Wikivoyage talk:Pseudo-phoneticization guide

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So, this is a start to doing some kind of guide for making phonetic cues for phrases in phrasebooks. I tried to borrow the best practices from existing phrasebooks. There are lots of sounds that aren't represented in the alphabet (example: glottal stops), and some fine points of pronunciation aren't covered (like tones in tonal languages). However, it's a starting point for better work.

A couple of things I don't like: "igh" for the sound of 'i' in "time", 'ie' in "pie", 'y' in "fry", etc. It's about the only English letter combo I could think of that was unambiguous for that sound (English 'i' can also be ih, English 'ie' can also be ee, English 'y' can also be y, English 'ai' can be ay or eh, and English 'ay' is more usually ay). But combined in our alphabet, it could also look like ihgh, at first glance. Any suggestions for a letter or group of letters in English that would make a better "igh" sound?

Some other things: I've got dh for "th" in "those", and zh for "s" in "treasure", but I'm not sure those are really intuitive at first glance. Other ideas? -- (WT-en) Evan 11:54, 15 Nov 2003 (PST)

Nice work, Evan. There are indeed some difficult cases as you mention above. I can't really come up with an answer right now. I'll give it some thought, though. (I have similar problems for representing Dutch 'eu', 'ui', 'ei' and 'ij' -- any ideas?)
Well, lessee... my Dutch is real old and creaky, but...
  • "ui" → ow (ex: "uien" → OW-ehn)
  • "ei" → igh (ex: "Leiden" → LIGH-dehn or LIGH-duhn)
  • "ij" → igh (ex: "mij" → migh)
Kinda dirty, and probably colored by the fact that I probably don't remember how to pronounce this stuff any more, anywas!. As for "eu", I'm thinking oo, uh, or maybe adding a er item....
For Dutch "ui", I suggest "uy" as in "buy" - it's fairly close, and in Dutch "uy" is pronounced like "ui". -(WT-en) PierreAbbat
All three are wrong (I'm Dutch and speak fluent English). "ui" is indeed more like "uy" in "buy", but still quite different. -- 06:12, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
I added 'ny' for the 'ñ' in Spanish mañana, 'gn' in French agneau, 'nj' in Dutch oranje. Would that represent this sound well enough?
I think that's a great one. Simple, gets across the idea nicely.
Yep; that's correct in all three languages! -- 06:12, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
There's one symbol I don't really agree with: 'ng' representing the nasal 'n' in French vin. I think 'ng' should represent the 'ng' in English king. And AFAIK it's not the 'n' that is nasal in vin, but the 'i'. Same with French un (nasal 'u'), French on (nasal 'o'). I think we should devise a way to represent nasal vowels instead. Maybe a tilde after the vowel, but I'm not sure how clear that would be for an English speaker. Examples: e~ for 'in' in French "vin", o~ for 'on', u~ for 'un', a~ for 'en', i~ for 'im' in Portuguese "jardim", oo~ for Portuguese 'um'.
Well, the main problem I have with that is that it's no longer even close to WYSIWYG (OK, it's not quite anyways, but you get the idea). The "ng" is often used in French phrasebooks for English speakers. It's obviously confusing if the language has the "king" sound as well as the "vin" sound... I'm not sure throwing in extra symbols is all that good.
Just thought of something: would a ' do as a symbol for a glottal stop? (WT-en) DhDh 14:14, 15 Nov 2003 (PST)
Actually, that's a common usage for representing Cockney and other dialects in English ("bottle" becomes "bo'l", or for use "bah-'uhl". Or something. -- (WT-en) Evan 15:25, 15 Nov 2003 (PST)
Thanks for the hints on the Dutch sounds. I spent about half an hour uttering all kinds of sounds and trying to find the best matching symbols for them :-) I hope that I've come up with something sensible (er, ey, ir, uu, yy). Let me know if you have doubts.
Having two sounds for 'ng' or using extra symbols -- the choice is not easy. Let's try the first option; you never know where the second option might lead us.
Do you mean that you agree using a ' for a glottal stop or not?
I've looked it over a bit and I have no real problems with 'igh', 'zh' and 'dh'. To me they are pretty clear. -- (WT-en) DHOOM-dhoom 17:01, 15 Nov 2003 (PST)

