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15

Getting fluent in the full range of IPA is overkill for the most practical purposes (essentially, you only need it for phonetic transcription or documentation of unwritten languages/dialects). Instead, concentrate on the subset of IPA used in the target language you want to learn. Langenscheidt dictionaries come with handy tables in the front matter of the ...


10

Learning IPA is useful if you want to learn the pronunciation of words from a dictionary. However, IPA is less useful in the following cases (non-exhaustive list): You are using dictionaries that use an alternative phonetic transcription system (e.g. the Encarta World English Dictionary used a different system). You are learning a language with a very ...


9

As with most subjects, taking a class or receiving private tutoring is probably best. A course in phonetics will teach you not only the International Phonetic Alphabet itself but enough information to know how to use that alphabet correctly. This free online course from MIT, called "Phonology", is actually a phonetics and phonology course and covers the IPA. ...


8

The only phonetic alphabet I know of that is comparable to IPA in universality and language coverage is X-SAMPA. The advantage of X-SAMPA compared to IPA, is that it contains only ASCII characters and is therefore easy to type. The disvantage of X-SAMPA is that it's harder to read, and there are definitely much fewer people who read it fluently than those ...


8

While the IPA is an invaluable tool for English even if you're a native speaker, in languages spelled phonetically it's mostly useful for the initial stages and there's no reason to keep using IPA once you learn the rules. Being able to read IPA was useful for me when studying French, because it has a lot of vowels and the rules can get complicated to ...


5

IPA is a wonderful tool once you become familiar with it, but before that happens, it often feels like reading mathematical formulas or a different script. It is important for you to introduce IPA slowly and in a way that is immediately useful. Mark Hancock, On Using the Phonemic Script in Language Teaching, tested the efficacy of using IPA to teach English ...


5

Few languages are 100% phonetic. Even Spanish has oddities in a few foreign words which retain their foreign spelling, words from indigenous American languages, etc. Also letters have subtle differences in their pronunciation between languages and even how they sound before or after certain other letters or sounds. IPA can render both phonemic (broad) and ...


5

IPA is the best choice for pronunciation transcription. IPA has a long history of development (since 1886) and represents best scientific practice. This means the system is concise, unambiguous and accepted word wide. Currently IPA is maintained by International Phonetic Association and described in book Handbook of the IPA. Unfortunately quality of ...


3

For those who know German, there is an unusual set of books by Vera F. Birkenbihl and Jan Müller: Vera F. Birkenbihl & Jan Müller: Das Falschschreib-Spiel fonetix: Wir schreiben ohne Regeln frei nach Gehör. Alfa-Veda-Verlag, 2005; fourth printing 2014. ISBN 978-3945004104. This book was originally published as a supplement to Trotzdem LEHREN (Gabal, ...


3

Learning IPA takes some time. If you plan to learn only one language that is mostly phonetic, it may be better to learn the sounds of the letter's combinations with examples from your source language, without bothering with new symbols of IPA (although that's risky, because you might end up with bad habits; trying to imitate native speakers is almost always ...


3

After several attempts to find the type of online service you are looking for, I concluded that such a resources was unlikely to exist. (However, see the end of my response.) There are several reasons for this: The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is used to render speech sounds, and any transcriptions or transliterations between standard spelling to ...


3

@Myridium already has some useful info there - I'd like to add that deaf or not, people can feel where there tongue is, and feel / see in a mirror the shape of there mouth, and the way air flow is being blocked, released or modulated. So I (personally) would argue that in principle you could / should be able to teach the different sounds / phonemes used in ...


2

My experience with the Perso-Arabic (Arabic and Persian) and Hebrew alphabets tells me that you don't need IPA. Romanization/transliteration in a consistent way is perfectly good. The romanization should of course be combined with native audio of the same text, in order to confirm proper pronunciation. And it's much easier, for the average person, to look at ...


1

IPA is a relatively new tool, and historically many people successfully learned a foreign language without it. It's obviously very useful for linguists but not necessary for learners. When I started learning English as a Polish kid we didn't have IPA (even though it obviously existed). English pronunciation was approximated by Polish spelling with few ...


1

The fix is studying the IPA chart in depth. Once you do it, you'll be able to differentiate the sounds without doubts. "A practical introduction to phonetics" by John C. Catford is a very short and simple book that should give you the training you require.


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- Find an internet sound file with the pronunciation. Record yourself pronouncing the same word or sound. Listen to them both and compare what you hear. You may also let someone else listen to both so that they ...


1

For IPA for English text, there is also online IPA transcription tool https://tophonetics.com/ (formerly Lingorado.com, and also available on smarttphone) which generates IPA transcripts in multiple formats. Based on open-source Carnegie Mellon University Pronouncing Dictionary which is non-IPA, but fully ASCII (which has its own benefits).


1

If you are looking for a tool that converts text into API, the open source speech synthesizer eSpeak does this for a number of languages. Of course, some languages are better supported than English. You will need to use eSpeak on the command line. For example, if your version of eSpeak is installed on MS Windows in C:\Program Files\eSpeak, the program you ...


1

I am a bit sceptical about the use of MRI images in classrooms. It is true they can dispel some misconceptions about what the speech organs do; this seems to be the lesson from the images of clarinetist Ray Wheeler's while playing. However, these images don't look clear enough to see things such where and how the tongue touches the area behind the teeth, ...


1

Hard work is seldom done easily. I don't know of any commercially available computer program that will transliterate the IPA of one language into the IPA of another. However, that being said, there is a computer program that will transliterate the IPA of a source alphabet to any target alphabet of your choosing -- but, you will have to write that sort of ...


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