English accents & spelling reform

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Kubi
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Postby Kubi » 2003-11-14, 9:08

Saaropean wrote:I don't agree with "Mahs" (or "Mas"?), because the plural is ["ma:s@], which would force you to double the consonant or change to ß again. Unless you do like the Dutchies and write [s] as S and [z] as Z, but what about the affricative [ts] then?

Well, if you go that far, you can as well write the [ts] as TS... :wink:

And think about foreigners, too. Many think ß is a Greek letter or even a B, they have no idea how to write this monster and can't imagine it's pronounced [s]. ;-)

So what? Do you propose writing Chinese with Roman letters so that foreigners won't have to struggle with those 24-stroke "monsters"? I don't think that would be a very good idea...what about Icelandic "Þ" and similar letters? You don't want to abolish all characters that aren't used in a majority of languages, I hope :)

Of course every language has a unique phonemic system and grammar, which justifies unique spellings. Writing Arabic without vowels, Chinese with characters and German with umlauts is logical when one looks at the very structure of those languages.

Why? It's not logical, it's historical. In each case you have a number of possibilities as to how to graphically represent the language, and the ones existing are arbitrary, not born out of logic.
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Postby Car » 2003-11-14, 15:44

Saaropean wrote:The ss/ß rule is indeed better now than in the old spelling, but it's not the only thing that "makes sense". Think about hyphenation for example. :P

And think about foreigners, too. Many think ß is a Greek letter or even a B, they have no idea how to write this monster and can't imagine it's pronounced [s]. ;-)


I think it's not a good idea. They wanted to stop that people write words in two, but introduce those things themselves. And I noticed that people rather write one word than using hyphens. They are the ones that are very often left out, thus they don't reach their goal at all, quite on the contrary.

And? Where's the problem? These foreigners probably don't speak any German, so why should they matter? I can't read Japanese either, should they introduce a Latin alphabet and use this only? Many think letters like Þ are Old Runic, should they not be used anymore? No, the ß makes sense and is useful. We can't think of people that don't know the language when talking about spelling reforms.
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2003-11-14, 16:03

Car wrote:
Saaropean wrote:And think about foreigners, too. Many think ß is a Greek letter or even a B, they have no idea how to write this monster and can't imagine it's pronounced [s]. ;-)

And? Where's the problem? These foreigners probably don't speak any German, so why should they matter? I can't read Japanese either, should they introduce a Latin alphabet and use this only? Many think letters like Þ are Old Runic, should they not be used anymore? No, the ß makes sense and is useful. We can't think of people that don't know the language when talking about spelling reforms.

Oh, please, keep the dear ß — after I overcame the original shock of thinking German had a β (hey, I was 15! Hehehe), one of the reasons I got even more interested in German was because of it. It looked so exotic and so unique! It's a bit like the Spanish speakers deciding they shouldn't use ñ any more and opted to spell it the archaic way again: nn. :P
português do Brasil (pt-BR)British English (en-GB) galego (gl) português (pt) •• العربية (ar) български (bg) Cymraeg (cy) Deutsch (de)  r n km.t (egy) español rioplatense (es-AR) 日本語 (ja) 한국어 (ko) lingua Latina (la) ••• Esperanto (eo) (grc) français (fr) (hi) magyar (hu) italiano (it) polski (pl) Türkçe (tr) 普通話 (zh-CN)

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Postby Saaropean » 2003-11-14, 16:53

Just a quick remark for Car:
With hyphenation, I meant the way words are hyphenated (Silbentrennung), not the possibility to write compounds with a hyphen between their components (Getrennt-Schreibung).

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Postby Car » 2003-11-14, 17:30

Saaropean wrote:Just a quick remark for Car:
With hyphenation, I meant the way words are hyphenated (Silbentrennung), not the possibility to write compounds with a hyphen between their components (Getrennt-Schreibung).


Oh, I agree. But the old way had AFAIK much to do with typesetting etc., so it used to make sense and was necessary. But not today anymore.
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Postby Leviwosc » 2003-11-14, 18:41

Saaropean wrote:I've never heard that. :shock:
I thought they were just dubbed because people are lazy, and because the effort of dubbing pays off given that 100 million people in Central Europe speak German...


Really Saaropean, some people, from whom I expected, they knew something about this subject, told me that a huge part of the Germans is illiterate and can't read German. But now you're telling me, it's not true and it's dubbed because people are lazy.

