Thoughts for serious language learners
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Entries from January 29th, 2016

Things you should know about phonetic transcription

It is natural to assume that phonetic transcriptions are precise instructions on how to pronounce English words. I remember a time when I thought so, too. Over the years, I have realized that they are more like statistics: they can lie, and when they don’t lie, they don’t tell the whole truth.

In my new article (complete with audio recordings), I explain why phonetic transcriptions don’t give you the whole picture and can even be harmful if you take them too literally.

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