I saw this sentence in the Duolingo course.

La infano ŝatas oranĝojn pli on kokaĵon.

The 'ĝo' and 'ĵo' sound exactly same to me. If they are different pronunciations, how can I pronounce them differently?

3 Answers 3


Basically, ĝo is pronounced like dĵo would be (but you have almost no word with "dĵ" (if any)). Don't know if my explanation is enough but I think that's the easiest way to put it : ĝ is a ĵ with a d before

  • 1
    I made a search in Tekstaro, according to which the combination is mostly found in proper names (like ex-Iranian president Rafsandĵani) and as esperantised version of the title disc jockey (e.g DĴ Kunar). There are some compound words (e.g. televidĵurnalo), but the only word which I found where the combination is within one word is the direct loan word hadĵio from the non-Zamenhof part of Fundamenta Krestomatio. Later this has been corrected to the form haĝo, haĝulo. So your guess of "if any" is probably correct. Feb 7, 2023 at 7:38

The letter Ĝ/ĝ is rendered in IPA (the International Phonetic Alphabet) as d͡ʒ. This is the sound most English speakers make when pronouncing the gs in the English word ginger, and the gs and js in Gene the giant giraffe gingerly jumps joyfully.

The letter Ĵ/ĵ is rendered in IPA as ʒ. This is the sound most English speakers make when pronouncing the final gs in the English words garage and mirage (although you could argue that those words are derived from French). (Note that the word garage has two gs; the first is like the Esperanto g, the second is like the Esperanto ĵ.)

The s in the English words measure, pleasure, and treasure also matches the sound of the Esperanto letter Ĵ/ĵ. So the Esperanto letter Ĵ/ĵ makes the same sound a g and s make in this sentence: That treasure ain't no pleasure -- but a mirage!

Note: I'm not an expert in IPA, so if I got the rendering(s) wrong, please correct me.

  • garage might be a confusing example because in some accents it is pronounced to rhyme with ridge.
    – Neil Roberts
    Feb 7, 2023 at 9:09
  • Your IPA is fine. /ʒ/ is indeed a marginal phoneme in English, and it does exist; I'd suggest to use words like "Zhukov" to illustrate it (since the phoneme does exist, native speakers have no problems with the word and it is unambiguous, unlike e.g. garage). What is a problem is that in English, affricates are not phonemically different from stop+sibilant clusters. It is better to use a different language to illustrate the point. Feb 8, 2023 at 14:57
  • Speaking as someone who has a ĵ sound in his name, I can say that, in general, native English speakers are much more likely to correctly pronounce the /ʒ/ in "garage" than in a name like "Zhukov". Even if regional accents exist where a speaker pronounces "garage" to rhyme with "carriage", they're likely exposed to enough American movies and TV shows that they are familiar with the common English/American pronunciation of "garage", and so shouldn't have much of a problem imitating its /ʒ/ sound.
    – J-L
    Mar 7, 2023 at 17:20

In the book I learnt from it said that ĵ is pronounced like the s sound in the word pleasure in English.

Perhaps then you could compare the sounds of the English words pleasure and pledger which only differ by the same sounds as ĵ and ĝ. (I’m not sure if the word pledger really exists but I guess it would be someone who makes a pledge).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.