Pronunciation Symbols

When did pronunciation symbols turn into gibberish? When I was 10 I knew how to look at the pronunciation symbol next to a word in the dictionary and figure out how to say that word. Now, I just looked up cliché and Wikipedia offers this description of how to pronounce the word:

Good thing I already know how to pronounce it!

Honest question though - not just a rant. When did all this change? And why did it change? Is it somehow more international or something?

Never knew how to read that crap in the first place, and its not from early lack of trying. I used to know the upside down e one. Never much mind, it all represents barbarian tongues. … c_Alphabet

Dictionaries in the UK have been doing it for quite a while, I don’t know about the US. I can remember looking up the symbols in the front of the dictionary when I was still at school, at least.

The main problem is that the English language is ridiculous :stuck_out_tongue: Even if you write things “phonetically” such that most English speakers can read them, it’s not necessarily clear to non-English speakers, and dialects and accents make it equivocal anyway. IPA uses a symbol for each sound, splits up diphthongs (the é of cliché) into two symbols, and so on.

Once you can read the symbols, it’s a lot clearer and more accurate, and a lot more international, than the old phonetic system. Personally, I think everyone should learn to read and write in IPA - it’d save a lot of learning “how things are really spelled”, you wouldn’t be confronted with new words you didn’t know how to pronounce, and you could tell where the author was from. :slight_smile:

I suspected as much. Oh well, I guess I can either learn to read and write in IPA, or… just drink an IPA and forget about it! O:)

Another suggestion to make the world a better place. Just three little letters that mean so much :stuck_out_tongue:

My brother is studying theater and he uses all of that shit. The layman doesn’t really need it, but a language specialist does. An actor, for example, doesn’t convey the same, uh, shit with two slightly different pronounciations of a word. It has to be complicated because there is a veritably wide range of sounds a human can make, if trianed properly.

No, English isnt gonna accept any nazi-euro meddling in trying to improvement or fancify it or preserve it. We aren’t a isolated country in europe bitching and whining about our culture going away. English is the world language, we need to keep it muddy and difficult. We’ll bend in accepting hybrids of English-Chinese into Chinglish, but never this phonetic emphasis. You learn English by learning English via long use of it, not from its easy user guides. More time people study and use English, less time they use their local tongues. Means more international intergration and expression. We want French, German, Russian, and Spanish to die off… these barriers are the basis of seclusion, profane xenophobic thinking and bastions of nationalistic delusions of grandure. It wont happen if we allow compromises in making it easier for foreigners to speak English and we their tongues. Plain and simple, you learn to speak English… however incorrectly… as correct use is a oxymoron… its a bastard language to begin with, or you learn to be silent. Lets have no more of this desire to appeasing to war hawk linguist. Good bye barriers to communication, good bye non Native languages. English is the new Latin, you gotta learn it, no matter how vulgar.