Tesseract:Style guide/Pronunciation

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The information contained within should not be considered fully accurate and/or complete.

Pronunciation in the Tesseract Wiki should be transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and Wikipedia's colloquial respelling system, except in the particular cases noted below. Descriptions of a term's pronunciation are referred to as pronunciation guides or pronunciation transcriptions.

For English pronunciations, broad, dialect-neutral transcriptions should be used; these are intended to provide a correct interpretation regardless of the reader's accent. The system for doing so in the IPA is outlined at Help:IPA/English, and should be implemented by using the template {{IPAc-en}}. The colloquial respelling system, using the {{Respell-en}} template, should be used in addition to the IPA transcription.

Phonetic transcriptions are not always the best way to render pronunciation. For proper nouns which are intended to be respellings of or puns on existing words, it is better to provide that word than a phonetic transcription. Similarly, initialisms are better spelled out than transcribed. In both situations this will generally be unambiguous, and accessible to more of our readers.

For foreign-language pronunciations, strict (phonetic) transcriptions are normally implemented by using the template {{IPA-all}}, which also links to Help:IPA. If broad (phonemic) transcriptions are used, these require a link to a description of the phonology of the language in question, as otherwise the symbols used may be ambiguous.

Additional information may be provided in addition to the trancription formats above. For example, short audio files, alternate spelling, and alternate pronunciations may be included for clarification. Citations for pronunciation transcriptions' sources should also be provided where applicable.

Appropriate use[edit source]

Normally, pronunciation for the article's subject is provided in its lead section. Terms that solely appear in Tesseract lore should receive pronunciation transcriptions. A good guideline to follow is to avoid providing a pronunciation guide if the term is a word or is clearly compounded from words commonly used in English. In addition, if the term consists of more than one word, only provide transcriptions for the words that need them.

For terms derived from foreign languages either in game or in real life, existing English renderings of the foreign name should be included as well.

Pronunciation should be indicated sparingly, as parenthetical information disturbs the normal flow of the text and introduces clutter. In the lead section, caution should be used to avoid creating overly long transcriptions. In the article text, pronunciation should be indicated only where it is directly relevant to the subject matter, such as describing a word's etymology or explaining a pun. Less important pronunciations should be omitted altogether or relegated to a footnote or a dedicated section in the article or infobox. Articles and sections about phonology and aspects of a language may normally use pronunciation keys throughout the text as appropriate.

Some articles include terms that are repeated in multiple article titles. To prevent clutter and inconsistency, a system has been created that limits the article topics eligible for pronunciation guides. If adding pronunciation guides to articles that may share a word with another, editors should reference this system beforehand to avoid unnecessary redundancy.

Formatting and placement[edit source]

Lead section[edit source]

Transcriptions are frequently placed immediately after the head words of the article in dictionary format.

This method is good when the pronunciation can be adequately covered in a short parenthetic string. However, this method can become distracting, especially when there are multiple generic pronunciations, foreign pronunciations and renderings, or if the pronunciation is otherwise not straightforward. In such cases, other options are better. Some articles, such as Halley's Comet, have a separate naming or pronunciation section that covers pronunciation explicitly. In other cases, the lead section references a footnote that includes additional information or a complete pronunciation guide.

The following examples demonstrate the information that may be provided in lead transcriptions as well as their relative placement and formatting. Besides some rare exceptions, the two fundamental components that a pronunciation guide should include are:

  1. A generic English transcription in IPA by using {{IPAc-en}}
  2. A generic English transcription in the colloquial respelling system by using {{Respell-en}}

Audio samples demonstrating common English pronunciation may be included as well. Although the template {{Inline audio}} implements this feature, {{IPAc-en}} offers the same functionality through the audio parameter.

Citations of sources used to create the transcription should be included where applicable. The corresponding Style Guide entry provides more information about proper citation; information regarding types and prioritization of sources for pronunciations may be found in this guide.

The IPA and respelling systems used on the Tesseract Wiki are designed to override nonphonemic pronunciation differences. However, some terms may exhibit widespread splits in pronunciation that are not simply phonetic (see, for example, the diverging pronunciations of "Wikipedia": (/ˌwɪkɪˈpdiə/ wik-ih-PEE-dee-ə or /ˌwɪkiˈpdiə/ wik-ee-PEE-dee-ə).

Additional non-regional syllable or word pronunciations are included after the main IPA and respelling transcriptions. Note that they should also be expressed through both {{IPAc-en}} and {{Respell-en}}.

Terms with non-English (within the real world or in-game canon) etymology can receive transcriptions for their respective language. Although individual IPA templates for various languages are not available, the template [{{{1}}}] and its tag parameter can be used instead.