Is "ew" good for French "u", German "ü", and Finnish "y"? -(WT-en) PierreAbbat

Well, we added "uu" for I believe just that particular sound. To tell the truth, it's not a combination you see a lot in English, and I don't think I could read out loud "ew", "oo", and "uu" and have you hear a difference. Don't forget that this is a readable English approximation, not an IPA stand-in. Is "oo" really not good enough for "sah-LOO"? Are English speakers going to be badly misunderstood if they say "DUH shahm see-VOO-play"? --(WT-en) EH-vihn 08:47, 4 Dec 2003 (PST)

They might. French is my second language and I have no clue what "DUH shahm" is supposed to mean (I haven't looked at the phrasebook in order not to cheat :-) Secondly, I don't think "ew" is good for Dutch/French "u", German "ü" and Finnish "y". At least not if it's the same sound as in "few" or "dew", in which "ew" is pronounced the same way as "you". This really is quite a different sound. And if Dutch "u"/"uu" would be represented by "oo", I fear I'm not going to understand someone who's talking about a MOOR (muur = wall) or that something is DOOR (duur = expensive). (WT-en) DhDh 11:57, 4 Dec 2003 (PST)

Here are some minimal sets: sur (on) / sire (sire) / soeur (sister) / sieur (sir) / sueur (sweat) ; lui (him) / Louis (Louis) / lu (read) / lit (bed) / loue (rents) ; vu (seen) / vous (you). A Frenchman hearing one of these is likely to be quite confused if you mean another. I cringe when I hear people say "déjà vous". Also the "r" is pronounced in such words as quatre (four), chambre (room), and huitre (oyster), the last of which becomes huit (eight) if you drop it. -(WT-en) PierreAbbat 15:25, 4 Dec 2003 (PST)
OK, OK, OK. DOO shahmr or DIH shahmr.
Here's the way I picture it: we have the big pronunciation section at the beginning, listing out all the letters, and how to pronounce them well. We then have little pronunciation cues for each phrase, which give rough approximations of how to pronounce it. Someone who's familiar with the pronunciation section at the beginning will (ideally) just read the phrase aloud, perfectly. Having the little cue can kinda jar their memory.
We have a few options here: 1) use an exact but abstruse phonetic language like IPA or SAMPA, 2) use sound files (not good for printouts), 3) have pronunciation cues in an English-like syntax that English readers can sound out to give approximations of the real sounds. Also, we can 4) make up our own exact abstruse phonetic language, which has neither the advantage of being sound-out-able by the average English reader, nor the advantage of being standard. Finally, we can 5) just leave out the pronunciation cues.
If I had to rank these options, I'd say 3 > 4 > 5 > 1, and 2 should be a supplement to any of them. If we go with 3), we're just going to have to accept that there are sounds in other languages that we're not going to be able to simulate perfectly. I think it's better to say that queue is KOO rather than making up some weird "k*^%w" or something.
My N cents, where 1 < N < 3. --(WT-en) Evan 16:08, 4 Dec 2003 (PST)

I don't think "er" is right for either Dutch "ui" or French "oe"/"eu". As I learned them, "ui" is a diphthong consisting of ash followed by über, "er" is retroflex, and "eu" is "o" with the tongue forward and not retroflex. How about "uo" for "eu"? -(WT-en) phma

I just added some words to a phrasebook, and the pronunciation of one of them came out as pighngsh (it's the plural of powng). How is the Anglophone going to pronounce that? Also, in the German phrasebook, three colors are transcribed as blow, grow, and brown, which happen to look like English words, but only one of them sounds like the German word (and happens to mean the same). -(WT-en) phma 19:22, 24 Dec 2003 (PST)

w/r/t "pighngsh" -- how about we figure out a better long-i sound than "igh"? I really can't think of one that's unambiguous-looking. Suggestions definitely requested.
w/r/t looks like an English word: I think that's OK. If people can count on always expecting things to pronounce how they look, not like the English words, these things will be relatively unambiguous.
w/r/t the technique in general: you hate it. I am well aware of that. I'm aware that it's your bete noire, but I really don't know what you want to do instead. If you feel like you've proven your point that the current system is unimplementable, what would you like us to do instead? --(WT-en) Evan 13:58, 25 Dec 2003 (PST)

