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An Illiterate World (idea about worldwide alphabet)







     The next paper discusses the problem with common transliteration for all world languages. This is a draft, of course, for such general problems could not be decided by one person nowadays, but the ideas involved may be used and extended by some group of linguists with fluent knowledge of a dozen widely used languages, including also, say: French, Greek, Arabic, Chines, etc. Then it should be discussed and propagated trying to convince people of the need for this, and if some world authority with not only suggestive power but capable to enforce things will be engaged, then, possibly, the problem will be solved. Because it must be solved in one-two centuries, anyway.

     0. Introduction

     Well, this is not what the author really means, or he means it strictly formal, wanting to say that in the whole world there are not well accepted common letters in use, i.e. there is not one and the same alphabet used throughout the globe. And this is a hindrance in communications between different nations, of course, which was not so imposing some thousand, or even hundred of years before, but nowadays it is, because, especially through the Internet, the whole world is turning to one single country. And, strangely enough, there are no special problems for bettering of the situation, because we are not speaking about one language for all the peoples, but just for usage of one and the same characters by all.
     Still, the problem exists, not only because we are used to make problems where the point is just in rejecting of some old habits, but because there are a great variety of vowels and consonants and not enough characters in the alphabet. This is true, though it is nothing unavoidable, and some combinations of characters can be used, and they have been used from ancient times. The point is that such combinations, and reading rules at all, are not common in the whole world. But well, was it not so with the common measure units, or with the right/left movement on the streets, or with the laws in different countries, etc? But, by the by, the problems were (or are being) solved, because they must to! Similarly, the author thinks, the problem with the common worldwide literation will also be solved sometimes in the near future. And if it shall and will, then why not to make some suggestions about how to do this better?
     But let us add some more preliminary remarks. With a common alphabet there will be, in fact, no foreign words, and reading of all written texts will be as easy as reading one's own words, and will easily be done by computer, too, but without any dictionary. Of course reading does not mean understanding but it is a way to this, because our world is tiny and the word's roots are simply cruising around the globe; and it is not a good thing when one could not properly pronounce simple foreign words and names, of places or people (and between "Odyssey" and "Ulysses" surely exists "some" difference). But there is no need to plead for the importance of proper alphabet, because that is the reason why there exist so many of them. And just because they are different we need to use here sometimes other letters, so that for an adequate reading of the paper one must have loaded Symbol font (for some symbols) and Greek letters, and some Cyrillic ones. Let us, also, accept some abbreviations for often used names of languages by their first three letters, namely: Lat for Latin, Ger for German, then: Rus — Russian,: Bul — Bulgarian, Cyr — Cyrillic, Eng — English, Fre — French, Ita — Italian, Spa — Spanish, Gre — Greek, Tur — Turkish, Ara — Arabic, Heb — Hebrew, Chi — Chinese, etc. And now, let us proceed with

     1. The Set Goals.

     Our proposition is made with intention to reach the following goals:

     a. The letters used have to be not more than 32 (choosing this number because it is a power of two, and is widely used in different computer character sets), and if they can be less, then this will be even better. And these letters have to be near to the Latin alphabet as possible, though some chars from Gre or Cyr alphabets may also be used. For some of the letters must be found better graphical images (retaining their meaning), because they continue to be confused with one another, e.g.: "o-0", "I-l", "m-n" and "u-n" in writing, etc. And some of the letters has to be discarded as rarely used or simply as redundant chars, or their meaning has to be changed, e.g.: "x", "q", "w", "y", "j", "h", etc. All in all, 32 chars have to be enough, because in ancient languages there were even less (22 in old Heb, 24 in Gre, and 26 in Lat alphabets, but the Ita use only 21 chars, others are now only for foreign words), and there are not more used in contemporary languages, too (in Bul 30 and in Rus 32, but 3 of them are combinations; in Ger again 30, because they have 4 additional chars for "ä", "ö", "ü", and "ß", where the last one from the year 2000 is rarely used, but they may do very well with the standard Lat chars; in Fre there are many additions above the letters but the basic char set is Lat; and so on). Anyway, if we want to be more precise, then the chars have to be not more then 64 including capital letters (because there might be some letters or special signs for which capital representation might not exist — see below).

     b. There should be three types of letters, namely: vowels (let's write V. for short), consonants (C.), and modifiers (M.), and their functions must not be mixed! By using modifiers all possible vowels and consonants have to be represented by at most two chars (with the exception of some triphthongs, but they are building, in fact, two syllables, hence this even isn't an exception in the proper sense). This will make easier the splitting of the words, too, because the modifiers are united with the modified letter and cannot be split from it (no matter they affect V. or C.), also consequent Vs should not be split because they might form diph- or triph- thongs, but all consequent Cs can be split; as for the splitting V-C and C-V this should be allowed only when the C. is a single one, and in this case splitting before the C. is preferred. There is something more concerning the Ms, and let us assume from now on to understand under letter just Vs or Cs, and under char or symbol any char in the char set. So when the Ms are not letters in the proper meaning of the word then they can be written as something above the previous char (but not under it, for to make it possible to use underlining) — a point, two points, a wave, etc., what is widely used method — and this alternative writing will make it easier to read and to guess the pronunciation. Designing all in a simple way there will be no principal problems to make all (or a part of the) Ms, though they will be present on the keyboard, not to appear as separate symbols on the screens of computers, or even on pieces of paper written through contemporary typewriters, but to be just put above the previous letter (though in this paper we will keep to the writing of them as separate chars, because otherwise, designing our own chars, there will be some problems with spreading of the material as a file).

     c. The letters have to be read as they are written, if not modified, and if modified then the Ms have to be recognized looking only one char forward. There can be some minor differences in pronouncing of some specific for a given language sounds, but there must not be any efforts to use a third, etc, letter(s) to guess about the pronunciation, or to write chars that are not pronounced at all (like the dumb "e", or doubling of Cs), and have never been pronounced, for they have a meaning of Ms. This means that in languages where one thing is said and another is written there all words have to be transliterated going from what is pronounced and not written (because it will be more difficult to force that people to read how they write — say in French or English — for, if it were easier, why they read many Lat words otherwise, being capable to write them how they want to say them?). This will make easier the automated (computerized) pronouncing without any dictionary.

     So, these are the most important postulates, but there are many-many other things in different languages and grammars, which should be unified, too, though we will not discuss this further here. What we mean, however, is e.g.: Ger way of counting from 21 to 99 (and Rus way for making some differences between numbers ending on 1, from 2 to 4, and above 4; something similar in Fre on the base of 20, or Ita before and after 16); Ger way of such honoring of the nouns for to write them all with capital letters (what we reject in our new alphabet by default); transitive and intransitive verbs (with "haben" or "sein" in Ger); different cases for movement and staying (or the peculiar Rus differences when moving with one's own legs and when using some transport — "ходить" and "ехать"); existence of strong or irregular verbs; courteous forms for second person singular (especially in Ger); unreasonably long words in Ger (or bad rules for splitting in English); bad Fre "habit" not only to write one thing and read another, but to write almost always one letter more than is read; all possible differences in geographical and other names in different languages; et cetera.

     2. The Proposition

     Now, the author proposes the following alphabet, which will be thereafter explained in more details:

     Vowels: i, e, ә (like in "her"), a, o, u — 6;

     Consonants: b, p, v, f, d, t, m, n (=н), r, l (=л), g, k, x, z, c, s, ζ (=zh=ж), q (=ch=ч), w (=sh=ш) — 19;

     Modifiers: "•", "¨", "º", "ˉ", "ˇ", "ˆ", "~"; "`", "´" (="h"), "|" — 7+3 = 10.

