Alphabet and Pronunciation
The Ido alphabet contains 25 letters — 5 vowels and 20 consonants — most of which sound very much like their English equivalents:
|c||ts||ʦ||ʦ as in mitts|
|g||g||g||gargantuan before all letters|
|j||j||ʒ||Jaques (or [ʤ] as in Jake after n)|
|q||kw||kw||quick (only appears before u)|
|r||r||r||Spanish señora (with a trilled [r])|
|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)|
Like English, Ido uses the letter h in combination with certain other letters to produce “husher” sounds:
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|
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.)
The letter u also forms a “falling” diphthong after a or e. The letter i, however, does not form falling diphthongs.
Note that the vowels a or e + u in compound words do not form diphthongs if they belong to different roots or affixes:
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]).