How the IPA can help you to master clear pronunciation


The English language has many particularities regarding its pronunciation features. For example, you could have a junction of two vowel sounds producing an entirely different composed sound. We can have an intrusive /r/ are sound, other phenes such as Ellison, assimilation of words.

Because of this, it is imperative to understand the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). In this blog post, we will discuss some of its aspects and why it is essential to study the IPA.

English diaprahs and diphthongs

The combination of consonants can generate a new sound which is represented by digraphs. For example, These are two characters that denote a sound:

gh [g] - Ghost - /ɡəʊst/

ph [f] - Photos - /ˈfəʊ.təʊ/

sh [ʃ] - shine - /ʃaɪn/

th [θ] - think - /θɪŋk/

сh [tʃ] - chess /tʃes/

Each letter has its sound, but as said before, the combination of vowels can generate a new sound, the so-called diphthongs - vowels passing through each other is: [e] - bread /bred/; friend /frend/; [ai] - again /əˈɡen/, and au - ɑ - autumn /ˈɑː.t̬əm/

It should be noted that digraphs and diphthongs are read differently depending on which part of the word is in. For example, GH is not pronounced in the middle of the word: light (light), and it sometimes sounds like "f" at the end: enough [ı'nʌf] (enough); oo moon, short u: good (good), as in a short [ʌ], "a Similar to ": blood (blood), but with an "r" it is pretty different, as in ["]: poor (poor).

Because of all of these possible combinations, and believe m, it is imperative to learn a tool that can help you manage search dedicated sound connections.

Why is it important to learn the transcription of words in English?

Transcription of English words is a visual record of how a word sounds employing a sequence of letters or related characters of the English alphabet.

The fact is that, unlike Russian and Ukrainian languages, where most letters in words consistently denote the same sound, in the English language, similar letters, which may also appear in the same word, will be read differently.

For example, the English letter "C" can be read as both "C" and "K" in various situations. And the English letter "u" can be read as both "a" and "u." Likewise, in different words, the English letter "a" can be transmitted as "a," and "he," and as "e." And that's not all - the situation is similar to other letters of the English language.

Therefore, to read a new English word correctly, remember it, and apply it in practice, you need to learn the rules of transcription of English words only like this. Learning English from English will be effective and productive.

Learn the transcription of English words

Of course, it would be foolish to say that after spending 15 minutes learning the rules of transcription, you will be able to read and comprehend English words on your own and still pronounce them correctly.

Of course, it isn't. And you will have to spend more time on transcription and not immediately rush to apply the knowledge gained. At first, difficulties and mistakes are not excluded, but they will become less and less each time. This will take some time, and you will also be able to independently (record by ear) the transcription of words.

Where and how to learn the transcription of English and its words?

Of course, in the modern world, there are all conditions for the acquisition of any knowledge. You can even do self-study with a mountain of teaching aids.

However, as practice shows, the learning process is much easier in the presence of "live" personal contact, a mentor in teaching, and a structured educational approach. Therefore, if you want to engage in language learning most effectively, we recommend enrolling in English courses.

Thus, you can get correctly arranged data for the best perception and memorization, and support at all stages of training. This approach is also good because it is on courses that learn English the fastest.

International Phonetic Alphabet - stress notation

Designed and maintained by International Phonetic Association IPA. The characters for the IPA were chosen to harmonize with the Latin alphabet. Therefore, most of the characters are letters of the Latin and Greek alphabets or their modifications. Several British dictionaries, including study dictionaries such as theOxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, now use the International Phonetic Alphabet to express the pronunciation of words.

However, most American publications (and some British ones) use their designations, which are considered more intuitive to readers unfamiliar with IPA.

The colon after the sign means that the sound is long, and you need to pronounce it a little longer. There are two types of stress in English dictionaries, primary and secondary, placed before the stressed syllable. For example, in transcription, the primary stress is placed on top - [Kkk ʹ Kk], and the secondary [Kk].

Both types of stress are used in polysyllabic and compound words. It is also noteworthy that there are rules under which certain sounds and letters are not pronounced. In transcription, they are placed in parentheses - [.. (..) ..].


Undoubtedly the transcription of the English understudy is very dull. But, after all, this is a set of symbols that you need to remember, as they say, "by heart."

Therefore, this process does not cause much enthusiasm for the majority of the students. Some even prefer to give up on the idea of ​​studying this critical aspect - transcription looks too dull and not too demanding of practice in the eyes of many.

However, believe me, if you still decide and devote some of your time to this topic, you will understand how well you did it. In fact, in this case, it will be much easier to learn the English language, if only because knowledge of transcription will make it easier for you to understand new words.