Lesson 11 - Recognizing unfamiliar sound symbols
Most of the transcription symbols used for English sounds are fairly similar to the alphabet but a few less familiar ones are given below. (Read and listen to a complete list of sounds for British English (RP) here.)
The schwa is the most common vowel in spoken English and is always unstressed. It is the sound in the first syllable of about /əˈbaʊt/ or banana /bəˈnɑːnə/. This sound can never occur on its own (one word alone would be stressed) as it is always unstressed and said very quickly. The last syllable of a word such as teacher is a 'schwa' /ˈtiːtʃə/ and is said extremely fast.
Reading aloud from transcription
Decipher the sentence below and then practise reading it aloud.