The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Vietnamese language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. There are two major standards, one of Hanoi and one of Saigon. Each makes distinctions that the other does not; represented here are the central dialects that make the distinctions of both. Following the examples are common alternate transcriptions of these sounds in the IPA for comparison.

See Vietnamese phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Vietnamese.

  IPA   Examples English approximation
ʔ - uh-oh
ɓ ba [ʔb] bee
c chè [] (Saigon final [t] after e/i/y [1]) cheese (unaspirated)
ɗ đi [ʔd] day
f ph fight
h hàng high
j y; mai (may follow all vowels but e/i/y [1]) yellow
k cô, kem sky
l là low
m mai my
n nam (Saigon final [ŋ] after a/o/u [2]) no
ɲ nh (Saigon final [n] after after e/i/y [1]) roughly like onion
ŋ nga singer
p đáp sport
s xa so
ʂ s (Hanoi [s]) show
t tây (Saigon final [k] after o/u [2]) stop
thầy top
ʈʂ tra [ʈ] (Hanoi [c]) choose (unaspirated)
v v (Saigon [j]) van
w u (Hanoi initial [ʔw]) (may follow all vowels but a/o/u [2]) we
x khô (Saigon []) loch (Scottish English)
ɣ ga (before a/o/u [2]), gh (before e/i/y [1]) roughly like go
z da; già (Saigon [j]) zero
ʐ ra (Hanoi [z])[3] pleasure
IPA Examples English approximation
a ăn [ɐ] cut
ba [ɐː][4] cat
e v day
ɛ xe set
ə ân [ɜ] person
əː bơ [ɤː] sir (British English)
i khi, quy see
ɨ tư [ɯ] roughly like good
o cô roughly like law (British English)
ɔ có law
u ru too
IPA Examples English approximation
vn, bia idea
ɨə xương, chưa [ɯə] [ɨ] followed by [ə]
uống, mua sure (British English)
ʲ (see /j/ above)
ʷ (see /w/ above)
IPA Examples
a ə a (Hanoi [˧], Saigon [˧])
â ə̂ à (Hanoi [˧˩], Saigon [˧˩])
ǎ ə̌ á (Hanoi [˧˥], Saigon [˧˥])
a᷉ ə᷉ [5] (Hanoi [˧˩˧], Saigon [˧˩˧])
ǎˀ ə̌ˀ ã (Hanoi [˧ˀ˥], Saigon [˧˩˧])
âˀ ə̂ˀ (Hanoi [˧ˀ˩], Saigon [˧˩˧ˀ])
ə́k[6] ấc (Hanoi [˥], Saigon [˥])
ə̀k[6] ậc (Hanoi [˨], Saigon [˨])


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The front vowels ([i], [e], [ɛ], [j]) which are based on the letters e, i, and y.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The non-front vowels, which are based on the letters a, o, and u.
  3. /ʐ/ can be pronounced [ɹ].
  4. /aː/ may be pronounced [æ].
  5. This is a dipping tone. It looks similar to ã ə̃ ([  ̃  ] (nasalized mark). The dipping tone differs only in being angular in shape, but is not widely supported by IPA fonts.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Before a final /p, t, c, k/, the six tones of Vietnamese are reduced to two.

ਫਰਮਾ:IPA keys horizontal