I'm a Chinese student interested in Japanese language processing. As far as I know, ususally Japanese Kana can be represented in Romaji letters. But I wonder how can I convert Kana into IPA phonetics? Is there any mapping?


1 Answer 1


The IPA notation for each hiragana is listed on Wikipedia.

However, the table only shows how the character is typically pronounced in isolation. As pointed out in the comments section, please be aware that some characters may be pronounced differently depending on the context. This is known as allophones. Every language has allophones, but native speakers are usually unaware of them. Notable examples in Japanese include:

  • Thanks for your answer!It's really helpful!
    – Sophiefy
    Aug 13, 2023 at 2:56
  • Also, at the phonemic level, う usually becomes /o/ (or lengthening, depending on your analysis) after /o/, and similarly い becomes /e/ after /e/ in many dialects.
    – mudri
    Aug 15, 2023 at 9:27

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