A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

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A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Jeu 3 Jan - 14:01

Hi everyone,

Very Happy

What about my idea?

Couldn't we -French citizens- ask Her Majesty Elizabeth II, constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states and their territories and dependencies, as well as head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations, to reform English?

Don't you think that if we ask in a polite way, she would accept?

English is too difficult: the poor French cannot manage despite our efforts...
But, would you suggest to reform spelling or to revise pronunciation?

Very Happy


Dernière édition par gerardM le Jeu 3 Jan - 23:24, édité 1 fois (Raison : typo)

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  Guilaine le Jeu 3 Jan - 20:54

Good idea, Gérard, I wish the English spelling and pronunciation could be as easy as the Spanish one.
Remember the words ending in OUGH, (cough, borough, etc........) and this is only part of the difficulty : think of the accentuation (recipe) and all the other problems we have in English, as mentioned earlier.

In Spanish, I like the way they spell : exactly as it is written. The small doubt we have sometimes lies in the double consonants. But it is resolved when one has in mind "CAROLINA" : the only 4 consonants that can be doubled.

And the way they deal with the foreign words is easy enough : leader is written líder, for example. Nice, isn't it ?
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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Jeu 3 Jan - 23:02

Hi Guilaine, hi everyone,

Will you write to the Queen? Smile

Yes I know about Spanish. I remember a guy who worked in my company: he was Spanish but born and raised in France. He then went back to Spain as he was appointed head of a subsidiary of ours. He could speak perfect French but the spelling was terrible due to the confusion with Spanish (I should rather say due to the difficulties with random French spelling).

Why is it so difficult/impossible for the French to reform their spelling?

~~

I asked the question: "But, would you suggest to reform spelling or to revise pronunciation?"
You may know my theory. Smile
The pronunciation is never a problem as babies learn the language without trouble.
We, French, do have problems with the English pronunciation because we are not able to produce all of the sounds of a few consonnants or diphtongs but mainly vowels.
We, French, learned (American spelling) English beginning with written texts and then tried to pronounce after the text. As the big problem of En is the spelling, the outcome is awful.
Babies, of course, begin with speaking and then try to write.

I read a problem of English was that there are not enough letters/signs to translate the sounds. In the past, when they were invaded by the Swede (or the Norge... say people from cold countries), they had the specific additional signs and accents of the Swedish alphabet but these special signs disappeared and the spelling became really approximate with ough used to write lots of different sounds. Laughing

The pronunciation is fine and the English are nice enough to change the sounds to avoid confusions e.g. between "a breath" and "to breathe" here with an additional letter (which changes the pronunciation). There are lots of such examples: sometimes the change is in the stressed syllable. To avoid confusion, the French played with "^" or similar unpronounced signs as if French was originally a written language.

When they didn't spend lots of hours studying the language, the French tend to pronounce as it is written (as they began with written texts) and it's a catastrophe. For example when they pronounce "sweatshirt" with the 1st syllable similar to "sweet"... and the Brits frown!

English spelling should definitely be reformed! Laughing Laughing

American is a bit easier but Mr Webster didn't go to the end of his task.

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Ven 4 Jan - 14:59

Hi Guilaine, everyone,

This discussion is a bit similar to "Pourquoi les Français ont-ils autant de difficultés avec les langues étrangères ?".

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  MurielB le Ven 4 Jan - 21:50

In fact, the only fool-proof rule is that all spelling rules in English have exceptions.

i agree, Gerard that English spelling is difficult. Thank you Guilaine for that tip. I didn't know that when one has in mind "CAROLINA" He can remember the only 4 consonants that can be doubled in Spanish.

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Ven 4 Jan - 22:37

MurielB a écrit:... Thank you Guilaine for that tip. I didn't know that when one has in mind "CAROLINA" He can remember the only 4 consonants that can be doubled in Spanish.
Good!!
We keep repeating The "Café polyglotte sur le Net" is useful... we should say it is tremendously useful, indispensable (if after years of studies you Muriel can learn tips)!