If the native name is spelled differently or rendered in a different script than the English name, the native name should be included before its transcription. In either case, a label identifying the language should be prepended; {{IPA-all}} has this feature built-in.

Footnotes[edit source]

Another possibility for especially long transcriptions is to relegate everything beyond the most common broad English pronunciation, or to remove the pronunciation guide in its entirety to a footnote.

See TS:REF for help with embedding references within footnotes like this.

Templates[edit source]

There is a small variety of templates for pronunciation transcription formatting on the Tesseract Wiki. A compilation of these resources may be found in the {{Pronunciation resources}} navbox.

IPA templates[edit source]

IPA characters should always be enclosed within an IPA template. This ensures proper formatting across browsers; it also enables editors to more easily find and review IPA transcriptions.

There are several types of IPA template. The simplest is {{IPA}}, which merely formats the enclosed text by applying the CSS class IPA. It also provides the option to surround the text with a variety of brackets. It is normally used when the reader can be expected to follow the IPA, either because it's found in an article on phonology where the symbols are defined, because the article is tagged with {{IPA notice}}, or because an earlier instance of IPA in the text was enclosed with one of the following templates, which are designed to be more useful to the reader than the generic IPA notice.

Dialect-neutral English[edit source]

For generic English, {{IPAc-en}} should be used, which links the notation to Help:IPA/English (a key of established conventions for transcription of English on Wikipedia) and automates conversion to IPA and provides mouse-over keys. A description of the various parameters of these templates, such as marking a pronunciation as American, British, or local, or adding sound files, can be found on the template page. When using any key-linking IPA template such as these, English or foreign, an editor should transcribe using the conventions of the key it links to; for example, the generic English ⟨ar⟩ sound is transcribed /r/ in Wikipedia articles, not /ɹ/, and is used where speakers of rhotic dialects would pronounce it, even in personal and place names (These diaphonemic conventions, which are not specific to any one dialect or national standard, are covered at the top of the Help:IPA/English key).

{{IPAc-en}} accepts both IPA and SAMPA. Each phoneme, including rhotic vowels, should receive its own cell (such as the 'ou' here), and not broken up, or the wrong popups will appear. See the template page for details.


In addition to IPA, the equivalent "pronunciation respelling" such as ar-DOYN should be provided using {{Respell-en}}. This template also links to Wikipedia's respelling key, which provides an overview of the system's symbols and how they correlate to English diaphonemes.

Foreign languages and dialects[edit source]

To transcribe the pronunciation of a particular individual, dialect, or to use transcription conventions other than those of the IPA-for-English key, {{IPA-all}} can be used, as it links to a generic Help:IPA key that is not restricted to any one language or dialect.

The distinction between /slashes/ used for broad English and [square brackets] for individual or dialectical pronunciations using the {{IPA-all}} template is intentional: A phonemic transcription (between slashes) is not meaningful without a general understanding or provided description of the phonology of the speech variant, whereas a phonetic transcription (between brackets) can stand on its own. Allowing a choice between slashes or brackets in a transcription template leads to frequent misuse of the symbols. In instances where custom brackets are needed (typically in guides and linguistic articles), brackets should be placed within the IPA template so that they are formatted in the same size and font as the enclosed transcription. In most cases, however, IPA templates have bracketing built in as a parameter.

To link a single-phone transcription to a Wikipedia article on that phone, use {{IPA link}}. The parameter brackets surrounds the transcription with various types of brackets and slashes. For example:

{{IPA link|j}}j
{{IPA link|tɬ|brackets=2square}}
{{IPA link|x|brackets=s}}x

Cleanup[edit source]

If you're not sure how to create or fix a pronunciation guide, the article in question may be flagged by adding the cleanup template {{Pronunciation needed}}. Note that some rare transcriptions do not need to adhere to the standard layout set here; see #Other transcription systems for examples that may not require IPA and standard respelling.

Other transcription systems[edit source]

Ad hoc descriptions such as "rhymes with both" or "rhymes with paid" may be useful for describing English sounds, but many such descriptions (e.g. "rhymes with bath", "rhymes with caught") will be interpreted differently depending on the reader's accent, so caution is advised, and this approach should not be used alone.

However, when a name is intended to be a homonym of an existing English word or phrase, as is the case with certain locations and characters, giving that word or phrase may be all that is needed.

Nonetheless, some cases may be ambiguous. If the IPA is omitted, it would not be clear which of the pronunciations of is intended. In such cases, combining the IPA with the intended homonym may be needed. These should not be formatted with the {{Respell-en}} template, as they do not follow that format.

