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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.

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.

IPA Hiragana example Transliteration English approximation
b ?, basho, kabin bug
b? by?ki beauty
ç ??, hito, hy? hue
? ??, shita, issh? sheep
d ?, d?mo, d?d? doctor
dz[1] ?, , zutto, zenzen, kizzu[2] cards
z[1] ??, aza, tsuzuku zoo
d?[1] ?, , jibun, jojo, ejji[2] jeep
?[1] ??, mijikai, jojo vision
? ?? fuji roughly like foot
?[3] ?, , gakk?, gogo, gink? goat
[3] ?? kigy? argue
h ??, hon, haha hat
j ?, yakusha, yuyushii yacht
k ??, kuru, hakki skate
k? , ky?kai, kekkyoku skew
m ?, , mikan, senpai, monmon much
m? myaku mute
n ?, natt? , kantan not
? ??, , niwa, konnyaku, kinch? canyon
? ???, ringo, nankyoku pink
? ? nihon roughly like long
p ??, pan, tampopo span
p? ?? happy? spew
??, roku, sora American better
ry?ri American party
s ??, suru, sass? soup
t ?, taberu, totte stop
ts ?, tsunami, ittsui[2] cats
t? ?, chikai, ketchaku[2] itchy
?[4] ? wasabi roughly like was
[5] ??, , fun'iki, denwa, anshin sin
? ?! atsu'! uh-oh (glottal stop)
IPA Hiragana example Transliteration English approximation
a ?? aru father
e ?? eki bet
i ?? iru meet
i?[6] shita whispered meet
o ?? oni story
?[7] ? unagi roughly like food
[7][6] sukiyaki roughly like whispered food
IPA Description Japanese example English approximation
: Long vowel hy?mei, ojiisan re-equalize
? Pitch drop[8] [ka?ki] (?"oyster"), [kaki?] (?"fence")  (merry),  (Marie)
. Syllabification nin'i [?i.i] react 


  1. ^ a b c d In dialects such as the Tokyo dialect, the voiced fricatives [z, ?] are generally pronounced as affricates [dz, d?] in word-initial positions and after the moraic nasal /N/ (pronounced [n] before [dz] and [?] before [d?]) or the sokuon /Q/ (spelled ?, only in loanwords). Actual realizations of these sounds vary among speakers (see Yotsugana).
  2. ^ a b c d When an affricate consonant is geminated, only the closure component of it is repeated: [kiddz?], [edd?i], [itts?i], [kett?ak?].
  3. ^ a b A declining number of speakers pronounce word-medial /?/ as [?], but /?/ is always represented by [?] in this system.
  4. ^ [?], romanized w, is the consonant equivalent of the vowel [?], which is pronounced with varying degrees of rounding, depending on dialect.
  5. ^ The syllable-final n (moraic nasal) is pronounced as some kind of nasalized vowel before a vowel, semivowel ([j, ?]) or fricative ([?, s, ?, ç, h]). [] 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 [?] become voiceless (marked by a ring under the symbol) when surrounded by voiceless consonants and not followed by a pitch drop.
  7. ^ a b [?], romanized u, exhibits varying degrees of rounding depending on dialect. In the Tokyo dialect, it is either unrounded or compressed ([]), meaning the sides of the lips are held together without horizontal protrusion, unlike protruded [u].
  8. ^ A pitch drop may occur only once per word and does not occur in all words. The mora before a pitch drop has a high pitch. When it occurs at the end of a word, the following grammatical particle has a low pitch.

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