learn the ipa

How I learn languages

So, depending on the level of interest people have in my way of doing things, I might create a more thorough guide in the future. However, in the interest of brevity I will create a very rough step by step guide for people because why not.

1. Pick a language - Pick one you like; don’t worry about it being “practical” or “useful.” If you don’t like the language you’re studying, it’s going to be a miserable experience and learning languages should be fun!

2. Learn IPA - Learning how to read IPA characters (International Phonetic Alphabet) is imperative to being a successful language learner. If you haven’t already, put some time into learning how to read IPA transcriptions because it will save you a lot of time and give you a much better accent when learning the sounds of your target language. Avoid “english-y” transcriptions (e.g. très = TRAY) like the plague. They’re bad and people who make them should feel bad.

3. Learn the alphabet/writing system - Usually it doesn’t take a super long time, and if you’re studying a language like Japanese or Chinese it’s best to get used to using the writing system from the very beginning. You’re gonna have to deal with it eventually so you may as well hop right in. Relying on latin character transcriptions will only put off the inevitable.

4. Learn the pronunciation of your target language - I advocate a pronunciation-first approach. This will be easier or harder depending on how many unfamiliar sounds there are in your TL, but it’s worth going over the phonology (sound system) of your language early and getting used to how its sounds interact. If you don’t learn proper pronunciation in the beginning, you’ll ingrain incorrect pronunciations into your brain which will be hard to undo later on. You don’t have to try to make your accent perfect, accent reduction can come later, but it’s worth spending some time on. This is especially true for language with odd sounds or features (tones, voicing distinctions, etc.)

5. Pick ONE course/book - A problem I see a lot, and one that I have fallen into many times myself, is hording language learning resources. In the beginning, and especially for beginner polyglots, it is better to pick ONE really good course or book to follow, and focus on mastering the material within. If you try to split your time between too many resources or books or websites, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Some books/courses/series I recommend that can commonly be found for all languages are: Teach Yourself, Assimil, Duolingo, Linguaphone, and Pimsleur among others. You can always use one of those while you keep searching for more resources, but resist the temptation to dig into multiple books at once.

6. Use an SRS to learn vocabulary/grammar - SRS’s (Spaced Repetition Systems) are my bread and butter when it comes to memorization. Put simply, they are tools for spending your studying time more efficiently, and they warrant an entire post by themselves. Rote memorization is for the birds, so use a spaced repetition system such as Anki, Supermemo, a Leitner Box, or Memrise to avoid wasting your time. (Use Anki. Just use Anki. You’ll thank me later.)

7. Don’t translate - I used to learn vocabulary and grammar using English translations, but you’ll soon find that it’s only useful to an extent as your vocabulary gets bigger and you start running out of unique ways to translate synonyms. A more robust approach to flash card creation can be found in the book “Fluent Forever” by Gabriel Wyner, which I would definitely recommend reading. The short version is: use pictures instead of English translations for picturable words, for more abstract words and grammar concepts, use example sentences with cloze deletion cards (easy to create using Anki. seriously, just use anki.)

8. Speak the language! - Probably the only thing I actually learned from He Who Shall Not Be Named (anyone who’s been in the polyglot community for longer than 30 seconds knows who I’m talking about.) It seems simple but you should really speak the language as much as you can straight from the beginning. “But how can I speak the language if I’m not fluent or if I’ve just started?” Simple, use what you know, and do whatever it takes to make yourself understood. It really doesn’t take much, maybe 100 words or so (a day’s worth of work if you’re dedicated) to start to be able to put sentences together. Learning phrases is even better for this. For this reason, a phrasebook (Lonely Planet is a popular choice) is a worthy investment.

9. Immerse yourself as much as possible! - Watch TV, read books, nespapers, and articles, and listen to music in your TL. Get yourself used to being around the language. Ideally, you’d be able to move to the country or region where the language is spoken and truly immerse yourself, but for many total immersion can be either unrealistic or overwhelming. It’s totally possible to give yourself enough contact with the language and even create a 100% immersion environment all from the comfort of your home. The important thing is to have contact with the language and get used to being around it. This is where you’ll pick up on the rhythms of the language, tonality, intonation, all that good stuff. More importantly, it will get you used to how FAST people talk.

