Is KK used in the USA

  1. I am trying to establish if America uses KK or IPA.

  2. Does anyone have any fonts for KK

Cheers Mike

No foreigner I have ever met had heard of KK before coming to Taiwan. Nor had any of my instructors at the university where I did my CELTA. AFAIK KK uses a subset of the IPA. Try a google search - there are downloadable IPA fonts out there.

See also this link.

“Taiwan is different”

Americans use the Webster phonetic system.

KK is the work of the devil.

KK is the Grand Imperial Wizard of phonetics!

Never heard of KK before I came to Taiwan. Learnt DJ in New Zealand.

Damn right…never heard of KK yinbiao till I land on TW…and everyone seems to concerning about it as the first step to mastering english…bull**** I said, back in our school days, there ain’t no KK yinbiao. We just mimed what the teacher said, and he was far from being Native :slight_smile:


Well said. I get a good laugh every time I tell a questioning parent at the school “I don’t even know kk”

There didn’t seem to be standardized phonetic alphabets in dictionaries or classrooms while I was in US.

But KK is probably a subset of the IPA from what I can tell. IPA is used in linguistic courses.

Here is the pronunciation key to the system traditionally taught in the US.

American teachers can use fonts from this site for teaching long and short vowels. … ading.html

is KK used in japan?


Is KK related to the “See-See-See Kuh-Kuh-Kuh See-Kuh Caterpillar!” song one of my 4-year-old students liked to sing at the beginning of the school year? Or those awful in-between marginally “educational” programs you see on Yoyo TV? You know, the ones where grown women wearing pigtails and men in stupid clownish outfits expand children’s creativity by having play-doh activities and tell the kids to make their creations look just like the adults. :unamused:

My daughter is just past her third birthday and I run for the TV when that crap comes on. It’s hard enough to find native English environments for her. I don’t want her to get confused and think that’s actually English people might ever use. Those shows should be canned they are a complete diservice to the aim of teaching English. :imp:

Never heard of KK at all until a little while ago. Used IPA in all my linguistics courses. Anyhow, can anybody give a link to somewhere explaining exactly what KK is?

Please look at my post above.

I find this posting sums it up quite nicely: … 01697.html

Also interesting is this:

[quote=“dl7und”]I find this posting sums it up quite nicely: … 01697.html

Also interesting is this:[/quote]

Yes, very interesting. A lot of these problems are highlighted in Learner English (Michael Swan?) under the “Chinese” section. I wonder how uniquely Taiwanese many of these problems are.

How did Taiwan English become non-rhotic given the local fetish for an “American” accent ? Very few regional accents in the US are non-rhotic, whereas many parts of the UK (most places outside the PR / Estuary English south-east) are rhotic.

On the other hand, I have long been against mimicry, and would agree with the author of the first article that clarity of diction and comprehensibility are the most important targets in learning to speak English. I can’t help forming the opinion that either there is too much emphasis on trying to sound “American” at the expense of clarity, or that the teaching of the KK system here is fundamentally flawed. (Can we blame KK entirely ?) I have a feeling slavish mimicry would be a disaster for someone going to the UK and ending up speaking like a Cockney - a dialect and accent which is made up entirely of subtle differences in vowel pronunciation and glottal stops.

If mimicry worked, then I would understand educated speakers of English in Taiwan as well as I do native speakers of American English. But I don’t. I am sure it would help if the aim in teaching spoken English in Taiwan was clarity, rather than attempting to perfect some non-existent ideal accent. Many years of failure should make that obvious to Taiwanese educators.

There is also much less difference between General American and standard British pronunciation (hardly anyone speaks with RP these days) than many Taiwanese people think. I personally believe Taiwanese who pronounce their "r"s are easier to understand than those who allow the final “r” to end in a vocalic mis-mash.

I also don’t believe that, for example, that the varying pronunciations of the “a” in “cat” should cause a failure in comprehension on the part of a non-native speaking listener. Any course in listening skills would train the learner to deduce from the context whether the speaker’s “cot”, “cat”, “cut”. or “coot” needed to go to the vet. Is listening taught in Taiwan ? We used to teach it at ELSI ten years ago. We had Koreans, Indians, Brits, Aussies, and Irishmen on the tapes. I thought it was useful.

PS. Just seen another interesting link on the subject (or thereabouts): … 10,00.html

For those of us not yet in taiwan, what is KK??

It’s an evil system easily tested with absolutely little or no purpose sold off to the public as a way to learn English. The symbols for sounds form the linguistics code(right term?) are used instead of teaching real reading skills. Did I mention that it’s a University level thing in the US and most Taiwanese are shocked that we don’t know it.

I was painfully reminded of it as one of my co-teachers was reviewing it with a student going into 2nd grade in Sept. When I mentioned that she was teaching a 2nd grader a University level linguistics sounds, all she could say was that it is her job and she doesn’t get a choice.

It has a lot to do with inadequate reading material and training for beginning readers in Taiwan. KK is also incredibly easy to test and Chinese are known for their “exam culture.” Most of my English co-teachers can’t break words down by sound, unless they went to school outside Taiwan. They are also not trained to teach reading and the students often view English words in the same light as Chinese words. A bunch of lines that make a sound, with the individual components only passively involved in making that sound.