Help talk:IPA/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Diphthongs in various languages

A link was added to Dipthong#Diphthongs in various languages . Although in itself a good link, I think it does not belong here. We should not link from WP-space to article-space. Also, this page is not about languages and what phonemes and allophones they contain, but about the IPA symbols. −Woodstone (talk) 17:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Rendering problem

I've discovered that in my version of Firefox, where the IPA "g" symbol (ɡ) follows the IPA primary stress symbol (ˈ) it changes into a gamma: ˈɡ. Anyone else seeing this? Anyone know why?--Kotniski (talk) 12:20, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm seeing everything all right in Firefox 3.0.6, in IE8, Google Chrome and Safari, although in the last all g's are very curly and difficult to see. −Woodstone (talk) 17:29, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
It's Firefox 3.0.8 that's giving me the gamma.--Kotniski (talk) 17:37, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Still ok after upgrading to Firefox 3.0.8. − (talk) 19:59, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Discovered the problem - or at least where it's discussed - see WT:IPA for English.--Kotniski (talk) 07:28, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Page location

This page and other IPA-help pages have been moved from the help namespace to the Wikipedia namespace on August 9, 2008, but I think the help namespace is more appropriate. The Wikipedia namespace is supposed to provide information exclusively about the project, not general information. Also, as per other language help pages like Help:Japanese. Mxipp (talk) 22:20, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, it's a bit mixed up. There are plenty of help-type pages in Wikipedia space (WP:FAQ and its subpages, to take an example). And many pages in help space are actually highly technical documents which are unlikely ever to help anyone, especially ordinary users. It might be a good idea to have two separate namespaces for strictly defined purposes (for example, one with help for editors and the other with help for readers), but it's a very wide problem, and moving a few pages around here and there won't help to solve it unless we have an overall strategy.--Kotniski (talk) 07:33, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Merge proposal

I find it very confusing that we have two separate pages, Wikipedia:International Phonetic Alphabet and Wikipedia:IPA. I therefore propose that Wikipedia:International Phonetic Alphabet (which is quite short) be merged here. What do other people think? —Angr 05:26, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. Wikipedia:International Phonetic Alphabet was moved from Mainspace:Voiced velar plosive in 2006 and barely edited after that. Good find, Angr. Synchronism (talk) 05:46, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:International Phonetic Alphabet seems to have a rather specific purpose - telling people what fonts to install if they see rubbish. An alternative to merging might be to rename that page to something more accurate, and to link to it from this one. (In fact, and I know this is boring since they've already been moved multiple times, I would change the names of all these IPA pages, to something like WP:Pronunciation key (for ...). That would be understandable to everyone - most readers probably don't know what IPA means, they just want to know what sounds these symbols stand for.)--Kotniski (talk) 07:26, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not just a "pronunciation key", but also a "transcription key". It is supposed to regularise the way editors apply IPA to English in wikipedia, for the benefit of a consistent user experience. −Woodstone (talk) 08:56, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I still think merging Wikipedia:International Phonetic Alphabet here is a good idea, but its contents should be at the bottom under a separate heading like ==Rendering issues== or the like. —Angr 09:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would be appropriate. This is where the IPA templates bring people, so this is where we should cover rendering issues. kwami (talk) 09:17, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
No objections in a week, so I've effected the merger. —Angr 14:17, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Rendering problem g

On my mac ɡ looks like a closed g, smaller and anti-aliased with lots of space around it. It Looks real stupid. Perhaps we should have a solution that is more browser independent? The small latin g was fine before. We should change it back. --Knulclunk (talk) 22:45, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree, that particular character has wide-spread rendering issues. It should be changed to the normal Latin g. (talk) 18:09, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

This is just dumb...

Using the IPA system is stupid. Why can't we just spell out the pronunciations phonetically? No one except those with knowledge of the IPA system (i.e. almost no one) understand what it means. Having to resort to looking at complex key is just illogical. Why type "'ʤallo" when I can type "gee-al-oh"? I feel like Wikipedia would rather be super proper and correct than convenient and user friendly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, your example is a perfect case in point in favor of the IPA: "gee-al-oh" is ambiguous at many levels: is the "g" hard as in get or soft as in giant? Is "ee" pronounced as in "bee" or as in "negligee"? Is the "a" pronounced as in "pal" or as in "hall"? Is the "h" at the end pronounced or silent? By using IPA (which actually rather a lot of people outside North America can read since schoolchildren learn it Europe when they're learning English, and since it's used by all major British dictionaries) we can keep transcriptions unambiguous. —Angr 06:43, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, if it were the soft "g" I would just put "g", the double "e" makes it soft. Also, I would say "ay" if it were like "negligee". I don't see why we should appeal to just the Europeans, when both Europeans AND Americans would be able to read a phonetic translation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

We already have a phonetic transcription. We're not appealing to Europeans, we're using a universal phonetic alphabet that is accessible to anyone who's had a decent education. We also have a key for sound-alike transcriptions, but that must remain secondary. kwami (talk) 17:26, 1 May 2009 (UTC) makes a very good point. The vast majority of users will not be able to decipher the key. kwami says: "we're using a universal phonetic alphabet that is accessible to anyone who's had a decent education". Even if that were true (which it most defiantly is not), it's still not good enough. The spirit of Wikipedia is inclusiveness. Simple, basic information (like how to pronounce a freaking name, for example) should be available to the masses, and not just those of us who were lucky enough to be able to afford a decent college. The reality, of course, is that even people people who did go to college cannot interpret the IPA code. It's based on Latin, for crying out loud.

At the same time, it is important that we use a more exacting key than simple phonetics. Phonetics is not strict enough to provide an "air tight" interpretation. While it's true that almost anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the English language would know that "gee-al-oh" had a soft "g", and that the "ee" was pronounced as it is in "bee" and not "negligee" (an obvious exception to the "ee" rule) - there are certain people out there who have been so educated that they are no longer able to distinguish the common from the exotic. We mustn't neglect the overly-educated, for they, too, have a place in our society. They are, in fact, the very backbone of the Wikipedia itself.

But what to do? How do we solve this dilemma? How do we make the translation key accessible to the not-so-educated (ditch diggers / bus drivers / office managers / ex-Presidents / etc.) while also making it strict enough to satisfy the kind of people who created the IPA key in the first place (doctors / linguists / grad students / people who used to be grad students but now have a job which is not very challenging, so they get on Wikipedia and make long, drawn-out arguments just to prove to themselves that they can still make a decent argument / ex-Presidents)?


Here's an idea: Why not have both? Why not present TWO keys? The first one would be phonetic (for the 3 or 4 of us who are not so well-versed in IPA code that we do not know that ˈdʒɔrdʒ ˈwɔːkər ˈbʊʃ = George W Bush).

The second would use the IPA translation, and would be there for those who need an exact, no wiggle-room, I-could-argue-the-pronunciation-of-this-word-in-front-of-the-supreme-court type of interpretation.

There. Problem solved. Was that so hard? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

This is already provided for. There are actually three transcription systems in use. And again, the IPA is phonetic. kwami (talk) 08:47, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Ok, Kwami. I believe you. I'm sure that you are much better at navigating this "Wikipedia" thing than I, so, if you say there is a phonetic translation that is readily available, then far be it from me to jump up and down like an angry gorilla and call you a liar.

The mystery, however, is: where, exactly, are these phonetic translations of which you speak? I can't seem to locate them. I've examined several WP pages, and have yet to spot such a device.

Take the page [1], for example. I see the IPA translation (pronounced /bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə ðə ˈsɛk.ənd/ (deprecated template)), but do not see a single "Buh-ROCK hoo-SANE oh-BAH-mah".

Here, Kwami (or anyone else who wants to get in on the action), do this: instead of getting defensive and tossing out some vague retort, you might rub your chin a few times and actually consider the argument that is being made. Hey, look - if you're completely committed to the notion that those who do not know how to translate IPA are an insignificant minority, then, please, by all means, go with it. More power to you. Rebel Yell.

If, however, you are able to recognize that common users just aren't that familiar with complex coding systems, then you might be inclined to try to make the WP more balanced and accessible. I'm just tossing out ideas, here.

As for the IPA being "phonetic" - let's be clear. It's phonetic in Latin. Let's not get into semantic disputes over meaningless technicalities. You KNOW what I'm saying.

You aren't saying anything I haven't said myself numerous times, several on this very page. Check the links in the last entry below.
The IPA isn't phonetic "in Latin" any more than this conversation is "in Latin" just because we're using the Latin alphabet. Your definition of the word "phonetic" appears to be what you learned in school. Problem is, people who went to different schools learned different systems. kwami (talk) 11:40, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Kwami, you point isn't good enough. I have a decent education (with a speciality for English language and Psychology; which I am studying for my BSc in) but I do not know IPA; it is a ridiculous system on an English language wikipedia. If this was an international language wiki you would have a point but as this is an English language wiki, you don't. Hardly anyone, save a small minority, in the English speaking world know IPA!

