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

See shiksha for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Sanskrit.


IPA[1] Nagari[1] IAST[1] [2] English approximation
b b about
bh abhor
ɕ ś sheep
d d do
dh roughly like old house
ɖ roughly like North American bord
ɖʱ ḍh roughly like North American birdhouse
ɡ g again
ɡʱ gh doghouse
h [3] head
ɦ h ahead
j y yak
j roughly like juice
dʒʱ jh roughly like hedgehog
k k scan
kh can
l l leaf
m m much
n n tenth
ɳ roughly like burnt [4]
ɲ ñ roughly like canyon[4]
ŋ bank [4]
p p span
ph pot
r r American butter
s s soup
ʂ North American worship
t t stable
th table
ʈ Somewhat like stable
ʈʰ ṭh Somewhat like table
c roughly like chew
tʃʰ ch chew
ʋ v between wine and vine
Vowels [4][5]
IPA Nagari IAST[2] English approximation
, पा ā bra
ə , a quota
əi , पै ai strike
əu , पौ au house
, पे e wait
i , पि i sit
, पी ī feet
, पॢ Syllabic ⟨l⟩: bottle
l̩ː , पॣ Long syllabic ⟨l⟩
, पो o old
, पृ Syllabic ⟨r⟩: better (American English)
r̩ː , पॄ Long syllabic ⟨r⟩: roughly like bird (American English)
u , पु u look
, पू ū loot
◌̃ , nasal vowel ([ãː], [õː], etc.) [4]

IPA Nagari IAST[2] English equivalent
ˈ◌ stress
(placed before stressed syllable)
◌ː doubled consonant
(placed after doubled consonant)

See also


  1. ^ a b c Devanagari consonant letters such as have the inherent vowel a. Thus, is pronounced ka, even without any vowel sign added. But the IPA and IAST shown here have the consonant k only and do not include the vowel 'a'.
  2. ^ a b c Comparison of IAST with ISO 15919 transliteration.
  3. ^ visarga - a diacritic attached to vowels but realized as a consonant
  4. ^ a b c d e Vowels may occur nasalised as an allophone of the nasal consonants in certain positions: see anusvara and chandrabindu.
  5. ^ Sanskrit distinguishes between long and short vowels. Each monophthong has a long and short phoneme. The diphthongs, historically /əi, aːi, əu, aːu/, also have a difference in quality: [e, əi, o, əu]. Rarely, vowels may be extra-long.


  • Zieba, Maciej; Stiehl, Ulrich (June 9, 2002). "The Original Pronunciation of Sanskrit" (PDF). Ulrich Stiehl. Retrieved 27 September 2011.