When I type one English word on Google Search Engine, It's show me small translate form on their result. When I search for "Attractive", it's give me result like this enter image description here

What I'am confused is the text on red box, What it's meaning? Is there an English alternate words? or something like that?

  • Pronunciation? That's the only time we use an inverted e. It's not generally part of the English alphabet. – Catija Jan 10 '17 at 4:41

As others have indicated, these symbols are meant to represent the pronuncation of the word… but there's more, as the saying goes.

There are many different respelling systems, but this one is derived from a system created by Noah Webster. With some modifications, it remains in use by Merriam-Webster (see the MW Guide to Pronunciation), the American Heritage Dictionary (see the AHD Pronunciation Key), and other dictionaries published in the U.S.

This is the system which most Americans are taught in school, but it is only designed to represent American English, and is essentially unheard of in the rest of the world. I am somewhat surprised to see that it is the system Google employs internationally— for example, for Google.fr and Google.de as Googgle.co.id. No doubt this is because Google's information is sourced from an American dictionary.

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is elsewhere the standard, as it is designed to represent sounds from across all human languages, and this may be more familiar to you. The pronunciation of attractive would be rendered something like /ə ˈtræk tɪv/ in IPA.

Wikipedia has a U.S. dictionary transcription key which provides a "translation" of the notations from the Webster system to IPA. Also see What is the name for “pronunciation spelling”? at EL&U.


I think that's just the phonetic notation. It's the way to show how you read the word aloud. You do not need to worry about it unless you are looking for pronunciation of words.


That is the pronunciation respelling which is a regular phonetic respelling of a word to indicate the pronunciation.

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