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

Generally, Castilian Spanish is used in IPA transcriptions except for some words with /θ/ and /ʎ/:

  • For terms that are more relevant to regions that have undergone yeísmo (where words such as haya and halla are pronounced the same), words spelled with ⟨ll⟩ can be transcribed with [ʝ].
  • For terms that are more relevant to regions that have seseo (where words such as caza and casa are pronounced the same), words spelled with ⟨z⟩ or ⟨c⟩ (the latter only before ⟨i⟩ or ⟨e⟩) can be transcribed with [s].

In all other cases, if a local pronunciation is made, it should be labeled as "local" (e.g. {{IPA-es|...|local}}).

See Spanish phonology for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Spanish, and Spanish dialects and varieties for regional variation.

IPA Examples English approximation
b[1] bestia, embuste, vaca, envidia, fútbol about
β bebé, viva, curva, obtuso, apto[2] about, but without lips completely closed
d[1] dedo, cuando, aldaba today
ð diva, arder, admirar, atmósfera,[2] juventud this
f fase face
ɡ[1] gato, guerra, lengua again
ɣ trigo, amargo, signo, doctor[2] again, but without the tongue touching the roof of the mouth
ʝ[1][3] ayuno you
ɟʝ[1][3] yermo, cónyuge jeep
k caña, quise, kilo scan
l lino lean
ʎ[1][3] llave million
m[4] madre, campo mother
ɱ[4] anfibio comfort
n[4] nido, sin, álbum need
ɲ[4] ñandú, cónyuge canyon
ŋ[4] cinco, tengo sing
p pozo spouse
r[5] rumbo, carro, honra, subrayar trilled r
ɾ[5] caro, bravo, partir atom (with flapping)
s[6][7] saco, espita, xenón between sip and ship (retracted) (E), sip (LA)
θ[6] cereal, zorro, jazmín[8] thing
t tamiz stand
chubasco choose
v[8] afgano van
x[9] jamón, general, México,[10] hámster[11] Scottish loch
z[8] isla, mismo, riesgo between zone and genre (retracted) (E), zone (LA)
Marginal phonemes
IPA Examples English approximation
ʃ[12] show, Rocher, Freixenet shack
IPA Examples English approximation
a mal father
e es berry
i di, y see
o sol more
u su food
IPA Examples English approximation
j ciudad, rey yet
w[14] cuatro, Huila, auto wine
Stress and syllabification
IPA Examples English approximation
ˈ ciudad [θjuˈðað] domain
. o [ˈmi.o] Leo
  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 1,3 1,4 1,5 /b, d, ɡ, ʝ/ are pronounced as fricatives or approximants [β, ð, ɣ, ʝ] in all places (except after a pause, /n/ or /m/, or in the case of /d/ and /ʝ/ after /l/). In the latter environments they are stops [b, d, ɡ, ɟʝ] like English b, d, g, j, but are fully voiced in all positions, unlike in English. When it is distinct from /ʝ/, /ʎ/ is realized as an approximant [ʎ] in all positions Template:Harvcol.
  2. 2,0 2,1 2,2 The distinction between /p, t, k/ and /b, d, ɡ/ is lost in word-internal syllable-final positions. The resulting realization varies from [p, t, k] to [b, d, ɡ] to [β, ð, ɣ], with the latter being the usual form in conversational style Template:Harvcol.
  3. 3,0 3,1 3,2 Most speakers no longer distinguish /ʎ/ from /ʝ/; the actual realization depends on dialect, however. See yeísmo and Template:Harvcoltxt for more information.
  4. 4,0 4,1 4,2 4,3 4,4 Nasals always assimilate their place of articulation to that of the following consonant. Before velars, they are Template:IPAblink and before labial consonants, they are Template:IPAblink. The labiodental Template:IPAblink appears before /f/.
  5. 5,0 5,1 The rhotic consonants, Template:IPAblink and Template:IPAblink, only contrast word-medially between vowels, where they are usually spelled ⟨rr⟩ and ⟨r⟩, respectively. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution: Word-initially, stem-initially, and after /l, n, s/, only [r] is found; before a consonant or pause, the two are interchangeable, but [ɾ] is more common (hence so represented here). Elsewhere, only [ɾ] is found. When two rhotics occur consecutively across a word or prefix boundary they result in one long trill, which is transcribed as [ɾr] in this key: dar rocas [daɾ ˈrokas], super-rápido [supeɾˈrapiðo] Template:Harvcol.
  6. 6,0 6,1 Northern and Central Spain distinguish between Template:Angbr (/s/) and soft Template:Angbr or Template:Angbr (/θ/). Almost all other dialects treat the two as identical (which is called seseo) and pronounce them as /s/. In areas with the distinction, the alveolar sibilant is typically more retracted (often perceived as closer to the sh sound in ship) than in areas with seseo. Contrary to yeísmo, seseo is not a phonemic merger but the outcome of a different evolution of sibilants in southern Spain in comparison with northern and central dialects. There is a small number of speakers, mostly in southern Spain, who pronounce the soft Template:Angbr, Template:Angbr and even Template:Angbr as /θ/ (a phenomenon called ceceo). See phonological history of Spanish coronal fricatives and Template:Harvcoltxt for more information.
  7. In much of Hispanic America and in the southern half of Spain, /s/ in syllable-final positions is either pronounced as Template:IPAblink or not pronounced at all. In transcriptions linked to this key, however, it is always represented by [s].
  8. 8,0 8,1 8,2 [v] and [z] are syllable-final allophones of /f/ and /s/, respectively, found before voiced consonants. /θ/ also becomes a voiced fricative Template:IPAblink in the same position, but since ð represents the approximant allophone of /d/ in transcriptions of Spanish, /θ/ is always transcribed with θ in this system.
  9. /x/ is pronounced as Template:IPAblink in many accents such as those in the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Andalusia, and the Canary Islands Template:Harvcol.
  10. The letter Template:Angbr represents /x/ only in certain proper names like Ximena and some placenames in current or former Mexico (e.g. Oaxaca and Texas).
  11. The letter Template:Angbr represents /x/ only in loanwords; though in native words it is always silent.
  12. /ʃ/ is used only in loanwords and certain proper nouns. It is nonexistent in many dialects, being realized as Template:IPAblink or Template:IPAblink; e.g. show [tʃou]~[sou].
  13. [j, w] are allophones of /i, u/ that manifest when unstressed and adjacent to another vowel. Mid vowels /e, o/ may also be realized as semivowels, as in [ˈpo̯eta, ˈmae̯stɾo] (poeta, maestro). Semivocalic realizations of /e, o/ may in addition be raised to [j, w], as in [ˈpweta, ˈmajstɾo], which is common in Latin America, but stigmatized in Spain Template:Harvcol. Since both these phenomena are optional and predictable, they are not reflected in transcription ([poˈeta, maˈestɾo]).
  14. Some speakers may pronounce word-initial [w] with an epenthetic [ɡ] (e.g. Huila [ˈɡwila]~[ˈwila]).

References[mudé | muda l codesc]

  • Hualde, José Ignacio (2005), The Sounds of Spanish, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-54538-2
  • Hualde, José Ignacio; Simonet, Miquel; Torreira, Francisco (2008), "Postlexical contraction of nonhigh vowels in Spanish", Lingua, 118 (12): 1906–1925, doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2007.10.004
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/s0025100303001373