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C.C. Hogan

Pronunciation and Respelling Guide

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When you are marking up your scripts or sending me scripts, it helps to have a pronunciation guide for unfamiliar or made-up words. Some people use the International Phonetic Alphabet, but to be honest, most people do not know it (including me) and though very powerful, it is very convoluted.

This system I use is stolen from various sources like dictionary.com and Wikipedia. It is terribly straight forward and intuitive and can be easily read on the fly.

Below are two tables - one for consonants and the other for vowels. They simply give how to respell words so that there is no confusion as to how they are said.

Stresses in words are dealt with using capitals, so a racoon would be ra-KUUN and pronunciation would be prə-NUN-see-AY-shən.

Notice the use of the letter ə, which is often called a schwa.  You will see in the vowel section that this is used where the vowel sound is unstressed - so very short!

Consonants  
ch church, child
h hat, have
hw which, why
j judge
kh loch (Scottish), Buch (German)
ng thing, ring
sh ship, dish, ration, ratio
th thin, thigh, beneath
dh this, thy
y yes, yonder
zh vision, pleasure
b boy, cob
d dog, had
f fast, off
g good, dog
k kitchen, cook
l long, ball
m money, ram
n no, ton
p pale, lap
r rat, run, arrange
s sun, pass
t tall, short
v value, rev
w water, walk
z zebra, biz
   
Vowels  
a apathy, pat, lad, ran
ay pay, paid, say, ablation
air care, hair, there, verify
ah father, palm
ar arm, farther
e let, head, fell
ee bee, see, complete
i invalid, pit, city, rabbit, garbage
ahy item, pie, by, my
eer pier, near, here
o pot, not, wasp, hock
ohr north, war, force, wore
oh toe, no
aw caught, paw
oi noise, boy
uu took, put
oor tour, manure
oo boot, soon, through
ow out, now
u cut, run, enough
ər urge, term, firm, word, heard, bird, vernier, butter, winner
ə about, item, gallop, circus, edible,
yoo pupil,
oe feu (French), schön, zwölf (German)
ue tu (French), über (German)
o(ng) bon (French)

 

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