Why is English spelling not simplified?

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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#21  Postby Efilzeo » Nov 26, 2010 3:24 pm

THWOTH wrote:I suggested that Chinglish - a hybridised form of Chinese and English - might become a world language, and it is this idea that I find beautiful - a true lingua franca common to all (but then I am a bit of a hippy at heart). ;)


You're very hippie :mrgreen: , I can't understand which would be the beauty of this hypothetical language came out from two ugly languages. Chinese is ugly because hasn't real grammar rules, there are too many accents for a single word, there are not verbal times and is also unusable because without an alphabet they have to learn Latin alphabet to use cell phones, computers ec. English is also ugly because is mixed from Latin and German so it has no coherence in itself: for rules, for etymology, for sounds ec.

Anyway it's a good language because it's very funcional and also easy to learn; the only thing, according to me, that could improve it, is to regularize its sounds.

(I think that I've done too many errors in this post, forgive me)

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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#22  Postby RaspK » Nov 26, 2010 4:35 pm

For those who go about the dream of spontaneously simplifying the alphabetical legacy, please use the IPA.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#23  Postby Aca » Nov 26, 2010 4:39 pm

I always found Serbo-Croatian solution ("write as you speak and read as it is written") to be quite neat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbo-Croa ... rthography

But then again I'm a Serb so...
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#24  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 4:45 pm

RaspK wrote:For those who go about the dream of spontaneously simplifying the alphabetical legacy, please use the IPA.

I already suggested it this morning, but no takers so far.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#25  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 4:51 pm

Aca wrote:I always found Serbo-Croatian solution ("write as you speak and read as it is written") to be quite neat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbo-Croa ... rthography

But then again I'm a Serb so...

Piši kao što govoriš? :lol: Ajl traj: Ingliš vud be sou mač izier tu rajt Karadžić-stajl, vudnt it?

Now let's see if any of the others can figure out the above sentence :grin:
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#26  Postby chairman bill » Nov 26, 2010 5:56 pm

I say enuff with the anti-English stough! Er ...
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#27  Postby Aca » Nov 26, 2010 6:44 pm

katja z wrote:
Aca wrote:I always found Serbo-Croatian solution ("write as you speak and read as it is written") to be quite neat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbo-Croa ... rthography

But then again I'm a Serb so...

Piši kao što govoriš? :lol: Ajl traj: Ingliš vud be sou mač izier tu rajt Karadžić-stajl, vudnt it?

Now let's see if any of the others can figure out the above sentence :grin:


well, it wasn't a problem for me :mrgreen:

But that was possible for Karadzic to push the issue 200+ years ago.

Today, it's a different story.
Last edited by Aca on Nov 26, 2010 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#28  Postby chairman bill » Nov 26, 2010 6:58 pm

I'll try: English would be so much easier to write Karadic-style, wouldn't it?

How's that for a dyslexic?
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#29  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 7:03 pm

chairman bill wrote:I'll try: English would be so much easier to write Karadic-style, wouldn't it?

How's that for a dyslexic?

Very good :clap:

Well, apart from "Karadžić" (that's Karadzic" for you foreigners with defective keyboards ;))

ETA: Was it difficult to decipher?
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#30  Postby Aca » Nov 26, 2010 8:19 pm

chairman bill wrote:I'll try: English would be so much easier to write Karadic-style, wouldn't it?

How's that for a dyslexic?


we have a solution to English spelling :D
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#31  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 8:39 pm

Aca wrote:
chairman bill wrote:I'll try: English would be so much easier to write Karadic-style, wouldn't it?

How's that for a dyslexic?


we have a solution to English spelling vi hev a solušn tu ingliš speling :D

FIFY
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#32  Postby Aca » Nov 26, 2010 8:41 pm

katja z wrote:
Aca wrote:
chairman bill wrote:I'll try: English would be so much easier to write Karadic-style, wouldn't it?

How's that for a dyslexic?


we have a solution to English spelling vi hev a solušn tu ingliš speling :D

FIFY


sori, vont hepen agen :oops:

:D
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#33  Postby I'm With Stupid » Nov 26, 2010 8:49 pm

katja z wrote:
RaspK wrote:For those who go about the dream of spontaneously simplifying the alphabetical legacy, please use the IPA.

I already suggested it this morning, but no takers so far.

