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Proposal status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: ThyMythos
Tagging: phonetics:xx=*
Applies to: everything that has a name tag
Definition: Describe the pronunciation of a name tag

Rendered as: Used in text to speech systems
Draft started: 2009-04-11


The phonetics tag can help text to speech systems to pronounce the name of several items (streets, towns, POIs, etc.) correctly. Obviously it must be language sensitive as the name tag itself. So phonetics corresponds to name, phonetics:de corresponds to name:de.

Already in use?

See also


What system should be used to describe the phonetics. The International Phonetic Alphabet uses a lot of non latin letters but could be entered with unicode, though this might be hard to actually enter. Is there another widely accepted standard for entering phonetics?

There is an all-ASCII representation of IPA called X-SAMPA. If we allow more than one method (e.g. both IPA and X-SAMPA), then this should be reflected in the key, e.g. name:de:ipa=... vs. name:de:sampa=... --Schuetzm 09:21, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

One possibility would be a subset of SSML (see

Seems they are not defining a representation, but having the user specify the alphabet they want to use. --Schuetzm 09:21, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

What exactly should be represented? Phones or phonemes? I would prefer phonemes, because the actual phones can be derived from them if the language (variety) is known. --Schuetzm 09:21, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I recommend to use the international phonetic alphabet as it is already used in Wikipedia or unusually pronounced words and can be easily copied from there for place names.

--Lulu-Ann 07:31, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Which parser are you referring to? A parser requiring tag ordering would seem to be broken in general. --SpeedEvil 16:14, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Please remember, that there are other name tags for example loc_name, alt_name,... so this tag should identify the right name tag. --!i! 22:26, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I have already used the suffix :pronunciation for this purpose, giving values in IPA. Hence name:pronunciation=kærnuːsti for Carnoustie. This scheme is extensible in that it can be applied to any tag, not just name=*. Jonathan Bennett 17:41, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Where do you put the information for the language? --Lulu-Ann 19:52, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
You'd just have multiple suffices, all separated with a colon, so:
* name:en:pronunciation=*
* name:de:pronunciation=*

or for other name tags:

* loc_name:pronunciation=*

Jonathan Bennett 14:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

The problem with using :pronunciation is that there are several systems for indicating pronunciation. I suggest using:
* name:lang:IPA=* for IPA
* name:lang:X-SAMPA=* for X-SAMPA
* name:jp:okurigana=* for okurigana
* and possibly name:cn:pinyin=* for pinyin, although perhaps that should count as a script.

HillWithSmallFields 14:12, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

That's complicated for the parser, to have the xx in the middle. Other tags have it at the end, like blind:description:xx=*. Lulu-Ann

Comparison of the concepts

Phonetics with latin letters Phonetics with other than latin letters Pronounciation
Easy to type Yes, uses local set of letters with special characters Yes, uses local set of letters No, uses international pronounciation letters
Unique correct entry No, differs for languages, c and k use etc. Probably not Yes
Unique correct speech definition No, differs for languages Probably not Yes
Works Yes Arabic: No, no vowels Always
Screenreaders available Different languages, different operating systems: Yes ? Never heard of a screenreader with this capability!
Example (Reading) red-ing ˈrɛdɪŋ