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Beginner Question - IPA

I have been trying to keep up with the recent mail on pronunciation
but I do not understand all of the phonetic spelling using standard
ASCII characters.

A quick search of the net has come up with lots of "alpha charlie
bravo ..." type alphabets but not this sort of phonetic alphabet.  Can
anyone help?  Is there an "International" standard or do people make
it up based on some sort of norm? - something else to put in the FAQ


|   Graeme Dunbar                                                   |
|   School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering                 |
|   The Robert Gordon University                                    |
|   Schoolhill                               Tel. +44 1224 262415   |
|   Aberdeen   AB9 1FR                       Fax  +44 1224 262444   |
|   Scotland   U.K.                 email  g.r.a.dunbar@rgu.ac.uk   |