     All in all this gives 35 chars, but the letters (Vs and Cs) are only 25 (though one may as well count them as 26, because "j" is missing from the letters as redundant, but will be included on the keyboard, to what we shall come later), and as to the 10 Ms, we not only have included the accent ("`") in the alphabet (what is not the case in any of the existing alphabets), but the most of them are old special characters (so that they exist in the char table). In fact, there are just two entirely new letters (ә and ζ) but "y", and "h" are not letters, so we are quit till now (still counting "j" as a letter key); and for the Ms, which are just symbols without capital representation, we need only 5 keys having 7-8 keys not for letters on the keyboard that may be used and prearranged (as it is done, anyway, in Cyr). In other words, we have really 25+5=30 char keys (or 60 chars with capitals), what is less then 32 (respectively 64).
     The new alphabet begins with the Vs (because we have to begin with something), and the Vs are separated from the Cs, because it is much better for analyses in this way, and at the end are the left 10 Ms (where, say, the first 7 are in the lower char table, and the left 3 in the upper part, leaving four more empty places). In order not to confuse "o - 0" we propose to write the number zero as "θ" (or diagonally stricken, as "ø", if one prefers so). It has also to be explicitly said that this is a draft proposition and the author does not intend to give the exact rules for writing of each sound in each of the world languages (though we will explain some major situations in 4-5 languages) — that has to be decided for each of the languages by some authorized native instances and then made worldwide consistent. Now, in some more details.

     a. The major vowels in all languages are six (in Bul they are exactly present — и, е, ъ, а, о, у), where only the third one ("ә") may need some more explanations. It might have been represented as an "a" + some M., but we have not unlimited number of Ms, and there exists a variation of this V. as in "but" (usually given like "ˆ"), which has to be given now as "әˉ", and also Rus "ы" as in "мы" (we), which has to be written as "ә•". Besides, if we want to overuse the Ms' idea, then "e" may be observed as modification of "i" (or v.v.), "u" — of "o" (then b-p, v-f, etc.), and we may come to about 13 letters or so, and 12 Ms or so, but this contradicts to all alphabets, and the Ms have to be often overwritten, hence we are going to absurdity, or at least to more difficulties, in this way. So, it is much better to accept "ә" as basic V. and to write "hәr" (for "her", though this word will be corrected later), "bәˉt" (for "but"), and "mә•" (for "мы").
     But it turns out that the Russians have unstressed "o", which they say is like their "a" (not in Eng pronunciation, of course), but one may be sure they will fearfully object to the proposition to change it with "a" and write, say, "акно" (window) instead of "окно", or "харашо" (well, good) instead of "хорошо", because in this way there will be no difference between "это" and "эта" and they are of different genders. So how to proceed? Well, they might not be conscious of it, but this sound is just the same as in Eng "but", hence they have to write respectively "әˉkno" and "xәˉrәˉwo" (where "w" is the usual "sh"). For the image of "ә" (and in many other cases) new graphical representations have to be invented, and we propose here "ә" to be written in this way only because it is the usually used symbol for marking of pronunciation of "her" in Eng (and it does not mean Russian "back-e", "э"). And the Vs are ordered in this new way because they go in pairs (i-e, ә-a, o-u), and this pairs follow in direction of extending of our lips further forward.
     One important point — about the point over the "i": it should be written without any point (like the Greek "ι", or like Cyr "г" in handwriting), because we use the point as special symbol above other chars, and it is at least strange that just one char has to have a point over it. But the letter "i" has the peculiarity to join with any other vowel (even with oneself like in Rus endings "-ий", or "-ij" in usual Lat, or "-ii•" using our new alphabet) and to become, in fact, "j" (or "y", it depends on the language). And now we come to the old char "j", which in any case is peculiar thing, because it is not a proper V. (for one could not pronounce it alone, as syllable), and it is not a C. (because it combines with Vs forming diph- and triph- thongs), but it is not a proper M., too (because when we say "aj", in usual Lat, we do not mean a modification of "a" but building of a diphthong). So our proposition is to reject "j" at all and make it by the combination "i•", i.e. by the usual "i", with a point over it.
     However, because this sound is very often used and present in all languages (ancient, Slavonic, and Western ones, at least), then it is better if "j" (i.e. "i" with a point) still exists on the keyboard, but when typing it is to be represented as "i•". But there is another peculiarity with this sound and it is that it may precede another V. (or join with the next V.), as in Eng "yes" or Ger "Johann(es)", or it may also succeed a V. (or join with the previous V.), as in Eng "my" or Ger "mein" (pronounced as 'majn'), or Eng "I". The first idea of the author was not to make this difference and to write "i•es" and "I•o´annes" (the meaning of "´" will be explained later), as well as "mai•" or "mai•n" or "ai•" respectively, but on a further observation it turned out that it will be better to introduce another M., namely "º", which has to tell us to join "j" with the succeeding V., what will give "iºes" and "Iºo´annes"; and when we want to join it with the preceding V. then to use "•" as above ("mai•" etc.).
     So, in this way we have two Ms just for making "j", hence let us from now on write "j" only when we mean joining with the next V. ("º", as in "yes"), and write "y" when we join with the previous V. ("•", as in "my"). This may sound not very well motivated, but when "j" or "y" is between two Vs the things become more complicated and using only one M. some other tricks have to be used for to guess with which one it has to be joined — like in Rus "-ая", i.e. "-aja", which we will write now as "-aiºa"; or take Fre "mayonnaise", for which we in Bul think it is "ma-jo.." but in Eng, judging by the splitting, it should be "may-o..", so it will be written as "mai•onez". And there are cases when there must be an unmodified "i" (without a point) as in Lat or Ita "piano" (which only in Eng is pronounced as 'pjaenou', in Lat writing), in which case we have to write it as we are used to (with "ι").

     b. The consonants are also ordered in a new way but they are in successive pairs (b-p, v-f, d-t, m-н, r-л), or triples (g-k-x, z-c-s, ζ-q-w), what is, again, better. Some Cs have several images because of font problems, and we will use whatever is easy to type, but the first image in the above list of Cs is nearer to the truth. Here we have in mind also that: "v" is what "w" in Ger is (e.g.: ver, varum, etc) and "f" is clear (so in Ger one will have, e.g.: fu¨r, fater, etc.), but it is preferable to be written something like Gre "φ", for "f" because it is better when the letters are of similar width and height — hence "d" has to be modified as something like "ð" (and it is one of the ways for handwriting it in Cyr), "t" like "τ", "b" and "k" should be a little bit lower (for we have to have enough place for Ms above them), et cetera. Further: "н" and "л" are better for writing in order not to confuse "m-n" and "I-l" (and do not forget that the Cyr "л" comes from Gre "λ" and looks more like it); the letter "x" is not the Lat char but the Cyr "х", what again is nearer to the Gre "χ", hence we have to write now: "xau" (for "how"), or in Ger: "xer" (for "Herr") or "xiәr" (for "hier"). The triple "g-k-x" is in the direction of moving of the tongue forward and it is really needed because these are similar sounds and very often confused in different languages (compare with: "choir /chorus", "Christ", Rus "гер", i.e. "ger", instead of Ger "Herr", etc.).
     Later on, "z" is like in "zero", "c" is the good old Lat "c" like in "Caesar" or "circus" etc (but not in "casus"), though not with Eng pronouncing, but, say, with Ger one, and "s" is just the same (and not like in "zero", as Germans read it in, say, "sagen"). By "ζ-q-w" we understand the more vivid "h"-pairs of "z-c-s", so it might have been possible to write "chek" (for "check"), "zhenshchina" (Rus "женщина"), and "shtuhl" (Ger "Stuhl") — though, in fact, it should be used the M. "¨", and for the Ger word also "´", because "h" has another meaning, giving thus: "c¨ek", "z¨ens¨c¨ina", and "s¨tu´l" — but it is simpler to put it as: "qek" (=чek), "ζenwqina" (="жenшчina"), or "wtu´l", and that is why we have included these often used in many languages Cs in the new alphabet. The triple "z-c-s", and respectively "ζ-q-w", is again in the direction of moving of the tongue forward (and opening of the mouth); though here we may also speak of three pairs (z-ζ, c-q, s-w) where the second element might have been modified by "¨" from the first element. And note that for the Slavs "z" is "з", and "ζ" is written as "ж", but the last is too wide to be called a good letter — so that the author is not proposing something good only for people using Cyr.

