WILLIAMS EASY SPELLING

WILLIAMS RESPELLING SYSTEM                          UPDATED     January 18, 2011

This respelling system is based on the 55 basic sounds of English. One letter consistently symbolizes one–and only one–sound. The lower case letter is used for the most common sound of that letter. The capitalized form of a letter is pronounced like the name of the letter is pronounced. However, some capital letters have a name that is not often used  in English (ex.  F, H, Q , W) and in these cases that capital form of the letter is used for another sound that is more common. Since the letters A, O, T , U  have more than two sounds, other unused letters and symbols must be used to denote these multiple sounds, like H for “ah,” o for “oo,”  and Q for “uuh.” Pay particular attention to memorizing these, and also the number 3 for “zh” and symbols & for “an,”   ^ for “au,” and  [] for “ow.” These symbols are used because of their ease of use on keyboards. If you can memorize the symbol for these 55 sounds (16 vowels and 39 consonants), you can read and write anything in English.

LETTER   WHAT SOUND     EXAMPLES   (new spelling])     SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

16  VOWEL SOUNDS

A   (cap)   the letter “A”      able (Abl), ate/eight (At  8 ), pain (pAn), aim (Am )

a   “a”     apple ( apl ), at ( at ), add ( ad ) , air ( ar ), lack ( Lak )

&  “an”   and/an ( an  & ),  band ( b& ), can ( c& ), fan ( f& ), hand ( h& ), land ( l&),                                  man ( m& ), pan ( p& ), ran ( r& ), sand ( s& ), tan ( t& ), van ( v& )

H   “ah”   ha ( hH ), ah-ha ( HhH ), follow ( fHLo ), not ( nHt ), of ( Hv ),  ox ( Hx)

^ (cap above #6)   “au”        law (  L^  ), awful ( ^fl  ),  ought ( ^t), fought ( f^t )

U (cap)  the letter U         you (U), union (Unyn), united (UnItd), view ( vU )

u     the schwa sound of “uh”     up, ago (ugo), sofa (sofu), America (umerika ), above (ubv),                       again (ugn), buck ( buk ), luck ( Luk ), flood ( flud ), unwise ( unYz )

Q (cap)  “uuh”  book ( bQk ), look ( LQk ), foot (fQt), could (kQd), would (wQd)

O  (cap) the letter “O”     open ( OpN ), owe ( O ), sew ( sO ), note ( nOt )                                          Note:   OE       oil ( OEl ), boy ( bOE ), loyal ( LOEyl )

o  (lower case) “o, oo, ew, u”  to/too/two ( to  2 ), who ( ho ), zoo ( zo ), blue (blo ), jew (jo)

[]  (type two bracket marks to make a rectangle)  “au”  “ow”                                                                      out ( []t ), house ( h[]s ), hour ( []er ), allow ( uL[] ) ouch ( []c)

E  (cap)   the letter “E”     me ( mE ), key ( kE ), feet ( fEt ), here ( hEr )

e            “eh”                ever ( evr ), said ( sed ), bed, met, elevator ( elevAter)

I   (cap)  the letter “I”       I / eye ( I ), ice ( Is ), rye ( rI ), by ( bI ), like ( LIk )

i          “ih”          is ( iz ), ill ( il ),  lick (Lik )                                                                                          Note:  “ing”     laughing ( Lafing ), running ( runing ), English ( inggLiS )

39  CONSONANT  SOUNDS

B   (cap) the letter “B”     begin [BgN], bead [Bd]. baby [bAB], beer [Br]

b    “buh”             bed, by (bI) , best

C   (cap) the letter “C”    see/sea ( C ),  season ( CzN ),  precede ( prECd )

c  “ch” or “tch”   chin ( cN ), chair ( car ), chicken ( ckN ), catch ( kac ), which (Wc).                         [NOTE:  all other words with “c”  are now  with   “k”  or “ s” ]

D   (cap) the letter “D”     deform ( DfOrm ), deal ( Dl ), dear ( Dr ), deed (Dd )

d       “duh”                      did ( did ), dawn ( d^N ), do ( do )

f        “f” and “ph”          fun (fun), philosophy ( fiLsufE ) and “gh” in laugh ( laf )

G (cap)  the letter “G”       geewhiz ( GWiz ),  Jesus ( Gzs )

g     “guh”                go, ghost (gos), give (giv), grant (grnt)

h         “h”                 hat (hat), heaven (hvN), who (ho)

J  (cap) the letter “J”      jaybird  ( Jburd ), Jason ( Jsn )

j    “j” and “ge”     jam ( jam ), gem (jem), juice ( jos ), soldier ( sOljr ), edge ( ej)

