International Phonetic Alphabet


The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an ordered set of symbols for writing down elements of sounding speech. Compiled by the International Phonetic Association based on  Latin 0041–007A .

The Association was formed in 1886 by a group of English and French language teachers and linguists. In 1888, its members developed an alphabet that was supposed to record transcriptions of different languages. Since that year, the system has been reformed more than once, and in 2005 it contained 107 letters, 52 diacritics, and 4 symbols for stress (tone, intonation). Also, to display rare speech features, there is an set of characters.

The International phonetic alphabet is compiled to display the sounds of all languages of the world. The developers tried to avoid situations where one character means two or more sounds (for example, x sounds like in English). It should not have different letters for the same sound.