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Alphabet and Pronunciation

The Ido alphabet contains 26 letters — 5 vowels and 21 consonants — most of which sound very much like their English equivalents:

Ido ENGLISH IPA EXAMPLE
a a a father
b b b boat
c ts ʦ ʦ as in mitts
d d d deportation
e e e wet
f f f famous
g g g gargantuan before all letters
h h h homeward
i ee i teen
j j ʒ Jaques (or [ʤ] as in Jake after n)
k k k kite
l l l long
m m m moat
n n n nautical
o o o olfactory
p p p political
q kw kw quick (only appears before u)
r r r Spanish señora (with a trilled [r])
s s s suspend
t t t tank
u oo u boot
v v v invasion
w w w western
x ks/gz* ks/gz* box or exam (even at the beginning of words)
y y j yodel (never a vowel, as in byte, and never follows a vowel in the same syllable)
z z z zither

Like English, Ido uses the letter h in combination with certain other letters to produce “husher” sounds:

Ido ENGLISH IPA EXAMPLE
ch ch ʧ charming
sh sh ʃ shore

Ordinarily, when two vowels come together in a Ido word, each is pronounced separately. (Eg., koaktar is pronounced ko-ak-tar.) Some vowels, however, combine with other vowels to form sounds pronounced as a single (or close to single) syllable, as in English coin and couch. These combination vowel sounds are called diphthongs.

The letters i and u, when they are not the only vowel in a root and are immediately followed by a different vowel in the same word, produce a “rising” diphthong (ex. ia, ie, io, iu, ua, ue, ui, uo).

Francia ['fran-ʦja] / ['fran-ʦi-a]* France
januaro [ʒa-'nwa-ro] / [ʒa-nu-'a-ro]* January
dio ['di-o] day
fluo ['flu-o] flow
*Whichever is easier for the speaker

After the letters q or g, the letter u always produces a diphthong when followed by another vowel, even another u. (Otherwise, two of the same vowel are still pronounced separately.)

guido ['gwi-do] guidance
quu [kwu] who
filiino [fi-li-'ino] daughter

The letter u also forms a “falling” diphthong after a or e. The letter i, however, does not form falling diphthongs.

kaudo ['kaw-do] tail
feudo ['few-do] fief
arkaika [ar-ka-'i-ka] archaic

Note that the vowels a or e + u in compound words do not form diphthongs if they belong to different roots or affixes:

neusata [ne-u-'sa-ta] unused
kreuro [kre-'u-ro] creation

Tonic Stress

Generally speaking, words in Ido are stressed on the next-to-the-last syllable, as in fortuno [for-'tu-no] and menciono [men-'ʦjo-no]. The exceptions to this rule are infinitive verbs, which are stressed on the last syllable (eg., parolar, “to speak”, pronounced [pa-ro-'lar]).