Phonetic transcription in chemistry
Thread poster: Cherepanov
Cherepanov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
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Jan 26, 2007

I would appreciate it, if you advice me where to find phonetic transcriptions of special chemicals’ names. Such as, e.g., hexacyanoferrate, methyl xyloside, etc.

TIA

Dmitri


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Mohammad Reza Razaghi  Identity Verified
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It depends on the target language Jan 26, 2007

The pronunciation of chemical compounds' names varies greatly depending on the target language. Normally, these names are "localized" in the scientific literatures of each country, so it would be helpful to consult a good technical (chemical) dictionary for the desired language pair to find out the appropriate phonetics.

In chemistry, these names consist of separate "roots" or "agents" (such as methyl) and you should normally find them separately in the dictionary.

If you are looking for English phonetics, please have a look at http://www.thefreedictionary.com, where you can find the pronunciations for a number of these chemical agents.


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Cherepanov  Identity Verified
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English names Jan 26, 2007

I am interested in their names in English. Even Webster, e.g., doesn't give the names I noted.

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
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Bit-by-bit approach Jan 26, 2007

The longer the name, the less chance you have to find a complete pronunciation (unless they are very important, such as trinitrotoluene).
There are several good references on the web that you might find useful. One is http://www.answers.com, see for example
http://www.answers.com/topic/trinitrotoluene.
You can also write the name into google and add "pronunciation".
And of course, you can buy a pronunciation dictionary; I use the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, written by J C Wells, and in many cases you will find it useful.
When you do not find a complete pronunciation, you have to reconstruct it from smaller building blocks. The drawback of this bit-by-bit approach is that it does not indicate where the main stress is in the word. But if you can find similar compounds that are well known - and for which you can look up the complete pronunciation - then you can probably apply a similar pattern.

Been there, done that, when adding pronunciation to the English words in the English-Hungarian dictionary of physics I am working on. (Antiferroelectricity, microelectromechanical, nongaussianity, spectropyrheliometry etc. - and of course proper names like Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox). But in chemistry there are much longer names - and there are many more of them.

Good luck
Attila


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Mohammad Reza Razaghi  Identity Verified
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Just split the name into its constituent parts Jan 26, 2007

As I mentioned above, I think the only reliable way to find the right pronunciation would be splitting the name of the chemical substance into its agents (and of course you as a chemist can do it quite easily) and then looking up these separate parts in dictionaries, such as I cited before.

If you try it, I am sure you can find many helpful answers.

Good Luck!


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
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IUPAC Jan 26, 2007

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has specific rules for determining chemical names and ensuring that these names are consistent from one language to another (not the same name, but consistent rules). If you run into these chemical names often, I recommend you talk to a reference librarian at a nearby university to determine whether they have books on these rules. (Most universities do. The librarian may also be able to help you determine how much these books cost, so you can decide whether to buy them rather than go to the university to consult their copies.)

I'm not sure I understand your question. If the issue is coming up with a set of Ukrainian letters so that a Ukrainian who is interested in chemistry but doesn't know English can pronounce the English name properly, I think Mr. Piroth's and Mr. Razaghi's suggestions are good.


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Cherepanov  Identity Verified
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Thank you Jan 28, 2007

Thanks a lot for your suggestions and for helpful links.

Dmitri


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Phonetic transcription in chemistry

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