A common request I get from parents and educators in China is to make English writing easier to read aloud. When non-native speakers look at English words, they wish there was an easier way to just pronounce what they see. “knife” and “knight” are just ridiculous to explain to new learners… and so are words like “chess” and “chef”… Indeed, native speakers wish it was simpler too.
Unfortunately, there is no rhyme or reason for most spellings in English and root connections between words are not easy to notice either, unless you are a linguist or fluent in Latin. Alas, conventional spelling is here to stay… Although The English Spelling Society (or TESS) certainly hopes there will be a change someday. Continue reading Why English Writing is like Chinese Characters