Phonetic transcription is the act of writing down the way a word sounds. One way of writing phonetic transcription is by using the International Phonetic Alphabet. This is helpful because in many languages, words are sometimes written differently than how they are pronounced. Some people also pronounce words differently due to their accent. Different languages also use different writing systems. Phonetic transcription can tell a person how a word sounds even if they can not read the language's writing system.