On the Subject of IPA

fleɪvər tɛksts ɑr ˈrɪli ˈgɛtɪŋ oʊld.

  • Press the play button to play a recording of someone pronouncing a sound from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
  • The play button can be used infinitely many times without consequence.
  • Press the button with the symbol that corresponds to the sound being played, according to the tables below.
  • Pressing an incorrect button will cause a strike and regenerate the module.
Pulmonic consonants:
Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Plosive p/b t/d ʈ/ɖ c/ɟ k/g q/ɢ ʔ
Nasal m ɱ n ɳ ɲ ŋ ɴ
Trill ʙ r ʀ
Tap or Flap ɾ ɽ
Fricative ɸ/β f/v θ/ð s/z ʂ/ʐ ç/ʝ x/ɣ χ/ʁ ħ/ʕ h/ɦ
Lateral Fricative ɬ/ɮ
Approximant ʋ ɹ ɻ j ɰ
Lateral Approximant l ɭ ʎ ʟ

Non-pulmonic consonants:
Clicks: Implosives: Ejectives:
ʘ Bilabial ɓ Bilabial Bilabial
ǀ Dental ɗ Dental/alveolar Dental/alveolar
ǃ Alveoalar ʄ Palatal Velar
ǂ Palatoalveolar ɠ Velar Alveolar fricative
ǁ Alveolar lateral ʛ Uvular
  • Sounds highlighted in green can always appear.
  • Sounds highlighted in red may be harder for a native English speaker to identify, and can only appear if hard mode is enabled. Hard mode can be toggled in the mod settings. If hard mode is enabled, the play button will be red, otherwise it will be green.
  • Sounds highlighted in gray, with empty cells, either don’t exist or will never appear.

How to read the IPA tables:

All consonants have a “manner”, referring to what action in the mouth is taken, and a “place”, referring to where it is taken. In the table of pulmonic consonants, the manner is the row, and the place is the column. A consonant being pulmonic means that it is produced by air pressure from the lungs.

A forward slash in the pulmonic table refers to unvoiced/voiced consonants. When a consonant is voiced, the vocal cords are vibrating while it is being spoken.

In the following explanations, an “articulator” refers to a part of the mouth that is performing the manner. This is not the same as place— For example, in alveolar consonants, the articulator is the tongue.


  • Plosive: Vocal tract is blocked, and all airflow ceases.
  • Nasal: Air escapes through the nose, but not the mouth.
  • Trill: An articulator is held stationary, and an airstream causes it to vibrate.
  • Tap or Flap: A single contraction of the muscles is made so that one articulator is struck against another.
  • Fricative: Air is forced through two articulators held close together.
  • Lateral Fricative: A fricative where airstream moves along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked from going through the middle of the mouth.
  • Approximant: Two articulators are held near each other, but not close enough to become a fricative.
  • Lateral Approximant: Same as lateral fricatives, but with approximants.
  • Click: Two articulators are held together, and the resulting pocket of air is rarefied by a sucking action.
  • Implosive: Airstream is controlled by moving the glottis downwards. The glottis is the space between the vocal cords.
  • Ejective: Voiceless consonants produced with a simultaneous closure of the glottis. A noticeable burst of air is present.


  • Bilabial: Both lips against each other.
  • Labiodental: Lower lip against upper teeth.
  • Dental: Tongue against upper teeth.
  • Alveolar: The tongue against the alveolar ridge, which is the area directly behind the upper teeth.
  • Retroflex: The tongue curled back against the hard palate. The hard palate is the middle part of the roof of the mouth.
  • Palatal: The body of the tongue raised against the hard palate.
  • Velar: The back part of the tongue against the velum. The velum is the back part of the roof of the mouth.
  • Uvular: The back part of the tongue against or near the uvula.
  • Pharyngeal: Articulated mostly in the pharynx, which is the empty space in the back of the throat.
  • Glottal: Articulated mostly in the glottis. The glottis is the space between the vocal cords.