English is b0rked, let’s fix it!

English spelling is famed for its irregularities. Not only is it next to impossible to predict the spelling from the pronunciation, it’s also often difficult to work out the pronunciation from the spelling. This has social and economic costs; it takes English speaking primary school children two years longer to master basic spelling than speakers of other languages and dyslexia is a major challenge. English spelling has been chopped and changed by countless scribes, printers, invaders and others since the Roman alphabet was first used to write Old English during the seventh century, and no longer matches the way we speak.

Now that International English has been recognised as a separate dialect from British and American English, reform of corrupted alphabetic principles is being seriously co-ordinated for the first time since 1953 through organisations such as the International English Spelling Congress and the English Spelling Society. One such proposal is Inglik, based on similar principles to the Simpel-Fonetik system, which is intended to serve as an alternate, easy to learn English writing system suitable for international use. It attempts to directly match single symbols (graphemes) to sounds (phonemes) in order to regularise spelling and uses a simplified grammar.

Inglik is being developed as an Open Source project with a minimal ruleset including: a Spelbuk, Gramäry and Kôrpys of literature including this Frázbuk.

The examples below include a list of respelled place names that even native speakers frequently mispronounce and a selection of basic phrases of the kind that might be used to teach English as a foreign language. There is a pronunciation guide at the end with IPA equivalents and examples of the different ways sounds are written using conventional orthography. You will need a font that can display IPA characters, diacritics and special characters used in other European languages to view this page properly.

Plás nám’z

Alnwick – Anik
Bicester – Bistyr
Birmingham – Byrmiŋym
Bristol – Bristw
Cholmondeley – Čymly
Durham – Dyrym
Edinburgh – Edinbryh
Glasgow – Glazgy
Gloucester – Glostyr
Godmanchester – Gymstyr
Hunstanton – Hynstyn
Leicester – Lestyr
Leominster – Lemstyr
London – Ländyn
Magdalen College – Môdlin Colëj
Middlesbrough – Midwlzbryh
Norwich – Norij
Peterborough – Pétyrbryh
Piccadilly Circus – Pikadily Sŷrkys
Shrewsbury – Šrózbry
Teignmouth – Tinmöþ
Warwick – Warik
Worcester – Wustyr


Iŋliš Fráz’z

þaŋk’z älot.

Ðis bé simpwl sentäns yu kan úz tö þaŋk sömwön.

Þaŋk’z älot för ðë bŷrþdáy möny.
Þaŋk’z älot för dríviŋ mé hóm.

Ðis kan ålsó bé úz’d tö mén:

Yuv bé’n wörs ðan úsles, gó äwáy.

Endiŋ mesij wið “þaŋk’z” bé wårniŋ ðat yur perlösly klós tö lusiŋ yur tempyr, ful stop jyst mén yur aŋry.

Ekskúz mé.

Wen yu néd tö get þrûh byt ðêrz söm ijöt blokiŋ yur wáy, sáy “Ekskúz mé”.

Yu kan ålsó sáy ðis fráz tö pölítly get sömwön’s ätenšön. För ekzâmpwl:

Ekskúz mé syr, yu apéär tö häv drop’d sym lityr.
Ekskúz mé, dyu nóu wåt tím itiz?

Í bé sory.

Úz ðis fráz tö äpolöjíz az myč az posybwl, weþyr för symþiŋ big or smâl. Úz “för” tö giv môr dëtáwl. För ekzâmpwl:

Í bé sory för béiŋ syč fykwit.
Í bé sory för ðë mes. Í wåznt ekspektiŋ ánywön tödáy.

Yu kan úz “rély” tö šó yur very sory för symþiŋ:

Í bé rély sory Í didnt invít yu tö mý pârty.
Ekskúz mé, sory, bé ánywön sitiŋ hiër?

Ðis mén: “Yu hav þré sekönd’z tö mûv yur bag béfôr Í kil yu.”

Yu kan ålsó úz “sory” tö mén. “Get out öv mý wáy, šit-hed”

Nevyr mínd.

Lets sáy sömwön dónt yndërstand än ídéa yur trýiŋ tö eksplán. If yuv eksplán’d it óvyr and óvyr and hav’d ënyf, jyst sáy “ó, nevyr mínd”. Yu kan naw tâwk äbout symþiŋ els!

