Spelling reform in reverse?

  • #26
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We could achieve a fully phonetic alphabet by encouraging everyone to pronounce all words as they are currently spelled. Most people are resigned to the notion that english spelling reform has zero chance of success. But pronunciation reform could be many times more likely to succeed.
You are late with that: it's actually happening.

As I've told it somewhere, I'm working in a kind of international environment, where English is the common language - but there are no native English speaker there.
The result is, that everybody is trying to speak the written English o0)
I've made a quick survey back then, and many similar places does the same. Also, we could understand each other rather well, so I guess it's really so.
Also, it was a common topic that it's so hard to understand anybody from USA or GB.
So I guess native English speakers are up for some hard time soon :doh:
 
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  • #27
atyy
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So I guess native English speakers are up for some hard time soon :doh:

 
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  • #28
f95toli
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So given this, wouldn't it make more sense to proceed in the opposite direction? This would be pronunciation reform. We could achieve a fully phonetic alphabet by encouraging everyone to pronounce all words as they are currently spelled. Most people are resigned to the notion that english spelling reform has zero chance of success. But pronunciation reform could be many times more likely to succeed.

:)

Things have actually been going in the opposite direction for the past 150 or so years. Local dialects are for many people a very important part of their identity. One consequence of that is that some countries have actually altered the way they spell to make the spelling closer to the dialects.
One (obvious) example is Norway where there are two official written languages ("Nynorsk" and "bokmal"). The written languages are actually quite different but no one actually speaks either of them; but based on your local dialect one of them will (usually) be closer to the way you speak so you can essentially pick the one you prefer.

You also have languages such as Welch and Gaelic where the spelling makes no sense to people who do not speak the language, but where there spelling is actually phonetic; you just need to know the "rules" for how the to pronounce the letters and diphthongs
 
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  • #29
TeethWhitener
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Whereas for English, Americans would not consider directives from London to be authoritative.
Americans don't even consider directives from Washington to be authoritative :DD

I'm not sure standardization of a phonetic system would force folks to pick a dialect. People would still speak their own dialects. Spanish, the ultimate in phonetic languages, sounds very different in Mexico vs. Spain vs. Argentina. Ditto for French in France vs. Quebec vs. Chad.
 
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  • #30
Vanadium 50
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Ditto for French in France vs. Quebec vs. Chad.
Or Paris vs. elsewhere in the country.
 
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  • #31
pinball1970
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Americans don't even consider directives from Washington to be authoritative :DD
'Dont EVEN consider Washington?' I have to protest a little bit here. Washington DC was founded in 1790.
English Literature can go back further than that and if we rewrote the rule book I would expect a seat at the table.
The end one.
 
  • #32
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Writing the rules should be based on representation of the speakers, so Washington, New Delhi, Lagos and Manila each get more votes than London
 
  • #33
DaveE
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Local dialects are for many people a very important part of their identity.
Yes, exactly this. Humans are fundamentally tribal. We don't actually want to be part of a single big homogenous group; we don't want to agree on everything, look the same, or sound the same. In fact people will go out of their way to invent distinctions and advertise their tribal allegiances. You need look no further than bumper stickers on cars, which are nearly all advertising some allegiance to a social group of some sort.
 
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  • #34
TeethWhitener
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if we rewrote the rule book I would expect a seat at the table.
You had a seat at the table the last time (the only seat) and look how that turned out :-p
 
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  • #35
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Local dialects are for many people a very important part of their identity.
On the other side, 'international English' (in which native speakers of any dialect has just small minority!) has a very important part of the wallet of many.

It'll be .. interesting o0)
 
  • #36
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Those politicians are being quite rude. I'm an American and I got most of what he was saying the first time, and fully understood by the second. If those guys want Scotland to be part of the UK, the least they could do is learn to understand how their own countrymen speak.
 
  • #37
f95toli
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If those guys want Scotland to be part of the UK, the least they could do is learn to understand how their own countrymen speak.
The SNP -which is the party currently in power in Scotland- is the Scottish National Party.
They don't want Scotland to be part of the UK...Leaving the union is their main goal and I don't think they care at all if someone from England can understand what they are saying.
 
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