Note: in the representation of Czech orthography shown below,
c^ e^ n^ r^ s^ z^ stand for
c e n r s z with a wedge accent (caron, hác^ek), and
u stands for
u with a ring (krouz^ek) above. If you have a Unicode-compliant browser, go to the Unicode version of this page, where Czech orthography will be displayed correctly.
SAMPA symbol Orthography Transcription GlossVowels.
There are five short and five long vowels in Czech.
i mys^ miS mouse e les les forest a pas pas passport o rok rok year u kus kus piece i: pít pi:t to drink e: lék le:k drug a: rád ra:t glad o: móda mo:da fashion u: pul pu:l half
There are three diphthongs, as shown below.
aU auto aUto car eU leukémie leUke:mie leukemia oU mouka moUka flour
The Czech consonant system comprises paired plosives at the bilabial, alveolar, palatal and velar places. In each pair the first is voiceless and unaspirated, the second voiced. The palatals are written here as
p pes pes dog b bota bota shoe t tam tam there d dum du:m house t' tito t'ito these d' de^d d'et grandfather k krk kr=k neck g kde gde where
There are four affricates.
ts cíl tsi:l aim dz leckdo ledzgdo anyone tS c^as tSas time dZ dz^bán dZba:n jug
There are paired fricatives at the labiodental, alveolar, and palatoalveolar places.
The sound written
r' is an alveolar fricative trill; by default it is voiced, but a voiceless variant (
R') is used when it is word-final or adjacent to a voiceless consonant. The sound written
h is a voiced glottal fricative.
f forma forma form v vak vak bag s sen sen dream z zub zup tooth S s^ál Sa:l scarf Z z^al Zal regret r' r^ek r'ek Greek R' ker^ keR' bush j boj boj fight x chlapec xlapets boy G te^chz^e t'eGz'e of the same ones h had hat snake
There are two liquids and three nasals. In addition, F and N occur
as allophones of m and n, respectively, arising out of
r is an alveolar trill,
l is an alveolar lateral approximant.
n' is a palatal nasal.
r ret ret lip l led let ice m mrak mrak cloud F tramvaj traFvaj tram n noc nots night n' nic n'its nothing N podmínka podmi:Nka condition
Three consonants can also be syllabic.
l= vlk vl=k wolf m= osm osm= eight r= krk kr=k neck
Voicing. Obstruents are subject to obligatory final devoicing: in a word-final position, only voiceless obstruents occur. They are also subject to voicing assimilation: before a voiceless consonant, only voiceless obstruents occur, and before a voiced consonant (but excluding
v and all unpair consonants), only voiced obstruents occur.
Stress. Word stress (not transcribed in the examples above) is generally on the first syllable. Most monosyllabic prepositions are stressed, and form a stress-unit with the following word.
kabát "kaba:t coat bez práce "bes pra:tse without work
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This page is maintained by J.C. Wells. It was created 1999 May 24 on the initiative of Robert Batus^ek.