And you can forget your WASP-ish phantasy that only the non-educated know IPA. And negligee should be spelt négligée and it certainly is not phonetic! Phonetically it should be Neg-lee-shay; it is easy enough to render.The Mummy (talk) 15:42, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

This is an international language wiki. English is an international language. What exactly are you arguing for, again? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 17:47, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
He's arguing for an ambiguous system that only people with his educational background will be able to understand. kwami (talk) 23:38, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
No, he's arguing that you include a key that will cover people who can't understand IPA, you know, like most of the United States. If people in the UK can't understand the US phonetics, well, there's the IPA that's already in there to begin with. He's just asking that we add the standard (it is standard, doesn't change much or at all from dictionary to dictionary) phonetics that most people in the US are accustomed to. And I would point out that you are arguing for the same thing: a complex system that only people with your educational background will understand. Lime in the Coconut 16:51, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Most of those who are not signing in anonymously are all correct. IPA is the only internationally agreed on system that works and other "common sense" transcriptions are always welcome to make articles more user friendly. Articles should freely include "common sense" transcriptions, but need to always include IPA transcriptions. The example of [ʤallo] is perfect in illustrating why these "common sense" transcriptions are inadequate. It is not pronounced "gee-al-oh"—there is no "ee" in [ʤallo] and the "l" must be lengthened. Good luck rendering this in a "common sense" mode. And no, Mummy, negligée is not pronounced Neg-lee-shay—more proof that these things are not "easy enough to render". Furthermore, it does not require a great education to learn IPA. In Europe, kids are taught the IPA in first grade. It should only take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the system. From there, if you bookmark the table and look up the key each time you want to know a pronunciation, you will probably find yourself familiar with the system in no time at all. (I find I have to constantly consult pronunciation keys in American dictionaries. It is really no different.) The full IPA set may be complex, but the average user only needs to know a very small part of the IPA. --seberle (talk) 15:18, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Well I guess your argument that it should be easy because it's taught to you in first grade (before you have hardly any vocabulary and no knowledge of spelling) makes sense. It's taught in colleges in linguistics classes here - not mentioned at all in public school. Also, I count 153 IPA characters on this article's page, and it mentions right up front that there are many more that are rarely used and not included on the page. There are about 50 in an average American dictionary. It's not a matter of just learning the extra symbols as well, you'd have to learn all 150+, and with no one to tell you if it's right/wrong (this isn't a classroom, it's the internet) it's not possible to simply study the list of IPA characters for a few minutes or bookmark it for a quick reference. You even say yourself that you have to "constantly consult pronunciation keys in American dictionaries". Well we have 1/3 the number of symbols, and you claim to have the same degree of dificulty? It's basically learning a new language, something that isn't done by glancing over a page on wikipedia. Your examples of how the previous poster's pronunciations fall short only highlights the impossibility of a non-native speaker to read and produce sounds from a foriegn language. You can't pronounce a sound you've never heard, especially if you can't read the symbology. And since the audio files are .ogg, hardly anybody can access them. It isn't easy it is to learn a new language with foriegn characters and no audio clues.
I guess I'm just saying that both should be included. If in 50 years we all use IPA, great. But I don't see it changing anytime soon, and as such, any American who isn't a linguistics professor is going to have to either learn IPA on their own or visit a different website to figure out how something is pronounced. Lime in the Coconut 16:51, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
You're comparing two different things. If you're going to compare dictionary pronunciations to anything, it would be what's listed at WP:IPA for English since dictionaries don't set out to indicate the pronunciation of the sounds that the IPA does. I'm counting a lot fewer characters there. For English pronunciations, we do allow both the IPA and a more intuitive (for American speakers, right?) pronunciation guide. However, anything but the IPA is inappropriate for non-English languages. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 22:20, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. The WP:IPA for English may have fewer characters than the full IPA but they aren't different characters, they are still not understandable to American English speakers. It's the vowels that are most confusing, though there are even a few consonants that are either alien or misleading (like "j" for the y in yes). I'm only talking about the webpage, but I do think foreign words on this page should have both the IPA and the respelling. If anything, the fact that it's a foreign word means that it's more likely to need a respelling because american readers won't know where to begin. I know that respelling is "allowed", but I think it should be almost "mandatory" or at least there should be an effort to add a respelling to pages that only have IPA. If there's an easy way to do this, I'll start doing it ASAP on the pages I visit. I'm not saying IPA is bad or needs to be scrapped, just that it's not useful for a whole lot of people, and as such, we should try to accomodate them by including respellings as a common practice. Lime in the Coconut 14:45, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
It's inherently impossible to represent non-English words in an English respelling system, since they involve sounds which do not exist in English. Respelling can only be used for words conforming to English phonology. —Emil J. 17:29, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I was responding to "It's not a matter of just learning the extra symbols as well, you'd have to learn all 150+..." I'll reiterate. You don't have to learn all 150 for English pronunciation. Because American dictionaries only cover English pronunciation, it's an apples-oranges issue to say that the IPA is more complicated because it has more characters.
Expanding on Emil's point, if we were to use English spelling to represent non-English words, then we would be removing the phonetic and phonemic particularities of the language being represented. This might seem moot for words like Spanish cilantro (thee-LAN-tro) but what about languages like Chinese that have tonal systems? What about languages like Hindi that have retroflex consonants or languages like Arabic that make contrasts between consonants with and without pharyngeal constriction? Outside of using IPA, there are two possibilities given these difficulties: either we come up with a system (or systems) that's just as complicated as the IPA and takes just as much learning or we reduce foreign pronunciations to this-is-what-it-sounds-like-to-English-ears approximations. Neither option seems particularly good.
FWIW, we have a growing number of IPA help pages for specific languages, some of which do use English approximations to give people an idea of the pronunciation. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:49, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
That is a fair appraisal. I guess I'm mainly refering to the vowels, which in IPA have their own symbol. In most American dictionaries they use symbols like macrons to represent the way it's pronounced. Lime in the Coconut 19:24, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I see the point you are making, but I think it's almost a moot point. Non-native speakers aren't going to be able to pronounce the foreign IPA symbols anyway unless they learn the language or learn the foreign IPA in some other context. In that scenario it's a good idea(strictly IMO) to give the "this-is-what..." approximation. It's the best they are going to be able to pronounce the word unless they have linguistics training or they are bilingual. In any event, the IPA would still be there to clear up any misunderstanding. I say this is necessary for foreign words because most English words can be found in an American dictionary (usually online) with the approximate pronounciation. Foreign words usually aren't, and this is where most people would go on the internet to learn about them. Lime in the Coconut 19:24, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's true that speakers wishing to learn a foreign word's pronunciation are likely unfamiliar with both the IPA and that particular language. However, I don't think it's a good idea to package information in a manner that's so easily digestable that it becomes incorrect or so minimally informative as to be misleading; English respelling approximations of foreign words would do just this. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 04:30, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree that both systems should be in use, the problem comes from whoever has made the page either choosing not to put both pronunciation keys in or being too stuck in their ways to allow somebody else to put it in. Has a audio pronunciation key ever been proposed. This feature is available on merriam webster's online dictionary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I think its necessary to use the IPA; I'm only 13 and I understand it perfectly. In addition, without using the IPA we wouldn't be able to understand the difference between many sounds; for example, how could we communicate that Portuguese nh and lh are not just alveolar, or the n-y sound Americans commonly replace it with. I think its much easier to communicate with this alphabet that covers all sounds in all languages nearly flawlessly (I have found places that could use simplification by the International Phonetic Association). —Preceding unsigned comment added by FLANAGAN creto (talkcontribs) 04:59, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