Yu kan ålsó úz “nevyr mínd” tö mén “it dónt matyr” or “jyst förget it”. In ðîz sičúášyn’z, sáy it wið smíyl and pozitiv tón; öðërwíz wen yu sáy ðis fráz slówly wið fâliŋ low tón, pépl’z wil nóu yur pis’d wið ðem.

A: Bé yu góiŋ tö ðë grósry stôr tödáy?
B: Nó, Í bé not. Wý, dyu néd symþiŋ?
A: Ó, nevyr mínd. Its ókáy, Íl gó tömoró.

Nót: “Í bé jyst popiŋ out for lynč, döz ánywön wånt ányþiŋ?” mén “Í bé getiŋ mý own lynč naw, pléz šyt yur mouþ.”

Yu kan ålsó úz:

“Not tö wyry” = Í wil nevyr förget ðis.
“Its fín” = It rély kudnt posibly get ány wörs, but nó dout it wil.
“Perfik” = Wel ðats ðat rúin’d ðen.
“Onëstly, it dónt matyr” = Í šal nevyr spék tö yu ägán.
“Nó harm dyn, it kud bé wörs” = Yuv fyk’d it ríht yp.

Í bé lŷrniŋ Iŋliš.

Ðis simpwl fráz tel pépl’z ðat Iŋliš bé not yur nátiv laŋwij. If yur tótäl nûb, ad “jyst stârt’d” âftyr “Í”: “Ív jyst stârt’d lŷrniŋ Iŋliš”.

Mý nám bé … and Í bé lŷrniŋ Iŋliš.

Wen yu bëköm môr fluënt yu kan sáy:

Í bé spékiŋ ðë very gud Iŋliš.

Í dónt yndërstand.

Úz ðis fráz wen yu dónt yndërstand wåt sömwön mén.

Sory, Í dónt yndërstand wý Brityn wånt tö lév Úröp, it sém very kynfúsiŋ!

Ku’d yu rëpét ðat pléz?

If yud lík sömwön tö sáy wörd, kwesčön or fráz ägán, úz ðis kwesčön. Sins “tö rëpét” mén “tö sáy ägán”, yu kan ålsó âsk, “Ku’d yu sáy ðat ägán pléz?”

Ku’d yu pléz rëpét ðat?
Í dónt yndërstand wý Brityn wånt out öv Úröp!
Ku’d yu rëpét ðat pléz?

Ku’d yu pléz tâwk slówyr?

Nátiv spékyr’z kan tâwk very fâst. Fâst Iŋliš bé hârd tö yndërstand! Ðis bé än ézi wáy tö âsk sömwön tö spék môr slówly.

A: Yu kan giv ys kâl ány wékdáy from 8:00 .m. tö 5:00 p.m. on fív fív fív, tw fív zéró êht, ekstenšön þré þré …
B: Í bé sory, ku’d yu pléz tâwk slówyr?

þaŋk yu. Ðat help älot.

Âftër sömwön stârt spékiŋ môr slówly för yu, þaŋk ðem wið ðis fráz.

Yu kan úz it in mány öðër sičúášön’z, tû.

A: Ku’d yu pléz mák ðë font bigyr? It bé hârd för mé tö réd ðë wörd’z.
B: Šûr! Íl čánj it from síz 10 tö 16. Howz ðis?
A: Þaŋk yu. Ðat giv wârm féliŋ to mý yndyrpârt’z.

Wåt döz … mén?

Wen yu héär or sé nú wörd, úz ðis fráz tö âsk wåt it mén.

A: Wåt döz “font” mén?
B: Its ðë stíyl öv letyr’z, nymbyr’z and pynkčúášön mârk’z wen yu típ. A komön font bé Tímz Nú Rómän.

How dyu spel ðat?

Iŋliš speliŋ kan bé triky, só mák šûr tö lŷrn ðis kwesčön. Yu kud ålsó âsk sömwön, “Kud yu spel ðat för mé?”

A: Mý nám bé Wayn Haŋkerčîf.
B: How dyu spel ðat?

