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You can vote for the spelling of other words by clicking on the links in the table at the bottom of the page

To discuss issues related to keyboard layout and letter design, please click here

General comments for English
I registered with SaypYu, but cannot log-in as I haven't received the registration email?
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Posted by: David
@David: could you please check your spam inbox. If this doesn't resolve the issue, please contact us here with the subject line being Registration and we will activate your account.
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Posted by: SaypYu
English spellings are created by few persons while re-spellings are done by many who don't agree on sounds or symbols !!
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Posted by: vital
An International Phonetic Already (IPA) exists which I learned in college acting school. Why not use that instead of reinventing the wheel?
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Posted by: willshakspere
@willshakspere: thanks for your comment. Because the SaypYu alphabet has a fewer number of characters and therefore is much easier to learn
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Posted by: SaypYu
The Dutch idea of using combinations of vowels like oe ui aa ie is a good one. I speak 5 languages and think that is good about dutch. This could be used in SaypYu also. I think all the exceptions and special things in spelling is child bullying ( and adult bullying if you only learn the language at a later age) In 4 years I retire and hope to help this initiative much more than i can do now. Why is the UN not supporting this ??? Best regards Willy
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Posted by: willyvan
Very interesting but haven't you forgotten something? I cannot find anywhere on your website which tells us how to pronounce saypyu! If you will tell me this, I will be happy to include it in my dictionary at www.howjsay.com.
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Posted by: timbow
@timbow: Thank you.  The pronunciation of SaypYu would be Sipe-You
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Posted by: SaypYu
The basic problem with a phonetic scheme is 'whose pronunciation do you use?'. England alone is full of regional and class accents and dialects. Then add Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and overseas pronunciations from Australasia, Canada, and America... so we have to centralise on one set of pronunciation rules. I would suggest Received Pronunciation (RP), also known as 'BBC English'.
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Posted by: Dogmatix
when recording or playing music, the digital display shows us digitally the sound that is produced. I wonder if that could help in phonetic languages. Maybe a new way of writing could come from this based on the digital representation of sound.
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Posted by: willyvan
Around 1820 the Dutch government decided on 1 dialect to be used as "standard " Dutch. It is now spoken on all media . The different dialects still exist in the Dutch language - but we can now communicate with everyone without problems. The UN should now start doing the same for the whole world. SaypYu could be a good start
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Posted by: willyvan
The first things that a newcomer to SaypYu (like myself - incidentally, I found it in an article on the BBC website) will notice is the new letter 'schwaa', represented by a reversed lower case 'e', thus: 'ɘ' (I hope that comes out right). This letter has the sound of the established letter schwa, 'ə'. I wonder why the reversed 'e' was chosen instead of the established character, which is present in many more fonts?
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Posted by: Dogmatix
SaypYu was conceived as a phonetic alphabet, meaning that a letter or fixed group of two or more letters should always have the same pronunciation. There is, however, no distinction between the voiced and unvoiced 'th' (eg. 'then' and 'think'). I suggest, therefore, the re-introduction of two old English letters eth 'ð' (for voiced th) and thorn 'þ' (for unvoiced th). These letters are still in use in Icelandic, and are present in most fonts.
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Posted by: Dogmatix
@Dogmatix: thank you for your comments and suggestions. We used ɘ for schwa instead of the established letter schwa 'ə' because 'ə' looks very similar to the letter 'a' in certain fonts.
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Posted by: SaypYu
You say on this site that "‘schwa’... forms part of the last syllable of the words ‘enter’ and ‘relation’". Not in standard Engish it doesn't. I assume this site was not created by a native English speaker? We have approxiamately 8,000 unique sounds in the British English language. Are you sure you will be able to capture them in 24 letters? What about the multiplicity of sounds in other languages?
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Posted by: Mykool
@Mykool: we agree that there will be some degree of approximation. The spelling that is currently available on the website is merely a suggestion to illustrate the idea of the project – it is by no means accurate or final. It is not our role to determine how words should be spelled in any language. Our role is only to manage the project and encourage users to add, edit and vote on the spelling of various words.
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Posted by: SaypYu
if like becomes layk what would lake be? layk? laak?
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Posted by: mikadot
Leyk
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Posted by: ebbcourt
I don't know anyone who pronounces "universal" with a schwa for the second vowel. It should be "i".
