Pronunciation


Vowels

There are eight vowels in Catalan central dialect (a, , e, , i, , o, u), written in 5 characters (a, e, i, o, u).

A is pronounced in 2 ways:


E is pronounced in 3 ways:


I is prononced like English ee in seem in both stressed and unstressed positions, cf.:

camí [k'mi] m way, canvi ['kamßi] m change, i [i] conj and.


O is pronounced in 3 ways:


U is pronounced roughly like English oo in food in both stressed and unstressed positions, cf.:

música ['muzik] f music, dibuix [di'ßu] m drawing, u [u] num one.
It is soundless in the combinations gue, gui, que, qui.
...

Semivowels

Catalan has two semivowels, [j] and [w], written as i and u before vowels, cf.: ...

Diphthongs (Diftongs)

Catalan diphtongs are formed by the combination of a strong vowel (a, e, o) and a weak vowel (i, u).

If the weak vowel follows the strong one, the diphthong is falling (decreixent):

If the strong vowel follows the weak one, the diphthong is arising (creixent), but this combinations are diphtongs only in these cases: ...

Triphthongs (Triftongs)

In Catalan there are also five triphthongs. Here, the middle vowel is strong and the others are weak: ...

Consonants

B and V

In the official pronunciation B and V have coincided, as in Spanish.

In initial position and in the middle of the word after m B and V denotes the sound [b], similar to the
English b in bar, cf.:

In middle position, between vowels or if preceded by m/n, B and V are pronounced [ß]; this is a fricative voiced sound, intermediate between [b] and [v], without equivalent in English, cf.: In final position B sounds like [p], cf.: ...

C, Ç, S, -SS-

C before e and i, Ç, written before a, o and u, S if not between vowels, and SS between vowels are all pronounced [s] (as c in English principal, and s/ss in sick, progressive), cf.: ...

C, K, QU

C before a, o, u or consionant, K in all positions and QU (u is mute), written before e or i, are pronounced as soft [k] (like English k in skin), cf.: The group QU or QÜ sounds like [kw] in the syllables qua, qüe, qüi, quo, cf.: ...

D

D is pronounced in three manners:

1. As [d] (similar to the English d in do):

2. As [ð] (similar to the English th in father): 3. As [t] in final position, cf.: ...

F

F is pronounced [f] (like English f in fist) in all positions, cf.: ...

G and GU

G before a, o, u or consonant and GU (u is mute), written before e or i, are pronounced [g] (like English g in got, get), cf.: The final -G, if not in the digraph -IG, is pronounced [k], cf.: Between vowels (or vowel and semivowel), G  designates a voiced fricative sound [], intermediate between [g] and [x] (it has no equivalent in English; it may be obtained by trying to pronounce [g] continuously), cf.: ...

G and J

G before e and i, and J in all positions are pronounced [] (like English s in measure), cf.:

H

H is written etymologically and is never pronounced (like English h in hour), cf.: ...

L

L is pronounced like English l in link, cf.: ...

M

M is pronounced like English m, cf.: ...

N

N is pronounced like English n, cf.: In middle position, before or after b/v, N is pronounced [m], cf.: ...

P

P is pronounced like a soft English p i spin, cf.: ...

R-, -RR-

In the initial position and in the end of syllable, as also in the digraph RR in intervocal position, R denotes a trilled sound, like the Spanish rr of perro a very difficult sound for a speaker of English; cf.: ...

-R-

In itervocalic position -R- denotes a flapped sound (like r in British English very), cf.: ...

-R

The final -R is usually not pronounced, cf.: ...

-S- and Z

The intervocal -S- and Z in all positions denote the voiced sound [z] (like English z in zoo), cf.: ...

T

T is pronounced like the soft English t (as in tin), cf.: ...

X

The letter X is pronounced in 3 ways:

1. In the beginning of a word or after l, n, r or a diphthong ending in i or u it denotes the sound [] (like English sh), cf.:

2. In the initial ex- it is for [gz], cf.: 3. In the other cases it is read [ks], cf.: ...

Consonantic Digraphs

LL

LL (named ella) denotes the sound []. It is similar to English li in million, but is articulated in a single glide of the tongue (it is like Italian gli, Portuguese lh), cf.: ...

L·L

L·L (named ela geminada) is pronounced like two consecutive ls, cf.: ...

NG

NG is pronounced like English ng in sing, cf.: ...

NY

NY denotes the sound []. It is much like English ny in canyon, but is articulated in a single glide of the tongue; it is like Spanish ñ, French or Italian gn, Portuguese nh, cf.: ...

TG, DJ and TJ

TG before e/i and DJ / TJ in all positions are pronounced [d] (as English j in jest), cf.: ...

-IG and TX

The final -IG and TX in all positions are pronounced [t] (as English ch), cf.: ...

TS

TS denotes the affricate [ts] (like English ts in assets, but in a single emission), cf.: ...

TZ

TZ denotes the voiced affricate [dz] (like English dz in adze, but in a single emission), cf.: ...
For GU see G and GU.

For QU see C, K, QU.

For RR see R-, -RR-.

For SS see C, Ç, S, -SS-.
 
 


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