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How Scripts Are Prepared for a Recording Studio: A Guide to Phonetic Transcription

How Scripts Are Prepared for a Recording Studio: A Guide to Phonetic Transcription

When you’re in a recording studio, the quality of your work depends on how well you can pronounce the words in your script. This is why it’s important to use phonetic transcription guides to help with difficult words. In this article, we will explain how scripts are prepared for a recording studio and give an overview of phonetic transcription guides. We hope that this information will help you deliver great recordings every time!

Phonemic audio

What are Phonetics?

Phonics is a reading instruction method that teaches how letters represent the sounds of spoken language. This is done by blending the sounds together to read words. An example that we regularly encounter in Perth is the suburb of Warwick.

Often without a guide, many eastern state voiceovers may say “War-wick” rather than War-rik”.

Phonics teaches that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds of spoken language) and graphemes (letters or groups of letters) in written language. Decoding is the ability to apply your knowledge of letter-sound relationships, including knowledge of letter patterns, to correctly pronounce written words.

Phonics is a great tool for voice-over talent who are about to read complex or unusual content. Often if they are not familiar with a location or technical term they may need additional help with the pronunciation of certain letters and sounds. To help them, scripts that will be recorded in the studio are prepared by adding phonetic pronunciation guides right next to the difficult word or sentence:

The following are five difficult words with their pronunciation guides:

1. “Sousaphone” – soo-zuh-foh-n

2. “Kabuki” – kuh-buh-kee

3. “Gesundheit” – guh-zoon-duh-ite

4. “Ascend” – uh-sennnd

5. “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” – nyoo-muh-nohl-truh-myoo-kuh-pik-silikuhvuhlkuhnoh-koh-nee-uhs

Acronyms are not all the same.

Remember when you are submitting your script to your recording studio, you need to elaborate on whether an acronym is spoken in full or letters are spoken individually.

For example, ASIC is not pronounced “aye-es-eye-see” Its pronounced “ah-sik”

Phonetics Guide

Phonetic symbols chart: British English (phonetic spelling)

There is a phonics alphabet that can be used to help with pronounciation. Remember that due to the australian accent some terms may be slightly different.

a ➔ man /mAn/, back /bAk/

ah ➔ father /fAH-THuh/, last /lAHst/

aw ➔ all /AWl/, more /mAW/

ay ➔ say /sAY/, make /mAYk/

e ➔ said /sEd/, bed /bEd/

ee ➔ see /sEE/, these /THEEz/

euh ➔ air /EUH/, where /wEUH/

i ➔ if /If/, which /wIch/

ie ➔ eye /IE/, time /tIEm/

iuh ➔ ear /IUH/, year /yIUH/

j ➔ just /jUHst/, age /AYj/

o ➔ lot /lOt/, not /nOt/

oh ➔ over /OH-vuh/, both /bOHth/

oi ➔ oil /OIl/, point /pOInt/

oo ➔ school /skOOl/, who /hOO/

ou ➔ out /OUt/, down /dOUn/

TH ➔ there /THEUH/, mother /mUHTH-uh/

th ➔ three /thrEE/, nothing /nUHth-ing/

u ➔ good /gUd/, book /bUk/

uuh ➔ sure /shAW/, pure /pyUUH/

uh ➔ about /uh-bOUt/, after /AHf-tuh/

UH ➔ other /UHTH-uh/, one /wUHn/

UHR ➔ early /UHR-lee/, first /fUHRst/

zh ➔ vision /vIzh-uhn/, measure /mEzh-uh/

Prononciation Guide

Why use Phonics?

1. Phonetics can help you to improve your pronunciation.

2. Phonetics can help you to identify the sounds of different languages.

3. Phonetics can help you to identify the origin of a word.

4. Phonetics can help you to understand accents.

5. Phonetics can help you to spell words correctly.

Tools to help.

online converter of English text to IPA phonetic transcription

Emma Says

Phonemes of general Australian English


Phonemic text is the use of symbols to represent the sounds of words, rather than letters. This can be helpful when preparing a script for a recording studio. A phonetic transcription transcribes sounds using letters; this is not as effective as phonemic transcription because it does not communicate the exact pronunciation of words. For example, the word ‘bat’ can be transcribed using either phonemic or phonetic transcription; phonic transcription used symbols //bæt// while a phonetic transcript uses just letters bæt without any sound letters.


When preparing a script for a recording studio, it is important to use phonetic transcription guides to ensure that the pronunciation of all words is correct. This will help to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings during the recording process.

Thanks for reading.

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