The problem is a huge proportion of English speakers, not just in the US, have no familiarity with and understanding of the IPA. It was never used when I learned multiple languages at school in the UK in the 1980s & 1990s and even today it's not used much in the years when languages are compulsory. British dictionaries may include IPA characters but that doesn't mean the readership understands them - dictionaries here tend to include what the lexicographers think should be in them (a bit like Wikipedia articles including IPA because editors think it should be there) rather than what the reading public demand, and most people upon seeing the characters when looking up a word will just ignore them and get onto the definition. What I've particularly frustrating is when editors insist on completely replacing phonetic spellings with IPA, making things less helpful for many. Timrollpickering (talk) 10:59, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
On the one hand, you're saying that people don't pay attention to whatever system dictionaries use for pronunciation (which applies to any system; I never memorized any used in American dictionaries) yet also provide a "public demand" for a particular pronunciation system. I don't quite understand how both can be true. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 12:00, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
People seem to have this funny idea they actually can hear and say all these sounds without any training. This is simply not true. You can get an Irish person saying thirty for instance and an English one hearing twenty because the Irish one has pronounced the th as d and the English one can't tell the difference between w an r. Then just add the number of different types of r around for instance, and that's a more obvious case. The English speakers you talk of cannot do what you say, only other English speakers in their neighbourhood would be deluded enough to think what they say is an approximation of what's meant. Dmcq (talk) 11:12, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
This discussion has been had here many times before. None of the recent commenters appear to have any new thoughts to add, so nothing's going to change. rʨanaɢ (talk) 16:08, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Despite the massive number of complaints about IPA in Wikipedia, the reason that "nothing's going to change" is that the IPA Mafia has a closed mind (There are also a lot of "registered editor snobs" amongst them it seems). The very presence of the "This talk page has a tendency to attract repeated discussions of the same themes" tag is indicative of the problem. When so many people complain there is a problem that needs fixing. The tag at the top of this page fixes nothing. IPA is an antiquated notation invented for use in paper documents where linking to one or more sound files, or processing IPA through a text-to-speech engine, was not an option. This problem needs fixing even if it means blocking all the current IPA apologists. If this sounds harsh it is because I am fed up with reading rejection after rejection of any suggestion that IPA needs replacing. None of the alternatives are without their flaws, but none of them are as imperfect and inappropriate as IPA. (talk) 13:20, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
It appears to me that those arguing for the IPA don't seem to understand that Wikipedia is used as an information bank. Now imagine two people are arguing how to say 'homeopathy'; one says 'home-ee-oh-puh-thee' while the other insists on 'home-ee-owe-path-ee'. All they are given is this meaningless text (/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/ ), and they really don't want to find out how to say each different character. If one of them has learnt the IPA for some reason, the other will have no clue if they're actually translating the characters properly. Scenario two: They have a speech due tomorrow, and their specified subject is on Sigmund Freud. They realize that they have no idea how to say his name, and the first impression would be a bad one if he pronounced it wrong. Wikipedia, and he's greeted with [ˈziːkmʊnt ˈfʁɔʏt], and spends the next 30 minutes bulldozing through the huge list of symbols, worth 3 seconds of speech. He, like the first example, has wasted his time.
As I have just implied, the common users of Wikipedia who need help the most have NO time to learn the IPA as it will be of no use to them. Yes, SOME people have learnt the IPA, but they don't have as much need as those who want to know something, and know it NOW. This could be easily solved by putting (basic pronunciation: ... )after the IPA, intended as the base way to say the word, which would only be scorned at by relatives of grammar nazis; be honest. Your average person doesn't care about someone not holding an 'l' for half a second longer. I use the term 'grammar nazi' as a widespread informal term to specify the kind of people we are trying to argue against.
In short, we need an easy, handy, general pronunciation as well as the IPA. Note the word 'general', as in it's how you roughly say the word. If you saw 'eye-dee-oll-ah-jee', your average person wouldn't go "what if the 'eye' is said 'aye', 'dee' as 'daye', 'oll' as 'owe-l', 'ah' as 'aye' or 'jee' as 'jay' ". No, you do not know about the majority of the population, IPA nazi, because you simply aren't the majority of the users of Wikipedia. They're not picky.ChrisP (talk) 13:32, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
No, you don't understand that your preferred pronunciation scheme is not as widely understood as you think. You complain that /ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/ looks meaningless to you; to me, 'home-ee-oh-puh-thee' and 'home-ee-owe-path-ee' look meaningless (I can't tell how you intend for the two to be pronounced, although after looking for a while my best guess is you're trying to illustrate a difference between stress or no stress on <pa>). Regardless of what you seem to think, IPA characters have a universal and unambiguous meaning, whereas your transcription does not. To people other than you, your transcription is far less meaningful than the IPA one. rʨanaɢ (talk) 15:11, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Terribly sorry, I thought I wrote them differently. 'home-ee-owe-pah-thee' and 'home-ee-yoh-puh-thee' . Since I'm referring to articles in English, people with an understanding of English do get the difference; basing on monosyllabic words and where the particular group of letters is present in words, like 'ee-yoh' ('ee' as in 'sheep' and 'yoh' as in the 'o' in 'top') to 'ee-owe' ('ee' as in 'sheep' and 'owe', the word). I am saying that this would be good for people who want to know how to basically say the word, while the IPA is definitely needed for precision. It would help a casual reader to see the monosyllabic pronunciation, as well as the IPA. Universal as the IPA may be, simply splitting up the word into syllables then showing the pronunciation of each individual syllable is easier to read; /diˌɒksiˌraɪbɵ.njuːˌkleɪ.ɨk ˈæsɪd/ to (dee-oxe-ee-rye-boze-noo-clay-ick-ass-idd). Lengthy, but clearer. ChrisP (talk) 22:14, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Please disregard anything I have said, or anyone else on this matter. I'm surprised nobody brought up this . It is basically what I was saying, but definitely better. I think this means that this section can be ended, due to the fact that this already exists, and that there is no reason to get rid of the IPA. The only question I have is why did nobody bring it up? With apologies for using this as a debating forum, ChrisP (talk) 22:48, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Again, your suggestion doesn't tell me "how to basically say the word"; to me it looks quite ambiguous.
Regarding WP:Pronunciation respelling key, I believe that is linked (or at least mentioned) in the frequently-asked-question box at the top of this page, which I wish people would read before repeatedly raising this same issue. rʨanaɢ (talk) 01:42, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

IPA is an accepted, unambiguous standard. None of the other suggestions are. Chances are if you're truly pedantic enough to be concerned with the exact pronunciation of a word, IPA is helpful to you and you'll take the time to learn enough about it to use it. If you're not, then you'll guess at it, and the sun will come up tomorrow even if you're wrong. As it is, IPA's presence isn't doing any harm to those who dislike it, and it's helpful to those who do. Wikipedia also uses UTC for all of its times, and generally defaults to metric, both of which are meaningless to me, but they are standards and standards are important on a site like this. I see no reason to eliminate or supplant the IPA. We have spellings of words in the native writing system when it's not English. Should we eliminate those too, because you can't read them? (talk) 02:23, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

language-specific variants

There are times when it would be nice to have a link to an "IPA for X" key, but where saying "X pronunciation" would be awkward, such as just after a "lang-xx" template:

French: eau, French pronunciation: ​[o].

May I suggest moving these articles from "IPA-xx" to "pron-xx", get a bot to update the articles, then resurrect the by-then unused "IPA-xx" templates to display "IPA:", the way {{IPA-en}} does? That way we could get:

French: eau, IPA: [o],

as the MOS suggests, but with the link we want, without losing what we have now. kwami (talk) 06:55, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

So the only difference between what you've just put and the way you're proposing it is that the link would go to e.g. WP:IPA for French, right? That sounds like a good example. I think we already do something similar with Hebrew. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:24, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I just converted it manually. kwami (talk) 07:59, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Or we could start immediately by adding a parameter to the template to switch the lead string, like: {{IPA-fr|o|IPA}}. Perhaps even {{IPA-fr|o|}} (note the last bar) is implementable. Later clean-up by bot is then still possible. −Woodstone (talk) 08:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like a good solution. We wouldn't need to clean up by bot. We might also be able to get rid of the short Hebrew version. This would be especially useful for Russian, which frequently follows the cyrillic. On the other hand, it might be more convenient to not have to add another parameter that needs to be typed. ?? (Looking at Czech, though, there are very few cases where we'd need the switch, so there's little inconvenience there.) But I like your idea. Can you add the code to see how it works? kwami (talk) 08:55, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

First try is in: (now modified)

  • {{IPA-fr|abc}}French pronunciation: ​[abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|IPA}}IPA: [abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|}}[abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|anything else}}French pronunciation: [abc]

Woodstone (talk) 09:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I also found how to assign a value to {{IPA-fr|abc|}} (with closing bar). Which one shall we choose? Bare? IPA? −Woodstone (talk) 09:48, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd say it should be "Bare". +Angr 10:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Definitely. More intuitive. I doubt we need the 'bare' switch at all. Nor the 'pron' switch, though that could be handy with IPA-en/pron-en.
There's also the IPAr template with the language switch. However, I'm not sure I like that. It's nice having everything laid out explicitly. Easier to manage, and easier (or so I think) to search the articles for a certain language to keep things normalized. kwami (talk) 11:37, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Now modified (see above) −Woodstone (talk) 15:22, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I added another couple switches:

  • {{IPA-fr|abc|lang}}French: [abc]

We sometimes get series with e.g. English, Spanish, and Portuguese, or English, Czech, and German, and it's a bit much to have 'pronounced' or 'pronunciation' 3 times.