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  coldfusion le Sam 5 Jan - 10:49

hello,
that will be a Sisyphe's work, won't that?
just let's take example from China or Germany.
Mao has introduced some reforms, for example simplified Chinese and Pinyin. But people have only accepted the first one.

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Sam 5 Jan - 22:25

Hi coldfusion, hi everyone,

Indeed, that would be pretty difficult.
But, how did the Spanish do? Do they continuously reform/adjust their language? Did they do the job long ago and then refuse any flaw (like tenis or lider; say immediate transformation into Spanish when they borrow a word)?

What do you mean by "or Germany"?
Do Germans simplify their language recently?

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Sam 5 Jan - 22:34

Hi,

Languages should be revised periodically.
Time flows, more foreigners have to learn the language, new words are created and vocabulary, grammar have to be tidied up.
It seems the French don't do this; Polish is bloody difficult and complicated and was never ever revised, etc.

Which languages were simplified? Which people are nice to foreigners?

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  coldfusion le Mar 8 Jan - 10:25

hello gerard (Depardious? maybe!),
In germany, there are some reformes like the suppression of double "s", which is called "esszet". But the People didn't want it because there would be some misunderstanding from some words.....
Otherwise the goverment tries also to introduce some simplifications into the german grammar like compound noun and so on...

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  MurielB le Mar 8 Jan - 13:55

Hi Gérard, Guilaine, Coldfusion
There are a number of linguistic arguments against reform; for example that the origins of words may be obscured. There are also many obstacles to reform: this includes the effort and money that may be needed to implement a wholesale change, the lack of an English language authority or regulator, and the challenge of getting people to accept spellings to which they are unaccustomed.
I have just read this comment about spelling and pronunciation reforms.
On one hand a simple language is easier to use especially for foreigners who have to learn it Very Happy
On the other hand grammar purists dislike changes and confusion in origins of words Sad
Is a middle of the road position the solution ? what do you think ?

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  Guilaine le Mar 8 Jan - 14:54

In France also there has been an attempt for change lately (in 2009, I think).
But it seems that people are reluctant to follow the recommendations.

I can think of the word "les oignons", becoming " les ognons"
and numerous î û which disappear : maitre, accroitre, murir, for example.

They didn't change the famous rule of the past participles with "être" et "avoir".
It would have helped many people from the younger generation who can't spell these properly : les livres que j'ai lus, la leçon que j'ai apprise,...

Here's a link where you can check this: www.orthographe-recommandee.info
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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Mar 8 Jan - 15:28

Hi coldfusion,

> hello gerard (Depardious? maybe!
Haha who knows? Smile

Thanks for the examples of reforms in German. I was wondering if I missed something.

I learned German at school that's to say long ago.
Many decades later, I was stunded when I realized lots of points I learned were not even known by German people:
- I learned that we coundn't put an umlaut on a capital letter but we had to add a letter "E" after the vowel: die Schüller - SCHUELLER that was explaining the spellings of many proper names
My young German interlocutor was not aware of this, he never ever heard about these impossible/unpermitted umlauts on vowels written in capitals scratch
- I learned the order of the declinations were: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative
This changed as well!!!

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Mar 8 Jan - 16:16

Hi Muriel, Guilaine, everyone,

Thanks for your very interesting words on the subject of language reform attemps.


Must we understand that nations who consider themselves as top ones refuse reforms and conclude foreigners just have to learn?? England? Germany? France?... arrogance??

A few countries make efforts to get simple spelling: Spain, Italy(?)

Is it useless to reform a language?
Old words become obsolete, new words enter the vocabulary due to new technologies: how to admit new words?