Wåt dyu mén?

Wen yu yndërstand ðë wörd’z wön bý wön, byt not wåt ðey mén tögeðyr, úz ðis kwesčön. Yu kan âsk it wenevyr yur kynfús’d äbout wåt sömwön bé teliŋ yu.

A: Ðë Smiþ’z hav rély nís hous, byt ðë grâs bé âlwáz grényr on ðë öðër síd.
B: Wåt dyu mén?
A: Í mén ðat if wé hav’d ðë Smiþ’z’s hous, wé probly wudnt bé hapiyr. Wé ålwáyz þiŋk öðër pépl’z hav betyr lív’z ðan ys, byt öðër pépl’z hav problym’z tû.
B: Yêh, byt öðër pépl’z hav nís grâs’z tû.

Méniŋ’z öv “Í beg yur pârdön”:

  • Í didnt héär yu.
  • Í äpolöjíz.
  • Haw very dár yu!

Nóåt Í mén?

If yur haviŋ trybwl mákiŋ yurself yndërstud yu kan úz ðis fráz tö mák ðem ânser “Yeh” évyn if ðey stil hav nó ídéä.

Intrödúsiŋ Yurself and Mákiŋ Frend’z

Ðêr bé mány wáy’z tö sáy “Heló” in Iŋliš, from ðë infôrmwl “Wočyr” or “Âwríht?” tö ðë môr formwl “Haw dyudu?”. Ðis bé not än invitášön tö koment on persön’s kwality öv líf, só du not rëplý wið list öv álmynt’z.

Hí! Í bé …. (And yu?)

Hiërz än infôrmwl grétiŋ yu kan úz wen yu mét nú frend’z. If ðë persön dónt tel yu ðêr nám, yu kan âsk “And wåt’s yur nám?” or “Hûðäfykâr yu?”

Hí! Í bé Bârbi. And yu?

Nís tö mét yu.

Âftër yu lŷrn éč öðër’s nám’z, its pölít tö sáy ðis fráz.

A: Hí Bârbi, Í bé Boris.
B: Nís tö mét yu, Boris.
A: Nís tit’z Bârbi.

Wêr bé yu from?

Âsk ðis kwesčön tö fínd out wič kyntry sömwön bé from. Yu ânsyr ðis kwesčön wið “Í bé from …”.

Kan yu ânsyr ðis kwesčön in Iŋliš? Sáy bóþ ðë kwesčön and ânsyr äloud ríht naw.

A: Nís tö mét yu, Sergio. Só, wêr bé yu from?
B: Í bé from Brentförd. Mé and Boris liv hiër.
A: Ó Í þôt yu wåz from Éstyrn Úröp.

Wåt dyu du?

Móst adylt’z âsk éč öðër ðis kwesčön wen ðey mét. It mén wåt dyu du för liviŋ (wåtz yur job). Í þiŋk ðis kwesčön bé boriŋ, só Í âsk öðër kwesčön’z. Byt mány pépl’z wil probly âsk yu ðis, só its importänt tö nóu wåt it mén.

A: Wåt dyu du, Újény?
B: Í wörk ät ðë Únivyrsity az fínanšwl spešälist.

Wåt dyu lík tö du (in yur fré tím)?

Insted öv âskiŋ för sömwön’s job títwl, Í prëfyr tö âsk wåt ðey enjoy doiŋ. Ðë rëspons’z (ânsyr’z) bé úžly myč môr intrestiŋ!

A: Só Újény, wåt dyu lík tö du in yur fré tím?
B: Í löv tö pláy vijó gámz and mastyrbát!

If ðey stârt tö giv tû myč införmášön, yu kan sáy “Nó yêh ðats very intrestiŋ” wič mén “Yur bôriŋ mé tö deþ”.

Wåts yur fón nymbyr?

If yu wånt tö kép in kontakt wið sömwön yu jyst met, âsk ðis kwesčön tö fínd out ðêr fón nymbyr. Yu kan rëplás “fón nymbyr” wið “email” if yu wånt tö nóu ðêr email adres.

It wud bé grêt tö mét up ägán symtím. wåts yur fón nymbyr?