Bête noire, baie noire, baignoire, whatever. :) What about using the letters ö and ü? The sounds are found in a lot of languages, and are written that way in many of them. That would alleviate the confusion trying to pronounce "heureux" (currently ur-RUR, proposed öh-RÖH) or "heure" vs. "eux". -(WT-en) phma 22:05, 25 Dec 2003 (PST)

I tend to agree with that (I take ü as being the ü-sound in German München). The more phrasebooks we are going to have, the more sounds will need to be represented. Using only characters used in English just won't do the job, and will lead to pronunciations that are completely unintelligible in the target language. I agree that travellers cannot be expected to learn the whole set of phonetic characters by heart, but they should at least be understood, shouldn't they? I think a controlled and limited extension would do more good then harm. (WT-en) DhDh 14:54, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)
ö, ü and uy are correct for Dutch. (WT-en) DhDh 16:43, 27 Dec 2003 (PST)
I know that using sounds from English as pronunciation cues is inexact, insufficient, and probably misleading. It's also done in just about every English-language phrasebook I've ever seen.
It's probably about time that we start referring to some other phrasebooks by other publishers to get some ideas about how to do these "hard" sounds. I really don't think using non-English symbols is the right way to go here. --(WT-en) Evan 16:03, 29 Dec 2003 (PST)
The first book I ever saw that attempted to write the sounds of ü and ö in English used "ew" and "uh". That's a Berlitz German book. I have also seen œ used for ö. Then there's the Romanian î sound, which AFAIK is the same as the Russian ы sound. (It's written that way in Moldavian: Тотул с'а ынчепут It all began.) I think I've seen "ih" for that, which is okay as long as the language doesn't have both sounds. I've been ignoring the "r"/"rh"/"rr" distinction in French, since French has only one "r" sound, but in Spanish, which has pero "but" and perro "dog", I wouldn't. -(WT-en) phma 15:44, 30 Dec 2003 (PST)
How about going back to "uu", which is Dutch, and using "eu", which is also Dutch, and listing in the pronunciation guide what symbol is used after explaining how to pronounce it? -(WT-en) phma 19:56, 5 Jan 2004 (EST)

Now that we have a Hindi-Urdu phrasebook, we have more problems. Hindi has "kh" which is not an ach-Laut, but an aspirated "k", "th" which is not an interdental fricative but an aspirated "t", and a series of retroflex consonants. It has both nasal vowels an an "ng" sound (though the latter is pretty rare in Gujarati, I don't know about Hindi). How do we represent these sounds? -(WT-en) phma 23:02, 25 Jan 2004 (EST)

There's now the beginning of a Finnish phrasebook, and there's yet another problem. The sound "ä" is written "a" in our scheme; the sound "a" is written "ah". A syllable can end with "h" (e.g. kahdeksan). How do we transcribe the sounds of "äh" and "ah"? What about "u" and "uu"? -(WT-en) phma 23:58, 16 Feb 2004 (EST)

Not to mention "oh" and "eh". I think the "h before a consonant" sound is very tough for English speakers, but the best transcription might just be adding an "h" (or two). For example "kahvi" → "KAHHH-vee". Also, I think "ew" more correctly approximates the sound of y than "uu", and "er" or "ir" makes way more sense than "eu" for ö. - (WT-en) Nickpest 00:49, 31 Jul 2004 (EDT)

I'm concerned with using OW to transcribe the ow in cow. Normally it works, but with the Finnish word rauha (peace), for example, it transcribes as ROW-hah, which could easily be read by an English speaker as "Row the boat". Maybe use AO instead? - (WT-en) Nickpest 02:21, 31 Jul 2004 (EDT)


igh is the one item in our pronunciation alphabet that sticks out in the above discussion as being dissatisfying, and I agree. pighngsh is not a useful pseudo-phoneticization for Portuguese pães—it's just a really confusing looking heap of consonants (unless you've spent time looking over this policy article). When I see igh in a foreign language pronunciation context, there is ambiguity as to whether the g is pronounced, either as a hard g or a voiced fricative. (And lo and behold, we use it for that in this guide when used as gh, like 'g' in Dutch "geen")!

