International Phonetic Alphabet Does anyone have any tips on how to learn the IPA? Do you need to learn all of this "front" "back" "open" "closed" malarkey, or is memorising the sounds and their symbols enough?
May 7, 2018 6:54 PM
Comments · 4

I actually found using the vowels charts, which show open and closed tongue positions, to be very helpful when learned for Spanish with videos by the Mimic Method like this one.

The other thing I found helpful was practicing with this site

May 7, 2018
I learned IPA when I was young beginning English. I think it is quite useful to let me know the principle of English pronunciation. I consider learners have to learn IPA to master English pronunciation and the difference between  vowels and consonants with systematic approaches especially for a learner whose learning is based upon self study.    

Think about if you don't have a system to guide you how to approach a new word, how many times do you have to check a new word with audio assistance from dictionary.  
May 7, 2018

I actually learnt the IPA by heart. I studied with books accompanied by lots of youtube videos, podcast and all the material that I could find.
As for "Tips", I'd say "don't panic"  it seems scary at first but soon you'll begin to spot the patterns and how it works. It's not difficult to memorize and learn, in fact, that's the easy part... what it's complicated is to apply it when talking. Personally, I can say that it helped me to visualize the different sounds when I hear or read a new word (it's like when the mathematicians start to see numbers everywhere, well... I kind of see phonemes in every word)

As for the specific question you asked, I'd say that it depends on what is your objective. The easy path would be to focus just on the symbols and sounds, that would take you maybe a couple of hours.... but if you could just dedicate some more effort to study the whole system, that would give you a deeper understanding of the IPA. Well... I really love phonetics and always try to encourage everybody to study it, so I'd suggest reading a couple of books about it.

Of course, I'm not saying that my speech in English is flawless, not at all! I'm just saying that it's a little bit better than when I didn't know anything about the IPA.

Good luck!

May 7, 2018
Thanks for the responses, guys!
May 7, 2018
Language Skills
English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language