Appendix:Tagalog pronunciation

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This appendix lists how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) corresponds to Tagalog pronunciation in Wiktionary entries. Unless otherwise noted, pronunciations given in Tagalog entries represent the pronunciation in the Manila dialect, the basis of Filipino, the standard form of Tagalog which serves as an official and national language of the Philippines.

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


IPA Tagalog Allophones Example English approximation Notes
/a/ a [ɐ] (usually in unstressed syllables) ama father
/e/ e [ɛ], [i] eroplano bed (American English accent)
/i/ i, iy, y [e], [ɛ], [ɪ] (in unstressed syllables anywhere except final), [j] (after a consonant and before a vowel), [eɪ̯] (dialectal, e.g. Batangas Tagalog) ipis, iiyak, sabi, liyempo, kikyam, putik~potek, ulit machine
/o/ o [ɔ], [ʊ]/[u] (before nasal endings (/n/, /m/, /ŋ/) followed by a labial plosive (/b/ or /p/), [ɔʊ̯] or [oʊ̯] (dialectal, e.g. Batangas Tagalog) relo soul (American English accent) Becomes [u] before nasal endings (/n/, /m/, /ŋ/), followed by a labial plosive, (/b/ or /p/) (e.g. in kompleto~kumpleto, kompanya~kumpanya, kombinasyon~kumbinasyon, Bagumbayan~"bagong bayan", doon (colloquial /ˈdon/~/ˈdun/), iyon (colloquial /ˈjon/~/ˈjun/)).
/u/ u, uw, w [ʊ], [w] (after a consonant and before a vowel) upo, umuwi, kuwarta/kwarta, tokwa flute, quarter Often lowered to [ʊ] in unstressed positions. [ʊ] before /m/ followed by /b/ and /p/ usually becomes [u] (e.g. kumbensiyon, kumpisal).


IPA Tagalog Allophones Example English approximation Notes
/aj/ [aɪ̯] ay [eɪ̯] (dialectal, e.g. Batangas Tagalog) bahay ice, light Sometimes reduced to [e], e.g. ewan~aywan, meron~mayroon.
/aw/ [aʊ̯] aw [oʊ̯] or [ɔʊ̯] (dialectal, e.g. Batangas Tagalog) sayaw out (General American) Sometimes becomes [oː], e.g. ayoko~"ayaw ko", isoli~isauli.
/ej/ [eɪ̯] ey [ɛɪ̯], [e], [ɪ] keyk pay Usually in loanwords and proper nouns. Sometimes allophone of /aj/ in Batangas Tagalog.
/iw/ [ɪʊ̯] iw sisiw, iwas kiwi
/oj/ [oɪ̯] oy [ɔɪ̯] baboy boy
/ow/ [oʊ̯] ow (rare) [ɔʊ̯], [o], [ɔ], [aʊ̯] (dialectal, e.g. Batangas Tagalog) ows sole Usually rare, mostly as an allophone of /o/ and dialectically, [aʊ̯].
/uj/ [uɪ̯] uy [ʊɪ̯] baduy bluey


Bilabial Labiodental Dental/Alveolar Post-alveolar/palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/ (/ɲ/) invalid IPA characters (//) /ŋ/
Stop /p/, /b/ /t/, /d/ /k/, /ɡ/ /ʔ/
Affricate (/t͡s/) (/t͡ʃ/), (/d͡ʒ/)
Fricative /s/ (/ʃ/) /h/
Approximant /l/ /j/ /w/
Rhotic /ɾ/
IPA Example Notes
/ʔ/ oo, pag-ibig, batà, ahas 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, mataba, sabsab barn Can represent ⟨b⟩ (most words) and ⟨v⟩ (new loanwords and proper nouns).
/d/ dalaga, nood, pindot darling Often becomes /ɾ/ in native vocabulary in Teresa-Morong Tagalog usually except where in beginning of syllable in words with /l/. Historically an allophone of /ɾ/
/d͡ʒ/ diyan, udyok, sadya, medyo, jam, Jacob (English-derived given name), Gerald joy Where spelled as ⟨dy⟩ or ⟨diy⟩, can be realized as [d(ɪ)j] 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, gigil, sabog gold Becomes [ɣ] (as in g in Spanish amigo) between vowels, e.g. tigas ([tɪˈɣas]).
/h/ hiya, ihi, halakhak, puthaw here
/j/ yelo, Pinoy, uyayi, yehey you
/k/ keso, Caloocan, Quezon, malaki, bundok scan /k/ between vowels usually become [x] (the sound of ch in Scottish English loch), e.g. yakap [ˈjaxɐp] or at word onset as the consonant cluster [kx], e.g. keso [ˈkxeso].
/l/ lata, aral, mali lamb Depending on the dialect, it may be dental/denti-alveolar or alveolar (light L) within or at the end of a word. It may also be velarized (dark L) if influenced by English enunciation.
/m/ madre, sakim, kumusta mattress
/n/ asin, nayon, ninuno thin, nine In names borrowed from Spanish, it may assimilate to [m] before labial consonants (e.g. /p/ in San Pedro, and /f/ in Infanta).
/ɲ/ kanya, niyo, Niño canyon Represents both the phonetic realization of native cluster ⟨niy⟩ and digraph ⟨ny⟩ (phonemically: /n(ɪ)j/), and the phoneme of ⟨ñ⟩ (in proper nouns)
/ŋ/ ngipin, pating, kailangan singer /ŋ/ becomes [m] before /b/ and /p/, which is reflected in contemporary spelling. It also tends to become [n] before dental consonants. Also represented by ⟨n⟩ before /k/, /ɡ/, or rarely, /h/ in some Spanish-derived loanwords or proper nouns, e.g. Cuenca, ingrato, San Jose, kongreso.
/p/ piso, Filipino, Ifugaw span Can represent both ⟨p⟩ (most words) and ⟨f⟩ (new loanwords and pronouns). ⟨f⟩ may be pronounced /f/, but tends to assimilate with /p/, which reflects in spelling of most loanwords (except proper nouns).
/ɾ/ pader, radyo, gorilya, Gutierrez there 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, bukas, pasok, Zamora, de Guzman, dela Cruz, Xander skew, glass
/ʃ/ siya, kasya, hanash shine Can be realized as [s] by rural speakers. When spelled ⟨siy⟩ or ⟨sy⟩, can be realized as a pair, [s(ɪ)j], in slow speech.
/t/ tamis, lahat, putik stand, art
/t͡s/ tatsulok, kutsara, bagets cats Also allophone of [t͡ʃ] in rural speech, and can an be realized as a consonant pair [ts] as well.
/t͡ʃ/ tiyak, tseke, kutsara, eyts, batchoy, Gutierrez church Where spelled as ⟨tiy⟩ or ⟨ty⟩, can be pronounced as /t(ɪ)j/ in slow or rural speech.
/w/ lawak, wakas want



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 ((obsolete) boat embarkation) babá (piggyback; animal coitus) babâ (below) babà (chin)
baka baka (cow) baká (maybe)
bata bata (bathrobe) batá (endurance for pain or hardship) batà (child)
bayaran bayaran (to pay) bayarán (time for due payment)
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 (broken or dislocated (bones); filtered) salà (filtration; filter; sieve; physical defect)