Key to pronunciation: Philippine English

View the pronunciation model for Philippine English here.

The pronunciations given are those in use among educated urban speakers of standard English in the Philippines. While avoiding strongly regionally or socially marked forms, they are intended to include the most common variants for each word. The keywords given in this key are to be understood as pronounced in such speech.

All words indicated as being associated with the Philippines are also given British and American pronunciations alongside the Philippine pronunciation(s). Where a word is associated with an additional part of the English-speaking world, further pronunciations in the appropriate global variety of English are also given.

To hear the pronunciation spoken aloud, click the blue play icon to the left of each transcription.

Note from Catherine Sangster, Head of Pronunciations

“A number of our World English pronunciations lack audio at present. We create our audio with freelance actor-phoneticians in our Oxford recording studio, but since spring 2020 it has been unsafe for us to run these sessions. We are working on addressing this backlog as soon as we can do so safely.”


Philippine English As in…
i fleece, kit
ɛ dress
ɑ trap, father, lot, cup, alpha
o hawk, cloth, goat
or force
u foot, goose
ɛr nurse , letter
ɑr start
ir here
er square
ur cure
ɑɪ price
ɑʊ mouth


Philippine English As in…
b big /biɡ/
d dig /diɡ/
jet /dʒɛt/
f fig /fiɡ/
ɡ get /ɡɛt/
h head /hɛd/
j yes /jɛs/
k kit /kit/
l leg /lɛɡ/
m men /mɛn/
n net /nɛt/
ŋ wing /wiŋ/
p pit /pit/
r red /rɛd/
s sit /sit/
ʃ ship /ʃip/
t tip /tip/
chip /tʃip/
w win /win/
v vet /vɛt/
z zip /zip/

In Philippine English, words which would have /ʒ/ in British or American Englishes (e.g. leisure) have /ʃ/ instead, while the British and American English sounds /θ/ and /ð/ are Philippine English /t/ and /d/ respectively.

Unlike in many other varieties of English, consonants cannot take on the function of vowels in Philippine English (there are no ‘syllabic consonants’).

Philippine English is similar to U.S. English in retaining /r/ after vowels wherever it occurs, e.g. mar /mɑr/, unlike British /mɑː/.


The symbol ˈ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable is pronounced with primary stress. The symbol ˌ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable is pronounced with secondary stress. The symbol ˈˌ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable may be pronounced with either primary or secondary stress.