Drops Community

IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)


Something I’ve been aiming to do is learn the international phonetic alphabet to better learn new languages. As mentioned before, Drops is the language app that I didn’t even know I needed that I’m now obsessed with. Your platform is perfect for teaching new alphabets and writing systems so I was thinking that teaching IPA would be perfect for language enthusiasts. It could show the symbols with the pronunciations. Also, there could possibly be a feature where you have to spell English, French, Spanish, Japanese, etc. words using IPA rather than the actual alphabet to help ingrain IPA into our heads using native pronunciation using actual vocabulary from those languages. It would be a less technically and more subconscious way of learning or acquiring pronunciation as well as learning the International Phonetic Alphabet.


Hi Jimmy,

This is a great idea, indeed! I’ll definitely share it with the team, so a discussion can be started about this.

We’ll keep you posted if there’s any news regarding your suggestion.


@ The Drops Support Team


Totally agree and that would be awesome. In addition as a new feature, add IPA to the cards. So that people can learn pronouncing words even better


And let the user choose their preferred lanugage(s) to show the pronounciation in.

Of course, it limits the possibilities, but (for instance):

  • If I don’t want to learn Russian,
  • I do not need IPA letters needed exclusively in Russian.
  • Plus, I wouldn’t even understand most of the words, as I cannot read and understand most Cyrillic letters…! :thinking:

I, for one, can understand most pronounciation rules in (in this sequence):

  • German (native speaker)
  • English (started in third grade, scholar exchange)
  • French (5th grade, scholar exchange)
  • Portuguese (communication with my wife, long trip to Lisbon)

So, to choose words for explaining IPA pronounciation from these languages, in that sequence, would make a lot of sense. :wink:

And if (like myself) the user took the time to set up the system (iOS settings, in my case, Safari settings, downloaded dictionaries, and languages in GBoard, to mention just the obvious) to include those languages, then you could choose these settings by default. :sunglasses:


I second this suggestion! I just emailed the support team about this:

Knowing many languages and surveying the many languages offered by the app, I noticed several rooms for improvement in terms of the way the pronunciation of words is taught to users.

  1. In some languages, the audio is too soft to make out the accurate pronunciation (in European Spanish, for example)

  2. For some languages, there are recordings for which the regionality of the voice actor creates some deviation from the standard language (for German, for example)

  3. For some words, the voice recording might sound plainly robotic and unnatural, sometimes even wrong. This form of deviation is especially detrimental to learning the proper placement of stress in words.

Speaking from the place of a serious language learner, one cannot emphasize enough how important accurate pronunciation is. An accurate reference is therefore of prime importance to learners of a foreign language

To remedy this problem, I suggest that you put IPA transcriptions for words in all languages (or at least for languages that are not phonetic). This is technically not a difficult thing to do as most popular dictionaries have this information, and there must be a way to import this information in bulk.

I hope you that you will consider my suggestion, and I wish you more success in the future.