of articulation.
  6. ^ a b In many dialects including the Tokyo dialect, close vowels [i] and [ɯ] become voiceless (marked by a ring under the symbol) when surrounded by voiceless consonants and not followed by a pitch drop.
  7. ^ a b [ɯ], romanized u, exhibits varying degrees of rounding depending on dialect. In the Tokyo dialect, it is either unrounded or compressed ([ɯᵝ]), meaning the sides of the lips are held together without horizontal protrusion, unlike protruded [u].
  8. ^ A pitch drop may occur only once per word and does not occur in all words. The mora before a pitch drop has a high pitch. When it occurs at the end of a word, the following grammatical particle has a low pitch.