Friday, April 30, 2010

What is phonetics? and why is it important?

Imagine moving into a village in a foreign country with out knowing the language. You can't just buy a book or tape before you go on how to learn that language because this language has never been written down. In fact, you will probably be writing that book because you will be the one putting an alphabet together for this language. Since the sounds of this language is so different from English you won't be able to use our English alphabet. You wouldn't want to use our English alphabet anyway since there are so many letters that make more than one sound.

This video i found on youtube will show you what I mean!


In phonetics a letter equals one sound.

In our phonetics class we've been learning how to say, read and write those sounds. Our teacher will say a word and we have to transcribe what we hear him saying.

According to Wikipedia Phonetic transcription is a universal system for transcribing sounds that occur in spoken language. The most widely known system of phonetic transcription, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), uses a one-to-one mapping between phones and written symbols. The standardized nature of the IPA enables its users to transcribe accurately and consistently the phones of different languages, dialects, and idiolects. The IPA is a useful tool not only for the study of phonetics, but also for language teaching, professional acting, and speech pathology.

Our class was divided into two smaller classes for phonetics.
Here's my group.

We have a lot of fun laughing with each other as we sound and sometimes look silly making these sounds.

It's important to learn this because most of the places that our mission works are places that don't have a written language so the missionaries have to use phonetics in order to write down what they are hearing and then make an alphabet. They will then teach the people to read and write in their own language for the first time! Pretty cool stuff!

These charts have become familiar over the last couple months...


Mrs.Rabe said...

We had a year of phonetics about 18 years ago!!!

Brittany Ann said...

I am still in awe of you! I can't imagine how hard this must be to learn!

Randi Troxell said...

i'm with brittany ann... i had a hard enough time with spanish in high school.. lol