- You look up a word in two dictionaries, and each dictionary gives a different pronunciation. For example, one dictionary transcribes statutory as
/ˈstætʃətəri/, another as
- You hear a native speaker pronounce a word in a way that sounds different from the pronunciation given in the dictionary. For example, your dictionary says calm is pronounced
/kɑ:m/, but your American friend keeps saying
- You read a rare word or proper name and you don’t know how to pronounce it. For example, you may not know how to pronounce words like azure, Ottawa or Scorsese.
It is in situations like these that an English pronunciation dictionary can come in handy. Specialized pronunciation dictionaries have more words (including proper names) and more pronunciation variants. Phonetic transcriptions in a pronunciation dictionary also tend to be more detailed and more accurate.
With this in mind, I have written an in-depth comparison of two major English pronunciation dictionaries — the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th edition) and the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd edition). If you think you need an authoritative resource on English pronunciation, check out which dictionary has won in my test.