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SAMPA charts of consonants and vowels

Note that you will need a font that supports the Unicode IPA Extensions to see the IPA characters.

Warning: this chart is an attempt to gather information of national SAMPA subcharts: the charts here contain conflicting characters. Most of the information here is therefore only valid for English and some other European languages. For a unified, general ASCII representation of the IPA symbols X-SAMPA should be used.



(the paired signs are voiceless/voiced consonants)
  Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Nasal m F   n   J N      
Plosive and affricate
p b
t d
ts dz
tS dZ
c J\
k g
q G\
p\ B
f v
s z
C j\
x G
X\ ?\
h h\
Approximant central H P   r\   j w      
Lateral       l   L 5      

Note: It is common, especially in Spanish and Italian, to represent the alveolar trill with [rr] and the alveolar flap with [r]. In Spanish, too, [jj] is used to represent the palatal fricative against the semivowel [j]. It has been proposed to use [4] for the alveolar flap, in which case [r] can be used to represent the trill (as its equivalent in the IPA system), and [j\] for the palatal fricative, keeping in this way the policy of using one letter per one IPA symbol (The backslash is used to generate alternative symbols).

Consonant modifiers:

  • [ ` ] after a consonant indicates retroflex.
  • [ _a ] apical (IPA subscript inverted bridge): [s_a] apical 's'
  • [ _d ] dental (IPA subscript bridge)
  • [ _G ] velarized diacritic (IPA superscript gamma)
  • [ _h ] aspirated diacritic (IPA superscript h)
  • [ _j, ' ] palatalized. (IPA superscript j)
  • [ _m ] laminal (IPA subscript box)
  • [ _w ] labialized diacritic (IPA superscript w)
  • [ _< ] implosive (voiced stops) (IPA hooktop)
  • [ _> ] ejective (voiceless stops)
  • [ _=, = ] syllabic, as in US bird [b=r\d] (also written [b3`d]), bottle ["bOt=l], button ["bVt=n]

Simplified list of consonants

SAMPA IPA Description Examples
p p voiceless bilabial stop English pen
b b voiced bilabial stop English but
t t voiceless alveolar plosive English two, Spanish toma ('capture')
d d voiced alveolar plosive English do, Italian cade
ts ts voiceless alveolar affricate Italian calza, German zeit
dz dz voiced alveolar affricate Italian zona ('zone'), Catalan guitza
tS voiceless postalveolar affricate English chair, , Spanish mucho ('many')
dZ voiced postalveolar affricate English gin, Italian giorno
c c voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian tyúk 'hen'
J\ ɟ voiced palatal plosive Hungarian egy 'one'
k k voiceless velar plosive English skill
g g voiced velar plosive English go
q q voiceless uvular plosive Arabic qof
p\ ɸ voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fu
B β voiced bilabial fricative
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English fool, Spanish and Italian falso ('false')
v v voiced labiodental fricative English voice, German Welt
T θ voiceless dental fricative English thing, Castilian Spanish caza
D ð voiced dental fricative English this
s s voiceless alveolar fricative English see, Spanish sí ('yes')
z z voiced alveolar fricative English zoo, German See
S ʃ voiceless postalveolar fricative English she, French chemin
Z ʒ voiced postalveolar fricative French jour, English pleasure
C ç voiceless palatal fricative Standard German Ich
j\ (jj) ʝ voiced palatal fricative Standard Spanish ayuda
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch, Castilian Spanish ajo
G ɣ voiced velar fricative Greek γάλα ('milk')
  ɰ velar approximant Spanish algo
X\ ħ voiceless pharyngeal fricative Arabic h.â
?\ ʕ voiced pharyngeal fricative Arabic 'ayn
h h voiceless glottal fricative English ham,