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Posted by: ebbcourt
Dogmatix - BBC English would be accepted in America about as well as would "centralise" and those differences go all the way back to Noah Webster. I say the system is doomed without alternate spellings. It would be great to read something and know whether a Brit or a Yank wrote it. Now we have to wait between words that are spelled (spelt is primarily a grain in America) differently.
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Posted by: Rijkstra
SaypYu - George Bernard Shaw tried this and failed miserably. He even left part of his estate to the cause. What do you believe is an edge you might have over GBS?
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Posted by: Rijkstra
ebbcourt: you are right - universal is better spelled yunivɘɘrsɘl with an 'i'. To easily enter the reversed e 'ɘ', please press 'Shift 8' which is the Asterisk symbol. This is indicated on the Home page.
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Posted by: SaypYu
Rijkstra: our edge over George Bernard Shaw is we now have the internet and social media. Also, this is a collaborative project that relies on the input of everyone, rather than one person (even if that person is George Bernard Shaw!)
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Posted by: SaypYu
SaypYu - I believe GBS had a real disadvantage in that weird looking alphabet he had that was familiar to no one. I believe the schwa is holding you back if you can't find a way to represent it with a simple letter. I say replace ɘ with a and a with ae.
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Posted by: Rijkstra
SaypYuu - waat [hwaat] yuu aar seying iz thɘ ɘ haz now layf ɘpaart frɘm this [dhis] sayt. {Kiiing} it {enihwer} els iz ɘn [an] ordeal for inglish [english] spiikɘrz. I thought I would run as much of my last post through the translator as possible. Square brackets are words I don't agree with. Curly brackets don't exist in the database.
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Posted by: Rijkstra
Ay mest ɘp in may last powst. English shɘd bii Engglish tuu haardɘn the "g". Ay djɘst nowtist dhat strest ɘ kan reprizent mɘltipɘl saundz hiir. This is the biggest SaypYu problem. Multiple sounds are being represented by the same letter or digraph. I don't believe it will fly until it is truly phonemic.
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Posted by: Rijkstra
Just from reading the SaypYu representations of such words as "dawn" and "top" it is clear that we will have to have a separate SaypYu for Yanks, Ausies, Kiwis, Brits, etc etc, because of the way we tend to speak the vowel sounds that we read from the same written word.
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Posted by: mrB
mrB: we agree that different people would pronounce words differently and this would require different phonetic spellings. However, we hope to promote a single way of spelling each word that users can vote on in this website, which could lead to a single 'standard' pronunciation for foreigners trying to learn the language
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Posted by: SaypYu
Congratulations SaypYu, finally someone to do something smart with the english orthography. I wish you a soon accomplishment of your phoneticalizing the English language, which will make everyone's life much easier, especially our children's. Golden rule: one letter for one sound' should be applied as soon as possible. Cheers.
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Posted by: pgoran
I would's just suggest that, for the sounds 'ch', 'sh' and 'zh', instead of (again) using complex letters (tzh, etc.), to use the serbo-croatian letters for the same sounds (sorry, don't have 'other language keybord', so I cannot show you the letters, but they are: for 'ch' it's C with a hook at the top, for 'sh' is S with...top, and for 'Zh' is Z with...top of the letter. Cheers and all the best.
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Posted by: pgoran
pgoran: Thank you for the suggestion. We presume you mean: č, š, ž. We have just added these letters to the alternative spellings of: check, ship and vision. If you click on these words in the table on the Home page, you would be able to see and vote for these alternative spellings
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Posted by: SaypYu
Thanks for adding my suggested alternatives. Also, maybe instead of 'y' you can use 'j', like in German and some other languages; thanks
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Posted by: pgoran
i was wondering how we will handle words of the same sound but different spelling, but if saypyu will always be used alongside the original language there shouldn't be a problem. one example on my mind was: so / sow / sew
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Posted by: mrB
as i commented on another page, voting on a proposed saypyu representation depends a lot on the the interpretation of the written vowel sound of the original word which the speaker is trying to transliterate. to me, when i hear an american say 'florida', i hear 'flaarɘdɘ'. i would write 'florɘdɘ' for the same word. so how do we deal with this situation?
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Posted by: mrB
i just realised it may be possible to eliminate two more letters from the saypyu alphabet: 'w' and 'y', which are both semi-vowels. 'wet' could be written as 'uet', and yet could be written as 'iet', using the primary vowels from which 'w' and 'y' are derived.