     c. Now about the modifiers, which are the most important part of our proposition. But we shall list them in three subdivisions for better explanation. And let us say again that the Ms can never be used as capital letters for they stand always after some real letter (so for them we will use just one half of a key, to what we shall come in part 5.).

     c1. Basic modifiers for vowels (the first seven). In fact, very often two consequent Vs are pronounced together forming a diphthong (and that is why we forbid splitting between Vs), but they may be even more joined forming some new V., for which case, exactly, we need these Ms. Combining Vs to produce some modifications, or "special effects", we usually want to say one V. but say another one, what gives us the new sound. The V. we wanted to say is the basic one, which we type, and the one we try to say we must mark by some M. putting (as was said before) some small sign over the basic one (which sign we will write here after the first V., but when the Ms are not proper letters, in fact, we use always symbols for them, then no confusion may arise). Because we have enough Ms we may use them for modification to each of the basic Vs, as follows: "•" for "i", "¨" for "e", "º" for "ә" (for all other basic Vs but not "i"), "ˉ" for "a", "ˇ" for "o", "ˆ" for "u", and "~" for some special effects, such as Fre nasal Vs. For all basic Vs but "i" a modification to the same V. is meaningless (although allowed); for "i" as basic V. we have an important case of modifying to itself for which purpose we use both "º" and "•" in order to distinguish between "j" and "y" (as was already said), but other Ms can also be used with "i", of course; and only a modification of "i" to "ә" can not be made but there is no need for this, really, because all Vs modified to "ә" sound very strange and are not used (try to pronounce something like "iә", or "eә", or "uә", but in one sound, not as diphthong).
     So this is enough, and in this way may be coded, e.g.: Rus "ты" (you) -> "tә•", "хороший" (good) -> "xәˉrowii•" (but "хорош`и" -> "xәˉrәˉwi" what is a bit different), "ëлка" (pine tree) -> "iˇlka" (or "iºolka", if they prefer so), "идея" (idea) -> "ideiºa"; then some Fre worlds, say: "fleur" (flower) -> "flo¨", "deux" (god) -> "du¨", "beau" (good) -> "buˇ" (as in "merci beaucoup"), "je suis" (I am) -> "ζiˇ siºui", their nasal Vs like "bonjour" (good morning) -> "bo~ζur", "entrez" (come in) -> "a~tri¨", etc. (and we do not bother to write "n", because they say it is not pronounced, but the V. before is modified, though if they want to write it, then they may do it as well).

     c2. Basic modifiers for consonants. For Cs we use the same Ms as for Vs (why should we add any more symbols?) and because they are more then needed some of them are left free for further usage. We propose to use "•" for some softening of the previous C. where the tongue is kept as back as possible, as in Rus "ь" (the so called "soft sign"), e.g.: "учитель" (teacher) -> "uqitel•", "мышь" (mouse) -> "mә•w•", "речь" (speech) -> "req•", etc, also in Spa "ñ" like in "cañon" -> "kan•on", and in some other languages like "-r•" or "-b•" or something like. Then we will use "¨" to mark the moving of the tongue a little bit to the middle of the mouth, as in Eng or Ger "r" making it as "r¨" (Ger "der" -> "der¨", "Herr" -> "her¨", Eng "problem" -> "pr¨oblәm", but not when in Eng we have a prolonged V. before "r", to what we shall come soon). As for now the author could not find another C. to be modified in this way (though, maybe, in some languages it is possible, because "ζ" may be observed as "z¨", as it was said before), but this "r¨" is not as in Slavonic languages; or then in Ita "bravo /-issimo". The next M. is "ˉ", what means moving of the tongue as foremost as possible, and we found that this is exactly the case with the Eng "ð" and "θ" (which are, in fact, very old sounds), hence we will have: "they" -> "dˉei•", "mouth" -> "mautˉ"; possibly this should be the M. for the Gre "φ", hence "philosophy" -> "fˉilosәfˉi". But the Eng "w", which is not more a C. than a V., can be very well represented by "vº", giving: "what" -> "vºot", "where" -> "vºa¨ә", et cetera. The M. "~" may be used for some nasal endings as in Eng "-ing" -> "-in~", in some old (Ara) languages where there are syllables like "-mb" -> "m~" (possibly the Eng "tomb" -> "tu´m~"), or also "-t~" or "-d~" or "-b~"; and the Fre "r" should be, probably, "r~".
     In this way the Ms "ˇ" and "ˆ" are not used at all, and there may be many combinations with the other Ms, so that it is possible to mark "dζ" (as in "just") like, say, "dˇ", or to write Czech or Polish "rζ" like "rˇ", or "dr" as "d¨"), but there may be also "-drζ-" etc, hence this is not a proper way of writing of Cs. Anyway, this has not to bother us now.

     c3. Pronunciation modifiers. The last three Ms are: the accent "`", the prolongation mark "´", and the punctuation sign "|". We discuss them separately because they have to be put above the previous letter but may be overwritten with the first 7 Ms, because the first ones are to be put in the middle over the letter, and these — at both corners. The accent should be added to the alphabet because it is a good idea to write it exactly above the letter (when it has to be written at all) and not before the V. (or even the syllable) and it should be presented if one wish to enable good automated (computerized) reading of the text, which does not mean that one has always to write accents (as it is not done, usually, in the books). This sign is clear and has to be put in the leftmost top corner, where the similarly looking "´" has to be in the rightmost top corner (but they may be designed as something like small "\" for accent, and "/" for prolongation). The "´" is an important symbol and by handwriting may be changed to something like "-/", or even written in the old way as "h". It is to replace Ger lengthening of Vs with "h", also in Lat (and in other ancient languages, too), where over the Vs a small line is written, and, of course, in Eng, e.g.: "need" -> "ni´d", "read" -> "ri´d", etc. The last M. "|" must be represented as something like a small vertical strike or a point, again in the rightmost top corner, or better in the right upper end of the sign (i.e. just after the sign), though it may as well not be printed at all (just be kept in the file). The purpose of this "|" is to inverse the rules for splitting of Vs and Cs, or more precisely: when we have V-V the normal way is not to split here, but if we want splitting, and some small pause added, then with "|" between the Vs we will do this; in C-C case splitting is as a rule allowed, so with "|" between it should not be; in V-C the splitting is allowed too, so to disable it we put again "|"; and in C-V there is no place for splitting, so with "|" we make it again and put a little pause there, as in the case of some apostrophe.
     Let us give some more examples. In Eng: "for" -> "fo´", "person" -> "pә´sn", etc.; similarly in Ger "gehen" -> "ge´en". Then, we do not always need to write "r¨" in Eng and have just to miss it, but we may want to do this sometimes, as in "trouble" -> "tr¨әˉbl"; where in Ger we almost always have to write "r¨", though in words' endings on "-er" they say "ә" like "Mutter" -> "mutә". About the "|": Ger "bearbeiten" -> "be|ar¨bai•ten" (to allow splitting between "ea"), or Eng "period" -> "piәri|{o/ә}d"; then "|" between Cs means if one does not want to split there, say, in Tur "hadji" -> "xad|ζi", or Eng (probably Spa) "banjo" -> "ba¨nd|ζou" (but in Eng "John" -> "Dζoun" it is clear it will not be split, anyway); then if we want to split after a C. as in Eng "perennial" we have to write it as "pәr|eniәl". However, in the usual correspondence in a given language "|" may as well be omitted, if one does not want to make it world wide accepted, or spell-checking programs may be used to correct and/or translate to the new alphabet. In a way, "|" may be used as an ellipsis between Cs (as in "isn't" -> "isn|t"), because it is, anyway, just a punctuation sign and not to split there is also good, but this should not be a rule, because we may omit whatever we want, wherever we want (as in "'course" for "of course"; though it might be "f|course").
     And let us add some exceptions about splitting: two equal Vs (as basic Vs, but they may be modified) are to be split fast always (like in Cyr "instanci-iºa"), and also a V-iº-V may be split before "j" (="iº"), or V-i•-V. may be split after "y" (="i•"), with the exception when on either side of the splitting there is no syllable left (or less then 2 or 3 chars); three or more (if possible?) consequent Vs may be split after the second one (as in Ger "Bauern" -> "bau-er¨n", and similarly with Eng triphthongs like "hour" -> "au-ә" or "fire" -> "fai-ә"), or may not — what depends on the accepted for the language rule (if some language has to be given as a basic one, which should not be the case, because we propose an all-world alphabet); two equal Cs are to be preferred for splitting (if there are more Cs, for otherwise it is to be split and there is nothing to prefer; but doubling Cs should be, as a rule, rejected from all languages).

