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Transcription Practice Passages

Passage (1)
It is possible to transcribe phonetically any utterance, in any language, in
several different ways all of them using the alphabet and conventions of the
IPA. The same thing is possible with most other international phonetic
alphabets. A transcription which is made by using letters of the simplest
possible shapes, and in the simplest possible number, is called a simple
phonemic transcription.
ɪt ɪz ˈpɒsəbl tə trænˈskraɪb fəˈnetɪkli ˈeni ˈʌtrəns ɪn ˈeni ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ ɪn ˈsevrəl
ˈdɪfrənt ˈweɪz ˈɔ:l əv ðəm ˈju:zɪŋ ði ˈælfəbet ənd kənˈvenʃnz əv ði ˈaɪ ˈpi ˈeɪ.
ðə ˈseɪm ˈθɪŋ ɪz ˈpɒsəbl wɪð ˈməʊst ˈʌðə ɪntəˈnæʃənl fəˈnetɪk ˈælfəbets. ə træn
ˈskrɪpʃn wɪtʃ ɪz ˈmeɪd baɪ ˈju:zɪŋ ˈletəz əv ðə ˈsɪmplɪst ˈpɒsəbl ˈʃeɪps ən ɪn ðə
ˈsɪmplɪst ˈpɒsəbl ˈnʌmbə ɪz ˈkɔ:ld ə ˈsɪmpl fəʊˈnimɪk trænˈskrɪpʃn.

Passage (2)
Please call Stella.  Ask her to bring these things with her from the store:  Six
spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack
for her brother Bob.  We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for
the kids.  She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet
her Wednesday at the train station.
pli:z kɔ:l ˈstelə ɑ:sk ə tə brɪŋ ði:z θɪŋz wɪð ə frɒm ðə stɔ: sɪks spu:nz əv freʃ
snəʊ pi:z faɪv θɪk slæbz əv blu: tʃi:z ən ˈmeɪbi ə snæk fə r ə ˈbrʌðə bɒb wi
ˈɔ:lsəʊ ni:d ə smɔ:l ˈplæstɪk sneɪk ən ə bɪg tɔɪ frɒg fə ðə kɪdz ʃi kən sku:p ði:z
θɪŋz ˈɪntə θri: red bægz ən wi wɪl gəʊ mi:t ə ˈwenzdeɪ ət ðə treɪn ˈsteɪʃən

Passage (3)
It is still just possible that in some remote corner of the globe, perhaps in the
jungles of Brazil or the mountains of New Guinea, there is a community of
humans as yet unknown to civilized man.
ɪt ɪz dʒʌst ˈpɒsəbl ðət ɪn sʌm rɪˈməʊt ˈkɔ:nər əv ðə gləʊb pəˈhæps ɪn ðə
ˈdʒʌŋglz əv brəˈzɪl ɔ: ðə ˈmaʊntɪnz əv nju: ˈgɪni ðeər ɪz ə kəmˈju:nəti əv
ˈhju:mənz əz jet ʌnˈnəʊn tu ˈsɪvɪlaɪzd mæn.

Passage (4)
The most obvious characteristic of classroom talk is that there is so much of it.
Whatever else he does, the teacher will be talking for most of his working day.
ðə məʊst ˈɒbviəs kærɪktəˈrɪstɪk əv ˈklɑ:sru:m tɔ:k ɪz ðət ðər ɪz səʊ mʌtʃ əv ɪt.
wɒtˈevər els hɪ dʌz ðə ˈti:tʃə wɪl bi ˈtɔ:kɪŋ fə məʊst əv hɪz ˈwɜ:kɪŋ deɪ.
Verse Passages

1 A
Days by Philip Larkin
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live buy days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

1 B
wɒt ə deɪz fɔ:
deɪz ə weə wi lɪv
ðeɪ kʌm ðeɪ weɪk əs
taɪm ən taɪm ˈəʊvə
ðeɪ (j) ə tə bi ˈhæpi (j) ɪn
weə kən wi lɪv bət deɪz
ɑ: ˈsɒlvɪŋ ðæk ˈkwestʃən
brɪŋz ðə pri:st ən ðə ˈdɒktə
ɪn ðeə lɒŋ kəʊts
ˈrʌnɪŋ ˈəʊvə ðə fi:ldz

2 A
From a Shakespeare Sonnet
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date

2 B
ʃæl aɪ kəmˈpeə ði: tu ə ˈsʌməz deɪ
ðaʊ (w) ɑ:t mɔ: ˈlʌvli (j) ən mɔ: ˈtempərət
rʌf wɪndz du: ʃeɪk ðə ˈdɑ:lɪŋ bʌdz əv meɪ
ən ˈsʌməz li:s hæθ ɔ:l tu: ʃɔ:t ə deɪt
3 A
From The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat;
They took some honey and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above
And sang to a small guitar.
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are."