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2003-11-14, 18:52

Literacy:

Germany -
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1977 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

The Netherlands -
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (2000 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

Source: CIA - The World Factbook
português do Brasil (pt-BR)British English (en-GB) galego (gl) português (pt) •• العربية (ar) български (bg) Cymraeg (cy) Deutsch (de)  r n km.t (egy) español rioplatense (es-AR) 日本語 (ja) 한국어 (ko) lingua Latina (la) ••• Esperanto (eo) (grc) français (fr) (hi) magyar (hu) italiano (it) polski (pl) Türkçe (tr) 普通話 (zh-CN)

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Postby Leviwosc » 2003-11-14, 19:32

Thanks Psi-Lord, nice that CIA factbook, although the statistics can't be compared with eachother because the statistics for Germany were taken in 1977 and from the Netherlands in 2000, that's a difference of 23 years, that's a lot! But I asume there hasn't changed much since those 23 years.

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Postby Luís » 2003-11-14, 20:50

Car wrote:Nobody has ever said that, Ron has completely missunderstood what I said in the thread about dubbing. It's because people are lazy and aren't used to it. I said that it's hard to notice the subtitles when watching a film, that I either watch the film or the subtitles, but this has nothing to do with illiteracy.


People who are used to subtitles, on the other hand, find these statements very strange. Say you're Portuguese and you said such a thing, people would look at you and think "Does she have mental problems or what?" :lol:
So, considering that... I can understand what Ron says. Though it certainly doesn't correspond to the truth, it does pass an image who might be wrongly interpreted...
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Postby Car » 2003-11-14, 21:10

Luís wrote:People who are used to subtitles, on the other hand, find these statements very strange. Say you're Portuguese and you said such a thing, people would look at you and think "Does she have mental problems or what?" :lol:
So, considering that... I can understand what Ron says. Though it certainly doesn't correspond to the truth, it does pass an image who might be wrongly interpreted...


Here, subtitles are used only for very important news and headlines, thus it's normal for me that I have a closer look on them. They aren't there all the time.
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Postby AShaw » 2003-11-15, 0:06

No. There's definitely systems that are more easy than others. As has already been said, the number of rules you need to describe the representation of your phonemes gives an indication for that.


Ah yes true, you are quite right. That does bring up the question though of whether this really is all that important of a factor in illiteracy. I personally do not believe so.

It was more moderate, meaning that every language should always use the same characters to represent the same phonemes - not necessarily the same ones as other languages, but the same ones it uses in another word containing them.


mm, yes indeed. Sorry, I suppose I read too much into that :). Still though, I believe that it is futile effort as such changes would be needed every few years and differing dialects would have different spelling.

Oh, but it does: it represents the characters that people decided to use to represent certain phonemes. But in the meantime the phonemes have changed, so that the relationship doesn't hold any more.


But new ones have taken their place :)

Orthography is an artificial way of representing the words we utter. Writing has many advantages, but a language doesn't need it to survive, and it's not a part of what babies and small children learn as their native language.


Oh yes I quite agree. my point with latin was that you cannot tell what a phoneme inventory was from the spelling of a language that has gone "dead".

No spelling system is perfect (and none can be, in my opinion not even IPA because people with different accents have to understand each other)


Yes that is one of my points about its futility :)

And when it comes to functional illiteracy?


Why should that be any different? As I was kindly corrected (thanks Kubi =), orthography does play a small role, but it's really not all that important to the subject of illiteracy - there are just far more important problems that should be worked on in this regard other than orthography.
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tominho is back

Postby tominho is back » 2003-11-17, 19:42

We shall not abolish

..


in tranqüilo, líqüido...

and so on 8)

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Postby ekalin » 2003-11-17, 22:41

tominho is back wrote:We shall not abolish

..


in tranqüilo, líqüido...

and so on 8)


Are these English words, that might be changed if a reform happened?

PS: In the second line you wrote two dots, and not a graphic signal known in Portuguese as trema. Here's it, for your convenience: ¨.
Last edited by ekalin on 2005-05-04, 17:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dardallion » 2005-05-04, 12:11

I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's 'Mother Tongue' It's extremely good book, and it list many many many attempts at a spelling reform in English, from the 1400s to now, and all have failed, because there are so many dialects of English, all of which have different pronunciations. In fact, it is due to ineffective spelling reforms that we have some oddly written words in our language (I'll find some examples when I have the book with me!)
I think that part if the beauty of English is that we can understand it no matter what accent or dialect is being used. To suggest that there are people who do not speak the language properly is to suggest that there is some point at which a constantly changing, mutating language becomes pure. I daresay that Medieval nobles would consider the 'pure' English dialect corrupt and barbaric. If communication between two people can occur, then the language still functions and is in no way inferioir to any other forms of the itself.


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