     3. Different Languages

     Now let us observe more closely the used by the author languages. We shall begin with the Eng, which, though very good from the point of view of grammar, is possibly the worst one from the point of pronunciation. With the Cs we are easily done, as explained before, having to write, e.g.: "then" -> "dˉen", "thin" -> "tˉin", "cheap" -> "qi´p", "shake" -> "wei•k", "pleasure" -> "pleζә" "hedge" -> "hedζ", "long" -> "lon~", "red" -> "r¨ed", and "wind" -> "vºind". Now about the Vs: "back" -> "ba¨k", "cut" -> "kәˉt", "alive" -> "әlai•v" (there is no need to list all basic Vs), then the diphthongs: "day" -> "dei•", "nice" -> "nai•s", "boy" -> "boi•", "jes" -> "iºes", "grow" -> "grou", "town" -> "taun", "near" -> "niә", "pair" -> "pa¨ә", "sure" -> "wuә", and possibly "more" -> "moә" (instead of "mo´"); then the prolongated Vs: "see" -> "si´", "far" -> "fa´" (after a long V. "r¨" is better to be omitted), "for" -> "fo´", "soon" -> "su´n", "girl" -> "gә´l" or "her" -> "hә´", and also "music" -> "miºu´zik"; and the triphthongs: "fire" -> "fai•ә" or "faiә" (but, according to the author, more like "fai|ә", paying no much attention to the triphthongs), "hour" (here = "our") -> "auә" (i.e. "au|ә"), "lower" -> "louә" (i.e. "lou|ә"), and "player" -> "plei•ә" (again like "plei•|ә"). Let us give some more examples: "alibi" -> "a¨libai" (and not "a¨libai•", I think), "language" -> "la¨n~vºidζ", "quart" -> "kvºo´t", "I" -> "ai•" (and if one wants to distinguish it from the other "ai•", i.e. "eye", one may change the last to "ai•g" or "oug", because this, anyway, comes from Ger "Auge"; or to change "I" to "ai•x", because it comes from Ger "ich", i.e. "ix" in new writing, or Ita "io", i.e. "iºo"), "action" -> "a¨kwn", "thought" -> "tˉo´t", et cetera.
     Now with Ger, but there will be less problems here (and with Spa and Ita it should also be so). Let us begin again with the Cs: "f" and "v" (in most cases, but not in obviously foreign words like "Venus") become now "f", where "w" and in some cases "v" (like this "Venus") become "v"; then "ss" (or also "ß") and some "s" (when read as real "s") are now "s", and the most "s" become "z", but "z" is to be written as "c" (again with some exceptions); "ch" and some "h" in the beginning are turned to "x"; "h" for prolongation is changed to the M. "´"; "r" is to be written always as "r¨" (if not omitted at the ends like in "mutә"); and the classical cases: "sch" -> "w", "tsch" -> "q", "st" -> "wt", and "sp" -> "wp". The Umlaut is always to be changed to the M. "¨" giving, e.g.: "Väter" (fathers) -> "fa¨tә" (though they make no difference in pronouncing between "a¨" and "e"), "böse" (crossed with someone) -> "bo¨ze", "Tür" (a door) -> "tu¨r¨". In addition many unstressed endings "-er" are to become "ә", for example: "Lehrer" (teacher) -> "le´r¨ә", "über" (over) -> "u¨bә", etc., but "der" (an article) -> "der¨", "jener" (that) -> "iºener¨", etc. The diphthong "ei" becomes "ai•", "eu" -> "oi•", and this is in effect if instead of "e" stands "ä", as for example: "mein" (mine) -> "mai•n", "heute" (today) -> "hoi•te", and "täuschen" (delude) -> "toi•wen". They have also such cases alka" (or "is: "Johann" -> "Iºo´an", "jetzt" (now) -> "iºetct", "piano" -> "pi|ano" (to enable splitting, as in "beurteilen", meaning to judge, and becoming "be|ur¨tai•len"), etc.; and the triphthongs are represented with "auә" as in "Bauer" (farmer) -> "bau(|)ә", and maybe "ai•ә" as in "Meier" (a name) -> "Mai•(|)ә". Some more examples: "wahr" (true) -> "wa´", "Haus" (house) -> "xaus", "Stuhl" (chair) -> "wtu´l", "machen" (to make) -> "maxen", "schwer" (not light) -> "wver¨", "sagen" (say) -> "zagen", "siegen" (win) -> "zi´gen", "singen" (sing) -> "zin~en" (or "singen", because "-ng" isn't typical for Ger), "Christ(os)" -> "Kr¨ist(os)", "Chor" -> "kor¨" (though "xor¨" will be more adequate as near to the Greek original and written as "хор" in Cyr), "Wachs" (a wax) -> "vaks", et cetera.
     What concerns French we will look just superficial, because the author does not know this language. The Cs are more or less traditional, with good "ζ" (written in different way), our "w" (written as "ch", not meant as the old "w"), also "g", "k", "z", "s", etc., though some of them written in more then one way, and the left ones. They does not pronounce the old "h", and seem to miss our "c" and "q", and their "r" is to be given as "r~" (but maybe not always?). Now, we go to the Vs: they seem not to have our "ә", but make a distinction between open and closed Vs, where the open "e" and "o" are the usual ones, and the closed "e" should be now "i¨" (or "e•"?), and the closed "o" -> "uˇ". They seem not to have prolonged Vs, but have diphthongs, by what we do not mean writing "ai" instead of 'e' (or "ou" for 'u'), but the following: our "ua" (usually written as "oi"), our "ai•" (using long "-aille"), our "ei•" (as "-eil"), etc., but here is their "oe" which is of two kinds — open "oe", which has to be now "o¨", and closed "oe" (or "oeu"), which becomes "u¨". And, of course, their nasals "a~" and "e~", but it is their business whether they will want to make any difference between "an", "am", "en", and "em" (what is all "a~" for them), and with the 4 ways to say "e~", too.
     Now about Cyr, which means here Rus and Bul (but Ukrainian too, for they seem only to have two "i"-s — the Cyr "и" and the Lat "i"). In Rus exist three "e"-s: "е", "э", and "ë", where the first and usual one has to become "i¨" (hence the already mentioned "женщина" -> "ζi¨nwqina"), the "back" one is the right one, i.e. "e", and "ë" must be "iˇ" (or "iºo", if they prefer it so, but never "e¨" what has no meaning in the new writing!). Here the Bulgarians do the things right, so their one "e" is just the same. The char "ь" in Rus turns to the M. "•" (as mentioned), and Bul "ьо" becomes "o¨", and "йо" must be "iºo". We have talked about the unstressed "o" in Rus becoming now "әˉ" (in Bul we like, too, to make unstressed Vs sounding more dull, like "o" -> "u", "a" -> "ә", but that is observed as non-literate pronunciation). The last letters "ю" and "я" become "iºu" and "iºa", respectively, because they are combinations (like Lat "x", or Gre "ψ") as e.g. "следующий" (next) -> "sli¨duiºuwqii•". Bul "ъ" is just "ә", and in Rus this sound is not readable, as in "подъëм" or "подъезд", and may be made by the M. "|" enabling splitting after the previous C. (and not before) and making some little pause, i.e. "pod|iˇm" and "pod|i¨zd" (or by modifying the C. with "~" what gives "pod~iˇm" and "pod~i¨zd", though that does not sound any better).
     There are many other languages and we may give some hints about them. In Lat there are some prolongations of Vs, the classical "ae" -> "a¨", "oe" -> "o¨", "ph" might be now "fˉ", "c" is mostly our "c" (when followed by "e" or "i"), but sometimes "k", or the new "q" (as is in Ita), and some other exceptions. In Gre they have two "e"-s — "ε" and "η" — where the first one should probably be our "e" and the second one — "i¨" (or just "i"?), but otherwise they seem to be badly phonetically endowed. In Tur and Ara and in other ancient languages there are many "dζ"-s, our "q", also "ә", sounds like "dˉ" (or "d~"?) and "tˉ", but we have signs for them. In Chi or Jap there might be "dζ" or "dz", too, but this also is not a problem. Well, maybe some of our propositions for writing will not be accepted looking illiterate or vulgar (say, Ger "fa¨tә", or Rus "әˉkno", or their "ni¨t" for "нет" as "no", etc), and many literary persons will insist to write the words properly and try to pronounce them so, but we have to give some examples and have therefore to make some decisions. Or, maybe, in some languages the usual practice will be to use some "better looking" letters (and write, say, "okno" or "net", or use always normal "r" and not "r¨") but later on, with the use of some spell-checking editors, the text will be converted to the correct new writing. It might be so, but all this has not to bother us at the moment.