Is there another combination that is completely unambiguous? Not really, but the problem is that igh isn't unambiguous either, in the context of a foreign language. IMO the better option is ie, which I think is the one most often used in phrasebooks for this sound, and almost always conveys the ie as in pie sound in English.

To further minimize confusion, we would just need to make it clear that ie = ie as in pie in the alphabet section:

ai, ay
like ie as in pie

Anyway, I think piengsh > pighngsh. Should we change this? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:12, 11 March 2010 (EST)

Bump. The igh still looks pretty confusing to my eyes. --Peter Talk 20:01, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Phonetic policy - swept in from the pub[edit]

Swept here from the pub

Right now there is a Wikivoyage:Pseudo-phoneticization guide. IMO, Wikitravel should instead use the International Phonetic Alphabet, since the pseudo-phonetics are deficient, and confuses non-native English speakers. /Yvwv (talk) 14:16, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Absolutely, positively not. We're writing for travelers, not for linguists. Pseudo-phonetics may confuse non-native speakers, but IPA confuses everyone. LtPowers (talk) 15:44, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Our pseudo-phoneticization scheme could be improved, though. --Peter Talk 18:34, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IPA has three big advantages — it is precise, it is language-independent, and it is already in use on Wikipedia so we can get IPA for many place names and some other terms free. The only negative is that it is not widely known.
Pseudo-phonetics are not widely known either, and the current page has plenty of other problems. I'm seriously tempted to tag it for deletion. Pashley (talk) 19:07, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The whole point of pseudo-phonetics is that they don't have to be widely known in order to be understood. If you tag it for deletion, how exactly are our phrasebooks going to work? Also, IPA is not just "not widely known", but it's also opaque. Travelers would have to carry around both a phrasebook and an IPA pronunciation guide if we used IPA. LtPowers (talk) 19:51, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We need the pseudo-phonetics page for people to decipher our pseudo-phonetics. And that's kind of the problem. I'd rather simplify the display of our phonetics in the phrasebook, and have that page serve as a key for all of them. --Peter Talk 21:19, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't understand what you mean. Wikivoyage:Pseudo-phoneticization guide isn't for our readers, it's for people making phrasebooks. LtPowers (talk) 22:26, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I see a pseudo-phonetic transcription on Wikivoyage, any attempt to pronounce the word will likely be very wrong. On the other hand, if I see an IPA transcription, I usually get a fairly good idea of how it is pronounced. I suppose that different people are used to different phonetic transcription systems. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:34, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's supposed to be for writers, but as a practical matter most readers would have to to understand what's in the phrasebooks. Non-native English speakers will absolutely have to. --Peter Talk 22:54, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe I'm being dense today but I'm just not following what the problem is. I don't care what pseudo-pronounciations we use, as long as a) they allow some semblance of the target language to be uttered, and b) they don't look like this: "welcome: bienvenue (/bjɛ̃v.ny/)" LtPowers (talk) 02:52, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I absolutely do not support the exclusive use of IPA. If people want to use that in addition to pseudo-phonetics, knock yourselves out, but I think a very small percentage of our readers will understand them, so I strongly oppose either substituting them in place of pseudo-phonetics or using them exclusively. I'd be perfectly OK with entries in phrasebooks using them sequentially (IPA, then pseudo-phonetics). Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:41, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

[re-indent]Pick up some guidebooks and look at their language section...I think you will be hard-pressed to find any guidebook that uses the IPA system. Some may (like our phrasebook) have a section that details how letters are pronounced, separate pronunciations into syllables, and capitalize to show stress (Russian: DOH-bra-yuh OO-tra from LP USSR 1st ed. 1991). Others may simply display a written (transliterated) word like Armenian Inch e dser anoonu? (From Bradt Armenia & Nagorno-Karabakh 2nd ed. 2006...includes a full letter/dipthong pronunciation guide, though). And others may simply separate syllables and/or capitalize for stress, without a letter/diphthong pronunciation guide (like Lingala: M-bo-tay in Bradt Congo: Democratic Republic•Republic 1st ed. 2008 or Pardon pahr-don from Fodor's Provence & Côte d'Azur 7th ed. 2007). Lonely Planet publishes some phrasebooks, but I don't have any to look at and see what system they use.

