Why you should use IPA transcriptions


English pronunciation is confusing. The pronunciation of each English word you learn is unique.  English is not phonetic.  The letters in the words might help you pronounce the word, but it can also confuse you.


Ridiculous English Spelling: food, dude, flu, flew, fruit, blue, to, shoe, move, tomb, group, through

Awesome IPA Spelling: fud, dud, flu, flu, fɹut, blu, tu, ∫u, muv, tum, grup, Ɵɹu

-Wyner, Gabriel. Fluent Forever : How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It (9780385348102) (Kindle Locations 1156-1157). Random House Digital. Kindle Edition.

Never assume you know the pronunciation of a word by the spelling. There is no way in English to be sure of the pronunciation without an IPA phonetic transcription.

Where can I find IPA phonetic transcription?

In your dictionary, such as LDOCE or Wiktionary. This is your visual guide to pronouncing English words. If you know the IPA sounds and symbols well, you will never have problems pronouncing words.


You might not be able to make the sounds correctly yet. Keep practicing every day and your pronunciation will get closer and closer to native speaker pronunciation.  It’s not important that you pronounce words perfectly all the time. It’s important that you know how the word is supposed to be pronounced and you are trying to pronounce it in that way. (see Get it right in your head)

Extra tips

Antimoon – English pronunciation is a minefield — here’s how to survive