     4. An Example

     As a simple example we will give the new transliterations for just one paragraph of this text (that of the Subject), but in four languages — Eng, Ger, Rus, and Bul — to see how it will work.

     Old Eng:
     The next paper ... anyway. — 562 chars (without spaces and splittings).

     New Eng with Ms:
     Dˉә nekst pei•pә diskәˉsis dˉә pr¨oblәm vºitˉ komәn tr¨a¨nslitәr¨ei•wn fo´ o´l vºә´ld la¨n~vºidζiz. Dˉis iz ә dr¨a´ft, әv ko´s, fo´ sәˉq dζenәr¨әl pr¨oblәms kud not bi disai•did bai• vºәˉn pә´sn nauәdei•s, bәˉt dˉә ai•diәs involvd mei• bi iºu´sd a¨nd ikstendid bai• sәˉm gr¨u´p әv lin~vºists vºitˉ flu´әnt nolidζ әv ә dәˉzn vºai•dli iºu´sd la¨n~vºidζiz, inklu´din~ o´lsou, sei•: Fr¨enq, Gr¨i´k, A¨r¨әbik, Qai•ni´z, etz. Dˉen it wud bi diskәˉst a¨nd pr¨opәgei•tid tr¨ai•in~ tu kәnvins pi´pl әv dˉә ni´d fo´ dˉis, a¨nd if sәˉm vºә´ld o´tˉor¨iti vºitˉ not ounli sәdζestiv pauә bәˉt kei•pәbl tu info´r¨s tˉin~s vºil be ingei•dζd, dˉen, posibli, dˉә pr¨oblәm vºil be solvd. Bikoz it mәˉst bi solvd in vºәˉn-tu´ senqәr¨i´z, a¨nivºei•. — 617 chars, or 10% more.

     New Eng without Ms:
     Dә nekst peipә diskәsis dә problәm vit dә komәn translitәreiwn fo ol vәld lanvidζiz. Dis iz ә draft, әv kos, fo sәq dζenәrәl problәms kud not bi disaidid bai vәn pәsn nauәdeis, bәt dә aidiәs involvd mei bi iusd and ikstendid bai sәm grup әv linvists vit fluәnt nolidζ әv ә dәzn vaidli iusd lanvidζiz, inkludin olsou, sei: Frenq, Grik, Arәbik, Qainiz, etz. Den it wud bi diskәst and propәgeitid traiin tu kәnvins pipl әv dә nid fo dis, and if sәm vәld otoriti vit not ounli sәdζestiv pauә bәt keipәbl tu infors tins vil be ingeidζd, den, posibli, dә problәm vil be solvd. Bikoz it mәst bi solvd in vәn-tu senqәris, anivei. — 509 chars, or 10% less.

     Old text in Ger:
     Der folgende Artikel erörtert das Problem mit gemeinsamer Transliteration aller weltlichen Sprachen. Das ist, natürlich, nur ein Entwurf, weil solche generale Probleme kann man heutzutage nicht allein entscheiden, aber die vorgebrachten Ideen können von einer von Linguisten bestehenden Gruppe benutzt und erweitert werden, wenn diese Leute ausgezeichnete Kenntnisse von Sprachen wie, z. B.: französische, griechische, arabische, chinesische, usw., haben. Danach soll alles besprechen und propagieren werden, mit der Absicht alle Leute von den Nutzen dieser Schritt zu überzeugen, und wenn eine Behörde mit nicht nur suggestiver sonder auch exekutiver Macht engagiert werden könne, dann, vielleicht, wird das Problem endlich gelöst. Weil es muss in eins-zwei Jahrhunderte jedenfalls gelöst sein. — 687 chars (counted without spaces and splitting everywhere).

     New Ger with Ms:
     Der¨ folgende ar¨tikel er¨o¨r¨ter¨t das pr¨oblem mit der¨ gemai•nzamen tr¨ansliter¨acion aller¨ veltlixen wpr¨axen. Das ist, natu¨r¨lix, nur¨ ai•n entvur¨f, vai•l zolxe gener¨ale pr¨obleme kan man xoi•tcutage nixt alai•n entwai•den, abә die for¨gebr¨axten ideen ko¨nen fon ai•ner¨ fon lingvisten bewte´enden Gr¨upe benutct und er¨vai•ter¨t ver¨den, ven di´ze loi•te ausgecai•xnete kentnise fon wpr¨axen vi´, c. b.: fr¨anco¨ziwe, gr¨i´xiwe, ar¨abiwe, xineziwe, usv., xaben. Danax zoll alles bewpr¨exen und pr¨opaζi´r¨en ver¨den, mit der¨ abzixt alle loi•te fon den nutcen di´zer¨ wr¨it cu u¨bәcoi•gen, und ven ai•ne bexo¨r¨de mit nixt nur¨ sugestiver¨ zonder¨ aux ekzekutiver¨ maxt a~gaζi´r¨t ver¨den ko¨ne, dan, fi´lai•xt, vir¨d das pr¨oblem endlix gelo¨st. Vail es mus in ai•ns-cvai• iºa´r¨xunder¨te iºedenfals gelo¨st sai•n. — 717 chars, or 4% more.

     New Ger without Ms:
     Der folgende artikel erortert das problem mit der gemainzamen Transliteracion aller veltlixen wpraxen. Das ist, naturlix, nur ain entvurf, vail zolxe generale probleme kan man xoitcutage nixt alain entwaiden, abә die forgebraxten ideen konen fon ainer fon lingvisten bewteenden Grupe benutct und ervaitert verden, ven dize loite ausgecaixnete kentnise fon wpraxen vi, c. b.: francoziwe, grixiwe, arabiwe, xineziwe, usv., xaben. Danax zoll alles bewprexen und propaζiren verden, mit der abzixt alle loite fon den nutcen dizer writ cu ubәcoigen, und ven aine bexorde mit nixt nur sugestiver zonder aux ekzekutiver maxt agaζirt verden kone, dan, filaixt, vird das problem endlix gelost. Vail es mus in ains-cvai iarxunderte iedenfals gelost sain. — 634 chars, or 8% less.

     Old text in Rus:
     В следующей статье обсуждается проблема общей транслитерации всех мировых языков. Это, конечно, только первоначальный или черновой вариант, поскольку такие мировые проблемы не решаются одним человеком в наши дни, но изложенные идеи могут быть использованы и расширены некоторой группой лингвистов, владеющих в совершенстве дюжину широко использованных мировых языков, включая также, скажем: французский, греческий, арабский, китайский, и т. д. Потом это должно быть обсуждено и пропагандировано с целью убедить людей в необходимость этого шага, и если при этом будет заангажирована какая нибудь инстанция обладающая не только инициативной, но и утвердительной власти, то тогда, вероятно, проблема эта будет решена. Потому что она, так или иначе, должна быть решена в течении одного-двух столетий. — 688 chars.