Wen yu hav ðêr fón nymbyr, yu kan foló ðat wið:

Yu lík seks wið mé, Í giv yu möny!

Dyuäv Fásbuk?

Mány pépl’z kép in töč (kontakt) þrûh Fásbuk. Úz ðis kwesčön tö fínd out if sömwön hav Fásbuk äkount. Yu míht ålsó âsk, “Âr yu on Dryg’z?”

Lets kép in töč! Dyuäv Fásbuk?

If péplz wånt tö mét yp, yu kan sáy:

Í míht join yu látyr. = Í bé not léviŋ ðë hous tödáy ynles its on fír.
Pop round ánytím. = pléz stáy äwáy from mý hous.

Sáyiŋ gudby

Wen yuv hav’d ënyf, ðèr bé lots öv wáy’z tö ekskúz yurself:

Ánywáy, bé ðat ðë tím?
Ríht ðen, Í spóz Í rély šud stârt þiŋkiŋ äbout posibly mákiŋ mûv.
Séyä!

Fráz’z för Wörk

Hiër bé sevn básik fráz’z yu míht úz ät job.

How kan Í help yu?

If yu wörk in kystömyr servis, yul úz ðis fráz älot. Its ålsó komön fráz wen ânseriŋ ðë fón.

[On ðë fón]: Heló, ðis bé Bârbi spékiŋ. How kan Í help yu?

Íl bé wið yu in mómynt.

Wen sömwön wånt tö sé yu, úz ðis fráz if yu néd minit tö get yur klóð’z on fyrst. If klíynt bé wátiŋ ät stôr, yu kan ålsó úz ðis fráz tö let ðem nóu ðêr tyrn bé nekst.

Yu kan rëplás “mómynt” wið “minit” or jyst “mó”: “Íl bé wið yu in (jyst) mó”.

Änöðyr komön fráz för ðis sičúášön bé: “Íl bé ríht wið yu”.

Gud môrniŋ! Íl bé wið yu drekly.

Yu kan úz “Wenevyr yu get minit” tö mén “ríht naw!”.

Wåt tím bé … ?

Yu kan úz ðis kynstrykčön tö âsk ðë tím öv ány ëvent: “wåt tím bé [ëvent]?”

If yu wånt tö âsk äbout métiŋ on sertyn dáy, ad “on [dáy]”. För ekzâmpwl:

Wåt tím bé our métiŋ on Þyrzdy?
Wåt tím bé our métiŋ on Wenzdy?

Pléz kâl mé (bak) ät…

Wen yu wånt sömwön tö kâl yu or tö kâl yu bak (tö rëtyrn yur kâl), úz ðis fráz tö giv yur fón nymbyr.

Hí, ðis bé Újény from ðë fínanšwl ofis.
Í bé wöndriŋ if yu found ðóz misiŋ möny’z.
Pléz kâl mé bak on 555-5555. þaŋk’z!

(Ó rély?) Akčúly, Í þôht…

Wen yu disãgré wið sömwön, “Akčúly, Í þôht…” wil mák yu sound kondësendiŋ and môr disinjenúös ðan sáyiŋ “Nó” or “yur wroŋ”. Ðis fráz bé úsful wen yu hav betyr ídéa ðan sömwön els.

A: Só Sams kymiŋ in töníht ät 8, ríht?
B: Akčúly, Í þôht šé wåznt wörkiŋ ät âl ðis wék.
A: Ó, ok. Íl hav tö luk ät ðë skedúl ägán.
B: Akčúly, mý hovyrkraft bé ful öv él’z.

Akčúly, Í …

Jyst lík äböv, yu kan úz “akčúly, Í…” wið mány difrynt vyrb’z: “héär’d”, “lyrn’d”, “bé”, “kan”, “kânt”, etc. Yu šud úz it för ðë sám sičúášön az äböv: wen yur tâwkiŋ tö än ijöt or mákiŋ ekskús’z.

A: Did yu finiš ðë rëport’z?
B: Akčúly, Í bé ryniŋ bit bëhínd, byt ðeyl bé dyn drekly!

C: Wen yu típ, âlwáyz put tw spás’z bétwén sentäns’z.
D: Akčúly, Í lyrn’d tö put siŋwl spás bétwén sentäns’z.

