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

Key for Standard Catalan and Valencian[edit]

There are two major standards, one of Catalan (C)—based in Central Catalonia, encompassing most Eastern Catalan features—and one of Valencian (V)—based in Southern Valencia, encompassing most Western Catalan features. Neither variant is preferred over the other in Wikipedia articles except in cases where a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant (such as a place in Catalonia or a Valencian artist).

See Catalan phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Standard Catalan and Valencian, 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, watts[1][2] best (C), vest (V)
β avanç, selva[3] a vest
b abans, arbre[3] a vest (C), the best (V)
d drac, indret, ritme[1] door
ð cada, lladre[3] other
f força, bafs, salv, pholis face
ɡ guant, angle, guiar, ècdisi[1] get
ɣ aigües, agrat, lloguer[3] roughly like away
k cors, quan, qui, llarg, Folch, kiwi scan
l laca, tela, cel·la,[4] val[5] US look – dark l
ʎ llacs, cella,[4] vall, Elx[5] billion
m meu, em, canvi[5] mode
n neu, on, dansa[5] need
ɲ nyeu, any, penges[5] onion
ŋ sang, tinc, cigne[5] ring
p por, dubte span
r ruc, mirra, honra[6] Scots rooktrilled r
ɾ truc, mira, hora, per[6] US ladder
s set, rossa, està, cel, feliç sack
ts potser, tots, fluids, hertz cats
ʃ ʃ Xixona, guix, ells, sushi[7] fish
jʃ caixa, peix fish (C), geisha (V)
xec, clenxa, Barx fish (C), cheap (V)
txec, empatx, raig, mig[7] cheap
t terra, thai, fred stand
v hafni, bafs d'aigua[1] of
z z zel, onze, rosa, esma[1] zebra
dz utilitza pads (C), zebra (V)
dz tretze, tots alhora,[1] pads
ʒ ʒ guix verd[1][7] rouge
jʒ caixmir, peix blanc[1][7] rouge (C), beige (V)
j jo, ja[7] rouge (C), young (V)
joc, aljub, gespa, sorgir[7] rouge (C), jeep (V)
mitjà, viatge, adjunt, migdia[1][7] jeep
IPA Marginal consonants
h Hawaii, ehem[8] ham
θ θ theta, Smith, Pozo[9] thing
ciel (only in Aragon)
ʁ ruc (only in Roussillon) guttural r
x kharja, Bach, Jaén Scots loch
IPA Semivowels[10]
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
j iogurt, llei, hi ha, posa-hi, play young / joy
w quatre, Güell, lleu, posa-ho, web quick / grow
IPA Vowels[11]
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
a sac, ànecs[12] ah ~ ash
ɛ ɛ set, èxit[13] led / lad
e sec, cafè / café, què[13] led (C), they (V)
e séc, anells[13] they
i sic, ties, país, raïm ski
ɔ soc, mòlt, això[13][14] off
o sóc, molt[13] US crow
u suc, dues, ús, reüll rule
IPA Marginal vowels
œ fulla (only in Roussillon)[15] roughly like hurt
y but (only in Roussillon)[15] roughly like cute
Balearic Islands B
ɜ sec, què[16] fern
IPA Reduced vowels[17]
Valencian Community
Examples English approximation
ə a fadrí, amb, jurista (f.), entens alpha (C), hubbub (V)
e demà, que, jurista (m.) alpha (C), survey (V)
i naixement alpha (C), happy (V)
i fillet, llavis, aïllar, husky happy
u o oratge, baixos, posar-ho input (C), US pillow (V)
u fullet, ritu, cobert, ho posa input
IPA Other reduced vowels
a allegro, ad hoc (also /a/ in V) grandpa
ɛ tela, afecta (/ə/ in C) acrobat
e ídem, oceans (also /e/ in V) survey
ɔ tova, carxot (/ə/ in C) laptop
o ego, mouré[18] (also /o/ in V) US pillow
IPA Suprasegmentals
Stress, syllabification and length
Valencian Community
Examples Explanation
ˈ dac [ˈdiðək] (C) / [ˈdiðak] (V) primary stress
ˌ Bellpuig [ˌbeʎˈputʃ] (C / V) secondary stress
. Maria [məˈɾi.ə] (C) / [maˈɾi.a] (V) syllable break
ː Imma [ˈimːə] (C) / [ˈimːa] (V) long vowel / consonant
IPA Diacritics
◌̃ Jean [ˈʒã] (C) / [ˈdʒã] (V) nasalization[19]
IPA Other representations
( ) Corts [ˈkoɾ(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.
  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 (Algherese, Balearic, and some Valencian dialects) still contrast the two sounds (usually represented as ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩ respectively in Catalan orthography). The contrast is also maintained in Standard Valencian and in the linguistic varieties of the Balearic Islands and Alghero.
  3. ^ a b c d Voiced stops /b, d, ɡ/ become lenited [β, ð, ɣ] (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.