Now, of course, there's no rule that Wikivoyage must stylize itself after printed guides, but this should go to show that even guide publishers don't have faith in travelers' abilities to decipher IPA pronunciations. In my opinion, creating and using a pseudo-pronunciation guide is perfect for WV in order to keep consistency between phrasebooks & the use of foreign-language terms on destination pages. Pronunciation guides will never quite be perfect and even if they were perfectly representative, the people using them would probably mispronounce words much of the time anyways. If there is debate as to the content of the Pseudo-phoneticization guide, discussions over how to treat sounds and such should be discussed on its talk page; but having that guide/system at all is what I support. Now, that said, I have no objection to using the IPA system in tandem with our pseudo-pronunciation guide. This combines a acceptable pronunciation system which most users will understand with a perfect pronunciation system which <1% of readers will understand. The only issue may be finding someone who understands IPA and the subject language to add IPA pronunciations to guides, since it will probably be hard to find sources for IPA pronunciations to use in our guides (even if they can be found, will every term be covered & is is copyrighted?). AHeneen (talk) 07:35, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Absolutely agree with all the commenters here. I'm a student of linguistics at the university level and speak three languages fluently, and even I cannot make heads or tails of the IPA. In my experience with travel in foreign countries, anyone that I have come into contact with was grateful and surprised to hear an American speak any language other than English fluently; they certainly never wanted to crucify me for pronouncing a word funny. If the pseudo-phonetics system ain't broke, as the saying goes, don't fix it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 11:28, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, for what it's worth: to answer AHeneen's question, I own a copy of Lonely Planet's French phrasebook, which uses a pseudo-phonetics system very similar to ours. No IPA there at all. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:22, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have looked at three phrasebooks by different publishers. All used pseuo-phonetics, but two of them mentioned accompanying CDs. Would it be possible to add sounds (MP3 files?) to our phrasebooks? AlasdairW (talk) 22:03, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds would be great, but I don't know if the addition of sounds to a page would fit with our Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals. Specifically, our content should be medium-neutral, so that the same content can easily be accessed from a computer that is online, a computer offline, smartphone, tablet, e-reader, iPod, etc. as well as in print. Also, sounds would have to be in a format that is freely-licensed. MP3 encryption is patented and has to be licensed, we'd have to use OGG encryption or similar. AHeneen (talk) 23:37, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Shouldn't that be "compression", not "encryption"? K7L (talk) 17:59, 13 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Encoding, actually, but I think we all knew what he meant. =) Current policy prohibits any media except text and images, so we'd need a change there to start including audio files. Commons has a number of pronunciation audio files already, but they tend to be for single words rather than common phrasebook phrases. LtPowers (talk) 19:12, 13 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OGG files would be fine for short clips to hear when online. Wikipedia has pronunciation for some cities using OGG files. I am assuming that the sound files would supplement the text, not replace it, so a printout would still be useful when travelling. A separate discussion is probably need on adding a policy for sound files, so that we can use the existing OGG files on Commons for city names that are hard to say (e.g. w:Milngavie). AlasdairW (talk) 23:28, 13 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd strongly oppose IPA symbols. They are basically gibberish to anyone who hasn't got a Master's in linguistics. Audio files are a much better idea, especially now Wikivoyage is tied to Commons, so those files can be shared with Wikipedia and Wiktionary, so people don't have to read cryptic IPA symbols there either. —Tom Morris (talk) 19:10, 16 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I learnt IPA during my first English lessons, at age 10. An adult of average intelligence can learn IPA in less time than it takes to read a long Wikivoyage article, or just use a reference card. /Yvwv (talk) 18:23, 18 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To me, the most important question isn't "can the average adult learn the IPA", it's "should he have to learn the IPA as a prerequisite to understanding our phrasebooks". I think the answer to the latter question is a resolute "no". We've just launched Wikivoyage on the WMF, and lots of people who visit will be doing so for the first time. We should not be sending out the message that people need to jump through hoops or expend unusual effort before they can fully participate. