Appendix:Tagalog pronunciation

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This appendix lists how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) corresponds to Tagalog pronunciation in Wiktionary entries.


IPA Example Notes
/a/ ama father Usually raised to [ɐ] in both stressed and unstressed positions.
/ɛ/ eroplano bed (American English accent) Traditionally an allophone of /i/, and may be realized as [e ~ ɪ ~ i] or diphthongized as [aɪ].
/i/ ipis machine Usually lowered to [ɪ] in unstressed positions. Traditionally allophone of /ɛ/.
/o/ relo soul (American English accent) Traditionally allophone with /u/, and realized as [u ~ ʊ ~ o]. May be diphthongized as /au/. Becomes [u] before [m] followed by [b] or [p] (e.g. in kombinasyon, kompleto, kompanya).
/u/ upo flute Often lowered to /ʊ/ in unstressed positions. [ʊ] before [m] followed by [b] and [p] usually becomes [u] (e.g. kumbensiyon, kumpisal).


IPA Example Notes
/ai/ [aɪ̯] bahay, ice, light Sometimes may become [ɛː] or [ei],
/au/ [aʊ̯] sayaw out (General American) Sometimes becomes [oː].
/ɛi/ [eɪ̯] keyk pay Usually in loanwords and proper nouns. Allophone of /ai/ (see above), especially in Batangas dialect.
/iu/ [ɪʊ̯] sisiw kiwi
/oi/ [oɪ̯] baboy boy
/ou/ [oʊ] limot sole Only common in Batangas dialectal pronunciation, as allophones of /au/ and /o/.


Bilabial Alveolar/dental Post-alveolar/palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/ /ɲ/ /ŋ/
Stop /p/, /b/ /t/, /d/ /k/, /ɡ/ /ʔ/
Affricate /t͡s/ /t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʒ/
Fricative /s/ /ʃ/ /x/ /h/
Approximant /l/ /j/ /w/, /ɰ/
Rhotic /ɾ/
IPA Example Notes
/ʔ/ oo, pag-ibig, batà the catch in uh-oh Implied in the onset of words beginning with vowels. Marked as a hyphen when it occurs between a consonant and a vowel. Final glottal stops are marked using a circumflex (if syllable has stress) or grave (if stress is on the penultimate).
/b/ bagay, Victor best Can represent B (most words) and V (new loanwords and proper nouns).
/d/ daw do
/d͡ʒ/ diyan, udyok, jam, Jacob (English-derived given name), Gerald joy Where spelled as ⟨dy⟩ or ⟨diy⟩, can be realized as [dj] in slow or rural pronunciation. As ⟨dy⟩, ⟨g⟩, ⟨j⟩, in respelled English loanwords, can be realized as [dz] or [ʒ]. Represented by ⟨J⟩ in new loanwords from all other languages except those from Spanish.
/ɡ/ gatas, Guimaras gold Becomes [ɰ] or [ɣ] (as in g in Spanish amigo) between vowels, e.g. tigas ([tɪˈɰas] or [tɪˈɣas]).
/j/ yelo you
/k/ keso, Caloocan, Quezon best /k/ between vowels usually become [x] (the sound of ch in Scottish English loch), e.g. yakap [ˈjaxɐp] or at word onset as [kx], e.g. keso [ˈkxɛso].
/l/ lata lamb
/m/ madre mate
/n/ asin need
/ɲ/ kanya, niyo, Niño canyon Represents both the phonetic realization of native cluster niy and digraph ny (phonemically: /nj/), and the phoneme of ñ (in proper nouns)
/ŋ/ ngipin singer /ŋ/ becomes /m/ before /m/ and /b/, which is reflected in contemporary spelling. Also represented by n before /k/ or /ɡ/ in some Spanish-derived loanwords or proper nouns, e.g. Cuenca, ingrato, kongreso.
/p/ piso, Filipino, Ifugaw span Can represent both P (most words) and F (new loanwords and pronouns).
/ɾ/ pader water (North American/Australian) Traditionally allophone of /d/ (see above) in Old Tagalog. /d/ between vowels usually, but not always, become /ɾ/. Now pronounced in free variation as [r ~ ɾ ~ ɹ], especially in loanwords and proper nouns of foreign origin.
/s/ sugat skew
/ʃ/ siya, kasya shine Can be realized as [s] by rural speakers. When spelled ⟨siy⟩ or ⟨sy⟩, can be realized as a pair, [sj], in slow speech.
/t/ tamis stand
/t͡s/ tatsulok, kutsara cats Also allophone of [t͡ʃ] in rural speech, and can an be realized as a consonant pair [ts] as well.
/t͡ʃ/ tiyak, tseke, kutsara cats Where spelled as ⟨tiy⟩ or ⟨ty⟩, can be pronounced as /tj/ in slow or rural speech.
/w/ lawak wait


Tagalog uses a stress accent combining stress and/or final glottal stops to distinguish homographs. Stress is implied in the penultimate (second to last) syllables. Vowels are lengthened in open syllables when stressed, except in final positions, but as Tagalog has no phonemic vowel length, they are implied by the stress symbol.

Common spelling Default stress Ultimate stress (vowel with acute or pahilis) Ultimate stress and final glottal stop (vowel with circumfix or pakupya) Final glottal stop (vowel with grave or paiwa)
baba baba (father) babâ (below) babà (chin)
baka baka (cow) baká (maybe)
bata batâ (act of persevering) batà (child)
bayaran bayaran (to pay) bayarán (for hire)
labi labî (remains) labì (lip)
pito pito (whistle) pitó (seven)
sala sala (sin (from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian); living room (from Spanish)) salá (interweaving of bamboo slats) salâ ((noun) physical defect; (adjective) filtered) salà (filtration; filter; sieve)