Places where other systems without the IPA are often appropriate are initialisms and names composed of numbers or symbols. This is because the names of the letters, numbers, and symbols can be spelled out in normal English orthography in a way that makes the pronunciation unambiguous across dialects. For example, Dead on arrival (DOA) may be better explained as "(an initialism: D-O-A)" rather than as the equally correct but less accessible /ˌdˌˈ/.

Respelling should also be avoided when a respelled syllable would be the same as an existing word that is pronounced differently. "Maui" /ˈmi/ respelled as , "metonymy" /mɛˈtɒnɪmi/ as , and "cobalt" /ˈkbɒlt/ as are susceptible to being misinterpreted as /ˈmi/, /mɛˈtʌnɪmi/, and /ˈkblt/, because of the existing words "mow", "ton", and "bolt", so only IPA should be provided for such words, if any.

For other languages, only the IPA is normally used. An English respelling is given for a Welsh or Māori name would both demonstrate incorrect Welsh or Māori phonology and redundantly imply the English pronunciation. Nonetheless, an ad hoc description of a foreign-language word in that language is permitted. An example is Renault 4CV. This is called the Quatre chevaux in French, but the re is elided, so the French pronunciation can be clarified with "pronounced quat'chevaux" (this appearing with the French IPA transcription [kat.ʃəvo], assuming the editor finds that worth including).

Entering IPA characters[edit source]

Many IPA characters cannot be typed with a regular keyboard layout, but there are various ways to enter them.

Beneath the edit box on the Tesseract Wiki is a character map.
Choose IPA in the drop down box on the left, then just click on the symbol you want, and it will be added at the insertion point in the edit box.
Copy and paste from an online IPA keyboard
Utilities like the IPA i-charts, IPA character picker 19, TypeIt, or IPA Chart keyboard cover the complete range of IPA symbols and diacritics which are not available from the Wikipedia IPA character map.
Copy and paste them from elsewhere (other articles or websites, for example)
This method sometimes fails when copying characters with diacritics.
Many of the familiar Latin letters can be typed with a normal English keyboard layout. However,
( ː ) note the length mark is a different character from a colon
( ˈ ) note the primary stress mark is a different character from a typewriter apostrophe
( ɡ ) note the symbol for the voiced velar stop is a different character from the lowercase English letter g
On Mac English keyboard layouts, a few special characters can be typed:
option-c for ç
option-o for ø
option-q for œ
option-' for æ
Enter them using a special character utility
On macOS, use the Character Viewer (formerly Character Palette): choose the "Phonetic Symbols" category and double-click on a character to enter it
Type them with a custom keyboard layout
For macOS, download the IPA-SIL keyboard layout

Numeric entry[edit source]

The following methods require you to know the Unicode code point of the character you wish to enter: for example, the IPA symbol [ɒ] is represented by the hexadecimal value U+0252. See the resources links below for reference charts.

Enter them using a numeric keyboard input method
On most Windows keyboard layouts, type alt-0–2–5–2 for ɒ (Note: Requires you to first set the registry key HKCU\Control Panel\Input Method\EnableHexNumpad to type REG_SZ and value 1 and reboot.)
On macOS, use the Unicode Hex Input keyboard layout, type option-0–2–5–2 for ɒ
On macOS Yosemite 10.10.5 you can hold down a key for a second and a number of diacritics will appear above the cursor as clickable options. 'a' for example offers à á â ä æ ã å and ā.
Enter them into wikitext as HTML character entities
List of XML and HTML character entity references: enter æ for æ
Numeric character reference (decimal): enter ɒ for ɒ
Numeric character reference (hexadecimal): enter ɒ for ɒ

Resources[edit source]

Sources and citations[edit source]

Transcriptions should cite the source(s) of their pronunciation. However, confusion may arise over differing "official" pronunciations. As such, a system of source type precedence has been created which weights the reliability of different types of source media.

Priority Source type Examples
1 In-universe textual pronunciation Pronunciation respelling in dialogue
2 Official Marvel videos
3 Individual Marvel employee written guides Twitter posts
4 Other official written sources

If multiple sources of the same tier conflict, the newest one should be deferred to.

For a guide to citing various source media, see TS:SG/C § Citations.

Recurring terms[edit source]

Some terms may be included in multiple article titles. Attempts to add a pronunciation guide to every single derivative page would create clutter and likely develop inconsistencies if a transcription were changed. Adding a guide to central disambiguation pages would be counter to their purpose.

To counter this, a system has been created to limit the article topics eligible for pronunciation guides. Ineligible pages may instead provide a reference linking to the main sections or articles that contain the pronunciation transcription.

For article titles that are combined of words that legitimately require pronunciation guides and are ineligible, the pronunciation guide should only address the eligible words while also including a reference to the ineligible ones.

See also[edit source]