Full IPA Chart

Reproduction of The International Phonetic Alphabet

IPA chartThe IPA chart and all its subparts are copyright 2015/2005 by the International Phonetic Association. As of July 2012, they are made freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). This license allows any kind of re-use (including commercial reproduction and derivative works), as long as attribution is given and the reproduction or derivative work is under the same license. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for further description.

Attribution under this license may be made as follows:

"IPA Chart, http://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/content/ipa-chart, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. Copyright © 2015 International Phonetic Association."

Under this license, there is no need to request permission from the Association for reproduction or re-use. However, if you have further questions, please contact the Secretary.

Download the IPA chart

You can download PDF files of the Chart in various fonts, or PNG image files at various resolutions below. Thanks to Malgorzata Deron for producing the files. You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe PDF Reader to view the PDF files.

IPA Kiel (2015) [Download PDF file]

The symbol shapes originally devised and approved by the Association may not be preserved in the symbols in any given font. Whether commercial or free, Unicode-compliant or legacy, every font incorporates unique decisions about such elements as line thicknesses, curves, and proportions. In no extant font do all the symbols correspond exactly to the intent of the Association. However, the font mostly used in the 2005 chart, Linguist’s Software’s IPA Kiel, comes close (* see note below). Therefore a chart made primarily with the IPA Kiel character set best represents the symbols of the IPA. Our use of this font is allowed under our font embedding license.

The 2015 chart makes minor changes to wording and layout, but otherwise reproduces the appearance of the 2005 chart. A few symbol substitutions have been made: The symbol for the labiodental flap, which in the 2005 chart is an extra symbol from Linguist’s Software, here comes from the Doulos SIL font (2C71). The symbol for the Close-mid central unrounded vowel is IPA LS Uni 0258; the 2005 chart uses a rotated e. The symbol for the Open-mid central rounded vowel is IPA LS Uni 025E; the 2005 chart uses a rotated closed-omega. The Rising-falling tone letter is IPA LS Uni E9B3, a non-Unicode mapping; the 2005 chart uses a combination of a Minor (foot) group and a circumflex.

Even though most users will not have access to the IPA Kiel font, the Association recommends this version of the chart as an ideal.

* For some time Linguist’s Software has offered a “Laser IPA in Unicode” font, IPA LS Uni. This font’s symbols are very similar, but not identical, to those of IPA Kiel, and the font is not fully Unicode-compliant.

For reference, we also provide two newer versions of the chart, each in a free, readily-available, Unicode-compliant font with full IPA coverage: one serif font (Doulos SIL) and one sans serif (DejaVu Sans).

DejaVu Sans (2015) [Download PDF file]

DejaVu Sans is the best open-license sans-serif font we have identified to date. Our use of it in our chart is in accord with Bitstream’s license. The following are observations about the symbols in this font, compared to IPA Kiel.

  • The symbol for the labiodental flap is not quite right in this font (and in many fonts). We recommend using the symbol from another sans serif font, SIL’s Andika, for this symbol.
  • The symbol for the alveolar tap has a serif. This makes the shape more clearly different from the trill symbol. However, if a sans serif symbol is desired, the tap symbol from SIL’s Andika font can be used.
  • The symbol for the voiced palatal implosive in this font has an extra half cross-bar, above the full cross-bar. Therefore the symbol shown here is made by combining 0283+0335.
  • The Laminal diacritic is square and small, and therefore tends to be confused with the voiceless diacritic. We recommend that this diacritic be made extra-large so that its shape is clearly a square, not a circle. (In IPA Kiel, this diacritic is correctly a rectangle.)
  • The exact tone contour shown in the Rising-falling tone letter is different from IPA Kiel’s.
  • The shape of the Velarized diacritic is not quite the same as that of the voiced velar fricative.
  • A problem for all fonts, due to the design of symbols introduced in 1989, is that the distinctions between the dental click and the minor group, and between the lateral click and the major group, are small at best. At the time of the Kiel convention, it was suggested that the grouping symbols be thicker than the click symbols. In the 2005 chart, the grouping symbols were in bold, and that is true of the 2015 charts as well. In addition, in sans serif fonts the alveolar lateral approximant is likely to be similar to both the dental click and the minor group. DejaVu does a relatively good job of keeping these distinct through line length and thickness.

Doulos SIL (2015) [Download PDF file]

Doulos SIL is a serif font from SIL International (formerly the Summer Institute of Linguistics). It is widely used and is required in mss submitted to some journals (though it is not required for our Journal). Our use of it in our chart is in accord with SIL’s Open Font License. The following are observations about the symbols in this font, compared to IPA Kiel.

  • The Laminal diacritic is square and small, and therefore tends to be confused with the voiceless diacritic. We recommend that this diacritic be made extra-large so that its shape is clearly a square, not a circle. (In IPA Kiel, this diacritic is correctly a rectangle.)
  • A problem for all fonts, due to the design of symbols introduced in 1989, is that the distinctions between the dental click and the minor group, and between the lateral click and the major group, are small at best. They are especially similar in Doulos. At the time of the Kiel convention, it was suggested that the grouping symbols be thicker than the click symbols. In the 2005 chart, the grouping symbols were in bold, and that is true of the 2015 charts as well.
  • The exact tone contour shown in the Rising-falling tone letter is different from IPA Kiel’s.
  • Some of the diacritics are bigger in Doulos than in IPAKiel: the stress diacritics, upstep and downstep arrows, the Linguolabial diacritic. Others are bigger in IPAKiel: Retracted, Syllabic, the four diacritics made with the tack (“tiny T”) symbol, Mid-centralized.
  • The distinction in symbol shapes between the symbols for the consonant [ɣ] and the vowel [ɤ] (ram’s horns) is clearer in Doulos than in IPAKiel.

PNG images (2005 version)

You can also download .png versions at different resolutions below. Please note these are 2005 versions of the chart.