This is the British Council phonemic chart. Help your students hear the sounds of English by clicking on the symbols below. Click on the top right hand corner of each symbol to hear sample words including the sounds.

About the chart

  • Pure vowels are arranged the same way as in the IPA chart: according to mouth shape (left to right, lips wide / round - top to bottom, jaw closed / open).
  • Diphthongs are grouped in rows according to their second sound.

Try some pronunciation activities

Sounds Right iPad app
If you have an iPad, you can download and install a free copy of the British Council phonemic chart on it. Find out more on LearnEnglish.

Download the chart
You can download this chart to use on your PC - you'll need Adobe Flash Player to use it.

Copyright information: © British Council. This pronunciation chart is free for you to use and share for educational purposes. The chart should in no way be used or circulated for financial gain.




Hello everyone, My sincere wishes to you all.
This phonetic transcription chart is very helpful for me not only for teaching children but also teaching pronunciation to adults.
Thank you very much

Thank you, but how do you find related comments? Is the debate about whether or not it has been officially removed, or that the sound doesn't really exist in English.

Hi Derek... a found one reference to the missing dipthong which said that the chart would be relaunched. But that was some time ago. Are you able to tell me if the missing symbol is a mistake, or if it has been cancelled officially. Thank you!

Interesting. I have used the sounds app and I think it's good for students to play with to get used to the sounds. If anyone is interested (or not interested) could I ask you for some help by doing my survey. It’s for my Trinity Diploma in TESOL. If you leave your email address in the final question, I’ll happily share the results. The address is as follows below:



This is a quite useful tool to increase our speak and pronunciation abilities and to reinforce the knowledge that we acquired in the classroom, I think that is a good idea the use of new technologies as a resource in the teaching process.

I am afraid one sound is missing. In English there are 44 sounds and you have included 43. The diphthong /ʊə/ as in tour is missing.

Hi Versi,
Thanks for your comment - we are working on updating the chart (to include the /ʊə/ sound that you mention) - we had hoped to have this done by now, but it is taking longer than anticipated. We hope to have a brand new chart up in the near future.
In the meantime, you are correct that the /ʊə/ sound should be there!

Sorry for the confusion and thanks for your patience!


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