     New Rus with Ms:
     V sli¨duiºuwqi¨i• stat•i¨ әˉbsuζda|i¨tca prәˉbli¨ma obwqi¨i• transliti¨razii vsi¨x mirәˉvә•x iºazә•kov. Etәˉ, koni¨qnәˉ, tol•kәˉ pi¨rvәˉnaqal•nә•i• ili qi¨rnәˉvoi• variant, pәˉskol•ku takii¨ mirәˉvә•i¨ prәˉbli¨mә• ni¨ ri¨waiºutca әˉdnim qi¨lәˉvi¨cәˉm v nawi dni, no izloζi¨nә•i¨ idi¨i mogut bә•t• ispol•zәˉvanә• i raswiri¨nә• ni¨kәˉtorәˉi• grupәˉi• lingvistәˉv, vladi¨iºuwqix v sәˉvi¨rwi¨nstvi¨ diºuζinu wirәˉko ispol•zәˉvanә•x mirәˉvә•x iºazә•kov, vkliºuqaiºa takζi¨, skaζi¨m: francuzskii•, gri¨qi¨skii•, arabskii•, kitai•skii•, i t. d. Pәˉtom etәˉ dәˉlζno bә•t• әˉbsuζdi¨no i prәˉpagandirәˉvanәˉ s ci¨l•iºu ubi¨dit• liºudi¨i• v ni¨әˉbxәˉdimәˉsti etәˉvәˉ waga, i i¨sli pri etәˉm budi¨t zaangaζirәˉvana kakaiºa nibud• instanciiºa әˉbladaiºuwqaiºa ni¨ tol•kәˉ iniciativnәˉi•, no i utvi¨rditi¨l•nәˉi• vlasti, to tәˉgda, vi¨rәˉiºatnәˉ, prәˉbli¨ma eta budi¨t ri¨wi¨na. Pәˉtәˉmu wto әˉna, tak ili inaqi¨, dәˉlζna bә•t• ri¨wi¨na v ti¨qi¨nii әˉdnәˉvo-dvux stәˉli¨tii•. — 853 chars, or 24% more.

     New Rus without Ms:
     V sliduiuwqii stati әbsuζdaitca prәblima obwqii translitirazii vsix mirәvәx iazәkov. Etә, koniqnә, tolkә pirvәnaqalnәi ili qirnәvoi variant, pәskolku takii mirәvәi prәblimә ni riwaiutca әdnim qilәvicәm v nawi dni, no izloζinәi idii mogut bәt ispolzәvanә i raswirinә nikәtorәi grupәi lingvistәv, vladiiuwqix v sәvirwinstvi diuζinu wirәko ispolzәvanәx mirәvәx iazәkov, vkliuqaia takζi, skaζim: francuzskii, griqiskii, arabskii, kitaiskii, i t. d. Pәtom etә dәlζno bәt әbsuζdino i prәpagandirәvanә s ciliu ubidit liudii v niәbxәdimәsti etәvә waga, i isli pri etәm budit zaangaζirәvana kakaia nibud instanciia әbladaiuwqaia ni tolkә iniciativnәi•, no i utvirditilnәi vlasti, to tәgda, virәiatnә, prәblima eta budit riwina. Pәtәmu wto әna, tak ili inaqi, dәlζna bәt riwina v tiqinii әdnәvo-dvux stәlitii. — 691 chars, or the same.

     Old text in Bul:
     В следващата статия се обсъжда проблемът за общата транслитерация на всички световни езици. Това, разбира се, е първоначален или чернови вариант, тъй като такива генерални въпроси не се решават в днешно време от един човек, но изложените идеи могат да бъдат използвани и разширени от някаква група лингвисти, владеещи в съвършенство дузина широко използвани световни езици, включващи също, да речем: френски, гръцки, арабски, китайски, и т. н. След това въпросът трябва да бъде обсъждан и пропагандиран с цел да се убедят хората в необходимостта от това, и ако може да бъде ангажирана някаква инстанция притежаваща не само инициативна, но и утвърдителна власт, то тогава, навярно, проблемът ще намери своето решение. Защото той, все едно, трябва да бъде решен за едно-две столетия. — 661 chars.

     New Bul with Ms:
     V sledvawtata statiiºa se obsәζda problemәt za obwtata transliteraziiºa na vsiqki svetovni ezici. Tova, razbira se, e pәrvonaqalen ili qernovi vari|ant, tәi• kato takiva generalni vәprosi ne se rewavat v dnewno vreme ot edin qovek, no izloζenite idei mogat da bәdat izpolzvani i razwireni ot niºakakva grupa lingvisti, vladeewti v sәvәrwenstvo duzina wiroko izpolzvani svetovni ezici, vkliºuqvawti sәwto, da reqem: frenski, grәcki, arabski, kitai•ski, i t. n. Sled tova vәprosәt triºabva da bәde obsәζdan i propagandiran s cel da se ubediºat xorata v neobxodimostta ot tova, i ako moζe da bәde angaζirana niºakakva instanziiºa priteζavawta ne samo iniciativna, no i utvәrditelna vlast, to togava, naviºarno, problemәt wte nameri svoeto rewenie. Zawtoto toi•, vse edno, triºabva da bәde rewen za edno-dve stoletiiºa. — 695 chars, or 5% more.

     New Bul without Ms:
     V sledvawtata statiia se obsәζda problemәt za obwtata transliteraziia na vsiqki svetovni ezici. Tova, razbira se, e pәrvonaqalen ili qernovi variant, tәi kato takiva generalni vәprosi ne se rewavat v dnewno vreme ot edin qovek, no izloζenite idei mogat da bәdat izpolzvani i razwireni ot niakakva grupa lingvisti, vladeewti v sәvәrwenstvo duzina wiroko izpolzvani svetovni ezici, vkliuqvawti sәwto, da reqem: frenski, grәcki, arabski, kitaiski, i t. n. Sled tova vәprosәt triabva da bәde obsәζdan i propagandiran s cel da se ubediat xorata v neobxodimostta ot tova, i ako moζe da bәde angaζirana niakakva instanziia priteζavawta ne samo iniciativna, no i utvәrditelna vlast, to togava, naviarno, problemәt wte nameri svoeto rewenie. Zawtoto toi, vse edno, triabva da bәde rewen za edno-dve stoletiia. — 680 chars, or 3% more.

     This example, although too short to be called exactly representative, shows that for languages with Lat alphabet (Eng and Ger), the new alphabet gives about 5% more typing when all modifiers have to be put (in Eng it is a bit more, maybe so will be in Fre, too, but in Ita, Spa, and in other western languages there will be about +3%, so on the average this will give not more then +5%). But this is of no importance for the volume of the books because all Ms will be written above the letters, so if we do not count them (what has been done by deleting them), then we gain 8-10% in the volume (number of letters), what looks pretty good. And what is the situation with the other alphabets? Well, not the same, but still not bad, because this initial increasing of even 24% for the Rus text and 5% for the Bul is mainly because in Rus almost all Vs are not from the standard 6, but when we reject all Ms we have the same length as for the original text (0%) in Rus, and just 3% more in Bul. What is to say that probably for all languages the volume of the printed text will be on the average with 3-5% less (the average of: -10, -8, 0, +3 is -3.75). So we have made nothing worse but have gained the universality of the alphabet throughout the world.