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Posted by: mrB
mrB: we are considering the suggestion of eliminating the 'y' and the 'w'. However, the main difficulty is that there could be confusion for some words/languages (for example Ian vs Yan) and also because the sound of i and y / u and w are not identical
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Posted by: SaypYu
SaypYu does not distinguish between the voiced 'th' ('this') and the unvoiced 'th' ('think') which a phonetic alphabet should. I suggest we re-introduce two Old English letters (still used in Icelandic): eth 'Ð,ð' and thorn 'Þ,þ' (both are present in most fonts): this:ðis and think:þink.
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Posted by: Dogmatix
I suggest the use of diacritics to help cope with the many vowel sounds in English, rather than doubling and digraphing. Thus: macrons (āēīōū) for lengthened vowels (boot→būt, street→strīt); umlauts (äïöü) for 'magic-e' vowels and 'ight' (make→mäk, light→lït); acutes (áéíóú) for r-coloured vowels (fork→fók, learn→lén).
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Posted by: Dogmatix
on 'w' and 'y': considering the example SaypYu gave, Ian could be represented by 'iiɘn' and Yan (Jan) by 'iaan'
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Posted by: mrB
on voting: it seems the purpose of voting is to decide on the the SaypYu representation of particular SOUNDS, but we are only presented with written words, which can be pronounced differently by different speakers. To overcome this we could have an audio bite of the word in question so we can unambiguously identify the sounds being considered. Otherwise, a British speaker may tend to down-vote the American proposal, and vice-versa.
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Posted by: mrB
I started an article in English Wikipedia, but it is likely to be deleted. The problem with this website is the material is graphic so 'cut and paste' material is not an option. Also the copyright/copyleft issue is not clear enough to me to really work with it seriously - how then will this idea fly?
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Posted by: timpo
timpo: please feel free to copy and paste from About SaypYu section here
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Posted by: SaypYu
Dogmatix: thanks for the suggestion about keyboard comment section. We have implemented your idea and the keyboard discussion section could be accessed by following on the link at the top of this section
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Posted by: SaypYu
Yes, SaypYu a keyboard comment section is very necessary. A lot of suggested characters are in different character sets and would pose a problem. If you go with diacritics, you may open the floodgates to require multiple keyboards. I suggest a combination of diacritics and digraphs to enable a single keyboard and also stress marking which is lacking in SaypYu, but very real in spoken language.
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Posted by: Rijkstra
I have realised that I am not in a position to offer any input to this endeavour until I have a proper reference for my assessments. Firstly we have to consider what are the SOUNDS we want to include in the English version of SaypYu. Secondly, what will be the symbols we use for them. Right now I am never sure what the sounds are in the examples offered. continues...
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Posted by: mrB
To me, the 'a' in 'bar' is not a longer version of the 'a' in 'man'(at least not where I come from). The 'a' in 'bar' is the long version of the pure basic 'a' sound, while the 'a' in 'man'is an example of the way we pervert the pure 'a' sound so often in English. continues...
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Posted by: mrB
It seems clear to me that we have to PREPARE AUDIO CLIPS OF THE BASIC SOUNDS we want people to consider and vote on, otherwise no one can be sure they are thinking about the same sound. First we have to agree about the SaypYu representation of English SOUNDS.
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Posted by: mrB
mrB: thanks for your comments. We agree that phonetically the 'a' in 'man' is not a shorter version of the 'a' in 'bar'. However, SaypYu is still an approximation. Pls feel free to add other alternative spellings for 'bar' and/or 'man'. If the website does not allow you to enter non-SaypYu letters, please input the suggestion as a comment and we will add it as an alternative spelling so that users can vote on
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Posted by: SaypYu
Totally unworkable idea. Just consider how long it took to change words ‘night’ to ‘nite’ or ‘light’ to ‘lite’… and this in North American English only. Any non English language has already a phonetic guide to English… it worked for me.
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Posted by: voden
voden: thanks for your comment. We are not suggesting that this alphabet should replace current alphabets. What we are proposing is that it will be used in conjunction with existing alphabets to facilitate communication.
