Estonian as an example for spelling in English
Kommentaarid on kirjutatud EWR lugejate poolt. Nende sisu ei pruugi ühtida EWR toimetuse seisukohtadega.
Allan Kiisk30 Jun 2012 19:04
Thank you very much for writing the article. You did an excellent job. I was notified about it by members of the English Spelling Society, located in London, of which I am a member. Several Yahoo groups that deal with spelling reform have also been informed of the article.
I wonder if you saw the article that was published by Postimees last Tuesday, based on the interview that was conducted while I was visiting Estonia for the previous three weeks.
I am back home in California and have almost adjusted to the local time. Please feel free to contact me any time.
steve bett01 Jul 2012 14:38
IPA characters are not very popular as a reform notation but they are popular as a dictionary notation.

Kiisk recommends using a quasi-Estonian notation to write English. The result is satisfying to most Europeans but less satisfying to those already adept in the traditional English spelling.

There is a one to one correspondence between IPA and SimFon as shown in this chart
all - ool,
ago- ögöu,
make - meik,

Only two "special characters" are required to write in SimFon ö for schwa and ä for /ae/.

SimFon does not mark stress but it can mark vowel length with a double vowel.

In the past there have been viable proposals to rewrite English in a Spanish orthography and a Macedonian orthography. SimFon falls into that tradition.
Elizabeth Andrews01 Jul 2012 19:24
I like and support SimFon as a basic approach to spelling English. But I do think that the current outcomes as detailed in the Simpel-Fonetik Dictionary are very inconsistent. Most of the inconsistencies involve the use of double letters. Apparently a lot of arbitrary decisions have been made about spelling words on an individual basis instead of looking for consistency. Some individual decision-making might be a good idea but it should be rare. It should be possible to learn how to spell words based on one's experience of other words and as things stand with SimFon, you can't do that.

This current state of SimFon is a pity because its basis appears to be sound and in tune with international spelling practices, and its results don't look stupid and ugly which so many altered versions of English spelling do.

One thing, though. I'm still not convinced about using dsh for j/g. Trading one letter for three is a big ask.
Toomas Merilo02 Jul 2012 00:39
Thanks Laas, for an amusing, but relevant exposition of a problem that has plagued English spelling (orthography) since the Norman Invasion (1066?) and before.

A pronunciation-based-orthography, even in Estonian, is not exact.
Many of us say “mittu”, “head homikut”, “taldrek”, etc., which does not correspond with the normative spelling “mitu”, “head hommikut”, and “taldrik”. Similarly “palk” (log) and “palk” (salary) are pronounced differently.

Even “standard English orthography” varies between Britain, Canada, Australia and the USA.

A pronunciation based English orthography would be politically explosive, because what, exactly, would the correct pronunciation be? British? Bostonian? Texan? Canadian? New Foundlandian? Australian? New Jersey?

A pronunciation-based spelling for English just won’t fly… nor should it.
Peter02 Jul 2012 07:32
Do any of you remember a short-lived phonetic English magazine, I think it was called Timez uv Toronto, published 10-20 years ago?
Skeptic02 Jul 2012 08:55
Languages are ever in a state of flux.
So, if this bright idea were to be put into place, it would have to be constantly updated.
It seems like more trouble than it's worth.
Richard Comaish08 Jul 2012 05:52
There are, and always have been, too many would-be English spelling reformers, full of their own pet schemes and blind to the need to attempt a compromise that could conceivably satisfy all written English users.
Allan Kiisk24 Jul 2012 09:32
I wanted to let you know that I am referring to this article in the Simpel-Fonetik website under the tab Comments.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Allan Kiisk (19:04)
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