Today we are going to look again at one of your questions, this time about some terms that are used in phonetics. Lilian says: It was fun but please tell me the difference between phone, phoneme and allophone. Well a lot of people think I am an Expert in phonetics but the truth is I’m not, I just know a little bit that I think is helpful
for people learning English as a foreign language. And this question goes a little beyond my knowledge and I don’t think people really need to worry about it, if their goal is to speak better English. But as I understand it a ‘phone’ is very specific sound and there are hundreds. ‘Phonemes’ are the actual symbols that you see on the phonetic chart, the IPA phonetic chart and ‘allophones’ are the groups of phones that are represented by the same phoneme. So there may be multiple ‘phones’ for the same ‘phoneme’. For example, the different pronunciations of the letter “t” in the words: tub, stub, but, butter, and button, they are all very similar but slightly different so they are allophones of the phoneme /t/. I hope that clears things up, like I said
I don’t think English learners need to worry too much about this unless you are studying phonetics specifically in which case you are watching the wrong videos. So everyone, do you find phonetics helpful, or does it over complicate things for you? Let me know in the comments below. Well, If you haven’t already, you should check out some of my other videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel and mailing list via the website, to keep up to date with new videos and features from me and The English Language Club. It would also be really helpful if you “Like” and ‘share’ this video on the social media. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.