IPA (Phonetics) Resources

If I were a beer drinker, I would make some joke about the IPA. Unfortunately, I don’t drink beer and take myself too seriously to besmudge the fine acronym IPA, which stands for the International Phonetic Alphabet – a quite marvelous invention meant to represent the sounds of human speech. IPA is also a useful tool for teachers and students – it allows you to see dictionary and spoken forms of words, compare accents and dialogues, and its just cool. So, here are several IPA resources that I frequently use:

Sounds: The Pronunciation App

Available for Android and iOS, this app is useful for learning the English sounds of either British or American English. It comes with a simple IPA chart, some IPA exercises (read and write, listen and write) and a minimal dictionary for examples. I recommend the free version.

 

Type IPA

I use this site all the time to type IPA. It gives you the option of only using an English IPA keyboard or you can choose the full IPA keyboard.

 

PhoTransEdit

PhoTransEdit’s Text to Phonetics page allows you to type regular English words, choose between British (RP) or General American pronunciation, and then see the IPA version of the word. Very useful!

 

Wikipedia

Wikipedia offers an indepth IPA chart for a range of English accents. You can click on most of the symbols and hear a sample. They also offer the complete IPA chart for all languages.

 

Learner’s Dictionary

I recommend this dictionary to all students. It has the simplest definitions of words, which are of very high quality. It also offers IPA and audio pronunciation.

 

Phonetics from the University of Iowa

See American English sound animations. Really useful and cool website. They have also just released a mobile version for Android and iOS. Check it out!

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