10. Keep looking for things you don’t know. - This is probably the best advice I could give anyone. There are things out there that you don’t even know you don’t know, so the best thing to do is to keep surrounding yourself with new facts, new vocabulary, new grammar structures, etc. If you’re looking for a new course/book, look for one that seems like it has a lot to teach you. Don’t rehash things you already know, it’s a waste of time. This is the basic principle of SRS’s, don’t review until you forget. Going back over concepts you already know is pointless and it contributes to “plateau syndrome” (when it feels like you’re not making any progress in your TL). Review what you need to, when you need to, only so long as you need to. Learning one new concept is worth more than going back over two you’ve already mastered.

11. HAVE FUN - The road to fluency is long. Like super long, I can’t stress this enough. You may not be fluent in 3 months, a year, two years, maybe even 5 years. It all depends on how much time you are willing to spend on the language and to a VERY VERY SMALL DEGREE how talented you are. The important thing is to not rush it and enjoy the experience. If you’re not having fun, modify your goals and your approach until you are.

This is nowhere near everything I have to say, but it’s a start. These are just some things I wish I had known when I started studying languages. So if it helps at least one person well hey that’s enough for me. :D

Useful Greek Phrases and Words; Various Greetings

Hello/Hi: Γειά (ʝa)
Goodbye: Αντίο (adˈio) or Γειά (ʝa)
Good morning: Καλημέρα ‎(kalimˈera)
Good afternoon: Καλό μεσημέρι (kalˈo mesimˈeri)
Good evening: Καλησπέρα ‎(kalispˈera)
Good night: Καλό βράδυ (kalˈo vrˈaðy) or Καληνύχτα ‎(kalinˈychta)
Welcome[when talking to 1 person/informal]: Καλώς ήρθες (kalˈos ˈirthes)  or Καλώς όρισες (kalˈos ˈorises)
Welcome[when talking to many ppl/formal]: Καλώς ήρθατε (kalˈos ˈirthate) or Καλώς ορίσατε (kalˈos orˈisate)
How are you?/How are you doing? [when talking to 1 person/informal]: Πώς είσαι; ‎(Pˈos ˈei̯sai) or Τι κάνεις; ‎(Ti kˈanei̯s)
How are you?/How are you doing?[when talking to many ppl/formal]: Πώς είστε; ‎(Pˈos ˈei̯ste) or Τι κάνετε; ‎(Ti kˈanete)
What’s up?: Τι νέα; (Ti nˈea)
Long time no see: Χρόνια και ζαμάνια (chrˈonia ce zamˈaɲa)
Greetings [as in, ‘greetings to your family, friends etc’]: Χαιρετίσματα (Chai̯retˈismata)
Pleased to meet you: Χάρηκα για τη γνωριμία (Chˈarɛka ʝa ti ɣnorimˈia)

IPA for Greek

Upcoming Vocab Lists, Resources, and Informational Posts
  • 한글 Flash Cards w/ IPA
  • Learn to Read 한글 in 5 Parts (Vowels, Diphthongs, Plain Consonants, Aspirated Consonants, Tensed Consonants)
  • Thoughts, Feelings, Opinions (EN-KO-JP vocab list)
  • Learning Through Lyrics: BTS - 봄날
  • Learning Through Lyrics: BTS - Not Today
  • Rainy Day (Korean vocab list)
  • How I Learn Korean
  • How I Organize My Language Notebooks
  • What It’s Like Living and Studying in Seoul (for those hoping to do so in the future)

A lot of this is stuff you guys have requested, so just let me know if there’s something you’d like to see^^

learning IPA like


anonymous asked:

Congratulations on the A .. Happy for you. Can you please share with me some tips on hiw to revise for Linguistics and some tricks please :)

Thank you! :)

Idk if I have any “tricks” tbh? I can just give you some general hints:

  • know your IPA
  • learn the definitions of basic terms so you won’t be completely lost (morphemes, phones, phonemes etc)
  • grammar terms!! Otherwise you won’t know what a SVOC pattern is and you’d be missing out my friend
  • depending on your branch of linguistics, read up on research in that area and current developments
  • again, depending on your branch, background knowledge on history/other languages/dialects may be beneficial 
  • in fact, i’d say my knowledge of other languages is a main factor in my enjoying linguistics so much because you’ll see patterns and correlations and it makes things so much more fun!! (like, I know German and Latin and it helped me loads with English)

