Visible Speech    Visible Speech


Visible Speech is a writing system invented in 1867 by Alexander Melville Bell, father of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Melville Bell was a teacher of the deaf and intended his writing system to help deaf students learn spoken language.

Visible Speech was also the first notation system for the sounds of speech independent of a particular language or dialect and was widely used to teaching students how to speak with a "standard" accent.

Visible Speech symbols are intended to provide visual representations of the positions the organs of speech need to be in to articulate individual sounds. Once the underlying principles are understood it is apparently fairly straightforward.

Visible Speech is also known as the Physiological Alphabet.

Visible Speech chart

Visible Speech vowels

Visible Speech with IPA equivalents

Visible Speech IPA consonants

Visible Speech IPA modifiers

Visible Speech IPA vowels

IPA charts with Visible Speech symbols

IPA pulmonic consonant chart with Visible Speech symbols

IPA vowel chart with Visible Speech symbols

Visible Speech for English

Visible Speech for English

Alexander Melville Bell's original Visible Speech chart

Alexander Melville Bell's original Visible Speech chart

Sample text in Visible Speech

Sample text in Visible Speech (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Visible Speech charts and sample text provided by Joseph Pickett


Information about Visible Speech

Visible Speech vowel chart (in Flash)

Free Visible Speech fonts

Proposal for encoding Visible Speech in Unicode

Phonetic alphabets

International Phonetic Alphabet, Visible Speech

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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