What are the IPA symbols for American vowel sounds?
Many of the people who work with me in my accent reduction coaching program have been studying spoken English on their own for some time.
But they’ve reached a plateau in their learning.
They understand that in order to move up to the next level, they need some coaching.
One question my clients often ask, is which IPA symbols to use for the American vowel sounds.
These symbols can be confusing because each dictionary uses slightly different symbols.
IPA symbols from the Longman Dictionary
Below are the IPA symbols that the Longman Dictionary uses for the 12 American vowel sounds. Diphthongs are not listed here.
- /i/beat, feed
- /ɪ/bit, did
- /eɪ/date, paid
- /ɛ/bet, bed
- /æ/bat, bad
- /ɑ/box, odd, father
- /ɔ/bought, dog
- /oʊ/boat, road
- /ʊ/book, good
- /u/boot, food, student
- /ʌ/but, mud, mother
- /ə/banana, among
Color Vowel Chart Methodology
In my accent reduction coaching program, I use the Color Vowel Chart methodology to teach the American vowel sounds to my clients.
I use this tool because:
- it’s visual
- it’s easy to remember
- one can use symbols, colors or both to remember the sounds
My clients LOVE using the Color Vowel chart method. It enables them to understand and use teh American vowel sounds more clearly and consistently.
Bring your American English up to the next level
If you’ve been studying American English pronunciation on your own, and you’re ready to step up to the next level, see how my accent reduction coaching program can help you achieve your communication goals.
About the author
Susan Ryan is the author of the ConfidentVoice blog and an American English communication and accent reduction coach.