Phonetic Transcription – A Shortcut to Better Pronunciation
Maybe you have heard the story about a foreign student coming to the UK to study law. During passport control, an airport employee asks him about the purpose of his visit. And the student answers: "To study love." :)
Such misunderstandings can happen when people learn a foreign language the wrong way. And this is a very common mistake – trying to pronounce words the way you spell them. As far as I know, there are no languages where all words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. So, how to avoid this mistake?
When you start learning a foreign language, the first step is to learn how to pronounce the sounds and words of this language. Of course, you can (and should!) use audio or video recordings to learn pronunciation, but that may not be enough. Sometimes words are pronounced very quickly, and some words may contain a lot of unfamiliar sounds. So it becomes very hard to reproduce the correct pronunciation just by listening to the recording. Fortunately, phonetic transcription will help you deal with that problem.