-1- I never learned Polish but I understood:
- there are lots of tenses
- a word does have different forms for plural depending on the number: it's not the same form for 2 items and for 3 or more scratch

-2- For some reasons (political to reject anything English, need to integrate Germans, Dutch and various people...) Noah Webster started spelling reforms of American English. The reforms didn't go to the end of Webster's project but the guy tried to match spelling and pronunciation:
- spelling -er instead of -re in center, theater, etc.
- -or instead of -our in color, humor, etc.
- simple l instead of double ll as in canceled, traveled and other verbs ending with -e-consonant
- regular form in learned instead of learnt, burned instead of burnt, etc.
Was it a good attempt which deserved to go further?
Why was it ended??

-3- We can notice that the most iiregular forms of vocabulary lie in the oldest words:
- the first words invented in a language were the ones corresponding to basic needs such as to be, to have, to go, etc.
--- aller / je vais / j'irai... 3 roots for this French verb / to go, I went, gone is just simpler
--- être, je suis, tu es, nous sommes, je serai... several different roots!!
- in my opinion, this shows that humans didn't bother with simplicity and didn't even realize what roots and forms were
- at the time they didn't have many words in their vocabulary and could remember them all
- beyond a given threshold, they surely had to realize it was more and more difficult and that they needed to organize things hence the tenses, the declinations, the prepositions, etc.
Conclusion of point -3-: things were more difficult in the past and either there were reforms, or it was better organized, or both.


What do you think about my new words in this posting?

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  coldfusion le Mer 9 Jan - 11:49

hello Gerard,
It isn't as quite simple as you might think.
People get used to it so changing everything is not the right one to do. Remenber also that English is rich because England was invaded so many times by Saxons, Romans, Vikings and Normans.
Therefore their language is always the mixture of all this and England is also a nation of sailors who bring always new influences.
German is a Indo-european language that's why there are so many "declinaisons". However, be sure that there are less declinaisons than in Hindi

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Mer 9 Jan - 14:56

Hi coldfusion,

The number of declinations in German is not high. It's less than in Russian or in Latin.
Declinations are easier than prepositions: I mean that dative includes most/all of the cases of indirect object and it is easier to find the solution that to guess the good preposition in Italian.

Easy to reform a language? No. Difficult but not impossible!
Why certain peoples did it?
What are the benefits and the drawbacks of reforming a language? Why did N.Webster try to revise American?

How comes so many young people nowadays cannot speak their mother language properly??

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  MurielB le Jeu 10 Jan - 19:16

Hi Coldfusion, Guilaine, Gerard, everyone.
I have just come across an interesting article "about learning to read" troubles. The act of reading is to pronounce what is written, in other words the child is taught to translate symbolic characters into oral language.
When spelling patterns can be pronounced in different ways, reading acquisition becomes very difficult. It is true for English. Children in England are penalized compared to Italian children because the Italian patterns are pronounced as they are spelled.


Dernière édition par MurielB le Jeu 10 Jan - 19:44, édité 3 fois

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Jeu 10 Jan - 19:37

Hi Muriel,

Thanks for your message but you didn't say enough Wink Where's that wonderful article?
MurielB a écrit:Hi Coldfusion, Guilaine, Gerard, everyone.
I have just come across an interesting article about learning to read troubles.

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  MurielB le Jeu 10 Jan - 19:43

Hi Gerard
This article is from "Medecine et Enfance" a medical magazine and Patrick has advised me to read it.

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  MurielB le Jeu 10 Jan - 19:58

more precisely it is from "le laboratoire de psychologie cognitive de l'université de l'université de Provence Marseilles " I find difficult to translate that into English. sorry...

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Jeu 10 Jan - 20:13

Muriel,

MurielB a écrit:Hi Coldfusion, Guilaine, Gerard, everyone.
I have just come across an interesting article "about learning to read" troubles. The act of reading is to pronounce what is written, in other words the child is taught to translate symbolic characters into oral language.
When spelling patterns can be pronounced in different ways, reading acquisition becomes very difficult. It is true for English. Children in England are penalized compared to Italian children because the Italian patterns are pronounced as they are spelled.
Thanks for having written more!