German Hand

h\ ɦ voiced glottal fricative Hungarian lehet
m m bilabial nasal English man
F ɱ labiodental nasal Spanish infierno, Hungarian mfor
n n alveolar nasal English, Spanish and Italian no
J ɲ palatal nasal Spanish año, French oignon
N ŋ velar nasal English ring, Italian bianco, Tagalog ngayón
l l alveolar lateral approximant English left, Spanish largo
L ʎ palatal lateral approximant Italian aglio, Catalan colla,
5 ɫ velarized dental lateral English meal Catalan alga
4 (r) ɾ alveolar tap Spanish pero, Italian essere
r (rr) r alveolar trill Spanish perro
r\ ɹ alveolar approximant English run
R ʀ uvular trill Standard German Reich
P ʋ labiodental approximant Dutch Waar
w w labial-velar approximant English we, French oui
H ɥ labial-palatal approximant French huit
j j palatal approximant English yes, French yeux


front near-front central near-back back
close iy 1} Mu
near-close IY U
close-mid e2 @\8 7o
mid @
open-mid E9 33\ VO
near-open { 6
open a& AQ

Vowel modifiers:

  • [ ~, _~ ] after a vowel indicates that it is nasalised (e.g. French bon [bO~] ).
  • [ : ] after a vowel indicates that it is lengthened (e.g. Japanese shōshō [So:So:], English see [si:] ).
  • [ ` ] after a vowel indicates rhoticity (e.g. US English bird [b3`d] ).
  • [ _^ ] non syllabic vowel (IPA subscript arch)
SAMPA: simplified list of vowels
SAMPA IPA Description Examples
i i front closed unrounded vowel English see, Spanish sí, French vite, German mieten, Italian visto
I ɪ (small capital I) front closed unrounded vowel, but somewhat more

centralised and relaxed

English city, German mit
e e front half closed unrounded vowel US English bear, Spanish él, French année, German mehr, Italian rete, Catalan més
E ɛ front half open unrounded vowel English bed, French même,German Herr, Männer,

Italian ferro, Catalan mes, Spanish perro

{ ae ligature, æ front open unrounded vowel English cat
y y front closed rounded vowel French du, German Tür
2 slashed o, ø front half closed rounded vowel French deux (hence '2'), German Höhle
9 oe ligature, œ front half open rounded vowel French neuf (hence '9'), German Hölle
1 overstroked i, i central closed unrounded vowel Russian мыс [m1s] 'cape'
@ ə (turned down e) schwa central neutral unrounded vowel English about, winner,German bitte
6 ɐ (turned down a) open schwa central neutral unrounded vowel German besser
3 ɜ (Greek epsilon mirrored to the left) front half open unrounded vowel, but somewhat more

centralised and relaxed

English bird
a a central open vowel Spanish da, barra, French bateau,

lac, German Haar, Italian pazzo

} overstroked u, ʉ central closed rounded vowel Scottish English pool, Swedish sju
8 overstroked o, ɵ central neutral rounded vowel Swedish kust
& small capital OE ligature, ɶ front open rounded vowel American English that
M ɯ (upside-down m) back closed unrounded vowel Japanese fuji, Vietnamese ư Korean 으
7 ɤ (squeezed Greek gamma) back half closed unrounded vowel Vietnamese ơ Korean 어
V ʌ (turned down v) back half open unrounded vowel RP and US English run, enough
A ɑ ('d' with no upper tail) back open unrounded vowel English arm, US English law, standard French âme
u u back closed rounded vowel English soon, Spanish tú, French

gt, German Hut, Mutter, Italian azzurro, tutto

U ʊ (turned down small capital Greek omega) back closed rounded vowel somewhat more centralised

and relaxed

English put, (non-US)Buddhist
o o back half closed rounded vowel US English sore, Scottish English boat, Spanish yo, French beau, German Sohle, Italian dove, Catalan ona
O ɔ (c mirrored to the left) back half open rounded vowel British English law, caught, Italian cosa, Catalan dona, Spanish ojo, German Wort
Q ɒ ('b' with no upper tail) back open rounded vowel British English not, cough

Stress is indicated by ["] for primary stress, and [%] for secondary stress, placed before the stressed syllable.[1]

SAMPA charts for specific languages


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