[Wikipedia-l] policy suggestion: SAMPA

Brion VIBBER brion at pobox.com
Mon Aug 5 18:25:54 UTC 2002

tarquin wrote:
> I can't determine accurately how to say "CHOP-ek.".
> Did the writer mean "CHOP" like the word "chop"?

Probably. That's certainly my interpretation.

> Or does it rhyme with 
> "SHOW"?

That would be CHO-pek or perhaps CHOPE-ek.

 > Or did they in fact *mean* "SHOW", since "CH" is soft in many
> languages?

But not in English.

> And for that matter, how does the writer pronounce the word "chop"? 
> AmEng and BrEng have different vowels for that word.

I would expect that same difference to be reflected in their 
*anglicized* pronunciation of "Čapek". Am I wrong?

> "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 
> differently

Both true. The same is true of the pronunciations! IPA/SAMPA is even 
more closely tied to the accent of the transcriber; it is thus useful 
for describing the pronunciation of foreign words in the official or 
prestige dialect, or specific dialectical variation, but a lot less 
useful for describing English words and common anglicized pronunciations 
of foreign names.

Jaap van Ganswijk wrote:
 > Unlike what is possible in a paper encyclopedium,
 > why not add a small wav file of someone
 > pronouncing the word correctly?

See [[Clitoris]] for an example: it has a link to [[SAMPA|pronounced]], 
a SAMPA representation (correctly in [phonetic transcription brackets]), 
an approximation in English orthography, and a wav file (should it be an 

-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)

More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list