I have read this question and answers titled "How can I learn IPA?" and now start to (finally) learn IPA and phonetics.

However, while the question asks about the way to learn the IPA, which focuses on how to understand the IPA and its symbols, I still don't understand how I can make sure if my pronunciation based on the IPA is correct (or more precisely, how correct/close enough my pronunciation is, and if it is not correct, in what part (tongue position, lip position, etc) should I correct it).

This is especially so if the number of sounds in my native language is fewer than that of my target language, in which case I cannot make sure if my pronunciation is correct since I cannot tell apart those similar yet different sounds in my ears. For example, it is very difficult if what I tried pronouncing is [ɔ] but actually sounds like [ɛ] or [ɑ] or [œ] or [ɛ] or [ɑ̃] or [ɔ̃] or [ɛ̃] or ... all the while in my native language the similar sound only exists in [a] and [e] and have no nasal sound. For me some of these sounds look like the same.

So, how can check if my pronunciation is correct?

  • IPA is not really a good measure because it often doesn't reflect natural phonological processes in a language.
    – erip
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming that you don't have a native speaker to assist you and you want to do this online. If that is the case, I have the following suggestion-

  1. Find an internet sound file with the pronunciation.
  2. Record yourself pronouncing the same word or sound.
  3. Listen to them both and compare what you hear.

You may also let someone else listen to both so that they can give you feedback as well.

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