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

See Finnish phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Finnish.

IPA Examples English approximation
b bussi[2] big
d ladot adept
f filmi[2] film
? magia[2] go
h hevonen, vaha horse
j joulu yolk
k kala scold
k: lakki backgammon
l laulu lack
l: pullo taillight
m metsä, onpa[3] may
m: kammio, Ahvenanmaa[3] roommate
n nenä nanny
n: kannu unnatural
? ken[3] sing
?: vangita singing
p puu spill
p: lippu flipbook
r rauta rolled r, like Spanish perro
s sinä sole
s: kissa dissatisfied
? ?akki[2] shy
t tina stand
t: hattu outdo
? viha between vet and wet
? vaa'an, linja-auto the pause in uh-oh
IPA Examples Explanation
' hevonen
Normally placed on the first syllable.
? hernekeitto
A second syllable in some compound words.
tule! ['tu?le] The second syllable in two-syllable imperatives.
Short Long
IPA Examples English approximation IPA Examples English approximation
? pouta like father, but shorter ?: poutaa father
æ pöytä cat æ: päivää mad
e terve let e: eesti pay
i viha city i: siika see
o oksa like more, but shorter o: koostaa more
ø pöly somewhat like nurse ø: säröön somewhat like bird
u surma influence u: suu, ruoan cool
y kesy somewhat like cute y: ryyppy somewhat like cube
IPA Examples English approximation
?i? aika eye
?u? aura how
æi? äiti main (Australia)
æy? täytyy no English equivalent
ei? ei, hei pay
eu? neutraali no English equivalent: Spanish or Italian neutro
ey? keskeytyä no English equivalent
ie? kieli somewhat like yes
iu? viulu few
iy? siistiytyä no English equivalent
oi? koittaa, koettaa coin
ou? outo role
øi? töi no English equivalent: French feuille
øy? pöyristyä rope (Received Pronunciation)
ui? muita ruin
uo? Suomi somewhat like woah
yi? syi somewhat like we
yø? , t no English equivalent: French pollueuse


  1. ^ Most Finnish consonants usually contrast between shorter and longer pronunciation. Long consonants are marked with the symbol .
  2. ^ a b c d [b], [f], [?], and [?] occur only in loanwords. In casual speech, they may be replaced with [p], [?], [k], and [s], respectively.
  3. ^ a b c /n/ has three allophones: [?] before /k/, [m] before /p/ (or [b]) or /m/, and [n] elsewhere.
  4. ^ All Finnish vowels have both a long and a short phoneme.


  • Suomi, Kari; Toivanen, Juhani; Ylitalo, Riikka (2008), Finnish sound structure, ISBN 978-951-42-8983-5

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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