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When you search for "X pronunciation" on Google, it shows the "Sounds like x·y·z" box with phonetic respelling. Does anyone know if this respelling system is based on a particular dictionary or established phonetic notation for British/American English?

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  • Not exactly sure where does this system come from, but Hadar Shemesh has something to do with it.
    – Santi
    Mar 12, 2023 at 4:54

2 Answers 2

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It seems to be a custom system developed by Google. Wikipedia lists it as the "Google pronunciation dictionary" scheme in its table of pronunciation respellings.

In particular, Google spells the SQUARE vowel as ehr, which is not used in any other system in Wikipedia's table.

"chair" pronounced "chehr"

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  • 1
    I used to work at Google but do not take this as inside info. The fact is that companies like Merriam-Webster license and sell datasets like this, for many languages. I would not assume that it was really developed in house, except as a last resort. Nov 28, 2022 at 18:50
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I spent some time trying to find more information, but found nothing conclusive, not even in the Google speech-to-text or translation APIs.

I also found that the pronunciation respelling system described on Wikipedia doesn’t match Google’s results:

pronunciation

IPA:

prəˌnənsiˈeɪʃən

Converting the IPA spelling to Google’s system for representing phonemes:

pruh nuhnsi eishuhn

But in the actual Google search engine results:

pruh nuhn see ay shn

pruh nuhn see ay shn

There is a noticeable difference in these results.

Did anyone else find more information?

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  • the wikipedia table gives "pruh nuhn see ei shuhn" (syllable splitting mine as the wiki table makes no mention of how or whether google would do that) not "pruh nunhnsi eishuhn". Note that the relevant row is for IPA i: (google ee) not IPA ɪ (google i)
    – Tristan
    Nov 28, 2022 at 13:44

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