  • {{IPA-fr|abc|short}}French pronunciation: [abc]

This is so we can get Hebrew in line with the rest. And for sound files:

  • {{IPA-fr|abc|-|abc.ogg}}French pronunciation: [abc] (About this sound listen)
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|IPA|abc.ogg}}IPA: [abc] (About this sound listen)

Do we want to explicitly have the word "audio" as a third parameter to link to a file in the fourth, or just to assume that any third parameter will be a sound file? Any other criticisms? kwami (talk) 01:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

All looking good, but if we add sound files, we will get attacked by the legal eagles that demand an attribution link. −Woodstone (talk) 11:49, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I copied the code directly from the Polish audio IPA template, which is used on 158 articles and hasn't received any complaints that I can see. But if there are complaints, we could add the extra code in. kwami (talk) 12:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I have added the switches to Czech (which I'm currently going through), Arabic, and Hebrew, and deleted IPA-he-small. kwami (talk) 14:20, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Before we continue, we might want to reconsider. Instead of so many options we could also go for a 3-way split only:

  • {{IPA-fr|abc}}French pronunciation: ​[abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|}}[abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|anything:}}anything:[abc]
    • {{IPA-fr|abc|IPA:}}IPA:[abc]
    • {{IPA-fr|abc|French:}}French:[abc]

(Not yet coded, here faked) It would be less cryptic and offer more flexibility. We would keep the sound file of course. −Woodstone (talk) 14:29, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I thought of that, but do we really want to allow a lot of flexibility? Who knows what weird things we'll end up with. As it is, if people want more flexibility, they can use the zero switch and introduce the template with the text. By giving a few basic choices (the ones here are the ones I've seen over and over going through a bunch of these articles), we'll keep some degree of consistency in formatting. (Also, "pron" and "lang" are quicker to type than "pronounced" and "Portuguese".) kwami (talk) 14:47, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Or we could add an "anything" option later. Or trim down the number we have now ... ? kwami (talk) 18:52, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I found how to combine "any string" into what we have:
  • {{IPA-fr|abc}}French pronunciation: ​[abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|}}[abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|lang}}French: [abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|short}}French pronunciation: [abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|pron}}pronounced [abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|IPA}}IPA: [abc]
  • {{IPA-fr|abc|any string:}}French pronunciation: [abc]

Woodstone (talk) 21:25, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

We've now lost "French pronunciation:" with sound files. Is the hyphen a good placeholder? We'll need to encode in specifically. kwami (talk) 00:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC) [done-only the French template has this ability]

I've split Hungarian to IPA-hu and convertIPA-hu. The Polish conversion template has tens of thousands of transclusions, and with how the servers are I don't think we'd even want to automate a change, but I propose that in the future we use a distinct name for conversion templates. (convertIPA-hu is only used in half a dozen articles, so please let's have suggestions if you think I made the wrong choice here.)

Also, we might want to think about bringing the English and generic templates into this format. There are only a few hundred IPAlink and IPAlink-en transclusions, so we should be able to convert those fairly easily, or at least use a new name from now on. We might want to add different switches, though, such as 'locally:', 'UK:', 'US:' (for when they are phonemically distinct), etc. kwami (talk) 05:55, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't all IPA-xx templates be at least semi-protected, just to fend off potential mischief? Some like Swedish aren't. kwami (talk) 00:52, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I would think so. The policy of wait-till-it-actually-happens makes sense in article space where vandalism would be contained. A template used by hundreds-if not thousands-of articles should definitely have some protection even if there isn't a history of vandalism. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 01:19, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay. All are at least semi-protected. kwami (talk) 01:47, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
In the "any string" option, shouldn't there be an assumed space? any string:[abc] should be any string: [abc] — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 02:54, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Added. kwami (talk) 05:39, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Now on IPA2/IPA-all. You can see the 'anything' switch in operation at Søren Kierkegaard. kwami (talk) 05:59, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Did you know there are also the templates {{audio-IPA}} and {{audio-IPA-pl}} with practiclly the same function as the ones here? Only the have the sound file first. −Woodstone (talk) 13:22, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but audio-IPA does not link to an IPA key, just to the sound file. The only thing "IPA" about it is that it forces an IPA-compatible font. The Polish one is necessary because the IPA-pl template does not accommodate switches. kwami (talk) 14:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if this is totally relevant, but why do English pronounciations always seem to be made for British speakers? I really don't think I pronounce ow and ou in power with an "open front unrounded vowel"; in pronunciation, I say pro, not what it said on the diactric section, and there are several other differences as well. I live in Alaska, so I have a different accent (notably not palinspeak). Of course I noticed comments about how Americans must always have the world bend to them, etc. etc.; not trying to annoy people (I do notice Americans ignorancy on foreign pronunciations, too.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by FLANAGAN creto (talkcontribs) 05:26, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

why we need alternates to the IPA

I've taken some heat for promoting funky alternates to the IPA, such as those linked through {{respell}} and {{USdict}}, so I thought I'd give you an illustration of why they're useful:

At London Borough of Newham, North Woolwich has been transcribed an unintelligible "/ɯʊǀːˈɪʈʃ/" or "/ɯʊǀːˈɪɖʒ/" since July of last year. I wouldn't be surprised at this in an article on a place in the US, since most Usonians are clueless when it comes to the IPA, but this is British. However, the soundalikes ("wool-ich" and "wool-idge") were enough to reconstruct the intended pronunciations. There have been many articles where I ended up deleting the IPA because I couldn't make heads or tails of it, and pleas at the talk page didn't get any responses. However, usually when someone uses an alternate system alongside the IPA, it's possible to recover the pronunciation. Think of it as an error-correction device: if the IPA and alt don't match, we know there's a problem, and we can at least tag it. kwami (talk) 09:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

What? [ɕ] as in "she", [ʃ] as in "she"?

[ ɕ ] Mandarin Xi'an, Polish ściana More y-like than [ʃ]; something like English she. [ ʃ ] English she

This is only going to confuse readers. If I understand what the point is, you want to use a word in which the phoneme /ʃ/ isn't followed by a front vowel to illustrate the phone [ʃ] if you want to also use "she" to illustrate [ɕ]. For now, I'm replacing the latter "she" with "shoe", but am I missing something else? --A. di M. (talk) 19:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Perfect. Might've been an oversight, or just a corruption from piecemeal edits. kwami (talk) 22:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm skeptical about she having [ɕ]. Since shoe has it as well, it's a fine example, but we shouldn't use she as an example illustrating [ɕ]. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 18:13, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
It says "something like", and I don't think there's any sound familiar to most English-speaking readers which is more similar to [ɕ] than the consonant in she is. --A. di M. – 2009 Great Wikipedia Dramaout 18:21, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

This article really does need some clean-up; it gets pretty hard to follow. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FLANAGAN creto (talkcontribs) 05:05, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

It's not an article, it's a quick reference guide. rʨanaɢ (talk) 05:32, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Rendering problem, #2

Out of the list of fonts listed on Wikipedia:IPA, I only have DejaVu Sans, Lucida Sans Unicode, and Times New Roman. This results in a lot of IPA symbols not showing up in Firefox (3.5.1), or showing up as squares in Chrome (, but perfectly good-looking in IE (showing up using DejaVu Sans). Does anybody have an idea why this is happening? Wyvernoid (talk) 12:52, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

We're not ignoring you. I guess no-one knows. kwami (talk) 23:35, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
I guess it has to do with each browser's interpretation of the CSS value "inherit" which is specified for the "font-family" property of the class "IPA" on the site's stylesheet. Internet Explorer in all its versions (as of version 8) does not support the property value "inherit".[2] In Firefox 3, does setting your default font (at Tools > Options > Content > Default font) to Lucida Sans Unicode fix the problem? (talk) 18:11, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Why doesn't somebody address the obvious???

