Boys Smiling

Languages

Languages differ from one another in many ways. This website focuses on how aspects of speech (e.g., consonants, vowels, syllables, tones) differ between languages. The following table includes summary resources to enable speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to compare languages.

It is useful to have a copy of the International Phonetic Alphabet to assist with interpreting the information provided in the table below.

More extensive descriptions of languages and speech acquisition data are available in Phonological Development and Disorders in Children: A Multilingual Perspective (Zhu Hua & Dodd, 2006), the International Guide to Speech Acquisition (McLeod, 2007), and on a companion page on this website:

Information about speech assessments in languages other than English is found on companion pages on this website

Language

IPA*

Info.
for SLPs

Speech tests Intelligibility in Context Scale**

Description ***

Afrikaans
(Afrikaans) 
IPA - No  

Ethnologue

Arabic (ﺍﻠﻌﺮﺒﯿﱠﺔ)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Assyrian
Assyrian
- - No Ethnologue
Bulgarian
(Български)
IPA - Yes Ethnologue
Cantonese (Yue)
(粵語
(廣東話))

IPA

.pdf

Yes (see Chinese - Traditional)

Ethnologue

Chinese (Simplified)
(简体中文)
 
(China, Singapore)
- - No -
Chinese (Traditional)
(繁體中文) 
(Hong Kong, Taiwan)
- - No -
Croatian
(hrvatski)
IPA - NoEthnologue
Danish
(dansk)
IPA - Yes - Ethnologue
Dari
(دری) 
IPA-No

 

Ethnologue
Dutch 
(Nederlands)

IPA

.pdf

Yes -

Ethnologue

English

IPA

-

Yes

Ethnologue

Farsi
(فارسی)
IPA-No-

Fijian
(Vakaviti)

 

IPA-No-
Filipino 
(Pilipino)

IPA

.pdf

No

 

Ethnologue

Finnish 
(suomi)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

French 
(Français)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

German
(Deutsch)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Greek
(Πρότυπο Νέας Ελληνικής)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Gujarati
Gujurati
IPA-No

 

Ethnologue
Hungarian
(Magyar)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Hebrew 
(עברית)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Hindi
(हिन्दी)
IPA-NoEthnologue
(Fijian Hindi)
Icelandic
(Íslenska)
IPA - Yes Ethnologue
Indonesian
(Bahasa Indonesia)
 
IPA-No

 

Ethnologue
Italian
(Italiano)
IPA - NoEthnologue
Japanese
(日本語) 

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Khmer
Khmer word 
IPA-NoEthnologue
Korean
(한국어)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Malay
(Bahasa Malayu)
IPA   NoEthnologue
Maltese
(Malti)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Mandarin
(Putonghua)

IPA

.pdf

Yes (see Chinese - Simplified)

Ethnologue

Norwegian
(Norsk)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Polish
(Polski)
 
IPA-Yes

 

Ethnologue
Portuguese
(Português)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Punjabi/ Panjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) IPA - Yes

Ethnologue-PAN

Ethnologue-PMU

Ethnologue-PNB

Romanian
(română)
IPA - Yes Ethnologue
Russian
(русский)
IPA - NoEthnologue
Samoan

-

.pdf

Yes -

Ethnologue

Serbian
(Српски)
IPA-No

 

Ethnologue
Sesotho

IPA

.pdf

No -

Ethnologue

Slovak
 (Slovak) 

IPA-No

 

Ethnologue
Slovenian
(slovenščina)
IPA - Yes Ethnologue
Somali
(Soomaali)
IPA - NoEthnologue
Spanish
(Español)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Swedish
(Svenska)
IPA - Yes Ethnologue
Tagalog
(Tagalog/
Filipino)
IPA-NoEthnologue
Tamil IPA - Yes - Ethnologue
Telugu - - Yes - Ethnologue
Thai
(
ภาษาไทย )

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Turkish
(Türkçe)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Venda
(Tshivenda)
--No-Ethnologue
Vietnamese
(Việt)

IPA

.pdf

Yes

Ethnologue

Welsh
(Cymraeg)

IPA

.pdf

No

Ethnologue

Xhosa
(isiXhosa)
--No-Ethnologue
Zapotec

-

.pdf

No -

Ethnologue

Zulu
(isiZulu)

IPA-No-Ethnologue

References

Zhu Hua & Dodd, B. (2006). Phonological development and disorders in children: A multilingual perspective. Cleavdon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

*** Lewis, M. P. (Ed.). (2009). Ethnologue: Languages of the world. Dallas, TX: SIL International. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/

McLeod, S. (Ed). (2007). The international guide to speech acquisition. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

** McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & McCormack, J. (2012). Intelligibility in Context Scale. Bathurst, Australia: Charles Sturt University. Retrieved from http://www.csu.edu.au/research/multilingual-speech/ics

* Weinberger, S. H. (2012). Speech accent archive. George Mason University. Retrieved from http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_native.php