Re: English Spelling

From: Keld Jørn Simonsen (
Date: Fri Dec 10 1999 - 17:46:32 EST

On Fri, Dec 10, 1999 at 12:00:26PM -0800, Frank da Cruz wrote:
> Ken wrote...
> > ... in the long historical sweep of things has only managed to add a
> > few thousand *more* Chinese characters, with all the attendant complications
> > of keeping track of which simplified one goes with which traditional one.
> > The net-net is that they managed to make the Chinese orthography more
> > complicated than it already was.
> >
> I think there is one case on record where reform pretty much replaced the
> old with the new -- in Norway in the last century. I once had a book about
> this... The upshot was that within a few decades of reform, Norwegian
> immigrants to North America could no longer correspond with their relatives
> back home. Or so the book said (how different could it have been?)...
> I think it was called "The Norwegian Language in America"...

That was because the Norwegians had one common ugly enemy, the
Danes, that have been oppressing them for about 400 years, and
had a written language that was quite irregular with respect to
spelling vs pronounciation. As we say it in Denmark, Norwegian
(bokmål) is spelled like the Danes pronounce it!


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