What is phonetics transcription? [ FULL list of sounds/signs]


English is one of the main languages in the world, more than 500 million people consider it their native language, and the same number speak it to a greater or lesser extent.

Starting to learn English, first of all, we are faced with mastering the vocabulary of the language, its grammar and, of course, pronunciation. How to read a word correctly, especially if its spelling is clearly different from the sound designation?

Transcription will help you with this. And what is transcription, its designation and ways of reading, you will learn from our article. After carefully studying it, you can easily pronounce even the most difficult words, as well as use the dictionary and educational materials where it is widely used.

What is phonetics transcription?

If we take a scientific definition, then this is a system for recording signs and the rules for their combination, which are designed to record the correct pronunciation of a word. That is, in fact, we write one thing, but in sound we get something completely different. Having learned the signs of English transcription, as well as the basic letter combinations, you can easily master any text written in English. Indeed, in English language, words are often written quite differently than they are pronounced, and sometimes it is simply necessary to memorize their correct reading in order to avoid mistakes in the future.

Phonetics symbols and rules for reading them

To convey the correct pronunciation of English words, a phonetic alphabet was invented, in which sounds are indicated by special phonetic signs. Keep in mind, despite the fact that there are 26 letters in the English language, there are as many as 44 sounds in it.

Therefore, for the best assimilation of the language, close attention should be paid to them. In general, the transmission of pronunciation exists in any language, therefore, various signs are used not only for the English language.

This is very convenient, given that the rules are quite standard, and by carefully remembering them, you can convey the sounds of absolutely any language unit. Knowing what transcription is in general, let's start studying it. The following are the rules for reading vowels, two-vowels and consonants.

Reading vowels correctly

I ː is a long, stressed vowel "and", for example: tea, sea;
ɪ - short and unstressed (but sometimes it can be stressed) sound between "i" and "ы", examples - bit, business;
æ - pronounced as a clear and percussive sound, similar to something in between "a" and "e", for example: cat, rat;
ɑ ː - long and deep sound "a", examples - car, heart;
ɔ ː - also a long and open sound "o", read the words sort, board;
ʊ - a very short sound "y", for example: put, could;
u ː - on the contrary, a long, slightly softened sound "u", for example - fool, shoes;
ʌ - sounding closer to the percussive sound "a", for example: up, couple;
ɜ ː - a little long sound between "e" and "o", read - her, turn;
ə - a short, not quite intelligible sound "a", in the words until, alias;
e - slightly softened sound "e", for example: bed, head;
ɒ - a sound similar to something between "o" and "a", in the words rock, body.

Rules for reading two-vowel sounds (diphthongs)

- slightly softened "hey", for example: tray, make;
- read as just "ay", in the words sky, buy, and so on;
ɔɪ - pronounced like "oh", for example: joy, boy;
ɪ ə - something between "ie" and "iy", for example: fear, here;
- the sound "ea", where the last "a" is unstressed, in the words hair, there, and so on;
ʊ ə - a long sound "y", at the end of which an indistinct "a" is heard, for example: tour, poor;
a ʊ - a slightly softened sound "ay", in the words trousers, hour;
əʊ - also a little soft "oh", like joke, go.

Reading consonants

p - clear, energetic sound "p", examples - parking, open;
b - also a clear "b", in the layers board, abandon;
t - the sound "t", but when pronouncing it, we set the language a little higher than when pronouncing a similar sound, for example: trunk, receipt;
d - clear "d", in the words add, advertising;
k - sound "k", in words such as cord, school;
g - pronounced for example in: grace, agree;
- again a slightly softened sound "h", in the words chance, catch;
- a strong, percussive sound between "h" and "zh", usually it is transmitted as Jon, Jackson, for example: jungle, logic;
f - for example: fool, enough;
v - read as just "
θ - a rather difficult sound to pronounce, try to lightly hold your tongue between your teeth and say "s" or "f", for example: thanks, ethnic;
ð - the pronunciation rule is the same as for the previous sound, try to pronounce with the voice "h" or "v", for example: there, this;
s - in the words sunday, east;
z - for example: zebra, resign;
ʃ - also close to the "sh", only a little softer, in the words shine, action;
ʒ - just a soft sound "g", for example: visual, usual;
h - the sound "x", pronounced audibly on the exhale, for example: head, hill;
m - just the sound "m", for example: mother, mouse;
n - is pronounced almost the same as "ŋ", only we raise the tongue a little higher to the sky, in the words note, knowledge;
ŋ - the sound "n", clearly pronounced "on the nose", for example sing, reading
l - similar "l", but not soft or hard, but rather something in between, for example: laughter, legal;
r - the sound of meju "r" and "l", moreover, softened, in the words random, order;
j - a sound very close to the "y", for example: yet, you;
w is a short sound pronounced between "u" and "v", in the words what, where, one.

These were the main signs of the transmission of English pronunciation. Having carefully studied them and already knowing what transcription is, now you can read any English word without much difficulty.