The interactive version of the British Council phonemic chart is currently being updated on this website. 

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


You can download a non-interactive image version of the British Council's phonemic chart below.

Sounds Right app

The interactive phonemic chart is available for you to download from the Google Play store for Android devices or the App store for Apple devices. Find out more about the interactive mobile app version of the phonemic chart




Submitted by profhasabo on Fri, 08/25/2023 - 08:29


The best way is to have the phonemic chart as a poster in the office and the classroom for continuous revision.

Submitted by ctquang123 on Sat, 08/19/2023 - 08:41


I wonder why we do not have an /ʊə/ in this chart?

Submitted by anne.lennon@br… on Sun, 08/20/2023 - 17:41

In reply to by ctquang123


Hi  and you'll find it in the App linked to the course:

Are you able to access that?

Best regards,


TeachingEnglish team


Submitted by jennypr on Tue, 10/03/2023 - 06:22

In reply to by anne.lennon@br…


Hi and help please

I have download the app and I don’t see the
/ɛ/ sound as in
Bread /brɛd/
Head /hɛd/

Can you help me please. And with urgency please as i am teaching to my students and wouldn’t like to make mistakes.

Thank you very much in advance

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Wed, 10/04/2023 - 09:22

In reply to by jennypr


Hi jennypr

If you are referring to the vowel sound in "Bread" and "head" then it appears in the chart as /e/. You can find it in the vowel section under /i:/

Hope that helps!

TeachingEnglish team

Submitted by gachamorrom on Thu, 09/28/2023 - 10:18

In reply to by ctquang123


Hello, it is true, in the downloadable image it is not updated with the diphthong "ʊə". Please update it. Thank you in advance for all the effort you have put in.

Submitted by jandira moreira on Mon, 03/28/2022 - 15:12


The app was finished in 2020. What are the option to open the file? FLASH PLAYER

Submitted by Paul Braddock on Fri, 04/08/2022 - 14:01

In reply to by jandira moreira



we no longer have the Flash files available. The best way to access the interactive phonemic chart is to download the Sounds Right App. You can find the link to this on the page.



Hi there

The chart is currently only available as an EXE file

Apologies for the inconvenience,

TE Team

Submitted by Sadaf Fatima on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 12:23


Hi the gven phonemic chart which i have just quite a good technological invention to learn and teach sounds of English language. However, i will very humbly point out that it is missing one diphthong--combination of "oo" and "schwa" sound as in words "poor" and "dual"...which will also make it a total of 20 vowel phoneme sounds in English language. please add it too...a humble invocation. best regards Sadaf Fatima

Submitted by MarkAuchincloss on Mon, 07/02/2018 - 08:38


I can't download it as I use a Google Chromebook. Please update software as most students/teachers have access to Chromebook !!

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Tue, 07/03/2018 - 14:15

In reply to by MarkAuchincloss


Hello Thanks for your comment - I will pass it on to the technical team. Best wishes, Cath TE Team

Submitted by perezodian on Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:16


The most useless ever,,, this is not helpful. Many are hypocrite that this is helpful in pronunciation. second language are doing a mimic sounds.. like an infant do. This kind of chart had created for additional burden of usless language sounds. In reality this is USESLESS. If you understand the mimic sounds you know what I mean.

Submitted by Amylinks on Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:49


Thank you very much British Council Am so happy after a very long search I finally found a site like this where I can learn phonemes. Sorry to bore you with this...I have a passion for phonemes I want to learn it and be able to pronounce ever single English word correctly like the first English speakers so please my able British Council I want to ask if there is a way I can download this phenomic chart on my Android phone so that I can be able to learn phonemes on the go anywhere I am. Pleeeeeeeeeeease help me I really need it on my phone. the one here in this page: is only compatible with PC. Thank you in anticipation of your favourable response

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:44

In reply to by Amylinks


Thanks for your comment, and we are glad you find the chart useful. Unfortunately, as you say, the zipfile is only compatible with PC, but you could download the British Council Sounds Right app, which you can find here I hope that helps, Cheers, Cath TE Team

Submitted by AnthonyESL on Mon, 08/21/2017 - 01:16


I'm curious why this chart doesn't have a diphthong for /ʊə/ The one Adrian Underhill uses on the seminar videos does. I became aware of his videos through the British Council, so I am wondering why there is a difference there. Is it not really regarded as a true diphthong? For example, in "pure" /'pjʊə/ is this seen as two separate syllables? Anyway, many other phonemic charts do have /ʊə/ so I was a but confused by the difference.