For revising, I’d recommend flashcards or another person quizzing you for definitions of terms, and summarising articles or books or lecture slides for background knowledge and theories (that’s what I did at least). 

the signs in IPA
  • aries: /ˈɛːriːz/
  • taurus: /ˈtɔːrəs/
  • gemini: /ˈdʒɛmɪnʌɪ/
  • cancer: /ˈkansə/
  • leo: /ˈliːəʊ/
  • virgo: /ˈvəːgəʊ/
  • libra: /ˈliːbrə/
  • scorpio: /ˈskɔːpɪəʊ/
  • sagittarius: /ˌsadʒɪˈtɛːrɪəs/
  • capricorn: /ˈkaprɪkɔːn/
  • aquarius: /əˈkwɛːrɪəs/
  • pisces: /ˈpʌɪsiːz/

The International Phonetic Alphabet, and why language learners who have nothing to do with linguistics should learn it anyway.

I actually encourage people wholeheartedly to learn the IPA to at least some extent because it has been so incredibly helpful with pronunciation for me in German.

It annoys me now when books just tell me “like the [vowel here] in this English word [here] but not quite”, it’s just easier to give me the IPA letter and let me get to it myself. 

no joke tho if ur into languages and stuff learning IPA is suuuuuper helpful when it comes to learning exactly how things are pronounced, like u dont ever even need to hear it spoken to know exactly what it sounds like as long as u have the IPA transcription, 10/10 highly recommended 

Dear USITT goers...

You cannot be served a flight of beers in Utah. You will be limited to two samples at a time.  

There are also no happy hours. 

 Most draft beers are only going to be 3.2%. Go for bottles, those can go higher. 

 Anything stronger and you will want to find a State run liquor store. 

 Last call is 1 AM. 

 Be prepared. 


santaisnotacommie  asked:

Any good resources for explaining what IPA is & getting started learning it? So glad I found this blog 💜

awhhh thanks <33 

I’m still learning IPA myself, but I do have a couple resources!

- here is a full IPA chart with audio for each symbol (link

- I’ve been using this memrise course for IPA (link)

- this is a pretty good overview of basic IPA and phonetics with a handful of practice exercises (link)

- this website converts the following languages into IPA transcription: Chinese, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Russian (link

If anyone has any other resources to add, feel free to do so!

anonymous asked:

Do you know any way I can practice my pronunciation of Russian? I've heard natives saying that when they hear english speakers talk in Russian they sound like they have cotton wool in their mouth, and I certainly feel like that when I talk sometimes, I can say words like Здравствуйте fine, but then other words just end up being me making choking noises and 'th' sounds. I can pronounce them in my head but my mouth doesn't seem to want to cooperate at all

I know what you mean! Even though English is my second language, my American accent takes over when I speak Russian. I’ve been working hard this year to fix that since I’ve had people tell me my Russian r should be trilled more but I’m like “I’m a native Spanish speaker, I can trill my R’s for days :( “

Anyway, the best thing I can recommend for you to do is to get audacity or a similar recording app where you can download a clip of a Russian speaking, such as a vlog or a podcast, and then repeat what they say. Then record yourself and compare them side by side as shown below. This helps you to notice exactly what your problem/weak areas in pronunciation are. 

I hope this helps !

anonymous asked:

Do you have any tips for learning the IPA? I can retain most of it for short periods of time for exams but after that I forget huge chunks of it

I don’t know about tips, but I learned it by constantly using it. I mean, it’s as second-nature to me as the Roman alphabet, because I am constantly surrounded by it. As a conlanger, I use the IPA when writing transcriptions for words in my languages (i.e. daily—literally), and also online in the various conlang communities I participate in, everyone uses IPA (especially now that almost everything is Unicode compliant). I really didn’t even have to try to learn it because it’s such a regular and constant part of my life. Is there a way you can fold IPA use into your daily life? If you’re in school, maybe take notes using IPA? Write people’s names? As long as you’re doing it all the time, it’ll eventually become second-nature.