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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Catalan language pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-ca}}, {{IPA-va}}, and Resource: Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

Two Catalan varieties are covered here: Standard Catalan (C)--based in Central Catalonia, encompassing most Eastern Catalan features--and Standard Valencian (V)--based in Southern Valencia, encompassing most Western Catalan features. Standard Catalan is preferred on resource because it is the one that has more speakers of that variety. However, wherever clearly more relevant (for instance, in the case of a Valencian artist), Standard Valencian pronunciation should be transcribed instead.

See Catalan phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Catalan, and Catalan orthography for the correspondence between spelling and pronunciation.

IPA Consonants
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
b b bell, àmbit, capgròs[1] best
v vell, envit[1][2] best (C), vest (V)
? avanç, selva[3] a vest
b abans, arbre[3] a vest (C), the best (V)
d drac, indret, ritme[1] door
dz dz tretze, tots alhora[1] pads
z utilitza pads (C), zebra (V)
d? mitjà, migdia[1] jeep
ð cada, lladre[3] other
f força, bafs, salv face
? guant, angle, guiar, ècdisi[1] get
? aigües, agrat, lloguer[3] roughly like get
k cors, quan, qui, llarg, kiwi scan
l laca, cel·la,[4] val[5] US look - dark l
? mullar,[4] Elx[5] billion
m meu, canvi[5] mode
n neu, dansa[5] need
? nyeu, penges[5] onion
? sang, cigne[5] ring
p por, dubte span
r ruc, mirra, honra[6] Scots rook - trilled r
? mira, truc, per[6] American English ladder
s set, es sack
? j? caixa fish (C), geisha (V)
? Xixona, guix fish
t? xec, Barx fish (C), cheap (V)
t terra, fred stand
ts potser, tots cats
t? txec, mig cheap
v hafni, bafs d'aigua[1] of
z zel, esma[1] zebra
? d? joc, gespa rouge (C), jeep (V)
j jo rouge (C), young (V)
j? caixmir, peix blanc[1] rouge (C), beige (V)
? guix verd[1] rouge
IPA Marginal consonants
h Hawaii, ehem[7] ham
? Smith, Pozo thing
x kharja, Bach, Jaén Scots loch
IPA Semivowels[8]
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
j iogurt, llei, posa-hi young
w quatre, Güell, lleu, posa-ho quick
IPA Vowels
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
a sac, ànecs father
? ? set, èxit pet (C), pat (V)
e sec, què[9] pet (C), face (V)
e séc, anells, ídem[10] face
? de[11] alpha (C), face (V)
a fadrí, entens[11] alpha (C), father (V)
i naixement alpha (C), meet (V)
i sic, ties, fillet[11] meet
? soc, això off
o o sóc, molt, ego, mouré[10] story
u oratge[11] rule (C), story (V)
u suc, dues, fullet, cobert[11] rule
IPA Suprasegmentals
Valencian Community
Examples Explanation
' dac ['dið?k] (C) / ['diðak] (V) primary stress
? Bellpuig [?be?'put?] (C / V) secondary stress
. Maria [m?'?i.?] (C) / [ma'?i.a] (V) syllable break
: Imma ['im:?] (C) / ['im:a] (V) long vowel / consonant
IPA Other representations
( ) Corts ['ko?(t)s] (C / V) optional sound


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Obstruents assimilate to the voicing of the following consonant. In syllables produced in utterance-final position (i.e. the coda), voiced obstruents become devoiced (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:63), Wheeler (2005:147-149)).
  2. ^ While betacism (that is, the merging of /b/ and /v/ into one phoneme) is common in most speakers of Catalan and in Valencia, several dialects still contrast the two sounds (usually represented as ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩ respectively in Catalan orthography). The contrast is also maintained in Standard Valencian (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:61), Wheeler (2005:13)).
  3. ^ a b c d Voiced stops /b, d, ?/ become lenited [?, ð, ?] (that is, approximants or fricatives of the same place of articulation) when in the syllable onset and after a continuant. Otherwise they are pronounced as voiced or devoiced stops, similar to English b, d, g and p, t, k. Exceptions include /d/ after a lateral consonant, and /b/ after /f/. In traditional non-betacist dialects, /b/ usually fails to lenite (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:63), Wheeler (2005:10, 310-326)).
  4. ^ a b Catalan orthography distinguishes between ⟨ll⟩ (representing /?/) and ⟨l·l⟩ (representing a geminated /l:/). In regular speech gemination of ⟨l·l⟩ is ignored altogether. Some dialects as well as young speakers can merge /?/ with the glide in a process similar to Spanish yeísmo.
  5. ^ a b c d e f /l/ and /n/ assimilate to the place of articulation of a following consonant (Rafel (1999:14), Wheeler (2005:166-204)).
  6. ^ a b The rhotic consonants ⟨r⟩ /?/ and ⟨rr⟩ /r/ only contrast between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ⟨r⟩ with occurring word-initially, after /l/, /n/, and /s/, and in compounds; and after hard plosives, the soft spirants [?, ð, ?], and /f/. Syllable-final /?/ varies according to dialect, emphasis, morpheme and the following sound. In all Catalan dialects, except most of Valencian, /?/ is lost in coda position in suffixes of nouns and adjectives denoting the masculine singular and in the infinitive suffixes of verbs, except when the following morpheme begins with a vowel, although this may vary (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:63-64), Wheeler (2005:24-25)).
  7. ^ Other than in loanwords and interjections, the letter ⟨h⟩ is always silent.
  8. ^ The semivowels /j/ and /w/ can be combined with most vowels to form diphthongs and triphthongs (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:62), Wheeler (2005:90-91)). For a list with all the combinations, see Catalan phonology § Diphthongs and triphthongs.
  9. ^ Many words that have /?/ in Standard Catalan have /e/ in Standard Valencian. The latter is the historical pronunciation.
  10. ^ a b In Standard Catalan, unstressed [e] and [o] appear only in some words such as ídem ['idem], oceans [use'ans], ego ['e?o] and mouré [mow'?e]. In other cases, they merge with [?] and [u] (Wheeler (2005:61-72)).
  11. ^ a b c d e In unstressed position, the seven-way vowel contrast is reduced in all dialects.
    • Eastern Catalan: [a, ?, e] merge to [?], whereas [?, o, u] merge to [u], leaving only [?, i, u] in most unstressed syllables.
    • Western Catalan: [?, e] merge to [e] and [?, o] merge to [o]. Exceptionally there are some cases where unstressed ⟨e⟩ and ⟨o⟩ may merge with [a] and [u] respectively (Carbonell & Llisterri (1999:62-63), Wheeler (2005:52-77)).


  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1999), "Catalan", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 61-65, ISBN 978-0-521-63751-0
  • Rafel, Joaquim (1999), Aplicació al català dels principis de transcripció de l'Associació Fonètica Internacional (PDF) (3rd ed.), Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans, ISBN 84-7283-446-8
  • Wheeler, Max W. (2005), The Phonology Of Catalan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-925814-7

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