The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Spanish language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

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

IPA Examples English approximation
[b] bestia; embuste; vaca; envidia best
[β̞] bebé; obtuso; vivir; curva [1] between baby and bevy
[d̪] dedo; cuando; aldaba dead
[ð̞] diva; arder; admirar [1] this
[f] fase; café [2] face
[ɡ] gato; lengua; guerra got
[ɰ] trigo; amargo; sigue; signo [1] between a light go and ahold
[ʝ] ayuno; poyo [1] as in yes
or between beige and due in RP English
[k] caña; laca; quise; kilo scan
[l] lino; alhaja; principal lean
[ʎ] llave; pollo [3] roughly like million (merged with /ʝ/ in
most dialects)
[m] madre; comer; campo; convertir [4] mother
[n] nido; anillo; anhelo; sin; álbum [4] need
[ɲ] ñandú; cabaña; enyesar [4] roughly like canyon
[ŋ] cinco; venga; conquista; enjambre [4] sink
[p] pozo; topo spouse
[r] rumbo; carro; honra; subrayo; amor [5] trilled r
[ɾ] caro; bravo; amor eterno [5] ladder in American English
[s] saco; casa; deshora; espita[6] xenón sack
[θ] cereal; encima; zorro; enzima; paz [7][6] thing (in Peninsular Spanish only;
elsewhere, merged with /s/)
[t̪] tamiz; átomo stand
[tʃ] chubasco; acechar choose
[x] jamón; eje; reloj[6] general; México loch (pronounced [h] in many dialects;
like ham)
[z] isla; mismo; deshuesar [8][6] prison
Marginal phonemes[9]
IPA Examples English approximation
[ʃ] Kirchner; Xelajú; sherpa [10] shack
[tɬ] tlapalería; cenzontle; Popocatépetl somewhat like cattle
[ts] Ertzaintza; abertzale; Pátzcuaro cats
IPA Examples English approximation
[ä] azahar father
[e̞] vehemente play (Yorkshire dialect)[11]
[i] dimitir; mío; y see
[o̞] boscoso coat (Yorkshire dialect)[12]
[u] cucurucho; dúo food
IPA Examples English approximation
[j] aliada; cielo; amplio; ciudad you
[w] cuadro; fuego; Huila[14] arduo wine
Stress and syllabification
IPA Examples English approximation
[ˈ] ciudad [θjuˈðað] / [sjuˈðað] domain
[ˌ] elo [ˈleeˌlo] intonation
. mío [ˈmi.o] moai
Other than in loanwords (e.g. hámster; hachís; hawaiano), the letter ‹h› is always silent in Spanish except in a few dialects that retain it as [h] or [x] (halar / jalar; hara).[15]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 /b/, /d/, /ɡ/ and /ʝ/ are between fricatives and approximants ([β̞, ð̞, ɣ̞, ʝ̞]; represented here without the undertacks) in all places except after a pause, after an /n/ or /m/, or—in the case of /d/ and /ʝ/—after an /l/, in which contexts they are stops [b, d, g, ɟʝ], not dissimilar from English b, d, g, j (Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté 2003:257-8).
  2. The phoneme /f/ is often pronounced as [ɸ], with the lips touching each other rather than the front teeth.
  3. In metropolitan areas of the Iberian Peninsula and some Central American countries, /ʎ/ has merged into /ʝ/; the actual realization depends on dialect. In Rioplatense Spanish, it has become [ʃ] or [ʒ]. See yeísmo and Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:258) for more information.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The nasal consonants /n, m, ɲ/ only contrast before vowels. Before consonants, they assimilate to the consonant's place of articulation. This is partially reflected in the orthography. Word-finally, only /n/ occurs.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The rhotic consonants /ɾ/ ‹r› and /r/ ‹rr› only contrast between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ‹r›, with [r] occurring word-initially, after /l/, /n/, and /s/, before consonants, and word-finally; [ɾ] is found elsewhere.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 For many speakers, fricatives (/s/, /θ/ and /x/) may debuccalize or be deleted in the syllable coda (at the end of words and before consonants); e.g. reloj [reˈlo].
  7. In Latin America, Canary Islands and some regions in Andalusia /θ/ has merged into /s/. See seseo and Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:258) for more information.
  8. Allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants.
  9. The marginal phonemes are found in loanwords, largely from Basque, English, and Nahuatl.
  10. In many dialects, /ʃ/ is replaced by [] or [s]; e.g. show [tʃou]~[sou].
  11. The Spanish /e/ doesn't quite line up with any English vowel, though the nearest equivalents are the vowel of play (for most English dialects) and the vowel of bed; the Spanish vowel is usually articulated at a point between the two.
  12. The Spanish /o/ doesn't quite line up with any English vowel, though the nearest equivalents are the vowel of coat (for most English dialects) and the vowel of raw; the Spanish vowel is usually articulated at a point between the two.
  13. In Spanish, the semivowels [w] and [j] can be combined with vowels to form rising diphthongs (e.g. cielo, cuadro). Falling diphthongs though; e.g. aire, rey, auto, are transcribed with /i/ and /u/.
  14. Some speakers may pronounce word initial [w] with an epenthetic /g/; e.g. Huila [ˈgwila]~[ˈwila].
  15. "Grapheme h". Diccionario panhispánico de dudas. Real Academia Española.
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259
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