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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 (http://www.hclrss.demon.co.uk/unicode/ipa_extensions) to see the IPA characters.

SAMPA: simplified chart of consonants
(the paired signs are voiceless/voiced consonants)
  Bilabial Labiodentals Dentals Alveolars Postalveolars[?] Palatals Velars Uvulars Pharyngeals[?] Glottals
or affricates
Nasals m F   n   J N      
Laterals       l   L 5      
Rhotics (flaps or trills)      
Semivowels w

'Note': It is (specially 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 bird [br\`=d], bottle ["bOtl=], button ["bVtn=]

SAMPA: 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 stop English two
d d voiced alveolar stop English do
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'
J\ j (overstroked j) voiced palatal stop ??
k k voiceless velar stop English cat, kill, queen
g g voiced velar stop English go, get
q q voiceless uvular stop Arabic qof
p\ φ (Greek phi) voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fu
B β (Greek beta) voiced bilabial fricative Spanish cabo, calvo
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English fool, enough
v v voiced labiodental fricative English voice, German Welt, Italian vedere
T θ (Greek theta) voiceless dental fricative English thing, Castilian Spanish caza
D ð (Icelandic eth), or δ (Greek delta) voiced dental fricative English this, Castillian Spanish juzgado(*)
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 casa
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
C ç (cedilla) voiceless palatal fricative German Ich, Greek [Ceri] 'hand', some English pronunciations of human
j\ (jj) ʝ (j with crossed tail) voiced palatal fricative Spanish yate, hielo
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch, Castillian Spanish ajo, German Buch
G γ (Greek gamma) voiced velar fricative Spanish algo, agua
h h voiceless glottal fricative English ham, German Hand
h\ ɦ (h with upper tail to the right) voiced glottal fricative Some English pronunciations of aha
m m bilabial nasal English man
F ɱ (m with downward right tail) labiodental nasal Spanish infierno, enfermo
n n alveolar nasal English, Spanish and Italian no
J ɲ (n with downward left tail) palatal nasal US English canyon, Spanish año, French oignion, Italian gnocchi, Hungarian anyu
N ŋ (n with downward right tail) velar nasal English singer, ring
l l alveolar lateral English left
L ʎ turned down y, alt. λ (Greek lambda) palatal lateral Italian aglio, Catalan colla, Castillian Spanish cuello
5 ɫ (l with middle tilde) velarized dental lateral English milk (dark l), Catalan alga
4 (r) ɾ (r without upper-left serif) alveolar flap US English better, Spanish pero, Italian essere
r (rr) ɽ (r with serif) alveolar trill Spanish perro, rey, Italian arrivare
r\` ɻ (r rotate 180° with hook retroflexed alveolar approximant English run, very
R ʀ (small capital R) uvular trill French rue, standard German Reich, Farb
w w rounded back semivowel English we, Frech oui, Spanish hueso, Italian acqua
H ɥ (turned down h) rounded front semivowel French <i>huit
j j unrounded front semivowel English yes, Frech yeux, German ja, Italian occhio
(* Somebody help here: The d in spanish cada does not correspond to the ð, although many people believe it does. It is represented by đ, but I don't know if the SAMPA has a symbol for it.)

SAMPA: simplified chart of vowels
(the paired signs are unrounded/rounded vowels)
  Front Central Back
Closed or high
Half closed

Half open

Open or low

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 , 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 ε (Greek epsilon) front half open unrounded vowel English bed, French même, German Herr, 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 [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, u central closed rounded vowel Scottish English pool, Swedish sju
8 overstroked o, o central neutral rounded vowel Swedish kust
& small capital OE ligature, ɶ front open rounded vowel ??
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 , 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 English law, caught, Italian uomo, Catalan dona, Spanish gorra
Q ɒ ('b' with no upper tail) back open rounded vowel British English not, cough, German Toll

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