Posts Tagged ‘phonetics’ phonetics website for learners of English


A very usable  Flash application on the IPA, covering the vowels, diacritics, diphthongs and triphthongs (displaying in linear animations – pictured above – how these more complex have to be altered over time during their production), and suprasegmentals.


How to type phonetic symbols on a computer

2013/11/16 2 comments
  1. Web-based On-screen-keyboards (point-and-click; low learning curve, but no fast typing speed; typing into a textbox from where you can copy/paste the result into other programs):
    1. Sounds are systematically organized. Suitable for learners, but also good for teacher demonstrations. image
    2. Partially based on keyboard shortcuts: image
      1. Other than the English version, the full version includes non-English sounds. The interface is optimized for fast typing (sorted by keyboard key). Presumably better for teachers using a screen projector as a whiteboard. image
      2. (reviewed here earlier): imageimage
      3. Update: Richard Ishida’s seems also impressive,
        1. image
        2. and you can use phonetics terminology to get characters selected, like so: image
  2. Windows-based:
    1. MS-Windows keyboard layout. May be good for even faster typing, if you can memorize the keyboard layout or add keyboard stickers (we unfortunately have too many languages vying for our hardware keyboard space already). Requires download & installation (may be added to the LRC keyboards during next imaging if we receive enough requests).
    3. If you are use to the ALT+### method of entering characters and are still on XP, this may be for you: You can generate your own keyboard shortcuts for phonetic characters.
    4. MS-Word:
      1. Allows to select IPA-Symbols from a toolbar. Untested.
  3. There are also always X-Sampa and CXS and ASCII-IPA: ways of writing IPA in plain ASCII messages  – but yet another thing to teach novices in phonetics may be a bridge too far.

Wacom Bamboo Tablet enables Teacher to draw characters for class

  1. We set up one of the Wacom Tablets which we have used for Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja  practice in our student group rooms, at the LRC teacher station. Benefit:
    1. drawing characters where typing (including with IMEs) is not a satisfactory option. This includes
      1. IPA
        1. I noticed phonetics teachers making heavy use of the whiteboard and document camera/projector to transcribe.
        2. We tested a Phonetics keyboard, but remembering your keyboard shortcuts has a learning curve;
        3. Besides, the keyboard is currently not user-switchable.
      2. stroke-order demonstration for East-Asian languages.
    2. Unlike the document camera, the Wacom could be set up at the teacher station – no need to move to the other end of the room, and works without need for the video switch we consider replacing.
    3. To use, you can 
      1. e.g. start MS-paint (click start-button, “Run”, type “mspaint”, click “OK”)),
      2. select the “pencil” menu icon to the right of the center here: image ,
      3. remove the pen from pouch on the side of the wacom tablet next to the keyboard,
      4. draw digitally with the pen tip (soft),
      5. select the “eraser”menu icon to the right of the center here: image
      6. turn the pen and rub to digitally erase (or “select all”and press the “del” key), 
      7. finally save the drawing, if you want to reuse it or share it with students (e.g. using the Sanako playlist ).
    4. To change settings, go to the control panel (click start-button, “Run”, type “control”, click “OK”and start the Wacom Bamboo Control Panel Applet,
      1. if you do not like the Wacom tablet input panel being set to represent the entire left screen that is visible to students on the projector.
      2. if you are not right-handed,
      3. etc.

Freely downloadable samples from the IPA Phonetics Handbook

  1. This handbook provides audio pronunciation samples (in WAV) for many different languages. While they are more useful in conjunction with the book, they also can be searched by filename (= the pronounced word in English translation).
  2. We make these file accessible in the LRC on the Sanako share (S:\COAS\LCS\LRC\media\TUTOR\phonetics\ipa-phonetics-handbook\). Here are the languages included:.
    1. American-English
    2. Amharic
    3. Arabic
    4. Bulgarian
    5. Cantonese
    6. Catalan
    7. Croatian
    8. Czech
    9. Dutch
    10. French
    11. Galician
    12. German
    13. Hausa
    14. Hebrew
    15. Hindi
    16. Hungarian
    17. Igbo
    18. Irish
    19. Japanese
    20. Korean
    21. Persian
    22. Portuguese
    23. Sindhi
    24. Slovene
    25. Swedish
    26. Thai
    27. Turkish

Cheatsheet for typing phonetic symbols with the IPA Keyboard Layout on Windows 7 – the ultimate training…

…using animated .gifs. Slower? Compact: 0.25sec, 0.5sec, 0.75sec, 1sec, 1.5sec, 2sec, 3sec, 4sec, 5sec, 6sec, 7sec, 8sec, 9sec, 10sec.

This is taken straight from the great documentation of this great Phonetic symbols Windows keyboard layout by SILS international, but needed a bit of massaging to support hands-free lookup via display on one screen of your dual screen system, while you learn or demo the keyboard to the class).  Users without dual screen (including students) are better off with the slideshow below in which they can stop the images on any page:

View album

View album

View album

The IPA MSKLC can produce both regular Roman characters and transcriptions with phonetic symbols by employing certain “dead keys”  that can be combined with regular keys. Just and like our default LRC keyboard us-international .

Your first must select the keyboard like so. image (Icelandic is suitable since it is not used for other purposes much).  In the LRC, you must wait until we upgrade to Windows7.

Web-based Greek to Roman characters transliteration using Greeklish community provides free phonetic transcription tables with sounds and exercises

  1. This is looking good, but …
    1. There seem to be some coding issues, I am getting server errors 500 after registering.
    2. The site is advertisement-based.
    3. There is no content beyond the IPA sound which would put these bare basics in phonetics into language learning context and practice.
  2. Site Contains:
    1. tables for teaching your language – complete with phonetic symbols and sound samples image
    2. and exercises for your students  (e.g. Memory games, Identifying characters imageimageimageimage, places, image and sounds.
  3. You can
    1. Create your own, after free registration,
    2. or assign one of the ones from many other teachers.
      1. Most popular ones are listed here:, and if the use numbers are accurate, there must be really some serious IPA learning going on here…
      2. I see no way to browse other tables without having the username of the teacher who created and assigned it.
  4. There is also a phonetic writer.
  5. And a user forum, in its infancy. phonetics website for learners of English, German and Spanish

Hone your foreign language pronunciation skills by learning about phonetics: This oft-recommended University of Iowa phonetics website “contains animated libraries of the phonetic sounds (….)  for each consonant and vowel”, including “an animated articulatory diagram, a step-by-step description, and video-audio of the sound spoken in context”.