In this tutorial you wil learn about IPA phonetic transcriptions and how to add IPA to your Anki cards.

International Phonetic Alphabet

English pronunciation is confusing. The pronunciation of each English word you learn is unique.  English is not phonetic.  The letters in the words might help you pronounce the word, but it can also confuse you.


Ridiculous English Spelling: food, dude, flu, flew, fruit, blue, to, shoe, move, tomb, group, through

Awesome IPA Spelling: fud, dud, flu, flu, fɹut, blu, tu, ∫u, muv, tum, grup, Ɵɹu

-Wyner, Gabriel. Fluent Forever : How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It (9780385348102) Random House Digital. Kindle Edition.

Never assume you know the pronunciation of a word by the spelling. There is no way in English to be sure of the pronunciation without an IPA phonetic transcription.

Where can I find IPA phonetic transcription?

In your dictionary. IPA is your visual guide to pronouncing English words. If you know the IPA sounds and symbols well, you will always know the correct way to pronounce English words.


Search the word in your dictionary.  The text in the red box is the IPA phonetic transcription.  Highlight it and press Ctrl+C to copy it.


Paste it into the IPA field in Anki.


The large text in LDOCE tells you how to break the word up into syllables.


This is also useful information for pronunciation.  Copy this text and paste it into the IPA field.

When you preview the card, you can see the IPA phonetic transcription on the back.

Extra Tips

Don’t need it, don’t use it

If the pronunciation of the word is not difficult for you, you can skip adding IPA.

Use IPA and audio together

Use IPA AND audio recording of the word together. You may think that just listening is good enough, but seeing the pronunciation visually with IPA is the most accurate way to learn pronunciation.

Keep practicing!

You might not be able to make the sounds correctly yet. Keep practicing every day and your pronunciation will get closer and closer to native speaker pronunciation.  It’s not important that you pronounce words perfectly all the time. It’s important that you know how the word is supposed to be pronounced and you are trying to pronounce it in that way. (see Get it right in your head)

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