Key to pronunciations (British and World English dictionary)

The pronunciations given represent the standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England (sometimes called Received Pronunciation or RP), and the example words given in this key are to be understood as pronounced in such speech.

Consonants

The letters b, d, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, and z have their usual English values. Other symbols are used as follows:

Symbol

 

Example

ɡ

as in

get  

 

chip 

ʤ

 

jar 

x

 

loch

ŋ

 

ring

θ

 

thin

ð

 

this

ʃ

 

she

ʒ

 

decision

j

 

yes

Vowels

Symbol

 

Example

Short vowels

 

 

a

as in

cat

ɛ

 

bed

ə

 

ago

ɪ

 

sit

i

 

cosy

ɒ

 

hot

ʌ

 

run

ʊ

 

put

Long vowels

 

 

ɑː

 

arm

ɛː

 

hair

əː

 

her

 

see

ɔː

 

saw

 

too

Diphthongs

 

 

ʌɪ

 

my

 

how

 

day

əʊ

 

no

ɪə

 

near

ɔɪ

 

boy

ʊə

 

poor

Triphthongs

 

 

ʌɪə

 

fire

aʊə

 

sour

In multisyllable words the symbol ˈ is used to show that the following syllable is stressed, as in /kəˈbal/; the symbol ˌ indicates a secondary stress, as in /ˌkaləˈbriːs/.

(ə) before /l/, /m/, or /n/ indicates that the syllable may be realized with a syllabic l, m, or n, rather than with a vowel and consonant, e.g. /ˈbʌt(ə)n/ rather than /ˈbʌtən/.

(r) indicates an r that is sometimes sounded when a vowel follows, as in drawer, cha-chaing.

Key to the non-anglicized pronunciation of foreign words


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