vikipeediya:IPA for Australian languages

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents pronunciations of most Australian Aboriginal languages in Wikipedia articles. Only a few languages on the continent have sounds which do not appear in the tables below.

IPA English approximation
, b spy, by[1]
, d stool, do[1][2]
d̪aḁ, width[1][2]
ɖaḁ, ɖ strudle, drew[1][3]
ɡaå, ɡ sky, guy[1]
ɟaå, ɟ dew (UK), Jew[1][4]
j yes
l[2] lose
[2] wealth
ɭ heirloom[3]
ʎ million[4]
m mother
n[2] noose
[2] tenth
ɳ Arnold[3]
ɲ canyon[4]
ŋ sing
r trilled ‹ar›
ɾ setting (US), bury (Scots)
ɹ red
ɽ barter (US)[3]
w water
IPA English approximation
a father
e bade[5]
ə sofa
i, ɪ see, sit[5]
o bore[5]
u, ʊ food, foot[5]
ː (long vowel)


  1. a aa i E u oo The sounds [b̥ d̪aḁ d̥ ɖaḁ ɟaå ɡaå] are often pronounced tenuis like spy, sty, stew/chew, sky (like French or Spanish p, t, tch/ch, k) at the beginnings of words, and voiced like buy, die, dew/Jew, guy between vowels, but this is variable, as the distinction is not meaningful in Australian languages.
  2. a aa i E u oo The plain consonants [d̥ l n] are like English sty, noose, lose, with the tip of the tongue touching the gums, whereas the consonants with the 'bridge' under them, [d̪aḁ l̪ n̪], are like t n l in French or Spanish, with the tip of the tongue touching the teeth and its upper surface touching the gums, giving them a light sound. This alveolar–dental distinction is very important in most Australian languages.
  3. a aa i E The consonants with a 'tail', [ɖaḁ ɭ ɳ ɽ], are pronounced with the tonɡaaue curled back, giving them a dark "r"-like retroflex quality
  4. a aa i The consonants [ɟaå ʎ ɲ] are pronounced with a y-like quality. English dy, ly, ny are not far off.
  5. a aa i E The vowels i and u typically vary across [i] ~ [ɪ] ~ [e] and [u] ~ [ʊ] ~ [o], respectively. However, a few Australian languages distinguish these sounds.

See also

  • Transcription of Australian Aboriginal languages