Because it's unnecessarily big. Suggest the phonemic chart instead, which was written specifically for English. Although everyone says things differently, so there is no real right or wrong answer (although there is a dictionary version, usually based on some posh Southerner).
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#34  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 9:27 pm

I'm With Stupid wrote:
katja z wrote:
RaspK wrote:For those who go about the dream of spontaneously simplifying the alphabetical legacy, please use the IPA.

I already suggested it this morning, but no takers so far.

Because it's unnecessarily big. Suggest the phonemic chart instead, which was written specifically for English. Although everyone says things differently, so there is no real right or wrong answer (although there is a dictionary version, usually based on some posh Southerner).

Yes, of course you're right about the variation, with a strict phonetic notation you'd end up with a whole load of versions of each single word. Standardisation is essential whatever the principle of writing (phonetic, etymological, a bit of each or just arbitrary chaos). FTR, I'm not seriously advocating any radical change in English spelling, IPA-based or otherwise - on the contrary, as I explained in my first post, I don't think it's either feasible or desirable.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#35  Postby Ironclad » Nov 26, 2010 10:09 pm

Paul1 wrote:Even *shakes head* doesn't mean no in every culture. In Turkey they tut-grin instead.


WTH is a tut-grin? :scratch:
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#36  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 10:21 pm

Ironclad wrote:
Paul1 wrote:Even *shakes head* doesn't mean no in every culture. In Turkey they tut-grin instead.


WTH is a tut-grin? :scratch:

I should think it means that you grin and make a tut-tutting sound?
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#37  Postby Mr.Samsa » Nov 27, 2010 1:17 am

Isn't Esperanto basically an attempt to simplify language?
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#38  Postby katja z » Nov 27, 2010 8:56 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:Isn't Esperanto basically an attempt to simplify language?

No. It was an attempt to facilitate international communication, which is something completely different from what the OP discusses. Obviously, as a constructed language, it could (and did) avoid the irregularities that typically come as a result of language evolution (like irregular verbs) and to that extent it is simpler and hence easier to learn. It is also simpler to write than English, because the inventor very sensibly opted for a phonetic-based spelling (a solution that was staring him in the face, as a native speaker of Russian).

On a side note, the wish for international understanding, the egalitarian impulse (using an artificial language puts speakers of all natural languages on an equal footing) and the idea of simplifying the task to all learners are all very worthwhile and noble, but in reality Esperanto is heavily biased, drawing exclusively on Western-Indo-European languages. I don't see this as particularly politically neutral on a global scale ... especially considering it was designed at the end of the 19th century and spread in the beginning of the 20th, at the height of European colonialism!

While on the subject of constructed languages (and galloping wildly off-topic ... ), I believe they may be useful tools to facilitate certain types of communication across determined language groups - this is much narrower than the utopic project behind Esperanto, but has the advantage of being feasible! Thus, Interlingua relies on a set of control languages for vocabulary, including the most widespread elements (a very restricted measure of what is "international", but objective within the set limits). The primary controls are English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, with German and Russian as secondary controls. This is combined with minimal grammar (also based on the control languages, thought it looks essentially Romance to me), which automatically rules out sophisticated textuality even as it ensures easy comprehension. From my experience, it works very well indeed for the transmission of factual information (I've never learned it, but can use Interlingua wikipedia), which is its internded function as an auxiliary language, but it would take further development (and loss of the simplicity) if it was to take on the full functions of a fully-fledged language, as Esperanto was meant to do from the start.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#39  Postby Mr.Samsa » Nov 28, 2010 1:00 am

Cheers Katja :cheers:

I knew Esperanto was supposed to help international communication but I remembered it supposedly being made to be "easy to learn" and based on phonetic spelling, so I thought it might be relevant to the thread. I don't know too much about it though (however, I now know a lot more after your post :grin: ).
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#40  Postby Zwaarddijk » Nov 30, 2010 11:52 pm

katja z wrote:It is also simpler to write than English, because the inventor very sensibly opted for a phonetic-based spelling (a solution that was staring him in the face, as a native speaker of Russian).

Russian spelling is not phonemic, though, it's not the worst offender (that'd prolly be French and English), but by European standards, it's far from Polish or Swedish or German. (And Dr. Zamenhof was, iirc, also a native speaker at the very least of Polish.)
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