3 B
ði aʊl ən ðə ˈpʊsɪkæt went tə si:
ɪn ə ˈbju:tɪfəl ˈpi:gri:n bəʊt
ðeɪ tʊk səm ˈhʌni ən ˈplenti əv ˈmʌni
ræpt ʌp ɪn ə faɪv paʊnd nəʊt
ði aʊl lukt ʌp tə ðə stɑ:z əˈbʌv
ən sæŋ tu ə smɔ:l gɪˈtɑ:
əʊ ˈlʌvli ˈpʊsi əʊ ˈpʊsi maɪ lʌv
wɒt ə ˈbju:tɪfəl ˈpʊsi ju ɑ:
ju ɑ:
ju ɑ:
wɒt ə ˈbju:tɪfəl ˈpʊsi ju ɑ:

4 A
From Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Break, break, break,
On thy cold grey stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

4 B
breɪk breɪk breɪk
ɒn ðaɪ kəʊld greɪ stəʊnz əʊ si:
ənd aɪ wʊd ðət maɪ tʌŋ kʊd ˈʌtə
ðə θɔ:ts ðət əˈraɪz ɪn mi:
Prose Passages

1 A
From John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat
A great many people saw the Pirate every day, and some laughed at him, and
some pitied him; but no one knew him very well, and no one interfered with
him. He was a huge, broad man, with a tremendous black and bushy beard. He
wore jeans and a blue shirt, and he had no hat. In town he wore shoes.

1 B
ə greɪp ˈmeni ˈpi:pəl sɔ: ðə ˈpaɪrət ˈevri deɪ ən sʌm lɑ:ft ət ɪm ən sʌm ˈpɪtɪd ɪm
bət ˈnəʊwʌn nju: hɪm ˈveri wel ən ˈnəʊwʌn ɪntəˈfɪəd wɪð ɪm. hi wəz ə hju:dʒ
brɔ:d mæn wɪð ə trɪˈmendəs blæk əm pʊʃi bɪəd. hi wɔ: dʒi:nz ən ə blu: ʃɜ:t ən hi
hæd nəʊ hæt. ɪn taʊn hi wɔ: ʃu:z.

2 A
From Fathi Ghanem's short story Dunya!
Cairo! A big throbbing heart. Large avenues, fine streets, dark narrow alleys.
And in them the strangely assorted crowd which we call 'the public': business-
men and beggars, elegant ladies and ragged girls selling lottery tickets,
foreigners from London and New York, and rustics from Sahragt and
Shandawil; policeman and pickpockets, healthy children with glowing cheeks
and pale ones with stony eyes; dustmen and lovers. They are all wrapped up in
their private affairs; their secrets deeply buried in their hearts … Strangers all,
their hearts are filled with a medley of emotions – love, envy, gratitude, hatred,
anger, happiness, understanding, or fear: the common stock of the human heart.

2 B
ˈkaɪrəʊ ə bɪg ˈθrɒbɪŋ hɑ:t lɑ:dʒ ˈævənju:z faɪn stri:ts dɑ:k ˈnærəʊ (w)ˈælɪz ənd
ɪn ðəm ðə ˈstreɪndʒli (j) əˈsɔ:tɪd kraʊd wɪtʃ wi kɔ:l ðə ˈpʌblɪk. ˈbɪznɪsmen əm
ˈbegəz ˈelɪgənt ˈleɪdɪz ən ˈrægɪd gɜ:lz ˈselɪŋ ˈlɒtəri ˈtɪkɪts ˈfɒrənəz frəm ˈlʌndən
ən nju: ˈjɔ:k ənd ˈrʌstɪks frəm sɑhɑragt ən ʃɑndɑwɪl pəˈli:smən əm ˈpɪkpɒkɪts
helθi ˈtʃɪldrən wɪð gləʊɪŋ tʃi:ks əm peɪl wʌnz wɪð ˈstəʊni (j) aɪz ˈdʌsmen ən
ˈlʌvəz. ðeɪ (j) ər ɔ:l ræpt ʌp ɪn ðeə ˈpraɪvɪt əˈfeəz ðeə ˈsi:krɪts ˈdi:pli ˈberɪd ɪn
ðeə hɑ:ts ˈstreɪndʒəz ɔ:l ðeə hɑ:ts ə fɪld wɪð ə ˈmedli (j) əv ɪˈməʊʃənz lʌv ˈenvi
ˈgrætɪtʃu:d ˈheɪtrɪd ˈæŋgə ˈhæpɪnɪs ʌndəˈstændɪŋ ə fɪə ðə ˈkɒmən stɒk əv ðə
ˈhju:mən hɑ:t