     5. The Keyboard

     Well, the volume of letters in the books will be the same or even less, but will this not give us more typing, because we have to type all the Ms? To answer this question we will turn our attention now to the keyboard, where we have said till the moment only that, in addition to the normal "i" without a point, the letters "j" and "y" have to be included meaning "iº" and "i•" respectively, but this is not enough. So let us see what we have on the main or letter part of the standard ("qwerty") keyboard. We have first to find some way for easy referring to the keys, so let us name the bottom line (with the "Space" key) as "Z" (from "zero"), then going above we have "A", "B", and "C" lines with letters, then the number line "D", and then the function keys (but they are of no interest to us). Then the number "1" letter will be the leftmost one ("z" or "a" or "q", respectively, not counting "Ctrl", "Shift", etc.), and so we have on the major three lines ("A", "B", and "C") 10+12+12 = 34 keys, but they were 33 before (with 11 on "B"), and are now, in fact (at least on the author's keyboard) 35, because there is a "A0" key (and let us not put this coding in quotes anymore).
     They are so designed, that if one puts the last finger of the left hand on B1 ("a"), then also the other fingers of the left hand (without the thumb), then leaves two keys ("g" and "h"), and then puts the second finger of the right hand on B7 ("j") and continues with the other fingers, then one ends on B10 (";") covering at least 10 keys on each line (going a little bit on the left). But there are 12 keys on B and C, so you see that it is accepted that one may reach two more keys with the last finger of the right hand, and none or just one key (A0) with the left one (and this only on one line). In short, in the worst case the keys are 33, and they can easily be made 37, including two more keys on the left — B0 and C0 — because there is no need to have wider keys for "Caps Lock" and "Tab" when they are so rarely used. The "Caps Lock" must be split in two keys (as it was done with the "Shift" making place for A0) and so we will have the needed B0 and a small key for "Caps Lock"; and the "Tab" has to be discarded from there and on its place put a normal letter key C0 (the "Tab" will be put on line "Z" either between "Ctrl" and "Alt", where on some keyboards there exists a key but it does not work, or on the left part of the "Space" key which is, surely, a very long one and some 3-4 letter keys length in the middle is just what is needed), so that there will be no increase in the width of the main keyboard.
     In other words, although we may do well with 33 keys (25 proper letters, plus "j/y", plus 5 keys for 10 Ms in pairs, gives even 31), we propose to make use of 37 keys (A0 - A10, B0 - B12, and C0 - C12) counting all Ms as full keys, because it is much more comfortable to work in one case, and even in this way we need only 35 keys (25 letters plus 10 Ms, where "j" and "y" are to be put over the corresponding Ms), but the more the better, because in this way we will have 12 free positions for some other chars or combinations of chars (8 over the left Ms, and two full keys). This leaves us without any punctuation signs on these lines (even the point and comma are missing), but this is not crucial because on the Rus (and Bul) keyboard (with 32 letters for the Rus) all char keys are used for letters and the point is on D12 (in Rus, I suppose, on D07). Having enough free positions, however, we may still use two keys for ";/," and ":/." (where the first sign is for capital case) and put them, say, on B12 and C12 and work with 35 keys. But our proposition is more general: to shorten the "Space" for two keys on the right, too, and put these most often used signs there. And so, using 37 letter keys we make the following proposition for the standard world-wide keyboard, beginning with No. "0" and ending with "12", where our reserved half keys will be marked with "+" sign (and "Cə" is capital "ə"):

     D: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
     C: ~/+5, M/m, O/o, Cə/ә, I/i, Z/z, ζ/ζ, D/d, B/b, V/v, R/r, +8/+7,+?/+?
     B: ˆ/+4, N/n, U/u, A/a, E/e, C/c, Q/q, T/t, P/p, F/f, L/l, |/+6, +?/+?
     A: ˇ/+3, ˉ/+2, ¨/+1, "•/y", º/j, S/s, W/w, G/g, K/k, X/x, `/´
     Z: "Ctr", "Alt", Tab, "Space", ";/,", ":/.", "Alt", "Ctr"

     So, and now let us use the twelve keys marked with "+". The trick is very simple: these are 12 places left for the beloved (or often used) national combinations of letters with Ms, making in this way the total number of the used letter keys in each language to 37. Some of them are numbered from 1 to 8 because we think that 8 additional chars for each language is enough for the beginning, and the four positions marked with "+?" are left free (for personal coding). The numbered "+" keys are put nearly all in low case (with the exception of the last one on C11) to be easily accessed for typing, whereas the Ms are left in upper case (with the exception of the prolongation M. on A10) because it is to be expected that they will be rarely used. The keys A3 and A4 are already full with "y" and "j", and the corresponding Ms, and A10 is full with a similar looking pair of Ms. In this way the keyboard will be easily adapted to each language (and they may be 20 or more), but only for small modified letters, and if one wants to type a capital letter with M. ("Dζon" or "Iºu´rop" or "O¨sterraix•") then the combination has to be made by typing the letter and the M. Working on a computer, or even on an electronic typewriter, there will be no problems with forming of the modified image of the new letter by logical "OR-ing" of the pixels (and who uses nowadays an ordinary mechanical typewriter?; but even if one does so, the M. may be written next to the letter, as we are doing this here, or one may make use of the backspace key); with capital modified letters might be some difficulties because of their greater height, but this is noting serious.
     Well, eight combinations are not much at first sight, but we shall see that for some languages (like Ger, Bul, and probably Spa, Ita, etc.) this is even more then needed and some syllables have to be included, because a combination is any possible sequence of chars. For the languages which we use as examples we propose the following design of "+"-keys in the given order (without pretensions for the best choice):

     Eng: a¨, әˉ, vº, r¨, n~, dˉ, tˉ, d|ζ.
     Ger: a¨, o¨, u¨, r¨, au, ai•, oi•, ge.
     Fre (prob.): i¨, o¨, u¨, r~, uˇ, a~, e~, ua.
     Rus: i¨, әˉ, ә•, iºu, iºa, l•, t•, na.
     Bul: na, ta, za, iºu, iºa, po, iz, wt.

     Then we will give again our old examples starting from the text with Ms and using "j" for "iº" and "y" for "i•" and numbers (there are not in the text) from 1 to 8 for coding of the above mentioned combinations with one sign. The number of chars counted will be the number of the keystrokes issued.

     New Eng typed with new Eng keyboard:
     6ә nekst peypә disk2sis 6ә p4oblәm 3i7 komәn t41nslitә4eywn fo´ o´l 3ә´ld l153i8iz. 6is iz ә d4a´ft, әv ko´s, fo´ s2q 8enә4әl p4oblәms kud not bi disaydid bay 32n pә´sn nauәdeys, b2t 6ә aydiәs involvd mey bi ju´sd 1nd ikstendid bay s2m g4u´p әv li53ists 3i7 flu´әnt noli8 әv ә d2zn 3aydli ju´sd l153i8iz, inklu´di5 o´lsou, sey: F4enq, G4i´k, A¨4әbik, Qayni´z, etz. 6en it wud bi disk2st 1nd p4opәgeytid t4ayi5 tu kәnvins pi´pl әv 6ә ni´d fo´ 6is, 1nd if s2m 3ә´ld o´7o4iti 3i7 not ounli sә8estiv pauә b2t keypәbl tu info´4s 7i5s 3il be ingey8d, 6en, posibli, 6ә p4oblәm 3il be solvd. Bikoz it m2st bi solvd in 32n-tu´ senqә4i´s, 1ni3ey. — 525 chars, or 7% less.

     New Ger typed with new Ger keyboard:
     De4 fol8nde a4tikel e424te4t das p4oblem mit de4 8m6nzamen T4anslite4acion alle4 veltlixen wp4axen. Das ist, nat34lix, nu4 6n entvu4f, v6l zolxe 8ne4ale p4obleme kan man x7tcuta8 nixt al6n entw6den, abә die fo48b4axten ideen k2nen fon 6ne4 fon lingvisten bewte´enden G4upe benutct und e4v6te4t ve4den, ven di´ze l7te 5s8c6xnete kentnise fon wp4axen vi´, c. b.: f4anco2ziwe, g4i´xiwe, a4abiwe, xineziwe, usv., xaben. Danax zoll alles bewp4exen und p4opaζi´4en ve4den, mit de4 abzixt alle l7te fon den nutcen di´ze4 w4it cu 3bәc78n, und ven 6ne bex24de mit nixt nu4 su8stive4 zonde4 5x ekzekutive4 maxt a~gaζi´4t ve4den k2ne, dan, fi´l6xt, vi4d das p4oblem endlix 8l2st. Es zoll, abә´, in 6ns-cw6 ja´4xunde4te jedenfals 8l2st s6n. — 619 chars, or 11% less.

