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Frequently Asked Questions

Phonmap V5 - with full UNICODE support!

  • Easily write phonemic script into your documents
  • Share documents with other users who do not have Phonmap installed.
  • Share documents with users of other platforms such as Mac and Linux.
  • Display your scripts in any documents which support unicode fonts such as web pages, PDF files, email messages, online forums, ... etc.
  • An amazing low price from only 14.50!

A brief explanation for those that keep asking...

What is a 'phonemic script'?

In spoken language, a phoneme is the basic, theoretical unit of sound needed to distinguish between words - i.e. changing one phoneme in a word produces another word. When representing phonemes in writing, it is common to use a symbol enclosed between two slashes to stand for the sound. For example, the phoneme for the initial sound in the word "phoneme" could be written as /f/. This graphical form of representing a phoneme is sometimes refered to as a grapheme. One grapheme would represent one phoneme.

So that we can represent the sounds heard in words (and sentences) we need some kind of writing system known as a script to visually record the spoken language. This is often refered to as a phonemic script.

Languages where a given symbol (or letter) represents only one phoneme and every phoneme is represented by only one symbol are known by the layman as "phonetic languages", which might be better described as "phonemically-written" languages.

Unfortunately, English is not one of these and so we need another set of symbols to represent our phonemes. We could invent our own set but thankfully there are already several around and Phonmap uses the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet since it is very rich and has been adopted by the TEFL world.

Why doesn't Phonmap use the full set of IPA symbols including diacritics?

Phonmap is not a tool for describing languages. It is a tool for teaching English. It contains just enough symbols to do this.

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