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So lately, I've been wanting to make a proposed German alphabet and my proposal was this:

So C should only make the /ts/ sound in German, the Soft C German Sound. Any German Z will be replaced with C (example: Zirkus-Cirkus, Zitron-Citrus, Zimmer-Cimmer, etc.). Then Z will still be a letter but it will do the /z/ sound. S will no longer make the Sh sound and the Sh sound, made by letter S will be written as Sch. K will replace the hard C sound as in "Kalzium" (Kalcium in the proposed German language). However, "ck" digraph will remain as it is. Q, V, X will only occur in foreign loanwords. Q will be replaced with Kw, V will be replaced with W or F and X will be replaced with ks. Y should only make the /y/ sound and I will take over on the /i/ sound. B should only make /b/ sound, D should only make /d/ sound and G should only make /g/ sound. Ch will not be replaced as it sounds like /kh/, /x/ but Ch will be replaced with Sch if needed (Example: Nicht-Nischt). This will make the German language easier.

How do I make this change happen?

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  • At all: Please don't discuss the benefits or downsides of the proposal. The question is not about whether the proposed orthography is good or bad, but about how it could be made official.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 0:48
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    You seem to speak a Southern dialect. Nowhere here a 'ch' is pronounced like a 'sch'. How do you generally account for pronounciation differences across regions? Some of your suggestions concerning q remind me of how Dutch seems to work. Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 7:11
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    What is proposed here is not an alphabet, it's a spelling reform.
    – RHa
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 8:42
  • "So C should only make the /ts/ sound [...] the Sh sound, made by S will be written as Sch" Gefunden wurde: Щ Shcha. Keine Ergbnisse für /'st͡s.h/.
    – vectory
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 9:27

3 Answers 3

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How to make a proposed German alphabet official?

There is no such thing as an "official German alphabet".

There are various different standards in various different German-speaking countries that regulate various different aspects of various different usages of the German language for various, restricted, domains. (For example, the (in)famous 1996 Wiener Absichtserklärung zur Neuregelung der deutschen Rechtschreibung only applies to schools and governments, and only in some, but not all, German-speaking, countries and regions.)

For example, there are rules about how official government documents are written, but these apply only to government documents and only to one country.

And these rules are usually not prescriptive (i.e. they don't prescribe how language should be used) but descriptive (i.e. they describe how language actually is used).

Since the rules describe how language is actually used, the way to change the rules is to change the way German speakers use the language. In other words, the answer to your question

How do I make this change happen?

You need to talk to the majority of the 180 million German speakers and convince them to use your system. Once your system is used by the majority of German speakers, after a couple of decades, its changes will eventually find their way into the various rules and standards.

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The written forms of most languages (assuming they have them) have irrational seeming features. Written and spoken forms evolve at different rates and sometimes in different ways. In addition, the alphabets used are often the repurposed alphabets of other languages. Occasionally an improved writing system is invented, but unless you're an autocrat it's difficult to overcome the inertia that an existing system has. An example is the Hangul script for Korean, which was specifically invented to be an easy to learn phonetic script, but it was invented by the king of Korea at the time, not some random guy. The problem is that most people want to keep using a system they know and are used to, no matter how bad it is, than to have to learn a new one. In the early 19th century, Noah Webster attempted to reform English spelling, but only some of his reforms were adopted and only in the US. (If anything, spelling reform is needed much more for English than German.) German spelling reform has happened in the past, notably in 1902 and 1996, but these were incremental changes. There are many systems people use, and occasionally the irrational ones are reformed, and sometimes they're not. One success is the metric system, but it still hasn't caught on in the US and it's unlikely to be adopted any time soon.

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How do I make this change happen?

Programming! Or: reinvent the wheel—who doesn't know the history is doomed to repeat it.

Technically you could make it happen on an individual level just like online translation modulates text on the fly, but simpler (see sed, awk, python, etc.). That's not a simple letter substitution task so you somehow need to parse the input with a tokenizer that recognizes the difference of ‹S› [±voice] for a start. Chances are there is a database somewhere in Corpus Linguistics, to detect prosodic morpheme boundaries at least.

That's because the spelling is already fairly regular, earning the title of phonetic script in stark contrast to English. However, the reason we don't switch immediately to IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is obvious: Everyone speaks like a lil different, all the time.

It's probably not the individual spelling and much rather the oral language that is more important for a natural understanding of the language in order to learn from.

* ''zand'' would be making an unnecessary distinction, because there is no minimal pair which one could be confused for /s/.


Although admittedly there are skortcomings in the script, that's mostly because of historicly set precedent. For "Legasthenie" /st/ e.g., the cluster was rare in Ancient Greek to begin with (ἀσθένεια). It is not palatalized because the word is learned in Neogreek – the ‹h› is silent and could be done away with because [th] is not distinguished from [t] (well, I'm no phonologist), which leads to a probably unentiologic rebracketing to conform with German phonotactics (Le-gas-the-nie).

In this light, seeing that Duden achieved a glorious win in 19th century reforms, which lasted safely till the 21st century, and that most languages don't have a central governing body but perhaps well known reference works and style guides, Lexicography might be an avenue to pursue. The debates were reportedly rather polemic. A turning point is observed with the graphematic split over so-called "Altdeutsch" bold letters, sooner or later replaced by unadorned Antiqua typefaces. That's why the orthography of significantly correlated Ligatures of clusters like st was lost to Digraphs, which omit the touch of a connected cursive hand, now best known from long s ‹ſ› ("scharfes s") and the ligature 'ſs' = ‹ß› ("Eszett") instead of 'ss' (ein MasMaß, Mass, older 'sz'). These techniques are still put to good use in typesetting, where a lot of aesthetic appeal can be achieved by typography rather than orthography (check the TeX Stack).

After all, research has shown that trained readers recognize wordshapes (e.g. *CvCvCC's) and indeed clusters sooner than individual letters. So you have to expect resistance to your program for anyone who'd have to take a step back to read each glyph individually.

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