Hi AnthonyESL Thanks for your comment - you are right, that although there has been some disagreement about diphthongs, the /ʊə/ sound is missing here - we have been working on updating the chart here for some time - apologies for the inconvenience. Our LearnEnglish App (which you can download for free - ) does include the sound, and is a great resource for students to use. Hope that helps, Cath TE Team

Submitted by emmanuelle.lac… on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 21:49


It used to be that I could use the chart directly in the classroom (live from the Internet, that is), and click on it to hear the sounds etc... It now seems to be unavailable (I wonder why that is, it's really a shame), and I tried to download some of the stuff, but to avail although I use a MacBookPro and even went onto I-Tunes. Can you adise on the procedures ? Fix this so the chart is back online as it used to be ? Thanks in advance. E.L.

Hi Emmanuelle Click on the link above to download the chart onto your PC which I am sure you've done already. Please note you'll need Adobe Flash Player to use it so make sure you have this available and updated. Best wishes Del

The downloadable version here only runs on a Windows machine. Here is a link that will let you and your students download the free app to your i-Phone, i-Pad or Android device.

Hi Jeanette, Thanks for the comment - there has been lots of discussion about the 'missing diphthong' on this page - our development team is working on updating the chart, but it is taking longer than expected - we hope to have it updated as some time in the near future. Thanks, Cath

Submitted by Versi on Sat, 06/25/2016 - 11:08


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! Cath

Submitted by Juan Carlos He… on Sat, 05/21/2016 - 01:46


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.

Submitted by Pete S on Mon, 04/11/2016 - 18:33


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: Thanks Pete

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!

Submitted by Sk.Ismail on Sun, 12/13/2015 - 17:11


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

Submitted by Baajuun on Tue, 06/09/2015 - 20:29


This is most difficult part for me, I understand little of this but hoping to improve it using this resources and the information on this website of teaching English.

Submitted by ezkiko on Sat, 04/11/2015 - 15:09


Is there such an animal? I found a Phonetic transcription tool but it does not give me the characters that I am looking for. Anyone know of an online tool? Thanks, Enrique

Submitted by sam7702000 on Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:50


hi i have a doubt on the word TREATY- /ˈtriː.ti/, we have a short vowel sound i in the end, but in the chart it is a long vowel i:, why in the symbols ɪ is not used and the script is not /ˈtriː.t ɪ/, please help, thanks

Submitted by sam7702000 on Mon, 12/22/2014 - 11:29


hi my query when we use the script for i sound the shot one, we have two symbols the 'i' and ' ɪ ' both sound the same, but in application on the word,committee /kəˈmɪt.i/ , both the symbols are used, ie after m and t., is there any rule to use specific symbols, other examples why in the word kit- we use /kɪt/, and for pony we use /ˈpəʊ.ni/

Submitted by vitaliybaran on Thu, 05/29/2014 - 21:14


Hi there. One more drawback not mentioned in the other comments: it seems that one diphthong is missing (tour). BBC gives 8 and you give 7.

Submitted by muxtar on Thu, 04/24/2014 - 18:01


Thank you for this chart. I've downloaded it. I want to use it in my teaching.

Submitted by toelw on Tue, 03/04/2014 - 07:14


i have been using the chart for a long time but i always wonder why the round closing diphthong, the one in British 'pure' is missing in the diphthongs chart. the same vowel is used in OALD8 too.

I wonder why the Diphthong is missing from the phonemic chart.I hope the site administrators will restore the diphthong for the benefit of teachers and students and resource persons and teacher trainers like me

Submitted by stephen jeyaraj k on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:40


It is really very helpful to teach the children especially to practice the beginners ot learning the language English! superb!

Submitted by Bunnie1812 on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:33


I've just joined and I note that the chart is available for download to PC but I'm not seeing one for the MAC operating system? Is there one or plans for its development in the near future? I've already download the app. Great going!! Many thanks!

Submitted by Maureen Venter on Thu, 11/21/2013 - 03:41


On the phonemic chart, I notice that there is one diphthong short. Is there a reason for that?

Submitted by subramanyasullia on Mon, 10/14/2013 - 11:52


it is very much usefull to me thank you so much

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