When you don’t know how to pronounce a word, what do you do?
You may be using an online dictionary to hear the pronunciation or try to read confusing pronunciation symbols (e.g. prəˌnʌn.siˈeɪ.ʃən). These symbols are known as phonetics symbols and they can help you read and pronounce unfamiliar words.
But, learning these symbols is challenging and time consuming for most English learners. And what makes it more frustrating is that not all dictionaries and English lesson materials use the same phonetic symbols! Does this mean you need to start studying all sorts of phonetic symbols? Nope!
From my personal experience, knowing some basics of the phonetic symbols can be helpful when you’re just starting out learning English pronunciation. But, once you have the foundational knowledge of how sounds in English are pronounced, don’t sweat about the symbols.
You can learn to pronounce any word quickly and easily by using this online dictionary.
I’ve been using this site religiously for over 10 years and it’s been very helpful.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s pretend you want to look up the word pronunciation.
Step 1: Go to www.dictionary.com.
Side note: I’m not affiliated with Dictionary.com. I only promote products and services I’ve personally used and benefited from.
Step 2: Type in the word pronunciation in the search box and click Enter.
Step 3: Underneath the word, look for the English letters in the square brackets [ ]. You can easily read the spelled out version of the pronunciation to learn how the word is pronounced. The bolded letters indicate where the word stress should occur. You can also click the microphone icon next to the word pronunciation to hear how it should be pronounced.
There you have it! Easy 3 steps. If you still want to compare this Spell version of the pronunciation with phonetic symbols, click the blue Spell box to switch to IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet).
Next time you aren’t sure about how to pronounce a word, use Dictionary.com and follow the above three easy steps. You can also download their mobile app here: http://www.dictionary.com/apps