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

See Icelandic phonology and Icelandic orthography § Function of symbols for a more thorough look at the sounds of Icelandic.

IPA Examples English approximation
c gys skew
cc baggi, seggja American backgammon
c? kær cute
ç hjá hue
ð veður weather
f fyrir, dýpka fun
ff kaffi offfield
? laga Spanish trigo
h hús hop
hc ekki skew (with an h sound before it)
hk þakka sky (with an h sound before it)
hp tappi spy (with an h sound before it)
ht stutt sty (with an h sound before it)
j jú, lagi yes
k göng, líka sky
k? koma kite
kk hryggur stockgirl
l líf leap
l? stelpa, jökull same as above but voiceless, like hl
ll bolla Italian bella
m miði moon
m? lampi same as above but voiceless, like hm
mm hlemmur roommate
n níu noon
n? hnífur same as above but voiceless, like hn
nn brenna unknown
? lengi canyon
banki same as above but voiceless, like hny
? ungs sing
þungt same as above but voiceless, like hng
p böl, hjálpa, nafni spy
p? páfi pie
pp kobbi flipbook
r rós ring, but trilled
r? hreinn same as above but voiceless, like hr
rr marra Italian terra
s saga sing
ss messa missend
t dagur, út, jökull sty
t? tala tie
tt oddur outdo
? þ think
v verk, afi very
x sjúkt, sagt Scottish loch
x? hver (rare)[note 1] why (without the winewhine merger)
Vowels[note 2]
IPA Examples English approximation
a karl art
a: raka father
? kenna bet
?: nema[note 3] roughly like yes
i fínt, sýndi leaf
i: líf, hlýt leave
? yi kit
?: yfir, vita kid
? loft RP or Australian hot
?: von[note 3] roughly like water
oe dökk nurse
oe: öl[note 3] French actuel, but with lips rounded from start to end
u ungur boot
u: núna food
? upp German Mütter; like kit with lips rounded
?: kul German schön; like kid with lips rounded
ai ætla RP right
ai: æfing pie
au sjálfur mouth
au: páfi allow
ei engi pace
ei: heim pay
?i bogi choice
ou hóll goat
ou: kópur goal
oei laust Scottish or Canadian rite
oei: auga
?i hugi No English equivalent
Other symbols
IPA Explanation
'? primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable, e.g. langur ['lau?k?r?])
secondary stress (placed before the stressed syllable, e.g. afmælisdagur ['amail?s?ta:r?])


  1. ^ Hver is usually pronounced as if spelled kver. [x?] is a part of a dialect from the Southern Region and is rare nowadays.
  2. ^ Vowels are usually long if they are stressed and followed by no more than one consonant, double consonants counting as more than one. Vowel length is not phonemic.
  3. ^ a b c Long [?:, ?:, oe:] are most typically realized as smooth transitions from [?, ?, ?] to [?:, ?:, oe:]. Thus, they are monophthongs phonologically and diphthongs phonetically (Árnason 2011:60, Gussmann 2011:71, 88).


  • Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson (2013). Hljóðfræði og hljóðritun (PDF) (in Icelandic).
  • Kristján Árnason (2011). The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4.
  • Gussmann, Edmund (2011). "Getting your head around: the vowel system of Modern Icelandic" (PDF). Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia. 12: 71-90. ISBN 978-83-232-2296-5.
  • Haugen, Einar (1958). "The Phonemics of Modern Icelandic". Language. 34 (1): 55-88. doi:10.2307/411276. JSTOR 411276.
  • Volhardt, Marc Daniel Skibsted (2011). Islændinges udtale af dansk. En sammenlignende analyse af lydsystemerne i islandsk og dansk, og islandske studerendes danskudtale (Bachelor's degree essay) (in Danish). Reykjavík: University of Iceland.

External links

  • Icelandic Pronunciation Dictionary (Note: The dataset has multiple minor errors, it is often missing aspiration signs and some entries use a non-standard transcription of diphthongs)

  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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