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:37, 18 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You learned the entire IPA in your first English languages as a kid? What sort of insane teacher did you have?  ;) --Peter Talk 19:05, 18 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Learning the phonetic symbol for all sounds in the English language is not too hard. Maybe you are simply not accustomed to studying a foreign language? /Yvwv (talk) 00:56, 19 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you're going to be silly like that... I've taught the English phonetic chart, and in the course of my former studies learned the IPA symbols and their variants for Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Estonian, Finnish, French, various Spanish dialects, Turkish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Sierra Leonean Krio. But we cover a wider range of languages on Wikivoyage (all of them), and asking readers who might spend 3-4 days in a new language-area to learn unfamiliar IPA symbols each time, is unreasonable. --Peter Talk 04:22, 19 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to Wikipedia, there are 107 different letters in the International Phonetic Alphabet, which can be further modified by any of 52 diacritics to indicate minor alterations in sound, tone, length, or intonation. That's not even including the extensions to the IPA [1] that are used for other sounds such as the clicks used in some African languages.
In short, anyone who can fully digest this [2] in the time it takes to read an average Wikivoyage article, my hat is off to.
I speak three languages fluently and have studied at length the phonology of many more. It's my area of study, and I know enough to know that the sounds produced in English—or in any language—may or may not sound anything like the sounds in another language. Without exaggeration, I'm sorry to say, it was enough to put me off learning languages that were too far removed from my own.
So what are we to do with a visitor who wants to go to, let's say, South Korea, but doesn't care to learn Korean in an exhaustive way? In our phrasebooks, are we to present the reader with an IPA construct like "kɐmd͡ʑɐ" ("potato") and expect him to seek out some other source that will teach him that "d͡ʑ" is a voiced alveolo-palatal affricate, then find another source to tell him what exactly a voiced alveolo-palatal affricate is, et cetera? That would, objectively speaking, put us at a distinct disadvantage vis-à-vis other travel guides.
Or are we to place longwinded explanations in the guidebooks parsing out all this information for each individual language? As much as I support the inclusion of phrasebooks in Wikivoyage, the fact remains that they're a sidebar to our primary purpose, as a travel guide. I think that providing in-depth information about the finer points of pronunciation, on an aspect of our project that as it is, is only obliquely related to travel, would be far outside the scope of Wikivoyage.
I said it before, and I stand by it: the phonetic system we use in our phrasebooks works well enough for our purposes. Lonely Planet and the rest have apparently come to the appropriate conclusions: that having all the relevant information condensed in one place is paramount; that most travelers to a country where an unfamiliar language is spoken will be satisfied as long as they speak it well enough to get by, rather than perfectly; and that anyone who is concerned about pitch-perfect pronunciation will seek out Rosetta Stone rather than a travel guidebook. If there are any complaints with that approach, I've yet to hear them and can't even imagine what they would consist of. Why should Wikivoyage reinvent the wheel?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:46, 19 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
kɐmd͡ʑɐ...WTF!?!? kahmd'zaah? I'd prefer something along the lines of kon-nee-chee-wah (yes, I know it's Japanese, not Korean). However, that doesn't mean that we can't list both. Doing so would be a major plus for our phrasebook for travelers who are also language many phrasebooks for travel have IPA for more accurate pronunciations for those people? AHeneen (talk) 06:37, 19 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ah for 'o' in English "boss"[edit]

Surely there is a better way to write the 'o' in English "boss" than "ah". Nurg (talk) 09:37, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The way we pronounce it in New York and in much of the rest of the US, it would be "aw." Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:13, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's the father-bother merger at play, which is common in North American English but not in other English dialects.
I also can't also find the vowel [ɔː], as in thought - that would be more aw. Lcmortensen (talk) 07:28, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]