SAMPA chart

SAMPA charts of consonants and vowels See a concise version of SAMPA for English sounds. 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 Labiodentals Dentals Alveolars Postalveolars Palatals Velars Uvulars Pharyngeals Glottals
or affricates
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\
Nasals m F   n   J N      
Laterals       l   L 5      
Rhotics (flaps or trills)      
Approximants H P   r\   j w      

'Note': It is (especially in Spanish and Italian) common use 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 superscipt 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 or dental stop English two, Spanish toma, Italian fata
d d voiced alveolar or dental stop English do, Italian cade, Spanish andar
ts ʦ voiceless alveolar affricate Italian calza, zoccolo, German Zeit
dz ʣ voiced alveolar affricate Italian zona, manzo
tS ʧ voiceless postalveolar affricate English chair, picture, Spanish mucho, Italian cena, German Deutsche
dZ ʤ voiced postalveolar affricate English gin, joy, Italian giorno
c c voiceless palatal stop Greek [ce] 'and', Hungarian tyk 'hen', like British tune
J\ J (overstroked j) voiced palatal stop Hungarian egy 'one', like British dune
k k voiceless velar stop English cat, kill,


g g voiced velar stop English go, get
q q voiceless uvular stop Arabic qof
p\ ɸ (Greek phi) voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fu
B β (Greek beta) voiced bilabial fricative Some Spanish accents cabo
  ϐ (Greek beta alt) voiced bilabial approximant Spanish cabo, calvo
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English fool, enough, Spanish and Italian falso
v v voiced labiodental fricative English voice, German

Welt, Italian vedere

T θ (Greek theta) voiceless dental fricative English thing, Castilian Spanish


  ϑ (Greek theta alt) voiceless dental approximant Tuscan Italian sete
D ð (Icelandic eth) voiced dental fricative English this, Castillian Spanish juzgar
  δ (Greek delta) voiced dental approximant Spanish cada
s s voiceless alveolar fricative English see, pass, city, Spanish sí, German groß, Italian suono
z z voiced alveolar fricative English zoo, roses, German

See, Spanish riesgo, Italian rosa

S ʃ voiceless postalveolar fricative English she, sure, emotion, French chemin, Italian scendo, German Sprache
Z ʒ voiced postalveolar fricative French jour, English pleasure, Argentinian Spanish lluvia, Ecuadorian Spanish arriba, Tuscan Italian ragione
C ç (cedilla) voiceless palatal fricative Standard German Ich, Greek [Ceri] 'hand', some English pronunciations of human
j\ (jj) ʝ (j with crossed tail) voiced palatal fricative Standard Spanish ayuda, yegua, some Spanish accents lluvia (yeísmo), some Italian dialects paglia ["paj\j\a], some German accents ja
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch, Castilian Spanish ajo,

German Buch

G γ (Greek gamma) voiced velar fricative Some Spanish accents algo, agua, Arabic ghain
  ɰ voiced velar approximant Spanish algo, agua
X\ ħ (overstroked h) voiceless pharyngeal fricative Arabic h.
?\ ʕ (Inverted ?) voiced pharyngeal fricative Arabic 'ayn
h h voiceless glottal approximant English ham,

German Hand, Colombian Spanish jamón, Tuscan Italian secondo

h\ ɦ(h with upper tail to the right) voiced glottal approximant Hungarian lehet, English pronunciations of behave
m m bilabial nasal English man, Spanish hambre, Italian fame
F ɱ (m with downward right tail) labiodental nasal Spanish infierno, enfermo, Italian trionfo, Hungarian mfor, honvágy
n n alveolar or dental nasal English, Spanish and Italian no
J ɲ (n with downward left tail) palatal nasal English canyon, Spanish

año, French oignion, Italian gnocchi, Hungarian anyu

N ŋ (n with downward right tail) velar nasal English singer, ring, Spanish blanco, manguera, Italian bianco, pongo, German lange, Tagalog ngayn, ngong
l l alveolar lateral English left, Spanish largo, Italian lungo
L ʎ turned down y, alt. λ (Greek lambda) palatal lateral Italian aglio, famiglia, Catalan

colla, Castilian Spanish cuello

5 ɫ (l with middle tilde) velarized dental lateral English milk (dark l), Catalan


4 (r) ɾ (r without upper-left serif) alveolar flap Spanish pero, Italian essere
r (rr) r alveolar trill Spanish perro, rey, Italian arrivare, terra
r\ ɹ (r rotate 180&deg) retroflexed alveolar approximant English run, very
R ʀ (small capital R) uvular trill French rue, standard German

Reich, Farb

P labiodental approximant Dutch Waar
w w velo-labial approximant English we, French oui,

Spanish hueso, huevo, Italian acqua, guida

H ɥ (turned down h) palato-labial approximant French huit
j j palatal approximant English yes, Frech yeux,

German ja, Italian ione, paio, Spanish pierna

(The sounds of the Spanish b in cabo and d in cada are not represented by the symbols β, δ, despite what the creators of the SAMPA may think. Those sounds are not fricatives but approximants. Look at: [1] ( - Spanish only)


front near-front central near-back back
close i y 1 } M u
near-close I Y U
close-mid e 2 @\ 8 7 o
mid @
open-mid E 9 3 3\ V O
near-open { 6
open a & A Q

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 s&iacute;, French vite, German mieten, Italian visto
I 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] 'mouse'
@ 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</strike> 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, 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,
Q ɒ ('b' with no upper tail) back open rounded vowel British English not, cough, German Toll

Stress is indicated by ["] for primary stress, and [%] for secondary stress, placed before the stressed syllable.[2] (

SAMPA charts for specific languages


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