Phonetic Symbols, Keyboards and Transcription

This page provides some information and resources for the use of the International Phonetics Association alphabet of phonetic symbols for the transcription of speech using computers.

Unicode Phonetic Keyboard and SIL Fonts

The Unicode Phonetic Keyboard is an installable keyboard for Windows PCs that provides a convenient keyboard layout for the word-processing of phonetic transcription using Unicode fonts. The installation package comes complete with two Unicode fonts: Doulos and Charis that have been developed by SIL.

Guide to the use of Unicode Phonetic Symbols

John Wells has written a number of pages which give more information about the set of phonetic symbols available in Unicode, and about how these can be used in Microsoft Word and other applications:

IPA-SAM Phonetic Fonts

The IPA-SAM fonts are a set of TrueType fonts (not Unicode) suitable for Windows and MacOS that include all current IPA symbols. The keyboard layout is designed to be compatible with SAMPA.

SAMPA–SAM Phonetic Alphabet

SAMPA is a phonetic transcription coding that uses normal ASCII characters as replacements for IPA symbols. It has been designed for phonemic/broad phonetic transcription of European languages.

Spoken Phonetic Transcription

The PHONWEB page provides a facility to read out SAMPA phonetic transcription for English in synthetic speech!

Some other pages on our site you may enjoy ...

ESECTION - Speech signal cross-sections

ESection is a free program for calculating and displaying spectral and other related analyses of sections of a speech signal. It can be used to demonstrate the different spectral properties of elements of speech. It can also calculate an LPC spectrum, autocorrelation and cepstrum analyses, and can display the signal as a waveform or as a spectrogram. It automatically finds formant and fundamental frequency values.

PROREC - Speech Prompt & Record System

Prorec is a free Windows PC program for prompting speakers with lists of words or sentences and recording their speech back to disk.

BROWSE - Simple tool for browsing audio files

BROWSE is a program for browsing audio recordings. With BROWSE you can drag and drop audio files in a range of formats onto the display to see and hear their contents. BROWSE allows you to zoom, scroll and save the audio files to other formats.

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