Zulu pronunciation guide

The phonetic transcriptions in this dictionary use the phonetic alphabet of the IPA. They are generated on-the-fly by an algorithm I developed based on the pronunciation guide of the Speak Zulu With Us beginners course from African Voices.

The following table shows examples of how to pronounce each of the IPA symbols in the context of this dictionary. For each symbol there are Zulu and English example words with sound recordings and a link to the Wikipedia article on the IPA symbol. I chose the English example recordings with respect to matching the Zulu pronunciation as close as possible. They do not correspond as to the meanings nor do they necessarily conform to your personal way of pronouncing them. So don't blame me for that. :-)

List of sources
IPA recording IPA recordings.
Merriam-Webster recording By permission. From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (www.Merriam-Webster.com).
African Voices recording By permission. From the African Voices Speak Zulu With Us beginners course (www.africanvoices.co.za).

IPA symbol Zulu example English example (approx.)
[ˈ] The following syllable is stressed.
[ː] The preceding vowel is lengthened.
[a] African Voices recording amakhaza [amaˈkʰaːza] Merriam-Webster recording buck [bak]
[e] African Voices recording umgibeli [umgiˈɓeːli] IPA recording bayed [bejd]
[ɛ] African Voices recording ihembe [iˈhɛːmbe] IPA recording bed [bɛd]
[i] African Voices recording isibili [isiˈɓiːli] IPA recording bead [biːd]
[o] African Voices recording iGoli [iˈgoːli] Merriam-Webster recording soil [soil]
[ɔ] African Voices recording ogogo [ɔˈgɔːgo] Merriam-Webster recording saw [sɔ:]
[u] African Voices recording ubusuku [uɓuˈsuːɠu] Merriam-Webster recording look [luk]
[ɓ] African Voices recording ubisi [uˈɓiːsi] An implosive b, as if sucking in on a pipe.
[b] African Voices recording ubhuti [uˈbuːti] Merriam-Webster recording buck [bak]
[d] African Voices recording dade [ˈdaːde] IPA recording die [dai]
[ʤ] African Voices recording uju [ˈuːʤu] Merriam-Webster recording jump [ʤamp]
[f] African Voices recording ifu [ˈiːfu] IPA recording fie [fai]
[ɠ] African Voices recording ukupheka [uɠuˈpʰɛːɠa] A very soft g.
[g] African Voices recording ogogo [ɔˈgɔːgo] IPA recording guy [gai]
[k] African Voices recording iKapa [iˈkaːpa] Merriam-Webster recording scat [skæt]
[kʰ] African Voices recording ikhanda [iˈkʰaːnda] IPA recording kite [kʰait]
[h] African Voices recording ihembe [iˈhɛːmbe] IPA recording high [hai]
[ɦ] African Voices recording ihhovisi [iɦoˈviːsi] A voiced h.
[j] African Voices recording yebo [ˈjɛːɓo] Merriam-Webster recording yes [jes]
[l] African Voices recording leli [ˈleːli] Like the Standard German l.
[ɬ] African Voices recording isihlahla [isi'ɬaːɬa]
[ɮ] African Voices recording ukudla [uˈɠuːɮa]
[m] African Voices recording mama [ˈmaːma] IPA recording my [mai]
[n] African Voices recording nina [ˈniːna] IPA recording nigh [nai]
[ŋ] African Voices recording amanga [aˈmaːŋa] IPA recording hang [hæŋ]
[ɲ] African Voices recording inyosi [iˈɲoːsi] Like the Spanish ñ.
[p] African Voices recording ipentshisi [ipenˈtʃiːsi] IPA recording spy [spai]
[pʰ] African Voices recording isiphukuphuku [isipʰuɠuˈpʰuːɠu] IPA recording pie [pʰai]
[ʁ] irekhodi [iːʁɛˈkʰoːdi] Like the French or Standard German r.
[s] African Voices recording isisu [iˈsiːsu] IPA recording sigh [sai]
[ʃ] African Voices recording ishiya [iˈʃiːya] IPA recording shy [ʃai]
[t] African Voices recording isitambu [isiˈtaːmbu] Merriam-Webster recording stack [stæk]
[tʰ] African Voices recording isithathu [isiˈtʰaːtʰu] IPA recording tie [tʰai]
[v] African Voices recording iva [ˈiːva] IPA recording vie [vai]
[w] African Voices recording wena [ˈweːna] IPA recording why [wai]
[z] African Voices recording umzuzu [umˈzuːzu] Merriam-Webster recording zap [zæp]
[ǀ] African Voices recording ukucula [uɠuˈǀuːla]
[ǀʰ] African Voices recording ukuchaza [uɠuˈǀʰaːza]
[g͡ǀ] African Voices recording isigcobo [isiˈg͡ǀɔːɓo]
[n͡ǀ] African Voices recording incwancwa [iˈn͡ǀwaːn͡ǀwa]
[ɲ͡ǀ] African Voices recording ukungcwaba [uɠuˈɲ͡ǀwaːɓa]
[ǃ] African Voices recording iqaqa [iˈǃaːǃa]
[ǃʰ] African Voices recording iqhude [iˈǃʰuːde]
[g͡ǃ] African Voices recording ugqozi [uˈg͡ǃoːzi]
[n͡ǃ] African Voices recording inqola [iˈn͡ǃɔːla]
[ɲ͡ǃ] African Voices recording ingqondo [iˈɲ͡ǃɔːndo]
[ǁ] African Voices recording xoxa [ˈǁɔːǁa]
[ǁʰ] African Voices recording ukuxhasa [uɠuˈǁʰaːsa]
[g͡ǁ] African Voices recording ukugxoba [uɠuˈg͡ǁɔːɓa]
[n͡ǁ] African Voices recording inxeba [iˈn͡ǁɛːɓa]
[ɲ͡ǁ] African Voices recording ingxenye [iˈɲ͡ǁɛːɲe]