K  (cap)  the letter “K”    Kay ( K ), OK ( OK )

k    “k” and “c”  keep (kEp), chorus (kOrus), conquer (kHnkur ), pack (pak )

L  (cap)  “lah”      line ( LIn ), early ( erLE ), follow ( fHLo ), elephant ( eLefnt )

l   “ul”   able (Abl), girl (gerl), circle (serkl), little (Litl), handful (hanfl), full ( fl )

M (cap)  the letter “M”       imitate ( MatAt ), impossible (MpHsibl )

m    “maeh”            man,   men ( mN ), move ( muv ), must

N (cap)  the letter “N”    in ( N ), pen / pin  ( pN), invite ( NvIt ), again ( ugN )

n      “nuh”         never,  null ( nul ), naughty ( n^tE )

P (cap)  the letter “P”     peace (Ps), peanut ( Pnut ), peak ( Pk ), piano (PanO )

p (lower case)   “puh”          papa, pride ( prId ), pure ( pUr )

q     “qu”   quite ( qIt  ), quit ( qit ), quiet  ( qIet)

R  (cap)  the letter “R”   are ( R ), bar ( bR ), car ( kR ), far ( fR ), garden ( gRdN )

r    “ruh”       rug (rug), red (red), regular (regULer)

NOTE: at the end of a sound, “r” combined with a vowel produces these:

“ar”     air ( ar ), bear/bare ( bar ), care ( kar ), fair ( far ), wear (war )

“er”      were ( wer ), turn ( tern ), girl ( gerl ), worm ( werm ), actor ( akter )

“Er”      ear ( Er ), beer ( bEr ), clear ( kLEr ), fear ( fEr ), here ( hEr )

“Ir”       ire ( Ir ), attire ( atIr ), fire ( fIr), liar ( LIr ), wire ( wIr)

“Or”     for ( fOr 4), order ( Order ), core ( kOr ), door ( dOr ), pour/poor ( pOr )

“[]r”  as in “our / hour ( []r ), cower ( k[]r ), flower (fL[]r), power ( p[]r)

“Ur”  as in “your ( Ur ), cure ( kUr ), fewer ( fUr ), sure ( SUr )

S  (cap)  “sh”  show ( SO ), she ( SE ), shoe ( So ), sure ( SUr ), ocean ( OSN ), action ( akSN )

s      “s”  so (sO ), scene ( sEn ), hiss ( his ), circle ( serkl ), city ( sitE ),  rice ( rIs )                                    [Note: form plural at the end of a word by “s” as in “pictures” ( pkcurs ).               But if the word ends in “s” sound then “iz” is added at the end, as in “pieces” ( Psiz ).

t   “tuh”        tea ( tE ), take ( tAk ), told ( tOld ), turn ( tern )

T (cap)   “th”     the ( T )(TE), then ( TN ), this (Tis) , thus ( Ts ), that ( Tat ),                                          though ( TO ), other ( uTr )

TT (two capital T) “th”      thank ( TTank ), thin ( TTN ), three ( TTrE ),                                                                 through ( TTro ),  both ( bOTT )

V (cap)   ‘vee’     veer ( VR ),  envy ( NV )

v (lowercase)   “vuh”      view (vU),  very (verE)

W   (cap)    “wh”         what ( Wt ), where ( Wer ), when ( WN )

w      “w”   one/won ( wuN 1 ),  winter ( wNter ), weather ( weTr ), went (wNt)

x     the letter “x” and “ks”     sucks ( sux), six ( six ), experience ( xprEuns )

Y   (cap)  the letter “Y”        wide ( Yd ), wife ( Yf ), why ( WY ), white ( WYt )

y    “yuh”                   yes, yet, yellow ( yeLo ), yonder ( yunder )

z     “z”    zoo ( zo ), zone ( zOn ), zero ( zErO ), his (hiz),  Chinese ( cInEz ), clothes  ( kLOz ), whose ( hoz ), these ( TEz ), those ( TOz ), excuse ( xkUz )

3   (number 3)   “zh”        pleasure ( pLe3r ), measure ( me3r ), vision ( vi3N)

Z  (capitalized)  Possessive is noted by a capitalized Z at the end, without an apostrophe.  “This is JohnZ book, and PatZ ruler, that I found at the teacherZ meeting.”  Though there are slight differences in sounds of possessives, for the sake of consistency all possessives should be noted by a capitalized Z at the end of the word.

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About englisheasylearning

Walter L. Williams, Ph.D., has taught at UCLA and as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. He taught English Language in Thailand and also as Fulbright Professor at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia. He has published eleven books, including JAVANESE LIVES: WOMEN AND MEN IN MODERN INDONESIAN SOCIETY (Rutgers University Press).
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