Because I don't know how to key in the special IPA symbols in my Chinese computer keyboard.

I'm wonder is there a simple system just use 62 (A-Za-z0-9) or less for representation the IPA symbol? That means I don't need to key-in double dot above the u, etc.

For example the vowels(I'm trying to use a-z and dash for long vowels):

  1. a - box (for o)
  2. i - it
  3. i- - tea (for ea)
  4. oo - book
  5. oo- - too
  6. e - pen
  7. e_ - cat (for a)
  8. e- - name (for a)
  9. o - dog
  10. o- - no
  11. u - about (for a)
  12. u2 - bus (for u)
  13. uu - sister (for er)
  14. uu2 - bird (for ir)
  15. ai - fine (for i)
  16. au - how (for ow)
  17. oi - boy (for oy)

for consonants

  1. b - bad
  2. c - chair (for ch)
  3. d - desk
  4. f - food
  5. g - good
  6. g2 - garage (for ge)
  7. h - hat
  8. j - joke
  9. k - key
  10. l - leg
  11. m - mom
  12. n - noon
  13. n2 - sing (for ng)
  14. p - pet
  15. r - red
  16. s - seat
  17. s2 - short (for sh)
  18. t - ten
  19. t2 - thank (for th)
  20. t3 - this (for th)
  21. v - vest
  22. w - we
  23. y - yes
  24. z - zoo

1 Answer 1


There are any number of so-called "newspaper respelling" systems which attempt to represent pronunciation by analogy to simpler words or phonemes, avoiding the use of diacritical marks and non-Latin characters. A handful of standardized pronunciation respelling systems, in alphabetic order, include the following:

All of the above except the BBC system target General American pronunciation.

A basic flaw of all such systems is that they presuppose that the reader understands how the components of the respellings are pronounced in the reference accent. This would not be the case for a learner.

  • Of course, the same problem of understanding occurs, in truckloads, with IPA.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 12:59
  • 1
    @HotLicks True, but at least in theory IPA symbols come with concrete descriptions of how to produce those speech sounds (e.g. <θ> means "a voiceless fricative with your tongue pressed against your teeth", which is infinitely more useful than "it's the sound at the end of the English word "teeth"). Sure, you won't exactly duplicate intended pronunciations of very unfamiliar sounds, but it's probably the closest you're going to get without an audio reference.
    – CJM
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 18:12
  • 1
    @C.Martin - Oh, and how many people even know what "fricative" means? And if IPA is so great, how come there's no computer program that can read it and pronounce the words?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 20:24
  • @Hot Licks: well, are you sure? itinerarium.github.io/phoneme-synthesis
    – Gábor
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 20:57
  • @Gábor - OK! Couldn't find before, though my Google-fu is pretty good. (But it doesn't explain what "fricative" means.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 21:02

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