This is the plain text standard English section of The Nooalf Revolution website. It is a straight forward explanation of what the system is for. If you are on a smart phone or tablet and have an expensive data plan, this is what you want to read first. The other pages of the site are heavy with gigabyte gobbling pictures. Here, there is only 1 small .gif on page 2.
Nooalf (a condensation of 'new alphabet') is a 100% phonetic spelling system that was designed to look close enuf to regular English to be readable by an English-literate person without first having to formally learn it. This was accomplished by assigning a single sound to each of the standard 26 letters and adding new letters to cover the remaining 8 sounds. The new letters were designed to either look similar to digraphs commonly used to represent a sound or incorporate some other pattern or detail to clue in proficient readers. A few letters are dependent on the context of very common words for most people to figure out.
Although Nooalf was designed specifically for English, it also happens to work for most other languages. If not perfectly for natives of those languages, at least well enuf for an English speaker to use it to spell the language prior to learning it's spelling system.
Nooalf is also completely compatible with existing keyboards, text related equipment and software. There are special fonts plus 2 additional typing modes that bypass the need for them. All three modes are typed with the same keys and provide an immediate 15%+ efficiency advantage over regular English spelling. The next page contains a small gif image of the Nooalf character set.
There is a long history of debate over the need to reform English. In fact, it goes back to before it was English. Proponents include some of history's greatest writers, scientists, philosophers and statesmen. Many reformed spelling systems have been proposed, promoted and distributed, some were actually used for a while. The Chicago Tribune ran a campaign for decades to gradually weed out irregularities. All have failed to make any significant difference.
Most other major language's spelling systems have been successfully reformed - Spanish, Russian, Korean, for example. The same reason English should be reformed was recognised by the leaders of those language's primary countries: disorganization is costly and debilitating.
Why English has stubbornly resisted reform is somewhat of a mystery. There are plenty of reasonable explanations, but they only seem to account for some aspects or are valid only for limited historical periods. The only one that sort of covers it all is inertia.
Not very satisfying, but there it is. People resist change.
Nooalf was originally intended as a replacement for regular English. Just like the handful of reform proposals currently being seriously promoted, it has gained little or no traction. (see Truespel, Saaspel, Unifon). If you read the old pages of this site, you will find that Nooalf has always been intended for the next and future generations, rather than trying to convert literate adults. Obviously though, it is literate adults who will be reading it, so the task was to convince them that change is necessary and their children or students are the ones who should learn Nooalf.
Although the mission is the same, the new perspective put forth here and on the new pages will hopefully clarify the need for Nooalf to the parents, teachers and people in power who often take a protective Gate Keeper attitude and actively oppose the Nooalf Revolution. The following paragraphs explain why Nooalf is not targeted for the English you know and love, but rather the emerging international language that English is.
English is taking over the world.
Thanks to centuries of British and American dominance, the world is literally saturated with the language. No matter where you go, be it a densely populated city or a grass hut village deep in the jungle, you will be able to find written or spoken english.
ESL (English-Second-Language) schools in every country are graduating tens of millions of students every year. Obscure languages are dying off all the time and some major languages are actually losing speakers. And out of both financial necessity and popularity, English words are infiltrating all the other langauges, slowly making them more English.
Understand that the trend to English dominance is not just a generally stable rate, it is actually accelerating and has been doing so all along. If you picture the world's languages as combatants fighting for world dominance, English has already won. It is just a matter of how long it will keep pounding on it's fallen opponents. Will it eventually be the only language left in general use or will everybody speak it plus, if they have one, their native language? And how much English will have infiltrated those languages by then?
Whatever the details, eventually there will be an outcome - some point at which there is no 'ESL', since it will be everybody's primary language, no possible challengers, no debate and some level of stability. A century, 2 tops.
English has many dialects; thousands of them, depending on how finely you want to classify them. Everything from a country down to small neighborhoods in big cities can have distinct characteristics. They can range from a handful of minor quirks differentiating them from a major dialect to completely unintelligible to outsiders.
The notion that English will follow the pattern of Latin, with these dialects drifting further apart till they are effectively independent languages, is false. It fails to take a crucial detail of their speakers into account: they all understand the main dialects. Especially broadcast quality American.
The media that has played a major role in spreading English over the globe has not paradoxically failed to cover it's native regions. It has not been translated into the local dialects of the foriegn lands it dominates. Every ESL speaker has listened to the music and watched the movies that are part of his lessons and part of his reward for learning the language. Thus, even the most isolated rube in the Ozarks, the weirdest talking London Cockney, the outbackest of Aussie outback hermits, the most skewed accent ESL speakers, even though they cannot understand each other, will hav no problem understanding David Muir's World News broadcast, Jack Bauer grilling a bad guy, or Obama giving a speech. The ubiquity and durability of electronic media effectively established and stabilized the pronunciation of the common vocabulary. The English spoken on recordings made over a century ago is indistinguishable from today's aside from any contemporary references.
The name 'Globish' (globe-ish) has been proposed as a name for the defacto international language. (It's also the name of a copyrighted version of English with simplified grammar and vocabulary) Seems like a good idea to reduce the feeling non-native English speakers may have that they are being imposed upon by a relatively small foreign country. And as English absorbs more words from other languages and they become more saturated with English words, becoming progressively harder to define the difference between a local dialect of English or a seperate language, the name 'English' makes less and less sense.
One of the characteristics of the language is that it goes where it will. Words, pronunciation and grammar are dictated only by popularity. The best anyone can do is toss a word out there and hope that it takes root. The name for the entire language is likely to be chosen that way also. I believe it will always be called English
In any case, the concept is the same; this will be the language of Earth and just as there are dialects within the native English countries now, there will be dialects when it has finished taking over. If the original native English countries want to retain their 'traditional' old spelling, so be it. But the world language needs to have a world class spelling system. Trying to block it makes no sense.
LaST UPDAT oKTOBR 11 2014