top of page

ipa training for actors

What Is the IPA?

The IPA stands for the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is a series of symbols developed by linguists that represent all sounds used in spoken language. For instance, in a General American dialect the phrase "To be, or not to be, that is the question" would look like this in the IPA:

/tu bi ɔɚ̆nɑt tu bi || ðæt ɪz ðə kwɛst͡ʃn̩/

It may look like hieroglyphics to you now, but utilizing the IPA opens up a whole new world for actors interested in the study of dialects and accents.

Why Do I Need It?

It is entirely possible to master a given dialect without knowledge of the IPA. However, once you've learned it, it will allow you to make incredibly specific vocal choices--as well as the ability to learn accents that you previously found too difficult.

 

Imagine being able to map out the linguistic differences between your own dialect and the accent you are studying, then being able to write out all of your lines in the target dialect. Mastery of this skill allows the actor to teach themself any dialect or accent they may desire.

How Do I Learn It?

 

While it is possible to learn the IPA from various sources online, the become a true master of this tool requires concerted effort. Working with a dialect coach such as myself can help you to understand the ins-and-outs of this system, and how to use it to benefit your dialect performance.

While I occasionally offer group IPA classes, students usually benefit from the individualized attention afforded by 1-on-1 coaching. Regardless of your preference, I recommend scheduling a free 15-minute consultation with me to learn more.

bottom of page