The International Phonetic Alphabet

Use the right-hand navigation to access pages and watch videos of sounds from both the main IPA chart and the Extended IPA chart (revised to 1997).

It is advisable to use these resources with a printed copy of the charts to hand:

The consonants are produced in a VCV frame, i.e. preceded and followed by open vowel. The vowels are produced in isolation and have a sustained monophthongal quality. For many sounds, as well the IPA label, brief textual advice is given on how to produce the particular sound reflecting the fact that the ability to produce unfamiliar sounds often helps students develop their perceptual sensitivity to that sound.

In many cases we have also referred to words from particular languages which exemplify the sound concerned. The languages chosen reflect the bias of the authors and this is an area which will be developed further in future releases of the material. It should be noted that, where we provide real language examples, the exemplar words are merely indicative of the vowel or consonant quality concerned and so should be used as a guide only. The realisation of particular vowels and consonants may vary greatly across languages even though the same symbol might be used in their transcription. For this reason the use of language examples when practicing the sounds of the IPA can be both helpful and misleading at the same time, and should be approached with care.

Future Plans

While the current focus of these online resources is on providing audiovisual training for the production of the consonants and vowels from the main IPA chart, we hope to be able to add more materials over time and to update existing material. Planned future releases include: