upodn FAQ

Table of Contents

  1. upodn.com is not working! What's wrong?
  2. What does upodn mean?
  3. What are IPA and APA?
  4. What is SAMPA?
  5. What is Shavian?
  6. Would you like to see the phonetic alphabet I made up?
  7. How does the transcription work?
  8. Why is upodn's transcription different from that in the {pick any} dictionary?
  9. Why are diphthongs transcribed [aj] (or [ay]), etc. rather than [ai] (or [aɪ])?
  10. Why do you have [e] instead of [ej] (or [ey]), etc.?
  11. Why are the vowels wrong?
  12. Can you transcribe my dialect?
  13. Can you transcribe my language?
  14. Do you know of a similar program for transcribing {pick any language}?
  15. May I use the transcriptions generated on upodn.com for my project?
  16. I have a service to sell you that will improve your site...
  17. I used upodn transcriptions for my phonetics homework and some were marked wrong...
  18. It does not transcribe {pick any word}.
  19. Why don't you modify the site to allow users to enter new words and edit words?
  20. What dictionary does upodn get its transcriptions from?
  21. What's with the ads on the site?
  22. Why the limit on the number of words?
  23. Links to more information

  1. upodn.com is not working! What's wrong?

    Please email admin@upodn.com about this right away.

  2. What does upodn mean?

    Upodn's Phonetically Obscure Domain Name.

  3. What are IPA and APA?

    IPA is the International Phonetic Alphabet. APA is the American Phonetic Alphabet. The IPA is officially sanctioned by the International Phonetics Association. The APA is a less formal de facto standard that developed in the 20th century out of work with Native American languages. As far as English is concerned, the IPA and APA differ in the symbols for the palatals: IPA [ʃ] = APA [š]; IPA [ʒ] = APA [ž]; IPA [tʃ] = APA [č]; IPA [dʒ] = APA [ǰ]; IPA [j] = APA [y]. Notice also that the APA unambiguously treats the affricates ([č] and [ǰ]) as unit sounds rather than sequences.

  4. What is SAMPA?

    SAMPA is the Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet. It is a rendering of the IPA in 7-bit ASCII characters. It is useful for text messaging (SMS) until some system for using Unicode on phones becomes available.

  5. What is Shavian?

    Shavian is a phonetic alphabet invented by Ronald Kingsley Read and named in honor of George Bernard Shaw. The upodn rendering of Shavian follows Shaw's criterion of one symbol per sound (phoneme) and does not use the shorthand or ligature symbols that are officially part of the system. If anyone knows of a use for Shavian, please let us know; we cannot think of any. It was there.

  6. Would you like to see the phonetic alphabet I made up?

    The IPA, APA, SAMPA and Shavian are more than enough.

  7. How does the transcription work?

    The program looks up words from a database.

  8. Why is upodn's transcription different from that in the {pick any} dictionary?

    Perhaps that dictionary represents a different dialect. Perhaps that dictionary does not use IPA or APA transcriptions. Perhaps that dictionary is wrong.

  9. Why are diphthongs transcribed [aj] (or [ay]), etc. rather than [ai] (or [aɪ])?

    A vowel symbol indicates a syllabic segment. The [i] in [ai] renderings of English diphthongs usually represents a glide, not a syllabic segment. Upodn, therefore transcribes a diphthong as a vowel followed by a glide, not a vowel followed by another vowel.

  10. Why do you have [e] instead of [ej] (or [ey]), etc.?

    This site provides broad (phonemic) transcriptions. It does not present phonetically predictable details. For example, all English dialects pronounce /p/ as [pʰ]. The aspiration is predictable, so it is not marked in the broad transcription. In (almost) all English dialects, certainly all American English dialects, the tense vowels break into diphthongs. It is predictable, so the details do not appear in the transcriptions.

  11. Why are the vowels wrong?

    They are correct for the dialect transcribed, which is basically a northern/north midland American dialect. The English dialects differ mainly in the pronunciation of the vowels.

  12. Can you transcribe my dialect?

    We could, but there are many dialects of English and life is short. Use upodn as a tool to learn to transcribe your own dialect.

  13. Can you transcribe my language?

    Only American English.

  14. Do you know of a similar program for transcribing {pick any language}?

    No. If you find any, please let us know.

  15. May I use the transcriptions generated on upodn.com for my project?

    Yes. Please do. Cite us.

  16. I have a service to sell you that will improve your site...

    No, thanks.

  17. I used upodn transcriptions for my phonetics homework and some were marked wrong...

    Do your own homework.

  18. It does not transcribe {pick any word}.

    Is it a compound? If so, try doing the parts separately. Otherwise, if it really is an English word, it may be added in the future.

  19. Why don't you modify the site to allow users to enter new words and edit words?

    Chaos lurks everywhere!

  20. What dictionary does upodn get its transcriptions from?

    The transcriptions come from native speakers of American English. A large part of the database was imported and modified from the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary.

  21. What's with the ads on the site?

    Costs for the upodn server, domain name, and site maintenance are (minimally) supported by the ads.

  22. Why the limit on the number of words?

    Unexpectedly, upodn has turned out to be similar to the environment and the economy where some will take and take until it's spoiled for everyone. The only solution is to impose controls. We sadly must set a limit to prevent the server from crashing.

  23. For More Information

    The IPA official site

    The Wikipedia page on the APA

    Learn all about SAMPA

    The Wikipedia page on Shavian

    admin@upodn.com

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