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

Examples in the charts are Japanese words transliterated according to the Hepburn romanization system.

See Japanese phonology for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Japanese.

IPAKana exampleTransliterationEnglish approximation
bしょ, , ァージョンbasho, kabin, vājonbug
ç, ひょhito, hyōhue
ɕ, っしょshita, isshō sheep
dうも, dōmo, dōdōdoctor
dz[1]っと, , ッズzutto, zenzen, kizzu[2]cards
[1]ぶん, ょじょ, ッジjibun, jojo, ejji[2]jeep
ɸfujiroughly like phew!
ɡ[3]っこう, りん, んこうgakkō, ringo, ginkōgoat
h, ははhon, hahahat
jくしゃ, yakusha, yuzuyacht
k, っきkuru, hakkiskate
きょうかい, っきょkyōkai, kekkyokuskew
mかん, ぱい, もんもmikan, senpai, monmonmuch
nっとう, たんnattō, kantannot
ɲ, んにゃ, ちょうniwa, konnyaku, kinchōcanyon
ŋ[3], きょくringo, nankyokupink
ɴにほnihonroughly like long
p, たんぽぽpan, tanpopospan
ɾ, roku, soraAmerican better
ɾʲりょうりryōriAmerican party
s, さっそsuru, sassōsoup
tべる, とってtaberu, tottestop
かい, っちゃchikai, ketchaku[2]itchy
tsなみ, っつtsunami, ittsui[2]cats
ɰ[4]さびwasabiroughly like was
ɰ̃[5]いき, , しんfun'iki, denwa, anshinsin
z[1], aza, tsuzukuzoo
ʑ[1]かい, じょmijikai, jojovision
IPAKana exampleTransliterationEnglish approximation
[6]shitawhispered meet
ɯ[7]なぎunagiroughly like shoot
ɯ̥[7][6]きやきsukiyakiroughly like whispered shoot
IPADescriptionJapanese exampleEnglish approximation
ːLong vowelhyōmei, ojiisanre-equalize
Pitch drop[8][kaꜜki] (‎"oyster"), [kakiꜜ] (‎"fence")i/ (merry), / (Marie)
.Syllabificationnin'i [ɲiɰ̃.i]higher ər/


  1. ^ a b c d In dialects such as the Tokyo dialect, the voiced fricatives [z, ʑ] are generally pronounced as affricates [dz, ] in word-initial positions and after the moraic nasal /N/ (pronounced [n] before [dz] and [ɲ] before [dʑ]) or the sokuon /Q/ (spelled , only in loanwords). Actual realizations of these sounds vary among speakers (see Yotsugana).
  2. ^ a b c d When an affricate consonant is geminated, only the closure component of it is repeated: [kiddzɯ], [eddʑi], [ittsɯi], [kettɕakɯ]. Traditionally Japanese prohibits voiced geminates, so these geminates are normally devoiced: [ɡɯddzɯ][ɡɯttsɯ] (Sano 2013).
  3. ^ a b A declining number of speakers pronounce word-medial /ɡ/ as [ŋ] (Vance 2008:214), but /ɡ/ is always represented by [ɡ] in this system.
  4. ^ [ɰ], romanized w, is the consonant equivalent of the vowel [ɯ], which is pronounced with varying degrees of rounding, depending on dialect.
  5. ^ The syllable-final n (moraic nasal) is pronounced as some kind of nasalized vowel before a vowel, semivowel ([j, ɰ]) or fricative ([ɸ, s, ɕ, ç, h]). [ɰ̃] is a conventional notation undefined for the exact place of articulation.
  6. ^ a b In many dialects including the Tokyo dialect, close vowels [i] and [ɯ] become voiceless (marked by a ring under the symbol) when surrounded by voiceless consonants and not followed by a pitch drop.
  7. ^ a b [ɯ], romanized u, exhibits varying degrees of rounding depending on dialect. In the Tokyo dialect, it is either unrounded or compressed ([ɯᵝ]), meaning the sides of the lips are held together without horizontal protrusion, unlike protruded [u].
  8. ^ A pitch drop may occur only once per word and does not occur in all words. The mora before a pitch drop has a high pitch. When it occurs at the end of a word, the following grammatical particle has a low pitch.