Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Latin phonics is unambiguous

[The Onion does England
How many centuries would it take for the various versions of English to become mutually unintelligible? It’s still not an everyday occurrence in England that I’m lost by what someone is saying, though it does happen... The newspapers in India sometimes already lose me: there are sometimes stories there in English that I don’t quite understand, for language reasons rather than knowledge reasons. They also display the phenomenon of language that is completely intelligible and correct, but rather archaic by the standards of American English ... I also still don’t understand words like “crore” and “lakh” in India, which you find attached to monetary amounts in news stories. I’ve looked them up before, but always forget how much they are. from Object-Oriented Philosophy - Nov 23, 2009]

[Unlike English, Latin has a one-to-one correspondence between its letters and the sounds the letters represent. (Spanish is also this way.) There is just one sound for the vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and the same for the consonants. And the letter names are in most cases basically identical to the sounds; in the rest, the letter names are very close. The Latin name for “B” is pronounced “beh”. So basically when one learns the letter name, one learns the sound it represents. I like how streamlined this is, and it struck me as potentially very effective for teaching, before I even tried it with my eldest.
The important principle here: Latin phonics is unambiguous.
Using Latin phonics to learn English (as well)
from The Daily Goose by Matthew
Around 18 months ago, my wife and I decided that we were going to home-educate our children.]

Sanskrit, Odia and many other Indian languages too are like Latin. But one is helpless before English. [TNM]

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