Help:IPA/Estonian and Finnish

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Estonian and Finnish pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. See Finnish phonology and Estonian phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of these languages.

IPA Examples English approximation
ç Finnish vihma, lyhty human, huge
d Finnish ladot adept
h hevonen horse
ɦ vaha ahead
j joulu yoyo
k kala scold
l laulu lack
[1] Estonian only: jälk leep
m metsä, onpa may
n nenä nanny
ŋ vangita eating
[1] Estonian only: vann onion
p puu spill
r rauta rolled r
s sinä sole
[1] Estonian only: vastik super (some dialects)
t tina stand
[1] Estonian only: vatt RP stew
ʋ viha Between v and w
x Finnish kahvi yech, Scottish English loch
ˈ hevonen Normally placed on the first syllable.
Both first syllables in some compound words.
tule! [ˈtuˈle] Both syllables in two-syllable imperatives.
IPA Examples English approximation
ɑ pouta Like father, but shorter
ɑː poutaa father
æ pöytä cat
æː päivää mad
e terve let
eesti émigré
i viha feet
siika feed
o oksa poke
koostaa chore
ø pöly No English equivalent; somewhat like bird but shorter
øː säröön Somewhat like bird
ɤ Estonian only: õlu No English equivalent; somewhat like wood
ɤː Estonian only: õõnsus Same as above but longer
u surma wood
suu, ruoan coop
y Finnish kesy
Estonian küla
No English equivalent; somewhat like cube
Finnish ryyppy
Estonian rüüpa
Same as above but longer

Finnish diphthongs

IPA Examples English approximation
ɑi aika aisle, eye
ɑu aura how
æi äiti main in some Australian dialects
æy täytyy no English equivalent
ei ei, hei heyday
eu neutraali No English equivalent. Spanish and Italian neutro.
ey keskeytyä no English equivalent
ie kieli (standard pronunciation) no English equivalent
iu viulu no English equivalent
IPA Examples English approximation
iy siistiytyä no English equivalent
oi koittaa, koettaa coin
ou outo American pronunciation of no, oh
øi töitä No English equivalent. French feuille.
øy pöyristyä roughly like the British pronunciation of no, oh
ui muita No English equivalent. Spanish muy, French grenouille, Portuguese anuis, Italian lui.
uo Suomi (standard pronunciation) Somewhat like Woah. Spanish acentúo, Italian suo.
yi syitä No English equivalent. French huit.
, työtä (standard pronunciation) no English equivalent

Estonian diphthongs

/ɑe/, /ɑi/, /ɑo/, /ɑu/, /æe/, /æi/, /æo/, /æu/, /eɑ/, /ei/, /eo/, /iu/, /oɑ/, /oe/, /oi/, /ou/, /ɤɑ/, /ɤe/, /ɤi/, /ɤo/, /ɤu/, /øɑ/, /øe/, /øi/, /ui/, /yi/.


  1. ^ a b c d In Estonian, palatalized consonants, /tʲ nʲ sʲ lʲ/, are pronounced like their non-palatalized counterparts, but the tongue is constricted towards the hard palate as if a simultaneous /j/ were being pronounced.


  • Asu, Eva Liina; Teras, Pire (2009), "Estonian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 39 (3): 367–372, doi:10.1017/s002510030999017x 
  • Suomi, Kari; Toivanen, Juhani; Ylitalo, Riikka (2008), Finnish sound structure, ISBN 978-951-42-8983-5 

External links

  • Pronunciation of Finnish in a nutshell
  • Pronunciation of Estonian geographical names
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