In general a different set of phonemes can be defined for each language.

In most cases different languages inherit the same basic set of consonants. They can add to these or modify them as needed.

The phoneme mnemonics are based on the scheme by Kirshenbaum which represents International Phonetic Alphabet symbols using ascii characters. See:

Phoneme mnemonics can be used directly in the text input to espeak. They are enclosed within double square brackets. Spaces are used to separate words, and all stressed syllables must be marked explicitly. eg:
[[D,Is Iz sVm f@n'EtIk t'Ekst 'InpUt]]

English Consonants

[p] [b]
[t] [d]
[tS]church [dZ]judge
[k] [g]

[f] [v]
[T]thin [D]this
[s] [z]
[S]shop [Z]pleasure

[m] [n]
[l] [r]red (Omitted if not immediately followed by a vowel).
[j]yes [w]

Some Additional Consonants
[C]German ich [x]German buch
[l^]Italian gli [n^]Spanish ñ

English Vowels

These are the phonemes which are used by the English spelling-to-phoneme translations (en_rules and en_list). In some varieties of English different phonemes may have the same sound, but they are kept separate because they may differ in another variety.

In rhotic accents, such as General American, the phonemes [3:], [A@], [e@], [i@], [O@], [U@] include the "r" sound.

[@] alphaschwa
[3] betterrhotic schwa. In British English this is the same as [@], but it includes 'r' colouring in American and other rhotic accents. In these cases a separate [r] should not be included unless it is followed immediately by another vowel.
[@2]theUsed only for "the".
[@5]toUsed only for "to".

[aa]bathThis is [a] in some accents, [A:] in others.
[a#]aboutThis may be [@] or may be a more open schwa.


[I2]intendAs [I], but also indicates an unstressed syllable.
[i]happyAn unstressed "i" sound at the end of a word.






Some Additional Vowels

Other languages will have their own vowel definitions, eg:
[e]German eh, French é
[o]German oo, French o
[y]German ü, French u
[Y]German ö, French oe

[:] can be used to lengthen a vowel, eg [e:]