[Wikipedia-l] policy suggestion: SAMPA

tarquin tarquin at planetunreal.com
Mon Aug 5 16:03:19 UTC 2002

I can't determine accurately how to say "CHOP-ek.".
Did the writer mean "CHOP" like the word "chop"? Or does it rhyme with 
"SHOW"? Or did they in fact *mean* "SHOW", since "CH" is soft in many 
And for that matter, how does the writer pronounce the word "chop"? 
AmEng and BrEng have different vowels for that word.

The IPA (or a variant like SAMPA) is:
* portable. My Collins, Fowler's Modern English Usage, my French 
Larousse -- they all use the IPA.
* international: the Esperanto, the German, the Spanish Wikipedias can 
ALL use the same SAMPA transcription for the same article

"Hand-made" pronunciation guides are:
* individual & idiosyncratic. Two people with the same accent may write 
different things, and may read them differently
* non-portable: people speakling different accents will interpret them 

Paper encyclopedias expect their readers to learn the order of the 
letters of the alphabet. Learning SAMPA is relatively simple. While the 
table on [[SAMPA]] is increasingly complex, there is a shorter version 
on a sub-page which a link like [[pronounced]] should direct readers to.
It's a small effort to learn, for a large gain afterwards.

Tom Parmenter wrote:

>This list seems to have a bias in favor of leaping into snake pits:
>tables, math formulas, SAMPA.  Next, musical notation?  
I don't think this is the same over-complexity as tables and maths 
formulae (may) prove to be. It's a common sense standardization, using 
an internationally-accepted system. 

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