Translingual Shiritori, Phonetic Edition

In the last thread, Translingual Shiritori, we played a game in which words in different languages could be connected by either phonetic or orthographic similarity. Following comments by @stone_defender and @Sanonius , I thought I’d try rebooting this as a purely phonetic game. I’ll first explain the rules and then the phonetic transcription system.

The Rules

  1. Take the last vowel and consonant from the previous word and use them to start a new one. eg. gato can become toboggan, or cat can become atlas.

  2. There can only be one word chain, and you can’t continue from your own word.

  3. The word chain can’t visit the same language more than once in any set of three words. A player can’t use the same language twice in a row, regardless of the state of the word chain

  4. Posts should look like this:

[original spelling] /[phonetic spelling]/, [English translation]


rána /ra:na/, frog

  1. Words can only appear in one inflection, eg. if cat has been used then you can’t have cats; and if run has been used then you can’t have ran. Related words are ok though, eg. if salt has been used you can still have salty.

  2. It’s ok to transition from one sound to a similar one in a different language, but only if the destination language doesn’t have that sound.

The Phonetic System

The consonants are B (bat or Florida), D (dog), F (fox), G (goat), H (hound), J (jam), K (koi), L (lime), M (monkey), N (net), P (pig), R (rat), S (sit), T (time), V (vine), Y (yam), W (water), Z (zebra), CH (change), SH (shame), TH (then or thin)

The vowels: A (bat or Florida), A: (bar), E (bet), E: (bait), I (bit), I: (beat), O (bot), O: (boat), U (but or foot), U: (boot), AE (buy), AU (bore), OU (cow), OI (boy)

So, the sentence Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent would be rendered as

/go: iz a strateji: baud ge:m fau tu: ple:az, in wich tha e:m iz tu: suround mau teritori: than tha opo:nant/

How about we give it a go?

I’ll begin.

start (/sta:t/

So the phonetic transcription is what’s binding? The following word must start with /a:t/ as in RP and must not start with /art/ as in a rhotic accent? Gotcha. And is it okay if I stick to IPA? au for ɔ makes it look rather Glaswegian. For clarification, one can add a rhyming word from a more common language.

ater /'a:tɐr/, ‘other’. Rhymes with ger. Kater.
Rumantsch ladin, var. Vallader, subvar. Jauer.


No, you misunderstand – the rhotic art would also transcribe as /a:t/. The whole point is to avoid heavy linguistics.

turno /turno:/ (working shift)

node N O: D (node)

that works, right?

using official transcription is too hard, anything that sounds similar in English should be enough

дерево - /derevo/ (tree)

I’d like something that sounds similar in that language.

Volano, flywheel, Italian

I don’t know how to write phonetic, but this word ends with a “no” sound similar to English. I wouldn’t like a following word like “nouveau” (new, French) which starts with same letters but a different pronunciation (similar to “noob”).

nogice /-it͡se/ ‘little feet’
Serbocroatian or Croatoserbian

wait. why is there an over top thing?

So you keep the t continuing with tse- and not with -se.

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Huh, I made a comment addressing phonetic transcription and whether people better versed in it would like to make their own thread, but it seems like it was deleted.

Perhaps it read confrontationally, which isn’t how I meant it. Or maybe I never hit post or something, idk.

I’d like to point out to @stone_defender that node --> derevo is in fact an orthographic link, not a phonetic one. @Haze_with_a_Z specified that it was /no:d/, so you take /o:d/, eg. for Latin óda /o:da/ (song).


cetacean /sete:shan/ (whale or dolphin)

Why to use 2 last sounds as link?
It may be useful when next word is Japanese. But also it may create difficulties.
In not syllable languages games like shiritori are usually played with 1 last sound as link.
Its better to allow any number of last sounds (1 - entire word) length as link.

Also in English there may be differences between US and UK.
And people from different countries may hear 1 sound differently.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re British or American, there is no “de” in node… look, you were the one who asked for a phonetic shiritori. I’m happy to step back and let you run it yourself if you want.

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there isn’t but derevo works anyway if only 1 last sound is used
Its not clear though if node is pronounce like nOd or nOUd
there may be more hard words

only endings like chi, shi had big problems in previous topic, it mostly worked close enough to phonetic version already

あなた - /anata/ (you)

taquito - a type of mexican food

I hope this works

togalach /togalax/ ‘building’
Scottish Gaelic. The < ch > works like in German or Dutch and corresponds to the Cyrillic x and the Greek χ.

As for open syllables (consonant+vowel), I think we are all on the same page. It’s the closed syllables (ending with a consonant) that maybe need some clarification. I’d say, we use either the vowel plus the closing consonant(s) (in this case /-ax/) or the entire syllable (/-lax/), whatever we like. To take only the -x is a bit … well, it fells a bit too loose a restriction to me.

As for the English vowel system, which is quite unique, I think we should allow substituting the o from node, for example, by the clear o~ɔ sound in other languages, or the a from take by a clear /e~ε/ and not exclusively the [ou] and [ej], allowing to continue from take with French example or Greek ekklesia, but also eyðimörk, and from node with odium or odoreux, but also oudheidskundig. Otherwise, we can’t depart really well from most English words to other languages.
The same goes for the languages that use ö- and ü-sounds. To my ears, substituting them by o and u sounds really wrong, but we probably should allow it. Although, /e/ and /i/ are maybe the better substitutes for these two bad boys.

Spanish and Japanese are fantastic for this game, because they use the almost-universal five vowel system a, e, i, o, u, almost every word ends in an open syllable, and the consonants are not too weird. (looking at you, Ubykh)


Achtungserfolg / axtuŋks-äafolk / ‘respectable achievement’

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