How to Write Phonetically

Опубликовал Admin
19-10-2016, 02:50
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Phonetics is a system based on the sound of words. The phonetics of a word is a written record of how the word is pronounced by a native speaker of that language. You can use phonetics to record the sound of words from a dialogue or to learn how to pronounce certain words or terms.

Using the International Phonetic Alphabet

  1. Understand the purpose of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Standard dictionaries use the IPA to show how words are pronounced. Foreign language textbooks and phrasebooks often use IPA to represent language sounds for languages that do not use Latin alphabets.
    • For example, in a standard dictionary, “their” will appear as “/ðeəʳ/” in IPA. Most dictionaries also use more basic phonetic spelling, such as “th air”.
    • When you are first learning basic phonetic writing, you can practice first with English spelling, instead of phonetic spelling. The symbols of IPA are based on more complex symbols that may be difficult for a beginner to understand.
  2. Use the dictionary as a model. Dictionaries use phonetic spelling to tell you how to pronounce words. Look at the words in a dictionary to get a sense of how to use phonetic spelling. Copy out the phonetic spelling of your favourite words and note the phonetic spelling of each word. Practice saying the terms out loud, based on the phonetic spelling.
    • For example, “about” appears phonetically as “uh-bout”. “Dog” appears phonetically as “dawg”. “Hello” appears as “he-loh”, and “goodbye” appears as “goo d-bahy”. A more complex word, like “however”, appears phonetically as “hou-ev-er”.
    • Note the use of italics and bolding in the phonetic spelling. Italics mean a soft stress is on the term when you pronounce it. Bolding means a harder stress is on the term when you pronounce it. For example, “hou-ev-er” and “uh-bout”.
  3. Create a sound chart. Rather than delve right into the symbols of IPA, try to break English words down by sound. You can create a chart that lists the main vowel sounds in the English language, using words as examples. Focus on the sound of the words, rather than the spelling of the words. Write down the following terms and practice saying them out loud.
    • “Though”: pronounced like the “o” in “go”
    • “Through: pronounced like the “oo” in “too”
    • “Cough”: pronounced like “off” in “offer” or "aw" in "saw"
    • “Rough”: pronounced like “uff” in “suffer” or "a" in "above"
    • “Plough”: pronounced like “ow” in “flower”
  4. Study the IPA symbols and rules. Once you feel comfortable writing down words based on sound, using English letters, you can focus on getting a beginner's sense of the IPA symbols and rules. An interactive chart of the IPA symbols, with audio clips of the sound of each symbol, can be accessed here. Note how each symbol corresponds to a specific sound in the English language.
    • Compare the simplified phonetic spelling of a word to a phonetic spelling that uses the phonetic symbols of IPA. For example, "about" will appear as "uh-bout" in simplified phonetic spelling, and it will appear as "əbawt" in IPA. Note to use of the each symbol for each letter in the word. If you break it down further, "a" is the symbol "ə", "b" is the symbol "b", "ou" are the symbols "aw" and "t" is the symbol "t".
    • Using the IPA chart, "ə" sounds like the "uh" in the beginning of "about". Another example is the phonetic spelling of "lure". In simplified phonetic spelling, it would be "loo r". In IPA, it would be written as "lʊr". So the sound of the "ur" in "lure" is represented by the IPA symbol "ʊ".
  5. Transcribe a dialogue into phonetic spelling. Choose a short passage (one to two sentences) from your favourite novel, or a portion of dialogue from a play. Try to find a passage without slang or contractions to make it easier to translate. Write down the passage in normal spelling and then write down the passage in phonetic spelling. Take your time sounding out each term and consult a dictionary to ensure you get the phonetic spelling right.
    • For example, an excerpt from Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls: “How little we know of what there is to know. I wish that I were going to live a long time instead of going to die today...”
    • If you write each sentence based on sound, it may look something like: “Hou lit-l wee noh ov wuht th er iz too noh. Ahy whesh th at ahy wur goh-ing too liv ey lawng tahym in-sted ov goh-ing too dahy tuh-dey…”
    • To write the sentence into IPA spelling, it will appear with more complicated symbols and terms: “Haw lɪtəl wi no əv wət ðɛr ɪz tu no. aj wɪʃ ðæt aj wər goɪŋ tu lajv ə lɒŋ tajm ɪnstɛd əv goɪŋ tu daj təde…”

Using Phonetic Programs and Software

  1. Access a phonetic keyboard. You can do this by downloading phonetic software onto your computer to help you translate words into phonetics. You can also use an online translator to translate words into phonetics.
    • There are also online tools available that allow you to type in phonetic symbols, making it easier to access the symbols needed to form IPA spellings.
  2. Listen to phonetic audio recordings. There are several examples of phonetic speech sounds available online, with a focus on specific words and terms.
    • There are also recordings that focus specifically on IPA spelling.
  3. Use an interactive phonetic program. Look for English language learning software that includes phonetic audio and spelling. Most software will have an interactive component, where you are given an audio example of a phonetic pronunciation and encouraged to copy or mimic it.
    • If you are using phonetic spelling to learn another language besides English, look for learning software for that language that includes a phonetic audio and spelling component.
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