Dear  Iguana,

I found your rant page on spelling whilst searching for resources on Current alternative spelling methods!

I have had the opportunity to live in Korea the past two years.  The experience has made me acutely aware of the inadequacies of English spelling.  My reasons for contacting you are two fold, I want to tell you, you have one of the best personal homepages I have ever visited.  But you probably hear that all the time :-)

More importantly I would like to recommend, that if you ever do more work on your spelling page.  You should investigate the Korean 'alphabet' Hangul.  The Koreans probably have the most phonetically accurate languages in the world!

The Korean Alphabet consists of 40 letters. 19 consonants and 21 vowels.  Their system is almost ideal for representing the sounds of the Korean Language.  Unfortunately after 500 years of use, many idiosyncrasies have arisen.  These seem to be caused by the gradual changes in pronunciation over the years.

The Korean Alphabet is great for Korean, but it has many problems expressing English. Mostly because there are many more consonants used in English!  Koreans have no letters for the sounds "F" "ST" "Z" and the use a single sound for R and L, which is located somewhere between the two.

The great thing about Korean is the way it uses vowels!  Trying to write Korean names in English has forced me to devise a system of using multiple English vowels to indicate the letter used in the Korean spelling of a name.

a          ah, bomb, calm
eo        hut, cut
o          cold, bow, foe, oh
u          sue, to, flew
i           flee, me, tea
e          set, pet,
eu        ~book but more contact with the tongue on the palette in Korean pronunciation.
ya        yacht
yeo      young
yo        yogurt, yoga
yu        useful, youth
yae      yam
ye        yellow
oi         wet  (they have no W, o + i = we)
ui         we
eui       buoy
oa        water
ueo      wonderful
oai       waif
ue        well

I must confess that all the stuff with the W sounds is confusing and not needed for English.  But in Korean a very small difference in the W sound makes a new word!

Once you look wt the way the Koreans interpret the W, it makes you wonder about the Y as well .  All Y sounds are basically an "I+" ...    I.E.:  i+o = yo,  i+u = yu,  i+i + yi etc...

Well, this has gotten much to long... Sorry about that.