  4. ^ a b Catalan orthography distinguishes between ⟨ll⟩ (representing /ʎ/) and ⟨l·l⟩ (representing a geminated /lː/). In regular speech gemination of ⟨l·l⟩ is ignored altogether. Some dialects as well as young speakers can merge /ʎ/ with the glide [j] in a process similar to Spanish yeísmo.
  5. ^ a b c d e f /n/ and /l/ assimilate the place of articulation of a following consonant.
  6. ^ a b The rhotic consonants ⟨r⟩ /ɾ/ and ⟨rr⟩ /r/ only contrast between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ⟨r⟩ with [r] occurring word-initially, after /l/, /n/, and /s/, and in compounds; and [ɾ] after hard plosives, the soft spirants [β, ð, ɣ], and /f/. Syllable-final /ɾ/ varies according to dialect, emphasis, morpheme and the following sound. In all Catalan dialects, except most of Valencian, /ɾ/ 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).
  7. ^ a b c d e f g While /ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/ are often described simply as "postalveolar" by many sources, phonetic work done by Daniel Recasens shows the postalveolar sibilants to be alveolo-palatal ([ɕ], [ʑ], [] and [], respectively). Nevertheless, since ⟨ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ⟩ are overwhelmingly used in the linguistic literature on Catalan and Valencian, those characters are also used on Wikipedia.
  8. ^ Other than in loanwords and interjections, the letter ⟨h⟩ is always silent.
  9. ^ In colloquial speech, /θ/ in Spanish borrowings can be replaced by /s/, as in Spanish accents with seseo.
  10. ^ The semivowels /j/ and /w/ can be combined with most vowels to form diphthongs and triphthongs. For a list with all the combinations, see Catalan phonology § Diphthongs and triphthongs.
  11. ^ Standard Catalan and Standard Valencian contrast seven stressed vowels /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/.
  12. ^ Before and after consonants, /a/ can assimilate to the consonant's place of articulation. In some dialects, /a/ can merge with /ɛ/ in all instances in contact with palatals.
  13. ^ a b c d e In Northern Catalan, Modern Algherese and parts of Aragon, /ɛ, e/ and/or /ɔ, o/ may fail to contrast. In Northern accents, /o/ has merged with /u/; and in Ribagorçan, /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ can sometimes be realized as [je]/[ja] and [we], respectively.
  14. ^ In Majorcan and parts of Valencia, /ɔ/ can become unrounded.
  15. ^ a b In Northern Catalan /œ/ and /y/ can be found in some instances.
  16. ^ An additional vowel (/ɜ/) can contrast in the Balearic dialects, like Majorcan (Guiter (1943:230–34)). Words that have this vowel in Balearic usually have /ɛ/ in Central dialects and /e/ in Valencian (Western Catalan).
  17. ^ In unstressed position, the seven-way vowel contrast is reduced in all dialects.
    • Eastern Catalan (Algherese, Balearic, Central and Northern):
      • in most accents, /e/, /ɛ/, and /a/ reduce to [ə], though in Algherese and some accents of Central (for instance, parts of Barcelona) /e/, /ɛ/, and /a/ merge to [a]
      • in most accents, /o/ and /ɔ/ reduce to [u], though in most of Majorcan /ɔ/ and /o/ merge to [o].
    • Western Catalan (Northwestern, Tortosan and Valencian): /ɛ/ reduces to [e] and /ɔ/ reduces to [o]. Exceptionally there are some cases where unstressed ⟨e⟩ and ⟨o⟩ may reduce to [a] and [u] respectively.
  18. ^ Unstressed /ɔ, o/ followed by the glide /w/ can be reduced to [ə] in Eastern dialects. In some colloquial speeches it can be fully elided.
  19. ^ Phonemic nasalization is only found in loanwords and can often be replaced by /n/ or /m/: Jean /ˈ(d)ʒan/.


  • Burguet i Ardiaca, Francesc (1980). Introducció a la fonologia, fonètica i ortografia del català (in Catalan). Mataró (Barcelona): Robrenyo. ISBN 84-7466-025-4. 
  • Guiter, Henri (1943). Études de linguistique historique du dialecte minorquin (in French). Montpellier. 
  • Recasens i Vives, Daniel (1996). Fonètica descriptiva del català (in Catalan). Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans. ISBN 84-7283-312-7. 
  • Romeu i Juvé, Xavier (1983). Manual de fonologia catalana (in Catalan). Barcelona: Barcanova. ISBN 84-7533-119-X. 
  • Wheeler, Max W. (2005). The Phonology of Catalan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-925814-7. 

External links[edit]