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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Basque language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-eu}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Basque dialects for a more thorough discussion of regional variation.

IPA Examples English approximation
b bat best
β alaba[1] between baby and bevy
c kuttun skew
d doa dead
ð adar[1] this
f foru face
ɡ gauak got
ɣ hego[1] between go and ahold
h hamar[2] hot
j jakintsu[3] you
ɟ onddo argue
k ke scan
l lagun lean
ʎ zailenak million
m maixu mother
n naharo need
ɲ ikurrina canyon
p piztu spouse
r urre[4] trilled r
ʁ roughly like loch (Scottish English)
ɾ zauri ladder in American English
uso sack[5]
ʃ xehe shine
t talde stand
ts̺ urretsu cats[5]
ts̻ aitzin
tximist choice
IPA Examples English approximation
a gela father
e eder bed[6]
i nire see
o aho bore[7]
u hiru food
y hirü roughly like cute (Souletin)

IPA Examples English approximation
ai bai eye
oi doinu boy
ei leiho ray
au hau house
eu euri eh-oo or ey-oo

IPA Examples English approximant
. gauak [ɡau.ak] moai


  1. ^ a b c Lenition of /b d g/ occurs in regular speech in most Southern Basque dialects. Hualde (1991:99-100).
  2. ^ Silent in Southern Basque dialects.
  3. ^ /x/ is frequently heard because of its prevalence in Gipuzkoan, but the realisation of the grapheme j varies depending on dialect and can be [j, ʝ, ɟ, , ʒ, ʃ, χ]. The last, which resembles Scottish English loch, is typical of Gipuzkoan, and it has extended to eastern varieties of Biscayan and the Sakana variety of the Upper Navarrese. The standard pronunciation ruled by Euskaltzaindia is /j/.
  4. ^ The double rr is pronounced as an alveolar trill [r] in Southern Basque dialects but as a guttural [ʁ] in Northern Basque dialects.
  5. ^ a b Basque contrasts two consonants that sound similar to the /s/ of Englishː /s̺/, which is apical, and /s̻/, which is laminal. /ts̺/ and /ts̻/ are contrasted the same way.
  6. ^ The Basque /e/ is different from any English vowel, but it is usually articulated between the vowel of play (for most English dialects) and the vowel of bed.
  7. ^ The Basque /o/ is different from any English vowel, but it is usually articulated between the vowel of coat (for most English dialects) and the vowel of raw.


  • Trask, Larry (1997), The History of Basque, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-13116-2
  • Hualde, José Ignacio (1991), Basque Phonology, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-05655-1
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