I was wondering why there are differences between the phonetic transcriptions offered by different sites.
For example, this is from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“And she went on planning to herself how she would manage it. ‘They must go by the carrier,’ she thought; 'and how funny it’ll seem, sending presents to one’s own feet! And how odd the directions will look!”
ænd ʃi wɛnt an plænɪŋ tu hərsɛlf haw ʃi wʊd mænədʒ ɪt 'they məst go baj ðə kæriər ’ ʃi θɔt 'and haw fəni ɪtəl sim sɛndɪŋ prɛzənts tu wənz on fit ænd haw ad ðə dərɛkʃənz wɪl lʊk
ænd ʃi wɛnt ɑn ˈplænɪŋ tu hərˈsɛlf haʊ ʃi wʊd ˈmænəʤ ɪt. ðeɪ mʌst goʊ baɪ ðə ˈkæriər,’ ʃi θɔt; ænd haʊ ˈfʌni ˈɪtəl sim, ˈsɛndɪŋ ˈprɛzənts tu wʌnz oʊn fit! ænd haʊ ɑd ðə dəˈrɛkʃənz wɪl lʊk!
As you can see, there are some differences. So I’m a bit confused about how should I use this transcriptions.
Sometimes there are differences because they register it with a different variation of english. People have accents and it must be registered according to the characteristics of the accent.
I’m by no means specialized in phonetic transcriptions in english and, actually, my grades in my linguistics classes at university are horrible usually, but the first one seems kinda off to me. It rarely marks the syllables tones or here: " 'they məst go baj ðə kæriər" It preferred to use a ’ tonic than actually using the “ð” which is a well known and accepted representation of the ‘th’ (voiced dental fricative phoneme - Yep, I googled it) sound in this circumstances, but just some words later it is used. So… It lacks consistence to say the least. The second one seems right to me, I haven’t seen a problem in it.
The th/ð confusion seems to be caused by the initial apostrophe. Notice also the spelling of “and” after apostrophe, instead of “ænd” as is found elsewhere.
Well, yeah. But the apostrophe is the mark for a tonic syllable. It should not change the symbol, it is not a confusion, it’s a mistake.
But it doesn’t seem that the first one is using apostrophes for any purpose, it’s just reproducing the apostrophes from the input data. Agreed, that starting a word with an apostrophe (for quotation purposes) shouldn’t be something that breaks it.