(thread moved here from Talk:International Phonetic Alphabet)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion does not belong here. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 13:19, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

There are not a great many Americans (percentage-wise) that have a better grasp of English than I do, and I am interested in other languages and cultures as well. But the fact is that to interpret what these IPA hieroglyphics are meant to aurally represent is utterly impossible for anyone who hasn't read a 200-page book on the subject. For the love of God, people giving pronunciations in articles in Wikipedia should ALWAYS include, in addition to the IPA gibberish which is intended for those with a Ph.D. in linguistics, a simple thing like, e.g., "ennui" is pronounced: än wee', or in French: äN nwee' (or whatever -- you know ... we all know that the capital "N" represents the nasal sound). Even us dummies can understand what that means. I think Wikipedia should require that all articles include the same pronunciation representations that are used in almost all English dictionaries. Duh. Worldrimroamer (talk) 05:12, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't know where all this "omg IPA is so hard" comes from. Have you actually sat down and tried to learn it? I learned IPA in less than a week when I was an undergrad and not even trying very hard. It's one of (if not the) most widely-used phonetic notations in the world, partly because it's relatively easy to learn (especially for people who grew up using the Latin alphabet, as you probably did); it's not perfect, but it pretty easy. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:51, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
He's American. As am I. Americans aren't supposed to learn how the rest of the world does things, the rest of the world needs to learn how Americans do things. While we're at it, we should get rid of this Frenchy metric crap and restore intuitive Imperial units (US version, of course). And abolish those funky Arabic "ciphers" with their "zeros" for good ol' Roman numerals. kwami (talk) 06:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
As to "omg IPA is so hard" ... hey, I have studied and understood things like general relativity and the Dirac relativistic wave equation and Joyce and Eliot. My point was that every dictionary I see uses pronunciations that every understands who has had grade-school grammar. Short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds, schwa sounds, etc. Why not include those standard pronunciations for Western Latin- and Germanic-derived languages, along with the pronunciations for the rest of the people in the world that use Cyrillic or non-phonetic languages like Chinese?
As to "Americans aren't supposed to learn how the rest of the world does things ..."
Ha ha ... I perfectly get your point, and I agree with the point totally. I am not an "ugly-American tourist" and I respect other cultures. Your cynicism is wasted on me. I agree with everything you said, with your tongue in your cheek, but I agree. But it has nothing to do with what I said. You're making assumptions. Look at the substance of what I post, and don't give a knee-jerk response. And yea, I know the Arabs invented "zero". They are smart and very beautiful people (with a few unfortunate exceptions, of course, but that's true of every culture). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Worldrimroamer (talkcontribs) 06:59, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
As to why we use IPA rather than dictionary-style pronunciation guides... IPA is more accurate (a lot of dictionaries use different kinds of pronunciation guides to represent the same sounds, so which would we choose), it's far less language-specific (dictionary guides in English dictionaries spell things the way they would be spelled in English, which doesn't necessarily make sense in other languages... for example, ee in English doesn't sound like ee in French, nor does ph in English sound like ph in many Southeast Asian Languages), and it's an international standard—keep in mind that not all readers of English Wikipedia are native English speakers, and not all are American English speakers for that matter. If we agree to add an English dictionary-style pronunciation for every word that also has IPA, where will we draw the line? If we add one style to an article, why not add all styles? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 11:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
1. We have a great table at Pronunciation respelling for English which shows the variety of available Pronunciation respelling systems, and where they are used (which dictionaries).
2. I've heard the same complaint ("Wikipedia's pronunciation guides are useless! I can't understand any of those glyphs.") from a very large number of my non-editor acquaintances. I would endorse this issue as being a legitimate problem.
2a. Recommending that everyone spend a week learning the IPA system is non-helpful.
2b. Metric/SI is a actually good analogy - we provide Template:Convert#Units supported which supports a Huge number of conversions.
2c. Missing character sets adds to the problem. Some people don't have the technical skills, or administrative/system permissions, to install anything on their machines.
I've just started looking into this, so that's all I have so far. Presumably this thread should be at Wikipedia talk:IPA, or similar. I'll try to find all the old threads, to digest the perennial arguments, later. (Pointers to such would be appreciated). -- Quiddity (talk) 18:18, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, most IPA pronunciation guides given in WP articles have links to help pages (either Help:IPA or language-specific ones like WP:IPA for French), and a lot even have a {{pronounced}} template on them—the upshot is that even if you don't know IPA, it should be quite simple to look up the page and figure out what the four or five characters you don't recognize mean. Even if we used one of the Pronunciation respellings for English there would still be confusion from time to time about what character represents what sound, so IPA is no worse in that respect. I feel that if there are easy-to-find links to IPA help pages, then the only issue is one of reader laziness, rather than accessibility. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 18:55, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Worldrimroamer, I fought to create two keys, with associated templates, {{respell}} and {{USdict}}, to do exactly as you suggest, using many of the same arguments. They are even covered at WP:Manual of Style (pronunciation). However, there simply aren't that many editors who care to use them. For anyone who didn't grow up with US-published dictionaries, USdict is as completely unintelligible as you find the IPA, and for many words, like vice (vyes), the respelling is also gibberish to many people. Also, neither system can be used for non-English words, as you seem to expect them to. We could transcribe English ennui this way, but not the French, because that u is not /w/ but a sound we don't have in any of the keys. If we were to expand the keys to include such sounds, we'd just end up duplicating the IPA. kwami (talk) 20:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
As for "Why not include those standard pronunciations", because they aren't standard 'pronunciations'. They're hardly even a provincial US system: each American dictionary has its own, sometimes conflicting, convention, and for anyone else in the world, they're complete gibberish. Canada doesn't even use them any more.
I added a notice to this effect at the top of the page. If anyone can work out how to modify {{pron-en}} to switch between IPA and another convention at the click of a mouse, that would IMO be the best approach (assuming server support), but it's beyond my abilities. kwami (talk) 21:27, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
It's completely unclear to me how "än wee', or in French: äN nwee'" is clearer or easier to understand than an IPA transcription. Any transcription system we might use requires the reader to be familiar with the conventions of the system. garik (talk) 08:38, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
For exactly that reason: most US Americans are familiar with such systems, while they are unfamiliar with the IPA. And they are a huge part, perhaps a majority, of our audience. However, having multiple transcriptions is IMO an eyesore. If we can't get a template that toggles, I think the extra transcriptions (and in some cases all transcriptions) should go in a footnote. kwami (talk) 09:25, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
In any case, this discussion is irrelevant to this talk page, which is for discussions pertaining to improving the IPA article. Let's stop now. garik (talk) 10:49, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Why doesn't somebody address the obvious? (redux)

(thread moved here from Talk:International Phonetic Alphabet)

at risk of futility, i'd like to rehearse some basic points. a tool that the gross majority users find awkward to use, regardless of cultural background or educational attainment, moots all other issues of standardization and international access.

the fact that IPA is an international standard derives from the top down edicts of professional linguists and lexicographers, in particular their absolutely legitimate interest to notate accurately subdialects and regional variants of a language for a potentially international audience of scholars, and record these issues in the print communications and documents necessary for their work; the use of IPA for any more general purpose is purely a matter of historical convenience. and it is far from standard even in that limited context: the american heritage dictionary of the english language specifically does not use it, even for entries with unique foreign pronunciation ("goethe", "deng xiaoping").

a great many issues flaw the claim of international access. human speech categorization is deeply biased by native language exposure, so that speakers in one culture may not even be able to hear differences in the native language pronunciation at all (the japanese difficulty with english "lot" and "rot", the english difficulty with french "le" and "feux", etc.), much less reproduce them accurately. (how do you pronounce the "eu" in "feux"? why, you pronounce it like feux.) for that reason, it is extremely common for there to be an accepted cultural approximation for a foreign name or word (english "van go" for van gogh, german von pronounced with a "v" rather than an "f", etc.) that is affected both by the orthography of the name (or its transliteration) in the normative pronunciation rules of that language, and the speech resources available to approximate the native version. the deployment of a cultural approximation depends quite a lot on the speech community or audience in which the name or word is being used; for example, the pronunciation of "van gogh" or "al qaeda" that is suitable for a news announcer on network television is different from the pronunciation that might be appropriate at a cocktail party where the speaker does or does not want to flaunt erudition and precision, and both are likely different from the pronunciation used by an academic lecturer giving a talk to an audience of academics. even transliterations into the same orthography are not universally standard, for example the name of the roman historian t'oukudides is transliterated equally as thucydides in french and in english, but is acceptably pronounced quite differently in the two languages, whatever speech community you may have in mind. and finally, if utter precision of the native standard is the objective, IPA fails in a variety of specific instances, notably the tonal structure of correct pronunciation of chinese words in chinese (which dialect of chinese, by the way?), and in referencing a source of authoritative transcription itself. (can anyone point me to an authoritative IPA source for the pronunciation of "thucydides" in greek or in english? the oxford dictionary of classical literature includes no pronunciation guidance at all.)

i recognize that everyone can quibble down any solution given all the issues at play. however i assert that the use of IPA for a name or word implies an authoritative, fixed, unique, global (worldwide) and universal (across all audiences) pronunciation that simply does not exist and cannot be asserted as a standard across the speech communities in the wikipedia audience, whether those are defined globally or nationally (culturally); that this "international standard" is not even deployed in many authoritative works intended for a general audience (such as the american heritage dictionary, whose users surely approximate the population of english speaking wikipedia users); and finally that the original invention and use of IPA, use that made it a standard in the first place, is deeply bound to an expertise print culture, whereas wikipedia is a demotic, multimedia resource where sound files can be used just as easily as image or text files. (in that context, the editorial claim that "it would be too hard" to use sound files is fatuously unhelpful.)


