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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Basque language pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-eu}} and Resource: 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
? alaba[1] between baby and bevy
c kuttun skew
d doa dead
ð adar[1] this
f foru face
? gauak got
? hego[1] between go and ahold
h hamar[2] hot
j jakintsu[3] you
? onddo argue
k ke scan
l lagun lean
? zailenak million
m maixu mother
n naharo need
? ikurrina canyon
p piztu spouse
r urre[4] trilled r
? roughly like loch (Scottish English)
? zauri ladder in American English
s? uso sack[5]
s? zeru
? xehe shine
t talde stand
ts? urretsu cats[5]
ts? aitzin
t? 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 [?au.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, ?, ?, d?, ?, ?, ?]. 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 in Southern Basque dialects but as a guttural in Northern Basque dialects.
  5. ^ a b Basque contrasts two consonants that sound similar to the /s/ of English: /s?/, which is apical, and /s?/, which is laminal. /ts?/ and /ts?/ 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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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