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Help:IPA for Cantonese | QuickiWiki

Help:IPA for Cantonese



IPA Yale Jyutping Chinese English approximation
f f fan
h h house
j y j you
k g-, -k scan
k can
gw[1] squeak
kʷʰ kw[2] quick
l l leaf
m m moon
m mmm
n n noon
ŋ ng song
ŋ̍ ng (syllabic ng)
p b-, -p span
p pan
s s 西 saw
t d-, -t stand
t tan
ts j z casts
tsʰ ch c cats (aspirated)
w w water
ʔ (before a, e, o) uh-oh!

All of these consonants may begin a syllable,
though some speakers do not have /n, ŋ/.[3]
In addition, /p, t, k, m, n, ŋ/ may end one.[4]

IPA Yale Jyutping Chinese English approximation
Vowels and diphthongs
aa-, a aa father (Australian English)
aːi aai time
aːu aau how
ɐ a cut
ɐi ai kite (short)
ɐu au house (short)
ei ei hey
ɛː e yes
ɛːu eu [5] roughly like yeah well
e i sick
iːu iu roughly like few
ou ou hoe (American English)
ɔː o law
ɔːy oi boy
œː eu oe roughly like fur in British English; fleuve in French
ɵ eo roughly like again, but it's rounded
ɵy eui eoi No English equivalent; like neutre in Quebec French
o u look
uːy ui roughly like phooey; almost like nouille in French
yu No English equivalent; menu in French
IPA Yale Jyutping Chinese Description
si1[6] high level: si˥
high falling: si˥˩
si2 mid rising: si˨˥
si si3 mid level: si˧
sìh si4 low falling: si˨˩
or very low: si˩
si̬ síh si5 low rising: si˨˧
sih si6 low level: si˨
bít bīt bit1 high checked: pit˥
sīt sit sit3 mid checked: sit˧
sìt siht sit6 low checked: sit˨

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

See Cantonese phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Cantonese Chinese. Please note that English equivalents given in this page may only represent very approximate sounds to the original pronunciations.



  1. ^ // is often merged with /k/ before /ɔ/ in Hong Kong Cantonese.
  2. ^ /kʷʰ/ is often merged with // before /ɔ/ in Hong Kong Cantonese.
  3. ^ Initial /ŋ/ is not pronounced in Hong Kong Cantonese by younger speakers, leaving a glottal stop /ʔ/ before a, e, o, and initial /n/ may be replaced by /l/.
  4. ^ Final /ŋ/ may be merged into /n/ in Hong Kong Cantonese, except after /ɪ, ʊ/. /i, u/ in diphthongs are equivalent to a final /j, w/. After rounded vowels, a i becomes /y/.
  5. ^ /ɛːu/ is pronounced only in colloquial speech.
  6. ^ The high level and high falling tones have merged to high level in Hong Kong Cantonese for most words.
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