I suppose that difficulties depend on the learning method (global or syllabic for French language).
I learned by the syllabic method and I do remember a few mistakes regarding "monsieur" that pupils pronounced "mon-sieur" / mO~sj91 far from our m@sj{
Probably other mistakes...

> the Italian patterns are pronounced as they are spelled
Hm! That's true that Italian is easier than English when we learn reading by the syllabic method.
English kids can speak as well as those of other language groups.
English pupils should learn rather easily by the global method.
Regarding "Italian patterns are pronounced as they are spelled", that's true but only after you've learned the bases.
- the pronunciation of "gl" like in "figlio"
- the various pronunciations of "g" depending on the vowel that follows, and in combination with "e" or "u" that alters the pronunciation
- other rules...
If a beginner doesn't know these rules, they won't be able to read correctly and won't be understood by an Italian, without speaking about the stressed syllables which will also lead to an incomprehensible result (very important in Italian).

People often say Italian is simple to read, I say: hm, yes and no! It's easier than other languages.

Now the problem is different if we consider natives or adult foreigners.


Dernière édition par gerardM le Jeu 10 Jan - 20:19, édité 2 fois

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Jeu 10 Jan - 20:15

MurielB a écrit:more precisely it is from "le laboratoire de psychologie cognitive de l'université de l'université de Provence Marseilles " I find difficult to translate that into English. sorry...
Okay Muriel.
In the beginning, I thought it was on the Internet and you forgot to provide the link.
Of course, don't translate anything. You gave a few points, that's fine, thank you!

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  odileD le Ven 11 Jan - 12:07

Hi ! Gerard, Muriel, Guilaine, Goldfusion
Hi you all!

I would like to draw your attention on a publication on the Internet giving you some information on the German orthography reform of 1996.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_orthography_reform_of_1996

I myself took some lessons in the past in order to get familiar with the new rules and I must say that most of them found my approval, probably because our teacher's explanations were clear and logical. At that time, most of the German people rejected the new spelling and writing reform of the German language considering it not to be sensible. Nevertheless, schoolteachers were first obliged to implemente the new rules. Now, it is up to you to adopt the new system or not. The traditional and the new spellings are acceptable.
Best regards

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  gerardM le Ven 11 Jan - 14:34

Hi odileD, hi everyone,

Thank you very much for your message and link.

> The traditional and the new spellings are acceptable
Not good for a language which is known as "simple" (regarding spelling).

As I wrote above, I was surprised (and anxious) a young German guy in my company, didn't know that a few decades ago, it was not pemitted to place an umlaut on a capital letter (BTW it was the same in France, before computers became common).
I was very disturbed by these changes, mainly by the order of declinations (nominative, genetive, dative, accusative) I found in new grammar books.

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Re: A petition to ask H.M. Queen E II to reform spelling or pronunciation

Message  Guilaine le Sam 12 Jan - 12:21

Thank you, Odile, for your link about the new rules on the German spelling. I was interested in the change of ß – ss, but I’m not sure that I have understood the logics of the new rule, I think I need more examples for practice.

Anyway, what disturbs me in both reforms : France (1990) and Germany (1996) is the fact that the old
rules and the new ones are accepted. Of course, it is impossible to change the spelling of a language overnight, but still it troubles me to find two different spellings in the same article of a newspaper.

Regarding the word “Résident/Résidant” in French, I recently found in the title : “Les Résidents de la Maison de Retraite so
and so..” followed in the text by : “les résidants furent conduits en pleine nuit, etc…

This word can indeed be written both ways, according to the last edition of Larousse.

This doen’t seem serious, does it ?

I have another example which I’m going to try to illustrate with two photos taken in 2
streets both leading to the déchetterie/déchèterie. Funny, isn’t it ?



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Guilaine

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