The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Classical Sanskrit pronunciations in articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to 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 board
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
dʑʱ jh roughly like hedgehog
ɟɲ ज्ञ[4] roughly like argue
k k skin
kh kin
l l leaf
m m much
n n tenth
ɲ ñ canyon[5]
ɳ roughly like burnt[5]
ŋ bank[5]
p p span
ph pan
r r Indian roti
s s soup
ʂ Somewhat like North American worship
t t Somewhat like stable
th Somewhat like table
ʈ stable
ʈʰ ṭh table
c Somewhat like chew
tɕʰ ch chew
ʋ v between wine and vine
IPA Nagari IAST[2] English approximation
ɐ , a comma
, पा ā bra
ɪ , पि i sit
, पी ī feet
ʊ , पु u look
, पू ū loot
ɽɪ , पृ as rri
ɽiː , पॄ as rrī
, पॢ as lli
liː , पॣ as llī
, पे e wait
ai , पै ai hi
, पो o old
au , पौ au h'ow
◌̃ ◌̃/m̐ nasal vowel [ɐ̃], [ãː], [õː], etc.)[5]

IPA Nagari IAST[2] English equivalent
ˈ◌ stress[7]
(placed before stressed syllable)

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 compound consonant of ज and ञ
  5. ^ a b c d e Vowels may occur nasalised as an allophone of the nasal consonants in certain positions: see anusvara and chandrabindu.
  6. ^ 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, ei, o, ou]. Rarely, vowels may be extra-long.
  7. ^ In Classical Sanskrit, stress was predictable by syllable weight: counting from the end of a word, the second-last was stressed if heavy (having a long vowel or a coda consonant); if it was light, the third-last was stressed if heavy; otherwise, stress fell on the fourth-last syllable. Vedic Sanskrit, in contrast, possessed an unpredictable pitch accent.


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