Over the past few years, I've had a plan to launch comprehensive coverage of everything one can find in the international phonetic alphabet (IPA). And we've finally launched the channel.
This project has been a challenge in many ways:
- It really should be done in video format
- But most people don't want to see me speaking on camera
- Every video should be just a few seconds long with as minimum explanation as possible
- Motion graphics is the most appealing way to represent the anatomy involved
- Mapping out all the intricacies of the IPA, the video components, the sound and sample files has resulted in a massive spreadsheet, but has enabled us to work quickly and efficiently
- Finding the motion graphics talent that can handle the work -- even without any prior knowledge of phonetics
- Some intricacies, such as tongue shape (laminal, apical, dome) are beyond the scope of our motion graphics work. So the terminology has been noted in the descriptions.
There are over four hundred videos planned, and the first hundred have already been uploaded on a scheduled roll-out. They are rolling out randomly but are also getting assigned to specific playlists (nasal, pre-aspirated, aspirated, ejective, implosive are all currently getting released).
Meanwhile, I've been practicing lots of clicks and other challenging sounds!
I've found that I've been able to produce sounds in positions for which there is no IPA symbol. We'll try to get all of those videos uploaded, even if IPA is missing such a symbol.
Here's a sample to get started with: