User:Hairy Dude/Pronunciation guides

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There are, as you probably know, wide differences in pronunciation between American and British English, as well as between varieties of those dialects. Providing a pronunciation guide which is correct for one but not the other can be both confusing and annoying for speakers of the "other" dialect.

In my view, there are two possible solutions to the problem on Wiktionary:

  1. Provide a pronunciation guide for both dialects for each entry where they differ.
  2. Use a more abstract, phonemic (as opposed to phonetic) system.

Option 1) means, for example, that the "protocol" entry looks like:



  • American: [pɹoːɾoːkɑːl]
  • British: [pɹəʊtəʊkol]

Option 2) involves picking a model of English phonemics (a higher-level, more abstract model that doesn't necessarily represent any accent at all) and using that for pronunciation. Below I suggest such a model.


This is much easier than vowels, since consonants do not vary much between accents of English.

Phonemic Phonetic (US) Phonetic (Br)
b b b
d d d
f f f
g g g
h h h
k k k
l l l
m m m
n n n
ŋ ŋ ŋ
p p p
ər ə¹ ɚ
ɜːr ɜː
s s s
t t t or ɾ
v v v
w w w
z z z