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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, 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[3] , 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 hey
i iru meet
[6] shita whispered meet
o , oni American owe
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
Tone drop[8] [kaꜜki] (‎"oyster"), [kakiꜜ] (‎"fence") /ˈmɛri/ (merry), /məˈriː/ (Marie)
. Syllabification nin'i [ɲiɰ̃.i] react /ri.ækt/

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d In dialects including 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 found in loans). However, actual realization of these sounds varies greatly depending on region and speaker (see Yotsugana).
  2. ^ a b c d When an affricate consonant is gemintated, only the closure component of it is repeated: [kiddzɯ], [eddʑi], [ittsɯi], [kettɕakɯ].
  3. ^ a b c When placed between vowels, /ɡ/ is sometimes pronounced [ŋ] or [ɣ] by older speakers.
  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 moraic nasal /N/ is pronounced as some kind of nasalized vowel before a vowel, semivowel or fricative. [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 unaccented and surrounded by voiceless consonants.
  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, rather than protruded [u].
  8. ^ The position of this downstep, which does not occur in all words, varies between dialects and is usually 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.