1. notate all pronunciations in a simplified, straightforward, flexible and reasonably accurate (=demotic) pronunciation symbol system, such as the "AHD" system used by the american heritage dictionary; and cite the american heritage dictionary as the authoritative source for that convention. (note that the AHD presents a table of equivalences between AHD and IPA [fourth edition, p.xxxviii], which means all pronunciations currently notated on wikipedia in IPA could be converted by a global PERL script.)

2. retain the IPA as the secondary, rather than preferred and primary, pronunciation notation.

3. explicitly summarize, wherever appropriate as reference content, the complexities involved in attempting to choose and notate a single "correct" pronunciation, and clarify the fact that pronunciation varies depending on the audience, the speaker's background, and whether there is or is not a widely accepted transliteration, romanization or anglicization.

4. explicitly concede that the pronunciation is appropriate primarily for english speakers and english audiences (so what? it's the english language wikipedia); that this is inherently a fact of speech diversity, not a lack of lexical clarity; that the foreign language readers should refer to foreign language versions of wikipedia if and when they desire to find the pronunciation that is most acceptable in their culture.

5. provide audio recordings of the individual AHD and IPA sounds, both in isolation and in the lexical example used in the pronunciation table (e.g., "p" is pronounced as in "paper"), first very slowly and then at conversational speed. (i count roughly 50 symbol entries, which means 50 sound file exemplars. too burdensome?)

6. ensure that the reference pronunciation table is linked from the appearance of the pronunciation notation on every page where it is used.

7. pursue, as an editorial project, the sound recording of names and words by native language speakers in the appropriate language (both slowly and syllabically and then at conversational speed). (there is absolutely no excuse except convenience for preferring text as the notation for speech in a multimedia context.)

8. consider, as a wikipedia development project, the adaptation automated speech production software to accept IPA inputs as an interim replacement for (7).

9. listen to your users. i trawled several pages on this topic throughout wikipedia's help, reference, usage and content pages, and there is a clear signal of user exasperation and frustration on the one hand, and a variety of ad hoc assists and workarounds that have been largely waved away by the wikipedia editorial clique. it's a common tendency on wikipedia for both authors and editors to strive for a kind of fanboy intricacy, nuance and sophistication that obscures basic issues and, frankly, exceeds the expertise of all involved.

bottom line: the adoption of IPA isn't working for your users. Macevoy (talk) 19:45, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Several points in response to various things you say above:
  • Who says "the gross majority users" find IPA awkward? So there is a handful of people who complain here—how does that suddenly allow you to claim that this is any sort of "majority"? Have you counted? You are in no position to make claims like "IPA doesn't work for your users" when all you know about is a tiny sampling of unusually vocal ones. Rjanag , — (continues after insertion below.)
-You could end the question with a poll, but that's really unnecessary. How do you know it's tiny? I've sampled everyone I know (tiny for the world, indeed, but certainly not hand-picked to support my argument) and nobody understands IPA. That's the norm for the US, and American's aren't a tiny sampling, no matter how unusually vocal they might be. Lime in the Coconut 15:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
For the US there already is the possibility to use US specific pronunciations. Which doesn't solve the problem because there's a dozen of them and none is compatible with the others. Considering that the IPA is standardized, understood by people in many countries and there are language specific look-up tables for the rest, which you'd need anyway because those US systems are often conflicting, there's absolutely no reason not to use the IPA first and foremost and something else as people are ready to do so.
Even if there are a dozen, all we need to do is pick one. I disagree with the claim that they aren't compatible. If one picks up a Webster's Dictionary and an American Heritage dictionary, he would have no problem pronouncing the same words given two differing systems for pronunciation. You just need to include the table. of course there's a reason not to use IPA first - it's the reason everyone is ignoring - virtually all Americans using wikipedia wouldn't understand the pronunciation of their own name in IPA. You can't honestly think that there's "absolutely no reason" given the large amount of discussion this has generated?? Maybe you don't think it's "absolutely necessary" but that doesn't mean there isn't a reason!Lime in the Coconut 16:49, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
For users who have difficulty understanding IPA, we have WP:IPA for English, which uses example words to illustrate the correspondence between IPA characters and the sounds of their own speech. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 17:30, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Also, the plural of anecdote is not data and if you insist otherwise, I just asked everyone I know and noone owns an iPad. This clearly proves that the iPad is an abysmal failure and I'm now heading over to that article to write just that.
Finally my reasoning is clearly superior to yours because my f"%$&ing nick is bigger than yours. My F"%$&ing Nick Is Bigger than Yours —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 5 June 2010 (UTC) [Ed. Giant font size removed]
  • "IPA fails in a variety of specific instances, notably the tonal structure of correct pronunciation of chinese words" – uh, what? You know IPA has tone characters, right? And in cases where there are tone distinctions that IPA doesn't represent (such as some of the questionable tone distinctions in Shanghainese), there are specially-made orthographies for that.
  • Who says the American Heritage Dictionary is "simplified, straightforward, flexible and reasonably accurate"? Maybe it is for you, but what about the thousands of users who are not from the US and/or have never used this dictionary? Just because you happen to like it doesn't suddenly mean it's widely accepted as "simpler" than any other system. And, as has been said repeatedly, it's not sufficient for representing native pronunciations of non-English words (and native pronunciations are often relevant, particularly for proper names)—and even if it can represent the AmEng approximations of those names, what use is it for speakers of British English, Australian English, Indian English, etc.? Rjanag , — (continues after insertion below.)
-Why should wikipedia strive for the unobtainable? "representing native pronunciations of non-English words" is simply asking too much for the causual reader. It's something that's addressed when actually learning the foriegn language, or if the reader so desires, they can find the IPA for it quite easily and spend an entire day trying to decipher it. "Who says?" Americans, duh. You could use Webster's but it's only a slight difference, the concept remains the same. Every school age child in the US has used a dictionary at some point, and that's 1/3-1/2 or more of wikipedia's users (americans). Why would speakers of British English, Australian English, Indian English, etc, care since they can supposedly understand IPA? The goal is to include both, not exclude one at the expense of another. It IS sufficient to represent those examples, since "sufficient" means (at least to me) "good enough", not "perfect". Lime in the Coconut 15:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • "that the foreign language readers should refer to foreign language versions of wikipedia if and when they desire to find the pronunciation that is most acceptable in their culture" – no, the whole point of Wikipedia is to be a good resource for users, not to say "if you want this information, go find it elsewhere, we don't feel like giving it to you". Not to mention most foreign-language versions will not be helpful to readers who do not speak that language. Say an English speaker looks up Seoul and wants to know the native pronunciation... going to ko:서울특별시 is not going to be much help for him. Or, looking at it from the opposite perspective...should we rewrite English Wikipedia to make it have pronunciation guides of common English words to cater to visitors from other Wikipedias? Should Bill Clinton have an IPA pronunciation so that users from ko-wiki can look it up? Rjanag , — (continues after insertion below.)
-Dude, it's "foreign language readers" meaning that english isn't their native language... so how is it easier to understand in english than in their own native language? I would imagine that Seoul is a pretty bad example given the previous argument about asain languages and IPA not mixing, but what he's saying is that if someone's having a hard time figuring out a pronuciation on, it's more likely they would visit their native language wiki to find it (assuming it's got a page). So they wouldn't go to, they'd go to their native wiki. Presumably all pages would have pronunciations, though common names might not (people could look up just the name Bill_(name)) Lime in the Coconut 15:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Um, no, the "argument about asain languages and IPA not mixing" is bull, as I already pointed out above. Perhaps you should try reading the comments before responding to them. rʨanaɢ (talk) 17:10, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
LOL! I read your comments... and made a comment on every one EXCEPT the asain language conflict b/c I don't know IPA and don't speak asian languages. I just said your example using Seoul was particularly bad. Does that detract from the rest of my argument? I don't think it does. I can strike it out if it's distracting you... (done) Speaking of reading the comments, did you finish reading even that one? Care to address the argument that people who don't speak english as their native language aren't going to be using the as their primary source for pronunciations of words that aren't in english? Lime in the Coconut 20:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I see I had misread the original poster's comment (I thought he was saying en-wiki users should go to other Wikipedias to see how names are pronounced in their native language, rather than saying other wiki users should use other wikis to see how English names are pronounced in their language). Regardless, both arguments are unhelpful. It is already not standard practice here to show how Bill Clinton is pronounced in, say, French, so what the OP is suggesting wouldn't change anything. We show how names are pronounced in languages that are relevant to the name; the purpose of that is to provide a service to English-speaking readers who either don't know the native pronunciation (for example, someone reading Mao Tse-tung) or for cases where the spelling is ambiguous or counterintuitive for even an English speaker (only example I can think of right now is Donald Faison). We are not in the business of supplying non-native pronunciations in languages other than English, so I don't see what the point of that suggestion from the OP was anyway. We already operate under the assumption that, for example, Chinese speakers know how to pronounce Mao Zedong, and that English speakers know how its anglicized version is pronounced. (In the case of names where readers aren't expected to know either the native or the anglicizied pronunciations, such as Uyghur, that is often noted, and both pronunciations are given, often in both IPA and lay examples.) The purpose of native IPA pronunciations is to provide a service for readers who want to know how it's really pronounced. rʨanaɢ (talk) 20:33, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • As people already pointed out above, this page is not an appropriate venue for continuing this discussion. If you wish to continue, please move it to an appropriate page.
rʨanaɢ (talk) 20:02, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
-Since you people are in the business of moving things to appropriate back alleys and obscure filing locations, feel free to move this to the correct venue. Lime in the Coconut 15:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I already had! I moved this thread from Talk:International Phonetic Alphabet to this page, at 20:38, 19 May 2010. I noted it at thread-top; but I should've repeated and dated it at thread-end, too. Apologies! -- Quiddity (talk) 21:30, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Being USA-centric doesn't make it "simplified, straightforward, flexible and reasonably accurate". IPA is an international standard. It is adopted and used by almost all the world. People interested in linuistics don't care about "American heritage". If "you" -as an American- can't understand IPA, then, learn it. Because rest of the world is using it. Why are you trying to be "different"? There is a consensus about using a phonetic notation. Why are you oppoisng it? Just because it is not "enough American" for you? Being international and univesal is a requirement for any encyclopedia. If someone prefers to construct a "USA-centric" pedia, then, it is not encyclopedia. It is a National POV, a fork.-- (talk) 02:25, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Some questions about the IPA

