I'm looking for a dataset of phoneme sets for the most widely spoken languages. Something like the sort of thing available here:


though the data there is not conveniently available nor is it particularly comprehensive for widely spoken languages (for example, it does have English as far as I can see). Even better if there are frequency statistics for the phonemes. Any ideas?

  • How many of the "most widely spoken languages" do you want? 5, 10, 50? If it's around 10, which languages are you missing (apart from English)? I can see German, Hindi, Telugu, French, Spanish, Mandarin, so most of them seem to be available. Also, what format do you want? Listing all the phonemes of a language as they did on the website you indicated seems pretty convenient to me. Although I suppose it might depend on what you want to do with them. – robert Sep 13 '13 at 8:26
  • As for other sources, Wikipedia isn't that bad on most languages and usually indicates academic sources where you can check. In addition, there's the IPA Handbook with phoneme inventories for a number of languages and they keep adding more languages and dialects through articles in the IPA journal. – robert Sep 13 '13 at 8:30



It includes the phoneme inventories you mention above, converted into Unicode IPA, and many more languages.

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  • Thanks! I can't really access any of the inventories I tried in this list. If I click on the language code I get referred to Ethnologue and if I click on the inventory number I just get a database entry without phoneme inventory. Am I doing something wrong here? – robert Sep 14 '13 at 11:33

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