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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Hmong language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. The dialect used in this chart is both White Hmong and Green Hmong. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

IPA RPA Pahawh English approximation
Green White
c c 𖬯 Somewhat like joke
ch 𖬧 Somewhat like choke
d d 𖬞𖬰 ado
dh 𖬞𖬵 wide hearted
dl 𖬭𖬰 Somewhat like at last
tɬ̬ dlh 𖬭𖬵 Somewhat like at last, but with extra clicky sound
f f 𖬜𖬵 five
ŋ g 𖬠𖬵 sing
h h 𖬟 happy
hl 𖬥 clean
hm 𖬣𖬵 No English equivalent; voiceless [m]
m̥l̥ hml 𖬠𖬰 No English equivalent
hn 𖬩 No English equivalent; voiceless [n]
ɲ̥ hny 𖬣𖬰 No English equivalent; voiceless [ɲ]
k k * scope
kh 𖬩𖬰 cope
l l 𖬞 life
m m 𖬦 map
ml ml 𖬠 hamlet
n n 𖬬 no
ɲɟ nc 𖬤𖬰 and you
ɲɟʱ nch 𖬨 *
ⁿdˡ ndl 𖬭
ⁿdɮ ndlh 𖬭𖬴 No English equivalent
ŋɡ nk 𖬢 finger
ŋkʰ nkh 𖬫𖬵 incomplete
mb np 𖬨𖬵 combine
mbʱ nph 𖬡𖬰 No English equivalent, like abhor, but with prenasalization
mbl npl 𖬫𖬰 emblem
mbɮ nplh 𖬡𖬵 No English equivalent
ɴɢ nq 𖬬𖬰 *
ɴɢʱ nqh 𖬬𖬵 *
ɳɖ nr 𖬜𖬰 No English equivalent; somewhat like can drink
ɳʈʰ nrh 𖬨𖬰 * similar to control
nd nt 𖬩𖬵 endanger
ndʱ nth 𖬫 wound him
ɳɖʐ nts 𖬝 No English equivalent; somewhat like hinge
ndz ntx 𖬢𖬰 hands
ndzʱ ntxh 𖬥𖬵 hands holding
ɲ ny 𖬮𖬵 canyon
p p 𖬪𖬵 spin
ph 𖬝𖬵 pin
pl pl 𖬟𖬵 Somewhat like apple
plh 𖬪 play
q q 𖬦𖬵 * similar to sky
qh 𖬣 * similar to car
ʈ r 𖬡 *
ʈʰ rh 𖬢𖬵 * similar to trough
ʂ s 𖬤𖬵 Somewhat like shoe
t t 𖬧𖬵 stool
th 𖬟𖬰 tool
ts tx 𖬯𖬵 cats
tsʰ txh 𖬦𖬰 No English equivalent
ʈʂ ts 𖬝𖬰 Somewhat like June
ʈʂʰ tsh 𖬪𖬰 Somewhat like chair
v v 𖬜 very
s x 𖬮 see
ç xy 𖬧𖬰 hue
ʝ y 𖬤 Similar to yes
ʐ z 𖬥𖬰 Somewhat like vision
ʔ 𖬮𖬰 uh-oh!
IPA RPA Pahawh English approximation
a a 𖬖, 𖬗 As in father
e e 𖬈, 𖬉 * similar to play
i i 𖬂, 𖬃 see
ɨ w 𖬘, 𖬙 roses
ɔ o 𖬒, 𖬓 law
u u 𖬆, 𖬇 soon
ee 𖬀, 𖬁 Somewhat like sang
ã aa 𖬚, 𖬛 Somewhat like ran
ɔ̃ oo 𖬌, 𖬍 Somewhat like song
ai ai 𖬊, 𖬋 hi
ia 𖬔, 𖬕 British beer'
aw 𖬎, 𖬏 Do not curl your tongue for the 'r' in per
au au 𖬄, 𖬅 how
ua 𖬐, 𖬑 British tour
Hmong Tone Indications
IPA Tone Orthographic Spelling (Example)
pɔ́ High pob ('ball')
pɔ̰ Creaky pom ('see')
pɔ̂ High falling poj ('female')
pɔ̌ Mid rising pov ('throw')
pɔ̄ Mid po ('spleen')
pɔ̀ Low pos ('thorn')
pɔ̤ Low falling breathy pog ('grandmother')


^* No equivalent to English ^* ⟨k⟩ is only represented in RPA and not in Pahawh Hmong. For example, to write keeb in RPA, you have to follow the order Consonant + Vowel + Tone (CVT), so it is K + ee + b = Keeb, but in Pahawh Hmong, it is just Keeb "𖬀𖬶" (2nd-Stage Version).


  • Bruhn, Daniel (2006-12-06). "The Phonetic Inventory of Mong Leng" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-31.
  • Bruhn, Daniel. "Toward a Reconstruction of Proto-Far-Western-Hmongic" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-12.
  • "Common characteristics from multiple languages" (PDF). Anchorage School District. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-03-31.
  • Everson, Michael (2012-01-20). "Final proposal to encode the Pahawh Hmong script in the UCS" (PDF). Unicode Consortium.
  • Garellek, Marc; Keating, Patricia; Esposito, Christina M.; Kreiman, Jody (2013). "Voice quality and tone identification in White Hmong". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133 (2): 1078–1089. Bibcode:2013ASAJ..133.1078G. doi:10.1121/1.4773259. PMC 3574099. PMID 23363123.
  • "Hmong Notes" (PDF). UCLA Phonetics Lab Data. 2014-09-17. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  • "Hmong Speech and Language Development". Bilinguistics. Archived from the original on 2023-12-21.
  • Hsiu, Andrew (2015). The classification of Na Meo, a Hmong-Mien language of Vietnam. SEALS 25. Chaing Mai, Thailand. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1127804.
  • Jaisser, Annie (Fall 1987). "Hmong Classifiers" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 10 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-01-29.
  • Jaisser, Annie; Ratliff, Martha; Riddle, Elizabeth; Strecker, David; Vang, Lopao; Vang, Lyfu (1995). Hmong For Beginners Part I. Centers for South and Souteast Asia Studies, University of California at Berkeley. ISBN 0-944613-24-1.
  • Ly, Chô (2020). "An Explanation of the Logic of Hmong RPA" (PDF). Hmong Studies Journal. 21: 1–15.
  • Tapp, Nicholas. "Qha Ke (Guiding the Way) From the Hmong Ntsu of China, 1943". Hmong Studies Journal. 9.
  • Thao, Kia (April 2012). Phonetics of the Hmong White Language. Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity. University of Wisconisn, Eau Claire.

See also[edit]

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