ロータス wrote:Still iffy if want to bother with learning IPA, never used or seen it before so not sure if worth it or not. Is it as simple as going to a website to hear the French to IPA sounds, hmm...
I think getting used to conventions for transcribing a particular language with the IPA is useful if it is commonly used in dictionaries or related tools. This is the case with French.
Regarding General IPA... It's interesting in its own right but not really necessary, unless you're interested in languages other than the commonly learned ones and you want to use resources linguists make (especially when intended for other linguists), or the topic of speech therapy.
Note that General IPA is not the same as the IPA conventions of a particular language, some of which are quite old and are almost conventional alphabets on their own right. For example, the French vowels normally transcribed "[ɔ ɛ̃ ɔ̃]" in French IPA conventions would be [ʌ æ̃ õ] in General IPA (when describing usual Parisian accents), and the English "[u ʌ 3˞]" sounds would be General IPA "[ʉ ɐ ɵ˞]" (when describing most American accents).
I've been studying Russian recently and I've been astounded by how bad/outdated the Russian IPA conventions are. Descriptions of Russian pronunciation typically transcribe the -ая -aya
ending as [əjə], but if you hear recordings of -ая words on Forvo you'll mostly hear [əj] or simply [ə]. In some cases -ая seems to be skipped entirely, as in this recording
of Москательная линия Moskatél'naya líniya
, which linguists would transcribe as [mɐskəˈtʲelʲnʲəjə ˈlʲinʲɪjə] but I actually hear [mɐskəˈtʲelʲnʲ ˈlʲinʲɪə] (no [əjə]).