I've had your book, Simple Phonetic English Spelling, for some time now . . . I just wanted to say that I totally agree with what you say in your book. I wish everyone would read it and adopt it.
I'm a native born english speaker and I've always been
able to spell better than people I know. It wasn't until I had a son and started teaching him to read that I realized how horrible the english language is. It's been years since then and my son reads above his grade level, but he still struggles when it comes to spelling. My wife and I homeschool our son so we're the only ones who deal with his spelling errors and for the most part it doesn't
bother us because we can read what he intends since he tries to phoneticize the words. While he can get away with it now, it won't be long until it becomes an issue academically. We've spent hours trying to get him to memorize how to spell 'sight' words, but as you pointed out in your book, we waste a lot of time learning how to properly spell english words. If it were a Fonetik language to begin with, it wouldn't even be an issue. . .
I am glad to see that a lot of words are being turned
fonetik. I've talked to several teachers over the years and for the most part, they all agree that making english fonetik would make things so much easier . . .
I see that you now have a dictionary put together and are
working on primers. I'm glad to see that you are actively working on change.
Keep up the good work.
Citrus Heights, CA (I was surprised to find that you live
A very interesting comment in the form of an article was written by the Estonian Honorary Consul General in Canada, which was published 2 July 2012 in The Estonian World Review, Toronto, Canada. A copy of the article is shown below. To see the article in the original website, and the comments that were submitted on it, please click on this website address:
Estonian as an example for spelling in English
By Laas Leivat
To the beginner, the English language’s sights and sounds often don’t jibe. Rough, dough, doe, mow, now, roe (fish egg), row (with oar). Oar, or. Some, sum. Why, nigh. Glue, do. To, two. Corpse, corps, horse, worse. Tear (in eye), tear (rip). Sew, so. Brake, break, bleak. Daughter, laughter, rafter. Doll, roll. Some, home. The list is practically endless.
Allan Kiisk has been on a mission of orthographic reform for years. With the recent publication of his second book, Simpel-Fonetik Dictionary (Tate Publishing), Kiisk wants to eliminate the frustration for beginners caused by English spelling. “English is becoming a global language. I want to make it easier to learn. I support the global use of English.”
His first book on the subject was released several years ago.
Simple Phonetic English Spelling – Introduction to Simpel-Fonetik, the
Single-Sound-per-Letter Writing Method (Tate Publishing) established the rules
of logical spelling: a) Each letter represents only one spoken sound; b) For
longer vowels and stronger consonants use double letters – add another letter
with the same sound. The same rules could easily apply for the Estonian
The new alphabet would add the letters ä and ö, and eliminate
the letters c,q, x, y – adding up to a total of 24. Why pick ä and ö? (The bane
of Hiidlased and Saarlased – õ.)The letter A in current English is used to
represent more than eleven different sounds. Examples: far, ant, all, ago, make,
head, read, foam, fear, pair, earn. C, q, x, and y are eliminated because
they’re not suitable for Simpel-Fonetik writing. Each represents more than one
sound and can be substituted by other, more common letters.
Wen ju riid Simpel-Fonetik words, ju mast pei ätenshön to iitsh leter. Rimember, iitsh leter häs olweis the seim saund, the saund given in the Simpel-Fonetik alfabet, rigaardles wat leter is nekst tu it.
Kiisk says that Simpel-Fonetik is based on the keep-it-simple principle. It has only one letter for the sound of R, and it uses TH for both the slightly different pronounciations of that sound, as in then and three, because most people, especially foreigners, have difficulties pronouncing the English R and TH as it is. One must take into account that there are now at least three times more foreign than native speakers of English.
Allan Kiisk spent his tshaildhud in Estonia änd tiineidsh jiirs in Germany bifor kaming tu the United States. Hi obteind his elektrikal endshiniiring edjukeishon ät Oregon State änd Stanford Universitys. Hi wöörkd äs än endshiniir änd mänidsher for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, äs ö professor of endshiniiring ät the University of Redlands, California, änd äs the prinsipal endshiniir in his oun konsalting föörm, Alkitek Associates. Hi änd his waif, Karin, häv träveld änd livd in meni kantris. Thei häv setld daun nier Sacramento, California, klous tu their tshildren.
Since 1850 simple phonetic writing has been the rule in Estonia, in Finland much before that. It has been an ideal method of writing ever since. Neither the Finns nor Estonians need to spend time learning pronounciation or spelling. No need to look up the spelling of words in dictionaries. They do it mainly for foreign words and mostly for those originating in the English language.
Kiisk’s solution for difficult and sometimes illogical rules of the English language has been a quest of many international prominents. None other than John Milton, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, H.G.Wells, Isaac Asimov, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster (yes, of dictionary fame) and Theodore Roosevelt have all thrown their hat into the ring, have proposed English language orthographic reform. But the advocacy of these, and other influential and credible luminaries has not created a mass movement. Why would Kiisk expect otherwise?
Kiisk explains: Other proposals have been more complicated, difficult to learn. They haven’t considered the case of the enormous proportion of foreigners who speak English, its global reach and the blending with other languages. The letters and sounds used in Simpel-Fonetik conform with the International (NATO) Alphabet. They also conform with the International Phonetic Alphabet, practically in its entirety. That’s only part of the explanation for Kiisk’s optimism.
It would be naïve to suggest that Kiisk’s Estonian roots, the acknowledged national characteristics of perserverance and obstinacy will prevail in Kiisk’s pursuit. At the very least, a logical, easy to adapt orthographic reform is another innovation offered by an Estonian. Gud lak tu him.