IPA ASCII Equivalents

What are ASCII Equivalents?

ASCII equivalents are characters which can be typed by any keyboard. They substitute, in this case, for IPA characters.

Why use ASCII Equivalents?

ASCII equivalents can be used for email, discussion groups, any kind of computer or typewriter use where an IPA font is not available or cannot be read between platforms. Instead of spelling out the sounds of a word as they might be written in English, for example, we write in IPA or an IPA equivalent so that any person can understand the sounds, no matter their primary language and spelling system.

Is there more than one system of ASCII Equivalents?

Yes, but this is the best. :-)

There have been several systems of ASCII equivalents proposed and used for linguistic purposes. We are not aware of a single standard proposed for use by singers, and have adapted our suggestions below from linguistic sources and from our own search over the years for such a system. If you are interested in seeing other equivalency schemes, or systems that make use of a larger phoneme set, you can find several listed in the Diction Domain's IPA Resources.

Singers' IPA symbols and their ASCII Equivalents
IPA Symbol ASCII Equivalent Example Word
ɑ /A/ father
a /a/ ball (East Coast American, German)
ɑ̃ /A~/ enfant (French)
æ /&/ cat
/AU/ house
b /b/ bet
ç /C/ human
d /d/ dog
e /e/ debate
ei /ei/ say
ɛ /E/ bet
ə /@/ about
ɛ̃ /E~/ vin (French)
f /f/ fat
g /g/ go
h /h/ him
i /i/ see
ɪ /I/ hit
ɨ /i-/ BbI (Russian)
j /j/ you
ʒ /Z/ azure
ʤ /dZ/ just
k /k/ kiss
l /l/ lip
ʎ /L/ llorar (Spanish)
m /m/ mother
n /n/ nice
ŋ /N/ ring
ɲ /n;/ canyon
o /o/ hope
ɔ /O/ saw
ɔ̃ /O~/ bon (French)
ø /Q/ höh (German), feu (French)
œ /q/ hölle (German), fleur (French)
œ̃ /q~/ humble (French)
ɔi /Oi/ boy
/oU/ blow
p /p/ pinch
r /r/ rain
ɾ /R/ Paris (Uvular R)
s /s/ size
ʃ /S/ shoe
t /t/ type
θ /T/ thin
ð /D/ then
ʧ /tS/ church
u /u/ too
ʊ /U/ foot
v /v/ love
w /w/ win
hw /hw/ when (British)
x /x/ Bach (German)
y /y/ sur (French), kühl (German)
ʏ /Y/ hülle (German)
z /z/ zebra