Saaropean wrote:Aren't the huge problems people have with English spelling a sign that it doesn't work perfectly?
I see everyday people who write English perfectly, why should you change the system then? I think there's no problem with the spelling, you have simply to learn it. The same nonsense would be, to cancel the kanji writing system in Chinese, because students have problems to learn all those thousands of characters. I simply asume, that spellings education in England isn't that good then. In the Netherlands most students have difficulties with the verb conjugations, but the Dutch language is taught badly in our country. But that doesn't mean, we should change the whole system to make it easier for them who don't want to pay more attention to the spelling of their native language. Actually I think, it's more lazyness.
Saaropean wrote:Writing "theater" instead of "theatre" and "thru" instead of "through" (an encouraging example mentioned by Ozymandias) are two tiny steps towards more consistency
How can you call that encouraging!? I rather pity the fact that people do this! Like in Dutch where people write "kado" instead of "cadeau". When I see that my blood starts boiling!
Saaropean wrote:You said it yourself (and Car mentioned it, too): the spelling is not the only thing that changed. The whole language changed, including lexicon and grammar. Can you understand Old English texts? I guess it's hard, because the language has changed a lot.
Yeah, what Car mentioned is true, the grammar has changed and that was just a natural change, done by time. I understand languages are changing, but I really don't accept it, that people change spelling to make it easier. And we have done that in Dutch, because the grammar of Dutch hasn't changed that much the last 200 years, though the spelling has changed more than I like.
Wy loopen door den tuin ende indertussen philosopheren wy over het leeven, daar rookte hy nog ener cigaret ende hy zeide tot my, tot weerziens ick ga op vacantie.
Wij lopen door de tuin en intussen filosoferen wij over het leven, hij rookte nog een sigaret en hij zei tegen mij, tot ziens ik ga op vakantie.
The grammar is nearly exactly the same, though the spelling has been changed... why? Just for people who are probably not able to write it correctly, they want to write the way they hear it.
A famous writer in Dutch history, called; Eduard Douwes Dekker, better known as "Multatuli" he wrote the famous colonial story Max Havelaar. And he wrote his book in a language which was more similar to the way he spoke his Dutch. Because this was easier for them who had difficulties with the written language. And I really pity that, because we have lost all the knowledge about what was once a beautiful written languague.
Do you doubt the intelligence of women doing domestic work?
Oh no, I wouldn't dare Rolf, though I asume that a housewife probably hasn't learnt to read century old texts. I know too many people who even can't write or read the modern Dutch properly, so Old-Dutch won't be an option then I guess.
I see a problem that justifies spelling reforms: Spoken languages changes more quickly than written language, and many people insist on what is "correct" and don't accept that the language has already changed. As a consequence, spelling reflects what the language used to be like long ago. One of the saddest examples is English.
You're right, spoken languages changes more quickly, I totally agree with that, though it doesn't mean you have to change the spelling every time. I understand grammar changes, but the grammar doesn't change that much in 100 or 200 years, the Dutch spelling did. I see English as a very positive language if it matters to this, because they haven't changed the spelling. So you're able to read very old texts, which have an enormous value to us. I rather see English as a very good example to us, to all the languages in the world. Don't change everything that quickly it's working fine now!
Do you know that Dutch has been changed in spelling 3 times in just 100 years!? It's ridiculous! When I compare modern Dutch to the letters of my grandfather to my grandmother, when they were young and in love, the style and the spelling was completely different! While I like the old style much more, I'd wished that Dutch still had cases by the way, probably it was easier for me to learn German then
Only in England? Imagine Dutch classes were only improved in Holland.
You know that Holland doesn't exist, it's a fairy tale. I don't understand exactly what you mean with this remark by the way, but if you mean that Dutch classes need an improved teaching system for Dutch, I agree with you.
Saaropean wrote:So you recognize that English spelling is extremely difficult, but you wouldn't do anything against it? Those who are bad in school drop out anyway. Dropping out after a few years in a country that has a language spelt more or less phonemically (such as Finland) is not as bad as in an English-speaking country, because the chance of being illiterate is lower.
Oh yes I recognize English is difficult, you know how many problems I have with it, though even I start to learn this language, even I get more known with the mysteries of English. So if I can, everybody can! I can't agree with you that we have to change the spelling because some people who are bad in school can't learn the language then. Language isn't a socialistic institute, it's a system a way to communicate with eachother. You know yourself how many illiterate people live in Germany, that's why all foreign movies are dubbed, because lots of people can't read the subtitles, at least that's what people has told me. But should you agree with me, that we have to change German spelling and grammar to make it easier? Shall we drop the cases? It would be easier for me to learn then. And why should you use the "ß" just write a double "s". Why should we write "Köln" if you can write "Kuln" as well?
I understand that languages change and that's a natural procedure, I understand, but let the language change itself, English hasn't changed for some reasons, people probably like it the way it is or the written language is obligatory taught to children all centuries and hasn't changed altough the pronunciation isn't similar anymore to way you write it. I don't know the exact reasons, but I know that many people use English perfectly I see here at Unilang people who are nearly native in English. So there isn't a problem I guess.
By the way do you seriously thinking that English will change ever that way? I doubt it, because it's a world language, it's used everywhere around the globe it won't be changed so soon. And I guess some conservative people in England and probably from anywhere else as well, will protest against it.
Ron de Leeuw