okay, I know the IPA is the most popular linguist system we know today, but I have a few questions (1) why did they use "Y" for the Close Front Rounded Vowel? shouldn't it be "Ü"? (2) shouldn't /y/ be the Palatal Approximant? (3) /c/ is the Voiceless Palatal Plosive, isn't the best way to articulate the sound is to position the tongue between the Velum and the Alveolar Ridge? (merge /k/ and /t/) A Justified Wikipedian (talk) 01:15, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

The prototypical value of the letter j is the "y" sound. Ü is out because it has a diacritic; the IPA is based on the idea that phonemically distinct sound get distinct letters, with diacritics used for further detail. Yes, /c/ is between /k/ and /t/, but it's the body of the tongue that touches the roof of the mouth, like /k/, not the tip as in /t/. kwami (talk) 03:59, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Keyboard Input

Please consider adding a section on how to enter IPA characters in Wikipedia article. I refer you to the following conversation at the Help Desk: Wikipedia:Help desk#More on IPA tone. Some people might not see that there is an IPA edit bar at the bottom of any edit page. Beyond that, the IPA bar only supplies the basic IPA characters, and trying to figure out how to type other characters was for me quite a frustrating and time-consuming experience. The Wikipedia Manual should address such basic concerns. My thanks in advance to anyone with the knowledge to help us in this way. --seberle (talk) 15:11, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Sound files

I've added the sound links for [ɐ], [dʑ], [dʐ], [tɕ] and [tʂ]. I hope that's not problematic. Does anyone know why there isn't a sound file for voiceless postalveolar affricate? Was there ever one? Lfh (talk) 22:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Help me chose the right IPA for a name

Can someone help me chose the correct symbols to use for the last name of Mariska Hargitay. It would be greatly appreciated. —Mike Allen 06:02, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Sure, if you tell us how it's pronounced. Is it HAR-ji-tay? har-GHEE-tye? etc. kwami (talk) 08:35, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
MAR-eesh-kah HAR-JI-TAY. See here The first name should be included to, since a lot of people don't know how to properly pronounce it either (including me. lol) Thanks. —Mike Allen 09:39, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The link you provided has almost the opposite pronunciation from yours: muh-RISH-kuh HAR-gi-tay. I'll add the IPA. kwami (talk) 10:31, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm from the US south my pronunciation, is always "different". LOL. Thanks a lot!  :-) —Mike Allen 20:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Many thanks for this page

I thank you anonymously, I love to ear other cultures phonemes —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

IPA on Firefox

Is there a way to change the font that Firefox uses specifically for IPA? I like using Arial as a default font, but it has a couple of drawbacks with IPA. Lfh (talk) 08:48, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

There might be s.t. under tools:options:content:fonts, but wouldn't you just change your WP CSS? kwami (talk) 16:21, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't have one, but it looks like creating one would be the only option. Lfh (talk) 16:28, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Wrong rendering on Firefox 3.6 on XP

I use Firefox 3.6 on Windows XP. I have Charis SIL, Doulos SIL, Gentium and other IPA-friendly fonts installed.

I see that the third character from the end in [lisˈɡoʁ] and in [səɡoʁ] appears differently, even though it's supposed to be the same character ɡ. This is broken in both Monobook and Vector.

Kwamikagami suggested to add ".IPA { font-family: Gentium, Charis SIL !important; }" to my personal CSS and it solved this problem, but i wonder: Why do i need to edit my personal CSS if i use Firefox 3.6 on XP, which is supposed to be a rather common configuration? If i understand correctly, this means that a lot of people see incorrect transcription and may not even suspect it. Shouldn't this be fixed? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 21:56, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The precise appearance of the letter g is of no consequence. The IPA has only one g character. In typography two variants exist, one with an open tail and one with a closed tail. The IPA preference is open tail, but closed tail is acceptable because no confusion is possible. −Woodstone (talk) 07:22, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Are you referring to rounded open tail Opentail g.svg and Looptail g.svg?
In [səɡoʁ] i see a rounded open tail and in [lisˈɡoʁ] i see something that looks like a small sans-serif Greek gamma, the second one here: Greek alphabet gamma.svg. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:00, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Are you still seeing that even with the .css override?
Assuming that fixed the problem, I agree that class=IPA should override defective MS fonts by default. kwami (talk) 10:05, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
With my current User:Amire80/vector.css it displays correctly. Without it the display in Firefox is broken. In IE8, Opera and Chrome the display is correct even without private CSS. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:31, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Interesting! Yes, that is s.t. that hopefully we can fix. Anyone? kwami (talk) 12:08, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that you have an installation with a broken font. I don't think we should bypass normal font selection, because users have broken fonts. It is rather complicated and often has many unforeseen problems. The .IPA class is used mainly to bypass broken font selection routines in older IE versions, not to bypass broken fonts. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:42, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I might be wrong, but i don't think that i have a font that is any more broken than other Windows XP users. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:15, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I opened a bug about it: Bug 24516 - IPA is displayed inconsistently in different browsers. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 19:41, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
... And it was very quickly fixed! Thank you, Derk-Jan Hartman.
The display of editing ˈɡ in the edit box in Firefox on Windows is still broken, but i can live with that. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 21:07, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
You probably have "MS Reference Sans Serif" installed, and in a sans-serif context, the sans-serif fonts might take preference in selection over the Choris font (which is serif). —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:56, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

compare the simple character

and with a stress character before:

here I see the first as "g" in all fonts, but the second only with Arial Unicode MS and Lucida Sans Unicode, all others are like "γ". --androl (talk) 07:19, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


Just a quick question. How would I type/write "Alexander Henry Buckley" in IPA? Assuming it's pronounced in British English too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

/ˌælɪɡˈzɑːndə ˈhɛnri ˈbʌkli/Emil J. 14:02, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
A correction: in the system employed by Wikipedia it's more like /ˌælɪɡˈzɑːndər/, and I suspect there may also be ɪ instead of ɪ.—Emil J. 12:46, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, he wants British English, by which I assume he really means England English. Is the H pronounced? Is there a linking R? Etc. I think RP would have the reduced ɪ, but I'm not sure. kwami (talk) 19:44, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

A few missing symbols

It looks like Wikipedia-Commons does have audio files for the following IPA symbols, but they don't currently appear on this page. I'd add them but I don't have access.










Jww1066 (talk) 23:21, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Spanish llama

Giving Spanish "llama" as an example for [ʎ] is confusing for several reasons:

  • In Spanish "ll" is very often not pronounced as [ʎ], but like [j], [ʃ] or [ʒ].
  • In English the word "llama" is not pronounced with [ʎ].

