One of the design goals of the thai-language.com enhanced phonemic transcription scheme
, which is the default way in which phonemic transcriptions ("transliterations") are presented at this web site, was to avoid the use of "scary symbols" which kindle greusome memories from elementary school English class, or at the very least frighten away non-linguists. (IPA is easily enabled for those who want it.)
In any case, when originally implementing the system nine years ago, I was never able to figure out how to represent the difference between the pronunciation of โชค
, because the difference is only in duration
, which is not a general phonetic feature of English.
(Remember, we're not talking about your grade-school teacher's use of the terms "long" and "short" vowel--nomenclature which is best forgotten)
I ended up with the unhappy kludge of using an underscore for the long-duration variant: cho
To make a long story short, I'm now suggesting a change. Since the original goal of not using special symbols had to be violated in this case, I might as well use an IPA-like symbol, rather than an invented one which nobody knows about. So I'll make the long-duration version now be marked with a colon after the 'o', like so: cho:hk
This also makes the HTML neater, which simplifies some upcoming site features that transport HTML via Ajax.
This is still slightly different from IPA, since I'm not using Unicode character U+02D0, the triangular colon, which has sketchy font support. Its purpose should still seem immediately apparent to IPA fans, and will introduce laypeople to perhaps their first IPA symbol.