Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Orange you glad I know IPA?

IPA- International Phonemic Alphabet.
Speech pathologists have to learn IPA and know it (it's like learning another language)! It's what we use to transcribe speech samples and analyze speech disorders. Every sound has a symbol and we write in this to show how a person is saying a sound/word.  For example: if a child can't say the 'k' or 'c' sound they would say 'cat' like "tat." The IPA transcription would be /tæt/ (cat would be /kæt/).  There are some interesting symbols in IPA.  'Speech Pathologist' would be transcribed /spitʃ pæθɑlədʒəst/

Anyways I recently got to chime in my IPA knowledge on a friends facebook thred (I know...I'm a nerd)! My friend was explaining that his wife said the word orange wrong. He said she says "ornge" in one syllable, which would be transcribed as /ɔrndʒ/. There was a lengthy debate and numerous of comments from others telling how they say it and if her way was acceptable! I couldn't help but give them my professional insight and I shared the following photo to show the 2 acceptable transcriptions of the word orange. 
(photo is s screenshot from the app Soundable, an IPA word challenge game)

The 1st one sounds like this: "or-uh-nge"
The 2nd one sounds like this: "or-ih-nge

I sadly had to confirm that his wife was saying it wrong but not entirely! Orange is one of those words in our language that differs between dialects and regions. Some pronounce it as one syllable (common in the south) and some produce it with two distinct syllables.  I mentioned to my friend that he had to give his wife a break because "ornge" is simply a dialectical difference!  (As speech pathologists we don't treat differences, we treat disorders!!)

It's not everyday that I get to use my speech pathology knowledge on a friends Facebook thred! It was amusing for me! Fellow SLPs can relate! 

Leave a comment on a dialectical difference you or a family/friend says and I'll respond with the IPA transcription !!!

For my SLP friends who love IPA, check out this fun app Soundable by Tactus Therapy Solutions! Available in the App Store for FREE! Create a username and email it to me at and we can play each other!!!! You can also join their user Facebook page! It's fun and it keeps you on top of your IPA! Soundable in the App Store! 
If you are wanting an online IPA keyboard to type IPA symbols, try this one! Type IPA it is easy to use!

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