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Posted by: SaypYu
Every decade or so somebody bemoans the inconsistencies of spelling and advocates phonetic spelling. Sorry but spell as you pronounce just would not work, people do use varying pronunciations, person to person and accents vary substantially. For instance, if a Newfoundlander, a Cockney, a Texan, and a heavy Strine speaking Queenslander each spelled as they pronounced, I doubt if each would be able to read what the other writes.
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Posted by: Ted
Ted: the idea of SaypYu is designed for foreigners trying to pronounce words in foreign languages. It is not designed to replace existing alphabets. The best spelling in SaypYu is the one that would enable a foreigner who doesn't know anything about English to pronounce English words and still be understood by a Cockney, a Texan...etc
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Posted by: SaypYu
For an excellent history of English orthography (and various attempts at reform), I thoroughly recommend "Does Spelling Matter?" by Simon Horobin (Oxford, ISBN 9780199665280).
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Posted by: Dogmatix
Mykool: You say on this site that "‘schwa’... forms part of the last syllable of the words ‘enter’ and ‘relation’". Not in standard Engish it doesn't. SB: What dictionary are you using as your pronunciation guide? Both Oxford and Cambridge indicate a schwa in the last syllable of both words /'entɘr/ /ri'leishɘn/
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Posted by: Steve
Steve: you are right. The schwa is present in these words in most, if not all, English dictionaries phonetic transcription
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Posted by: SaypYu
Excellent web site, very useful for a French native speaker like me. By the way, people interested in French spelling can visit http://fonetik.fr , an equivalent website to SaypYu for French.
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Posted by: Fabrice
Thank you Fabrice for the comment and for the new suggestion. We will soon build a new webpage with a list of similar initiatives to SaypYu and http://fonetik.fr. If you know of other websites, pls let us know.
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Posted by: SaypYu
I wonder if Schwaa is used a little too much? Most words with it are also pronounceable with "uh" instead, although that does make words like mother or murderer "interesting". Could the endings -el and -er be retained perhaps. In the text above it substitutes for the single A, which might be pronounced either /ɑː/ or /æ/
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Posted by: uhnkuhl fil
Thanks Uhnkuhl Fil for your help on this project. As you said, the UH is more natural for native English speakers. However, we are using the U for BUK / GUD, so for non-native English speakers, they could be confused if we use the UH for some instances of the Schwaa as well
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Posted by: SaypYu
How do you deal with dialectal variation? I mean, as a native speaker of English somewhere in the East for me welcome is welkaam rather than welkɘm.
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Posted by: nxh
@nxh: the purpose of SaypYu spelling is comprehension so that someone who doesn’t know anything about English but is familiar with the SaypYu alphabet is able to pronounce English words such that they are understood by the majority of people who speak English, regardless of what those people’s accents are. In the case of Welkaam vs Welkɘm both would work, so we went with the one that is consistent with the main English dictionaries, i.e. welkɘm
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Posted by: SaypYu
Also, wouldn't you be destroying the connection morphologically between pedɘnt and pɘdantik?
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Posted by: nxh
You are right, in some instances the morphological connection will be less obvious, but in other instances it will become clearer (i.e. high/height, in SaypYu, it is hay/hayt). Most of the time, the connection remains clear because the consonants are unchanged. Even now we have words like language vs. linguist, yet the morphological connection is clear. What is more important is that some new morphological connections with languages that don't use the Roman script will be restored
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Posted by: SaypYu
The engine translates "your" as "yor" but "yours" as "yurz". This is obviously an error but cannot be edited.
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Posted by: uhnkuhl fil
Thanks uhnkuhl fil. Those are fixed now and so are "yourself" and "yourselves"
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Posted by: SaypYu
ð in IPA = dh or th in your key Please explain. ð usually = dh only while theta = th only.
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Posted by: Steve
We used ɘ for schwa because 'ə' looks very similar to the letter 'a' in certain fonts. I like the turned e [ə] for that reason. Some reform notation assign a to /V/ and /@/. Having a unique schwa usually shows the stress pattern in English. Having a schwa-a usually means using æ or ä for the <a> in written English.
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Posted by: Steve
No, "leisure" doesn't sound like "ledger". Your alphabet lacks the ʒ sound.
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Posted by: wanderingwolf
Agree - "leisure" and "ledger". are pronounced differently. However, the explanation for using the current system could be found under the sound J on the main table
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Posted by: SaypYu
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