English Phonetic Symbols

Transcription is a representation in writing of the actual pronunciation of a speech sound, word, or piece of text, using not a conventional orthography but a symbol or set of symbols specially designated as standing for corresponding phonetic values.

The phonetic symbols of the English language are:

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 15.44.49

Vowels: 

/rd/, /sɪt/, /bʊk/, /t/, /men/, /əˈmerəkə/, /wɜː(r)d/, /sɔː(r)t/, /kæt/, /bʌt/, /pɑː(r)t/, /nɒt/

 

Consonants:

/pɪɡ/, /bed/, /taɪm/, /duː/, /ɜː(r)/, /ʌ/, /ˈkiːləʊ/, /ɡəʊ/, /faɪv/, /ˈveri/, /θɪŋk/, 

/ðə/, /sɪks/, /zuː/, /ʃɔː(r)t/, /ˈkæʒuəl/, /mɪlk/, /nəʊ/, /ŋ/, /həˈləʊ/, /lɪv/, /riːd/, 

/ˈwɪndəʊ/, /jes/

 

Diphthongs: 

/hɪə(r)/, /d/, /tʊə(r)/, /bɔɪ/, əʊ/, /weə(r)/, /m/, /h/

 

For more practice, use the video below. Repeat after the speaker:

Exercise: match each word with its transcription.

 

Word Transcription
1. sheep a. /ʃɪp/
2. ship b. /tʃiːks/
3. leak c. /dʒem/
4. lick d. /ˌfɪfˈtiːn/
5. cheeks e. /ʃiːp/
6. chicks f. /ˈfɔː(r)ti/
7. jam g. /ˈfɪfti/
8. gem h. /liːv/
9. Brad i. /liːk/
10. bread j. /bræd/
11. fifty k. /lɪk/
12. fifteen l. /tʃɪks/
13. forty m. /bred/
14. fourteen n. /ˌfɔː(r)ˈtiːn/
15. leave o. /dʒæm/

Answer key: 

1 – e, 2 – a, 3- i, 4 – k, 5 – b, 6 – l, 7 – o, 8- c, 9 – j, 10 – m, 11 – g, 12 – d, 13 – f, 14 – n, 15 – h