I suggest not using Spanish to demonstrate it, but rather Italian, for example Tagliatelle. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:31, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Italian seems to be more consistent with pronunciation of words than Spanish. Although the problem with that idea is that most Americans don't know Italian. KoopaTroop (talk) 04:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Symbols which do not resemble any letter

The characters [θ] and [ɸ] are currently listed under O. They are similar in shape, but completely different in pronunciation.

The comment at the beginning of the table says "Symbols which do not resemble any letter are placed at the end". I suggest changing it to "Symbols which do not resemble any Latin letter", which will allow putting these characters in the end. A reference from the O section would be OK. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:31, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Forcing an appropriate font through private CSS

Yesterday TheDJ fixed the problem with the wrong font selection on Windows. This probably makes the paragraph that suggests putting ".IPA { font-family: Gentium, Charis SIL !important; }" in the private CSS file redundant. Does anyone think that it is still needed? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:31, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

IPA language template and lang attribute

I was thinking that perhaps it would be a good idea if all IPA-lang templates used the "lang" attribute on the span to denote the language. Since that information is available, we might as well use it right ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:44, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Embedded IPA pronunciation soundfiles

We currently can have mouseover explanations for the IPA characters, if the template {{IPAc-en}} is used. eg

And there are nifty charts with audio samples at The IPA - Audio Illustrations and at IPA Charts, and of course WP:IPA.

But nobody has combined the two, yet, as far as I know. -- I'd like to be able to hear each phoneme, as I mouseover the pronunciation guide. Is this capability feasible, or being worked on here/elsewhere? Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:20, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

No, because they cover different things. The first are English phonemes, which can be pronounced any of multiple ways, and the second are internationally defined sounds, which cannot. — kwami (talk) 06:05, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. So does that mean that it will always be impossible to automagically generate an pronunciation audiofile, based on available data? Or was I just using an incorrect keyword in my request? :)
Essentially, I'm hoping that we don't have to rely upon human/manual recording, for every single word at Wiktionary, and will eventually be able to machine-generate them... (or close-enough approximations). Partially because of the sheer quantity of words to be recorded, and partially because of the hugely-variable quality of recordings that the humans produce... (cheap microphones, etc.)
(Possibly I'm not understanding a nuance of the relationship between the simple glyphs and the complexity of reality... (ianal, and am not up-to-date on text-to-speech software). Pointers to suggested-articles appreciated.) Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:35, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
You could do it, but it wouldn't be as universal. You'd have to pick a dialect covered by IPA-en, such as RP or GA. Then you'd need conversion algorithms to do things like drop coda /r/ in RP, or convert post-tonic /t, d/ to a flap in GA. I don't know how people would react if each phoneme were produced without contextualization, but I imagine that Americans would object that better doesn't have a [t] in it, and English that it doesn't have an [ɹ]. — kwami (talk) 07:42, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


I've templated all unformatted IPA I could find in the March 12 dump, with just 9 articles to go. 3 of those are a bit obscure: Dastgir ('South Asian'), Hayes (surname) (Sindhi; last paragraph 'origins' section), Stuart Lake (Carrier). If these are familiar to anyone here, could you format them w the appropriate IPA-xx template, and fix up the transcription if needed? — kwami (talk) 11:06, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Diagrams please

I'd really like it please if the descriptions of the various IPA sounds showed a diagram of where the tongue lips and teeth are when making the sounds. I'd like to cross-check that I am actually thinking of the right sounds and the various explanations are not at all obvious. Dmcq (talk)

You might find IPA pulmonic consonants chart with audio and IPA vowels chart with audio helpful, if you haven't already seen them.
Regarding diagrams, this site has some simple images: [3] and [4]. - If you can find really good images somewhere online, that exemplify what we should have, then Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop or m:Philip Greenspun illustration project/Requests should be able to create freely-licensed versions for us. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:03, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll have a good look. Saying 'like r in run' for instance may not convey as much as the writer intends if a person can't tell the difference between w and r, and I wonder how much like that I might be missing. Dmcq (talk) 23:55, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Why some letters are seen as boxes

we can see that many letters and alphabets in this and other articles on languages appear as boxes. Is this due to font incompitability or unimplemented letters? If it is so, how do we get other letters of many languages when only some show this tendency. If it is really a problem correct it otherwise we may not be able to understand such articles properly. One more thing, we get all boxes for languages other than english in mobile browsers how to correct these. Thanks. Sunder . (talk) 05:25, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

You need to install a font that fully supports the IPA. We list some at the bottom of the IPA article. I recommend Gentium Plus, which is free. — kwami (talk) 07:48, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


Hi, as a foreign language student this is my preferrred online IPA usage guide; it is accurate and has examples and voice samples. Unfortunately for some of the languages I don't speak I have trouble telling which part of the example word is the sound being demonstrated. Could you bold the part of the word to make it easier to see? Thanks. (talk) 03:01, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Kasilof, Alaska

I'm not seeing anywhere else to request a "translation" into IPA so I guess here's as good as anywhere. The name of this town is pronounced "kuh-see-loff" with the emphasis on the middle syllable. What would that be in IPA? Beeblebrox (talk) 20:37, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Quiet around here. Hello? Beeblebrox (talk) 00:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't see this. /kəˈsiːlɒf/, from your description. — kwami (talk) 01:00, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! Beeblebrox (talk) 01:11, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Repeated word

There is a paragraph with this sentence: "For instance, most phonologists argue that that the -s at the ends of verbs..." (emphasis mine). Somebody please fix. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Superscript "s" diatrict

I was recently creating the IPA pronunciation for Koyaanisqatsi based on the orthography found in the Hopi dictionary. According to the book, the constant sound ts in Hopi is represented in IPA "as in cats" ("ts" in IPA refers to a slightly different sound in Hopi). However, the subscript "s" diatrict (which is hard to see) is not listed on the IPA page, nor does it have an article that it redirects to. I was wondering why it's not located on the IPA page (maybe because its so small?) and if it should be added. Also, I don't know the name of the sound to which that diatrict represents, so I'm not even sure if there is an article for it. –Dream out loud (talk) 00:01, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

I just found out that according to here, that symbol was discontinued in 1989, although oddly enough the dictionary was first published in 1998. I guess I answered my own question, so I'll just replace it with a regular "s" (assuming that would be correct). –Dream out loud (talk) 02:44, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, IMO that would be best.
There is a tradition of using superscript fricatives to make affricates, perhaps to avoid tie bars, which a lot of people find ugly, but that seems to be going out of fashion.
Any IPA letter can be make superscript to function as a diacritic giving phonetic detail. So, if in some language the /t/ had a fricative offglide before /u/, that might be written [tˢ]. But generally if it has a separate affricate phoneme, that will just be written /ts/. — kwami (talk) 03:09, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

broken anchor link

Other is listed in the contents page (and some entries such as ɵ in O section) but this section does not actually exist.

Can someone check an archive page and make the appropriate correction? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

That link is not broken. Just click it. It goes to an "other" section of the table. rʨanaɢ (talk) 08:35, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Nikita Khrushchev

An IP keeps changing the IPA for Nikita Khrushchev I have no idea if he is right. Could someone better versed in this system than I look at it?--Wehwalt (talk) 15:00, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

(Not an IP.) If you follow the link, you'll see that Хинт is bringing the transcription into line with our IPA conventions for Russian, so I have no reason to think there's anything wrong. (Maybe move the stress mark inside the geminant consonant, as we do for Italian.) — kwami (talk) 15:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Organization of IPA characters

Why have the IPA characters been organized according to the Latin alphabet, instead of their actual phonetic classes? The categorization characters here are totally arbitrary; [x] and [χ] are listed under 'x' simply because they look like the Latin x, while other letters such as [ɔ] and [ʒ] are listed according to what they sound like. There's no consistency, and if you're looking for a specific sound you'll get nowhere. [dʒ] will not be found at 'j', and [j] will not be found at 'y'. It's not really helpful at all. While I understand that it might seem like this kind of organization might seem easier for people with scanty knowledge of the IPA, it's really not, because navigating the list still requires some knowledge of the IPA. You need to already know that the 'y' sound is written [j] to find it here.

Why not list the characters according to their actual phonetic properties? Most people wouldn't recognize them coming onto the page, sure. But it's really not that difficult to learn the different characterizations, and once they've been learnt it should make it easier to reproduce unfamilar sounds. If you understand how a [b] is 'voiced' 'bilabial' 'stop', and you also know what a 'fricative' is, then when faced with the unfamilar [β] ('voiced' 'bilabial' 'fricative'), you can reproduce the sound without much guesswork.theBOBbobato (talk) 15:39, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

You can find IPA charts like what you're probably more used to at IPA#Consonants and IPA#Vowels. rʨanaɢ (talk) 22:33, 6 October 2011 (UTC)