Í bé (jyst) äbout tö …

Wen yuv kymplétly förgot’n tö du symþiŋ, yur “jyst äbout tö” du it.

Í bé jyst äbout tö send ðóz email’z.

A: Í bé äbout tö páy ðë bil.
B: Yu šudäv páy’d it yestyrdy.
A: Í wudäv páy’d it sûnyr, but Í bé skint. Boró mé tenyr?
B: Wé kudäv âlredy got ourselvz intö bit öv pikwl ðêr.
A: Ðats sertänly wön wáy öv lukiŋ at it.

Ðêr ár mány wáy’z tö tâwk äbout béiŋ boðyr’d: “wudäv”, “šudäv” and “kudäv” bé þiŋ’z ðat didnt hap’n in ðë pâst; “wónt”, “šânt” and “kânt” bé úz’d tö indikát lak öv intrëst in ðë fúčyr.

Ðêr bé lots öv difrynt wáy’z to ëkspres disagrémynt:

If yu sáy só … = wåt yur sáyiŋ bé bolöks.
Wið ål dú rëspekt … = Yu hav absölútly nó ídéa wåt yur tâwkiŋ äbout.
Éč tö ðêr own … = Evryþiŋ yu du bé sčúpid.

Rëmembyr tö praktis sáyiŋ ðéz fráz’z out loud békoz yul nevyr plouh fîwld bý tyrniŋ it óvër in yur mínd.


Prönynsiášön Gíd

b/b/bug, bibble, bit, bobulate, banter
d/d/dad, add, din, fuddy-duddy
f/f/fat, cliff, phone, enough, half, often, kerfuffle
g/g/gun, egg, ghost, guest, prologue, gongoozle
h/h/hop, who, ham, house, hobbledehoy
j/dʒ/jam, wage, giraffe, edge, soldier, exaggerate, argie-bargie
k/k/kit, cat, chris, accent, folk, bouquet, queen, mockery, box
l/l/live, well, left, lips
m/m/man, summer, comb, column, palm
n/n/net, funny, know, gnat, pneumonic
p/p/pin, piss, pot, dippy
r/r/run, carrot, wrench, rhyme
s/s/sit, less, circle, scene, psycho, listen, pace, course
t/t/tip, matter, thomas, ripped
v/v/vine, of, stephen, five, vat, vomitorium
w/w/wit, why, quick, choir
z/z/zed, buzz, his, scissors, xylophone, craze, gazump
ž/ʒ/treasure, division, delusion
č/tʃ/chip, watch, future, chat, righteous
š/ʃ/sham, ocean, sure, special, pension, machine, conscience, station
þ/θ/thongs, thigh, thing
ð/ð/this, then, leather
ŋ/ŋ/ring, pink, tongue
y/j/you, hallelujah, yes
x/x/(loch)
a/æ/cat, flap
á/eɪ/bay, maid, weigh, straight, play, eight, gauge, mate, break, they
e/e/end, bread, friend, said, many, leopard, heifer, aesthetic
é, î, -y/i:/be, bee, meat, key, phoenix, grief, ski, deceive, people, quay
i, ë/ɪ/kit, england, busy, guild, gym, sieve
í, -ý/aɪ/spider, sky, night, pie, guy, island, height, kite
o/ɒ/lot, cloth, honest, want, quarrel
ó/oʊ/open, moat, bone, toe, sow, dough, brooch, bodacious, sew
u/ʊ/wolf, look, bush, would, foot
y/ʌ/lug, monkey, blood, double, strut, upchuck
û, -w/u:/who, loon, blue, flute, shoe, through, fruit, group, canoodle, spoof
ä/ə/about, ladder, pencil, dollar, honour, augur
ê/eəʳ/pear, their, prayer, where, stair, declare
â/ɑ:/arm, bath, palm
ŷ, ö/ɜ:ʳ/bird, term, burn, pearl, word, journey, merkin
å, ô/ɔ:/paw, ball, fork, poor, fore, board, four, taught, war, bought, sauce
ú/ʊəʳ/cure, cube, fatuous, stupid, tourist

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