How did you learn the International Phonetic Alphabet, and how long did it take?

  • Two or three lectures spent on understanding the axes of the IPA charts: place of articulation, manner of articulation; vowel height, frontness, and rounding.
  • A round of the class all calling out the cardinal vowels in unison. /iiiii eeeee ɛɛɛɛɛ æææææ, uuuuu ooooo ɔɔɔɔɔ ɑɑɑɑɑ/. I got to make my first year students do that, when my turn came. Good times, good times.
  • Learning the values that fill the slots in the charts then comes remarkably easily, once you’ve grokked the axes. Most are reasonably mnemonic.
Answered 2016-12-08 · Upvoted by

Steve Rapaport, Linguistics PhD candidate at Edinburgh. Has lived in USA, Sweden, Italy, UK.

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