Re: Oxford proposes a leaner alphabet

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Fri Apr 03 2009 - 11:17:59 CST

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    German is touted as being phonetic, and it is vastly more regular than, say,
    English or Japanese. But in order to really pronounce it you often have to
    know a fair amount of information: the syllable breaks (Wachs-tube vs
    Wach-stube), the emphasis (from the spelling alone, emphasis and breaks
    could vary in beeinflussen: 'be-einflussen, be-'einflussen, bee'-influssen,
    ...), unmarked short vs long vowel distinctions, and whether it is a loan
    word ("USA" oo-ess-aa vs "CIA" "see-eye-ay").

    Do any of these problems pop up in Slavic languages?


    On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 04:55, Adam Twardoch <> wrote:

    > > On 2 Apr 2009, at 03:46, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
    > >> Others may differ, but for me it's some of the Gaelic languages, which
    > >> have managed to completely free the orthography of the hegemony of
    > >> pronunciation, so that spelling need not bear any resemblance at all
    > >> to how the word is said.
    > Quite on the contrary course, Slavic languages are known for their quite
    > strict correspondece between orthography and pronunciation. The most
    > effective orthographic system for Slavic languages is probably Czech,
    > which provides practically perfect correspondence in both directions:
    > without any "special" knowledge of exceptions etc., if it is written,
    > you always known how to pronounce it, and if it is spoken, you very
    > often know how to write this down. Polish is a bit less effective but
    > still quite good.
    > One interesting manifestation of this is that a high-quality
    > computer-sythesized voice file for English can take 150-180 MB while the
    > same quality Polish voice usually takes 30-40 MB because it is much more
    > "itemized".
    > A.
    > --
    > Adam Twardoch
    > | Language Typography Unicode Fonts OpenType
    > | | |
    > The illegal we do immediately.
    > The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
    > (Henry Kissinger)

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