French Orthography

Académie Française
Originally uploaded by heedoo

French orthography annoys me. It manages to be based neither on the phonology nor on etymology.

For instance, Latin e has in many circumstances become /wa/ in French, but it’s neither written with a grapheme close to ‘e’ (such as ‘ë’) nor with one representing the phonemes (such as ‘oua’), but as ‘oi’.

It would be possible to design a new orthography that would at the same time take French closer to its sounds and to its Romance relatives.

Some examples:

  • fleur -> flör (compare Spanish flor)
  • trois -> trës (compare Spanish tres)
  • autre -> a?tre (compare Italian altro)
  • nous -> n?s (compare Latin nos)
  • tu -> (compare Latin tu)
  • aimez -> ämäts (compare Latin amatis)

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