     New Rus typed with new Rus keyboard:
     V sl1du4wq1y sta71 2bsuζda|1tca pr2bl1ma obwq1y translit1razii vs1x mir2v3x 5z3kov. Et2, kon1qn2, to6k2 p1rv28qa6n3y ili q1rn2voy variant, p2sko6k2 taki1 mir2v31 pr2bl1m3 n1 r1wa4tca 2dnim q1l2v1c2m v 8wi dni, no izloζi¨n31 id1i mogut b37 ispo6z2van3 i raswir1n3 n1k2tor2y grup2y lingvist2v, vlad14wqix v s2v1rw1nstv1 d4ζinu wir2ko ispo6z2van3x mir2v3x 5z3kov, vkl4qa5 takζ1, skaζ1m: francuzskiy, gr1q1skiy, arabskiy, kitayskiy, i t. d. P2tom et2 d2lζno b37 2bsuζd1no i pr2pagandir2van2 s c164 ub1di7 l4d1y v n12bx2dim2sti et2v2 waga, i 1sli pri et2m bud1t zaangaζir2va8 kaka5 nibud• instanci5 2blada4wqa5 n1 to6k2 iniciativn2y, no i utv1rdit16n2y vlasti, to t2gda, v1r25tn2, pr2bl1ma eta bud1t r1w18. P2t2mu wto 28, tak ili i8q1, d2lζ8 b37 r1w18 v t1q1nii 2dn2vo-dvux st2l1tiy. — 670 chars, or 3% less.

     New Bul typed with new Bul keyboard:
     V sledva8a2 s2ti5 se obsәζda problemәt 3 ob8a2 transliterazi5 1 vsiqki svetovni ezici. Tova, razbira se, e pәrvo1qalen ili qernovi vari|ant, tәy kato 2kiva generalni vәprosi ne se rewavat v dnewno vreme ot edin qovek, no 7loζenite idei mogat da bәdat 76lzvani i razwireni ot n5kakva grupa lingvisti, vladee8i v sәvәrwenstvo duzi1 wiroko 76lzvani svetovni ezici, vkl4qva8i sә8o, da reqem: frenski, grәcki, arabski, ki2yski, i t. n. Sled tova vәprosәt tr5bva da bәde obsәζdan i propagandiran s cel da se ubed5t xora2 v neobxodimost2 ot tova, i ako moζe da bәde angaζira1 n5kakva ins2nzi5 priteζava8a ne samo iniciativ1, no i utvәrditel1 vlast, to togava, 1v5rno, problemәt 8e 1meri svoeto rewenie. 38oto toy, vse edno, tr5bva da bәde rewen 3 edno-dve stoleti5. — 638 chars, or 4% less.

     All in all, this gives about 6% economy in typing (the average of: -7, -11, -3, -4 is -6.25), hence we again lose nothing and have even a little to win in typing, as well as in the volume of books. The files might be a bit longer but this does not matter nowadays (and even if this matters, the volume used on disk might be less, because we will need much less char sets to keep in use). But let us compare the percentage between the new text without Ms (in part 4.) and the new text typed with the nationally modified new standard keyboard (above), for each of the languages, because this forms an interesting characteristic of the language. For the Eng we have a difference from -10 to -7%, what says that they still can not make the whole win from the new proposition for the keyboard and need some more combination keys (though this is not a "discrimination" of Eng because they have reached the average percentage for our choice of languages, 6.25 to be precise, and besides, the original text in Eng is with 16% less (562 chars) then the average for the four used languages, 650 chars); probably the same will be the difference in percentage with the Fre. In the Ger we have a better situation (from -8 to -11%), what means they have reached the limit of the keyboard and the further diminishing (to -11%) comes from the syllables. With the Cyr alphabet, being very well suited for the languages, we have not much more to gain: in Rus from 0 to -3%, and in Bul from +3 to -4%. And the author is almost sure that a gain between 5 and 8% will be reached not only for languages like Lat, Ita, Spa, etc., but also in Tur, Ara, possibly in Gre, Chi, Jap, et cetera. And we still have not used the other four reserved key positions, so that even 10% economy in typing, as well as in the volume of the books, is to be expected.

     So, and now let us add some more remarks about the bettering of the whole keyboard, because it was made in parts or stages without global point of view. Let us make the main (letter) part of it modified according to our proposition: with 37 keys on lines "A", "B", and "C", with new "Z" line, and let us split the "Back-space" key on the number line in two keys making thus "Back-Del" and "Fore-Del" (because they go in pair), and also split the right "Shift" in two keys but put the new key (say, "Insert") on the right (because the "Shift" has to be easily accessed), and finish with this. And now let us turn our attention to the right part of the whole keyboard. There is numeric keypad, what is a very good idea, but it contains under (or over) itself a movement keypad, and these movement keys are doubled and nobody knows exactly why? Well, the numbers are also doubled, but they form another small keyboard so that it is better to be put also here, but these movement keys are not on its place, and even the other movement keys are strangely split in two small pads. We propose the following: the numeric keypad retains the numbers and arithmetic signs, but the "Num-Lock" key is to be rejected and the other case to be switched in the usual way by "Shift" (there are two such keys and the right one is pretty near to the numeric keypad); but above the numbers have to be put some often used in calculations chars as, e.g.: "%", "o/oo", "No", "<", ">", "=" (as a sign), and some positions are to be left free to enter, say, national currency, et cetera. Even more to this: the space for the glimmer-lamps and above to the border of the keyboard may be used and this keypad has to be redesigned as proper scientific calculator, with memory (-ies), special functions, etc. (and if need be, then with smaller keys).
     Then we go to the both small movement pads, which must, of course, be joined (because we have moved "Ins" and "Del" out of here) in one 9 key pad (3*3) placed to the bottom, where in low case should be the movement keypad (from the numeric keypad), but in upper case, which has to be switched again in the usual way with "Shift" (and/or "Ctrl" and/or "Alt"), to be put another movements (say, the "left" key in upper case may be a movement to the beginning of the word, or the line, then "Home" may move to the top of the screen, or the file, or the first window, etc.). In the place above this keypad will be a new, let us call it "symbolic", keypad (switched again by the "Shift"), where is enough place for 12 more symbols. All in all, in this way we gain places for at least 30 more chars.

     6. Conclusion

     As you see, we may as well state that our main proposition, and its possible enhancements, is a very important one for the whole world in the 21-st century. It may not start being applied with languages like Eng or Fre, because the traditions there are very strong and the native people have so badly tried to show their national individuality (reading the Lat letters in a different way), that it is not much probable they will want to change the status quo. But there are other folks, like Germans, Italians, Spaniards, etc. who have not great differences from Latin alphabet and could easily adjust to the new proposition. Still, they will not be the initiators and may only be ready to participate in the movement, if it will be world-wide accepted. But there are other more people and some of them use Cyr, which is a very good alphabet for their own purposes, but for, say, an Englishman, it looks like Chi or old Heb, so these folks are almost ready to accept the proposition (if being made to them) and to be included in the civilized western community. And there are also Greeks, also many Arab folks, and Persians, and Hindus, and Chinese, and Japanese, and more and more others. For them an universal world alphabet should be like a manna from the heaven (providing that this alphabet is really suitable for them, as the author expected). Because the letters are just signs, symbols, and as such they could take nothing from the national individuality of the folks.
     And even if the time when this (or some other, but also universal) alphabet will be applied (and it will be, because when something is obviously bad people never cease to try to better the situation, even for centuries and millenniums) may not be so close to out time, then the ideas exposed in the paper may be used starting from tomorrow. What we mean by this is to use such alphabet for some internal representation of the words in computerized reading, spelling, and speech understanding systems. The existing systems can do wonders sometimes, but they work in one given language, and surely not for, say, Arabic. If some system for computerized reading of texts written in this universal alphabet is made, then texts from all languages may be converted to this internal representation (with national dictionaries and spell checking programs, but there is no need to do this simultaneously) and these files may be copied and pronounced (by computers), and, by the by, this standard will be accepted also for human reading. And it is good also for the usual dictionaries, especially for etymological ones, because there are always differences in writing and pronouncing of the words (especially for old languages). And what about the geographical names? And so on. And do not forget also the corollary ideas about a better design of the keyboard. Hence this draft may be a little bit (or more) distanced from the final decision, but it treats one very important problem.

     Jan 2003, Dec 2013




© Христо Мирский
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