Phonetic guide

The phonetic symbols are shown to the left and to the right of each are example words in English that contain the phonetic symbol’s sound.

If you want an in depth explanation on phonetic symbols and a detailed key to their use go to an International Phonetic Association website. Or alternatively – many good language books and dictionaries use this system and include a comprehensive pronunciation key.

a – rat, mat.
ɑ – saw, cause.
e – faith, gate.
ɛ – pen, get.
i – sweet, meet.
ɪ – bit, pit.
o – boat, close.
u – zoo, shoe.
ʌ – bud, cuss.
ø – deux as in French.
əautumn, potter.
jyard, onion.
x – loch, broch (Scots).
hwwheel, whistle.
ʃ shoot, election.
ʒ – treasure, azure.
ʧchill, nature.
ʤ jar, lodge.
ŋ – bring, single.
θthink, through.
ð – lather, bathe.
ɔ – sonne (German).

eye, aisle.
əi – bile, bite.
oi – boyo, boyd (Welsh).
ʌu – cow, house.
ju – duty, feud.
ɔɪ – royal, void.

Other symbols used.
[ ː ] the preceding vowel is long.
[ ˈ ]the following syllable is stressed.
Father – ˈfaːðə (posh nasal clipped English).
[ ʔ ] the glottal stop, or dropping your t’s. Butter – bʌʔr – a common Scottish practice – Skɑʔɪʃ ˈpraktɪs.

The remaining symbols; b, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, z look the same as the regular English alphabet and retain their usual phonetic values. 

Phonetic image.

A phonetic representation of each word illustrated is provided throughout most of the stoory site. Such as for faither as shown below.

Clicking on any of these will open a new window with a key to the symbols much the same as what is shown here.


This site is not intended to be authoritative. For in depth detailed information consult the on-line Dictionary of the Scots Language or any old worthy or ancient granny.