How do you spell unnecessary

1000 answers Why are languages ​​often written so differently from how they are spoken?

"In French there is almost no word that you write as you speak it. Why, for example," Bordeaux "instead of" Bordo "? That just complicates the languages ​​immensely."

First we have to realize that our way of pronouncing the Latin letters is not the measure of all things. Every language has its own way of assigning characters to certain sounds. We, too, have “strange”, “illogical” letter combinations in German such as ch, ck and sch.

But it's true: in some languages ​​the writing is closer to the pronunciation than in others. In Spanish, for example, there is hardly any ambiguity; once you know the basic rules, you can't go wrong with reading unfamiliar words. It is the same in Turkish. Turkey did not introduce the Latin script until 1928, so it is still very close to the language as it is spoken today. The rules are partly different than in German, but they still leave little room for misunderstanding.

In French, on the other hand, all students have to struggle with all those seemingly superfluous letters that are written but not pronounced. Or take the French word for water: There are three vowels next to each other: e-a-u and they are spoken as exactly the vowel that is not there, namely as O. And even if there is an X in the plural - similar to in Bordeaux, it is still not spoken. Using the example of French, you can make it a little clear where that comes from.

The main features of the French script were laid down in the 9th century

It was the first time in the Romance-speaking area that the decision was made to say: What we speak is basically no longer Latin, but something new, which also requires a new spelling. This "old French" - as we say today - was even closer to Latin than today's French. Some of the letters that are "silent" today were still pronounced back then. Since then, however, French has changed significantly again - more so than most other Romance languages. The writing reforms, on the other hand, have remained rather conservative - especially since the introduction of the Académie française in the 17th century. French was that too Lingua franca in diplomacy and trade - this is one of the reasons why far-reaching reforms have been rather difficult. But we also saw it in the discussion about the German spelling reform: The writing should not only reflect the pronunciation, but it should also refer to the origin of a word. That is why we and the French still write many words that come from the Greek with ph - unlike the Swedes and Spaniards who consistently chose the f.

Now one has to give credit to the French: Despite the many "superfluous" letters, there are still clear rules when and how a certain letter is pronounced - in contrast to English.

English is extreme

You can hardly rely on pronunciation rules. There one reads l-e-a-d and depending on whether the LIED pronounced and means “lead” or LÄDD - “lead”. The problem with English is also that its spelling - unlike that of all the other languages ​​mentioned - was never really reformed. And since English is by far the most important world language today, the chances of a really substantial writing reform are extremely slim.

In this respect we will have to continue to live with these problems. If you wanted to get rid of them, there would only be one solution: We would have to replace the previous spelling in all languages ​​with the international phonetic spelling. But that would hardly be enforceable and would create other problems for it.