IPA on a Mac

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macOS and Mac Apps

My wife needs to use IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) on her MAC. She uses the English US keyboard layout. I believe we need to use the MSK keyboard layout, but wondering with newer versions of OS 10, if there different ways to do this? Another point of discussion is how VO reads the IPA character set? Any help would be great. She is starting an upper level linguistics class this fall and is hoping to use some of the time off during the summer to get familiar with her MAC.

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Submitted by Jake on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

You'll need an IPA keyboard layout. You can get some of the symbols by switching to the US Extended keyboard, but that won't provide all of them. As for reading, VoiceOver reads them well enough, in fact better than anything else I've used. It has its quirks though. For example, some typical IPA announcements would be: latin small letter f with hook, latin small letter turned r, latin small letter schwa. Also, one must read character by character when reading IPA, and you need to use a text-to-speech engine which supports it. All of Apple's voices such as Alex will work, however a lot of the Nuance and Acapela voices do not support the entire character set of the IPA. For best results, I'd say use Alex.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I had a keyboard a few years ago where you type the numbers and simbols. I can try and dig that up if you want. My teacher gave me english and italian. It doesn't read them, you have to memorise.