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

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

IPA Examples English approximation
c gys skew
kær cute
ç hjá hue
ð verða weather
f fyrir, dýpka fun
ɣ laga (like Spanish trigo)
h hús hop
ʰc ekki skew (with an h sound before it)
ʰk þakka sky (with an h sound before it)
ʰp tappi spy (with an h sound before it)
ʰt stutt sty (with an h sound before it)
j jú, lagi yes
k göng, líka sky
koma, hver[1] kite
l líf leap
stelpa, öll[2] (voiceless, like hl)
m miði moon
lampi (voiceless, like hm)
n níu noon
hnífur (voiceless, like hn)
ɲ lengi canyon
ɲ̊ banki [ˈpauɲ̊cɪ] (voiceless, like hny)
ŋ ungs sing
ŋ̊ þungt (voiceless, like hng)
p böl, hjálpa, nafni spy
páfi pie
r rós ring (trilled)
hreinn (voiceless, like hr)
s saga sing
t dagur, út, öll,[2] seinna sty
tala tie
θ þ think
v afi, verk very
x sjúkt, sagt Bach
hver[1] why (without the winewhine merger)
IPA Examples English approximation
a Karl art
raka father
ɛ kenna bet
ɛː nema[4] roughly like yes
i fínt, sýndi leaf
líf, hlýt leave
ɪ yi kit
ɪː yfir, vita kid
ɔ loft [lɔft] RP/Australian hot
ɔː von [vɔːn][4] roughly like water
œ dökk [tœʰk] Somewhat like nurse
œː öl [œːl][4] like French actuel but with lips rounded even at the end
u ungur boot
núna [ˈnuːna] food
ʏ upp [ʏʰp] German mütter
ʏː kul [kʰʏːl] German schön
ai ætla RP right
aiː æfing pie
au sjálfur mouth
auː páfi allow
ei engi pace
eiː heim pay
ou hóll goat
ouː kólna go
øi laust roughly like Louie, but shorter
øiː auga roughly like Louie
Other symbols
IPA Explanation
ˈ◌ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable),
langur [ˈlauŋ̊kʏr̥]


  1. ^ a b Hver is pronounced differently depending on dialect.
  2. ^ a b Double ll is pronounced [tl̥], as if spelled tl.
  3. ^ Vowels are usually long if they are stressed and followed by no more than one consonant double consonant. Vowel length is not phonemic.
  4. ^ a b c Long [ɛː, ɔː, œː] are most typically realized as smooth transitions from [ɪ, ʊ, ʏ] to [ɛː, ɔː, œː]. Thus, they are monophthongs phonologically and diphthongs phonetically (Árnason 2011:60, Gussmann 2011:71, 88).


  • Árnason, Kristján (2011). The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4.
  • Gussmann, Edmund (2011). "Getting your head around: the vowel system of Modern Icelandic" (PDF). Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia. 12: 71–90. ISBN 978-83-232-2296-5.
  • Haugen, Einar (1958). "The Phonemics of Modern Icelandic". Language. 34 (1): 55–88. doi:10.2307/411276. JSTOR 411276.
  • Volhardt, Marc Daniel Skibsted (2011). Islændinges udtale af dansk. En sammenlignende analyse af lydsystemerne i islandsk og dansk, og islandske studerendes danskudtale (Bachelor's degree essay) (in Danish). Reykjavík: University of Iceland.
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