IPA Chart with Sounds – International Phonetic Alphabet Sounds (2024)

The International Phonetic Alphabet chart with sounds lets you listen to each of the sounds from the IPA. The interactive IPA chart can be found at the bottom of this page.

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International Phonetic Alphabet, also called IPA, is an international alphabet used by linguists to accurately represent the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) in human speech. A phoneme is a unit of sound that can distinguish one word from another in a given language. For example, the English words “sit”, “bit”, and “kit” can be distinguished by the sounds, or phonemes, that are created by each of their first letters.

A phoneme chart is a table that displays the IPA symbol for each of the IPA phonemes of the international alphabet. A phoneme chart can be organized in different ways based on the characteristics of the different IPA phonemes and the relationships between them. For example, in the IPA vowel chart at the bottom of this page, the IPA phonemes that are generated in the same part of the mouth are listed in the same column, and those that are generated with the same amount of mouth opening or closing are listed in the same row. In addition, the IPA vowel chart and other interactive IPA charts below include audio recordings of the individual phonemes in order to help students, non-native speakers of the language, and others, to learn IPA pronunciation of particular sounds.

Who Uses the International Phonetic Alphabet?

An essential function of the IPA is to provide a standard for labeling these phonemes so that linguists can discuss any sound without ambiguity.

In 1886 a group of French and British language teachers teamed up to create a new organization for linguists. The teachers were headed by the French linguist Paul Passy. The International Phonetic Association was formed by formed in1897 (in French, l’Association phonétique internationale).

The latest version, IPA chart number 122, was published by the International Phonetic Association in 2005. Since then, IPA linguistics have played an important role in both the study and use of language worldwide.
IPA linguistics provide students with a greater understanding of language by accurately and uniquely representing the sounds of oral speech. The IPA is used by:

  • Lexicographers
  • Foreign Language Students
  • Teachers
  • Linguists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Singers
  • Actors
  • Constructed Language Creators
  • Translators

Many American linguists have found that using a combination of IPA and Americanist phonetic notation is an effective way to standardize transcriptions. An extended set of IPA symbols represent different qualities of speech, such as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made with a cleft palate.

How Many International Phonetic Alphabets Are There?

While this IPA is the most commonly used and well-known international phonetic alphabet, it is not the only one. Other alphabets include the Americanist phonetic notation, also known as the North American Phonetic Alphabet (NAPA), the Americanist Phonetic Alphabet or the American Phonetic Alphabet (APA), Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics Alphabet (CASA), the Swahili Phonetic Alphabet (SWA), and the Thai Phonetic Alphabet (TPA). Each international alphabet has its own set of symbols and phonemes to represent the sounds of oral language.

The IPA linguistics are based on the Latin alphabet in order to correspond to an international standard. This IPA is also the standard that the United Nations uses to represent sounds in all languages that use a writing system.

Are There Free IPA Translators?

Yes! We have automatic IPA translation tools available in English, Spanish, French and other languages. All of our IPA translators are available for free. Please visit our IPA translators section to see a complete list and use the translators for your own linguistic needs.

How to Use the IPA Chart

The interactive IPA chart helps you identify the sounds of language. To use the phoneme chart, first familiarize yourself with each IPA symbol and the corresponding IPA pronunciation of the sound. For example, in the IPA vowel chart, click on each symbol to hear the corresponding vowel sound, and begin practicing pronouncing the sounds yourself. Finally, start using the IPA in your own speech and writing.

Click on an IPA Symbol to Hear the Associated IPA Pronunciation of the Sound

Our interactive IPA chart is responsive, this means it adjusts to any screen size. If part of the chart is not visible, please click the red and green arrows to see the additional symbols.


IPA Chart with Sounds – International Phonetic Alphabet Sounds (2024)


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