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Template:IPA is most useful when there are multiple instances of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) on a page. It contains

<span title="Representation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)" class="IPA">{{{1}}}</span>

This means, it simply specifies a class called “IPA” as a hook for CSS styling and DOM scripting.

This allows fixing broken display of IPA characters in MS Internet Explorer 6 for Windows, and choice of style in any browser.

The font declaration is in MediaWiki:Common.js and targets only Windows XP. Registered Wikipedia users can specify their own style for IPA text by editing, for each project, their user style sheet, e.g. monobook.css. Users can also specify the style locally in their browser, which works across projects.

MediaWiki:Common.css also ensures that links inside IPA transcriptions marked up with this template do not use underlines since these carry special semantics there.


"description": "This template ensures proper display of transcriptions using the International
Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), especially in older operating systems and browsers. There are related
 specialized templates that also semi-automatically generate the transcription itself.",
"params": {
  "1": {
    "label": "transcription",
    "description": "including square brackets [...] for phonetic transcriptions or enclosing
 forward slashes /.../ for phonemic ones",
    "type": "string",
    "required": true


Placing a phonemic rendering of the word characters in Template:IPA:


The result will be a span with a class attribute, like this:

<span title="Representation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)" class="IPA">/ˈkærəktɚz/</span>

Which appear in your browser as:


Without template:IPA:


[These sets should only look different if you are using Internet Explorer 6 or lower on Windows, or if you have a custom style defined for IPA text.]

Please place all IPA text into Template:IPA, even if it doesn't have any special IPA characters, like this: /mi/. This will allow users to format all examples of IPA text consistently, with their choice of fonts, colours, etc.