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This is a tutorial for TO (Traditional Orthography) users on how to read ANJeL.
The Angel alphabet consists of 39 symbols, each of which represents a unique sound. Unlike the traditional English alphabet, there is no duplication whereby different letter combinations can sound alike. For example, in English "threw" and "through", "bough" and "bow", "blue" and "blew", "write" and "right" have identical sounds but varied spellings. In Angel, all identical sounds have identical spellings.
The Angel alphabet assigns a unique symbol to each unique vowel and consonant sound. The symbols used are similar to those of the traditional English alphabet, with one big difference: Upper case letters have one unique sound, and lower case letters have another. In addition, sounds composed of multiple letter groupings (such as "oo", "ow" and "oy") are represented by single symbols in the Angel alphabet.
Unlike traditional English, Angel has no "silent" letters that can change the pronunciation of other letters in the word. (In traditional English, silent letters often change "short" vowels to "long" vowels: "cut" becomes "cute" even though we never hear that "e" on the end). In Angel, every letter in a word is essential and is pronounced.
In short, Angel is CONSISTENT. Its purpose is to permit new English learners to "See what we Say" on captioned TV, using the closed captioning decoder standards imposed by the U.S. Congress. The assignment of symbols to sounds was dictated by the need to avoid letters with descenders because such letters are poorly represented by the pixel arrangement on the television screen. Angel will be used in the ACCESS (Auxiliary Closed Captioned English with Simplified Spelling) System of the World Language Process for teaching English in Third World Countries.
The Letters of the Angel AlphabetThe ANJeL 39 letter alphabet is as follows:
The following explains how the ANJeL Alphabet is organized.
The traditional English alphabet may be written as follows:
A B C D
A -- B C D
showing how we arrive at the order of the long vowels, AEIOU, when we recite them by giving them the letter's name.
In the ANJeL alphabet we use X for O, so that the letter will not be confused with a zero. Also we give the U the name and sound of the u in up. Therefore we get:
A -- the sound like in bay
In the ANJeL alphabet we use the lower case letter for the short vowels and write them adjacent to the long vowel arriving at the start of our 39 character alphabet written in the following format.
Note the sound assignment to "m". In ANJeL, some letters are assigned completely different names and sounds than in TO.
As you see, this schema is composed of three blocks of letters. The upper block is vowels and the lower blocks are the consonants, the lower of which we shall fill in now.
The order of the consonants is the same as in the TO alphabet with simply the TO vowels and the X (and capital letters C, O and Q that ANJeL does not use at all) left out. As you will notice, all the letters in this block are capitals, which is why we call them the large consonant letters.
In the case of the vowels, which we covered a moment ago, the name of the vowel letter and the sound of the vowel letter are identical. A consonant, in the TO alphabet, is accompanied by a vowel (in front or behind) in order to be pronounced. The most commonly used vowel in traditional English is E. Thus in the alphabet of Traditional Orthography we have BE, DE, PE, TE, VE, and ZE ie. B, D, P, T, V and Z (forget the crazy Canadian zed). The names of these letters are the same in the ANJeL alphabet.
However, in ANJeL the other large consonant letter names are pronounced a
little differently than in traditional English orthography. One of the main
features of the ANJeL TUn is simplification through consistency. The ANJeL
TUn large consonants have no exceptions. Therefore the letter F instead of
having its vowel placed in front and being pronounced eF is named with the
consistent long E afterwards (like FEE). G therefore becomes the mule
skinners GEE, ach (H) becomes HE, and jay (J) becomes JE (like in my wife's
While all of this is very simple, it still much more simply demonstrated
with a video and of course its audio. But to continue, we will now fill in
the rest of the vowel sounds.
There are certain symbols on the traditional alphabetic typewriter keyboard that we have not used. We now use these for the sounds in the English language that have no letter.
For example ow, ou, ough which are all pronounced the same as in: owl, out, plough, are written in ANJeL using the d symbol which we have not previously used. Thus cow is written Kd, now Nd, out dT and plough PLd.
The r is somewhat of a special case. It is called a schwa. It is the sound heard very often at the end of words (and elsewhere) as in "mother", MUhr, "baker", BAKr, and at the beginning of "urgent", rJeNT.
The b is used for the oi, or oy sound. Like in oil and boy, which we would spell bL and Bb.
The k is used for the oo sound in tool.
The n is a particularly curious letter. It is NOT a vowel, but we put it at the end of the vowel block because it is the only consonant that cannot be pronounced with an E after it. We use n to represent the ng sound which is the sound we find at the end of the words like ring, rang and rung.
To remain as consistent as possible we pronounce the letter name n with the usual E as the preceding vowel. The sound is ng and therefore the vowel name is Eng (sort of like the ing in going but with a stronger E sound). n can be preceeded by any vowel. That is why in ANJeL "tongue" is TUn. It is a curiosity that English has this exceptional sound as its name.
These five letters now fill into our matrix in the following locations:
The remaining set of letters are referred to as small consonants (as distinguished from the block of large consonants which were described earlier). They are called small consonants simply because they use what are lower case letters in traditional English orthography. The set is in the small consonant block.
These are named as:
Notice that each of these letters has the appearance of being associated with an
h in TO. Like:
The zhe sound is rare in English but is found in words like garage (GaRxz in ANJeL) but I will dispense of the long orthological discussion of its defense.
Each of these small consonants can be followed by any of the vowels. It is more difficult to put a vowel in front of wh.
You will notice that there are two "thee" sounds in TO English. The first th is like in th in theology or thousand and the second th is like th in the or thou.
th is indiscrminate in traditional English orthography. How is "thou" pronounced?
Wilt thou loan me a thou (like in thousand)?
But ANJeL discriminates:
WiLT hd LXN ME A td?
So, now, we have the complete ANJeL alphabet which is read, memorized, recited (and yes sung as a memory device) in rows from left to right.
The full reasons for the selection of the letters involves considerable more detail about how descenders are represented in captioning on the video screen but this suffices to show the names of the letters in the Angel alphabet. In the next lesson we will deal further with the sounds of the letters.
The Sound of the Angel Letters
We will now examine each of the Angel letters in the order that that they
are recited and examine the sound associated with each letter. The first
examples will show the letter under discussion as a leading letter and the
second three examples will show it as a trailing letter. The first row is
the TO example, and the second row the Angel example.
There appear to be no words that end in the "a" sound.
They all seem to get converted to U.
(e often follows consonants but there do not appear to be any words which it ends)
(i often follows consonants but there do not appear to be many words which it ends)
I have thought of no examples where the m begins or ends a word, but I know of no technical reason why it could not.
n is something of an anomaly in Angel (and TO) in that it never starts a word or syllable. One can't even say it that way. One of the few words in English that even has it near the start of the word is ingot (inGxT), except for the word English (EnLis) itself.
w is something of an anomaly in Angel (and TO) in that it never ends a word or syllable.
The D on the end of words is something of a strange letter. Sometimes in TO it is sounded as a T. (See discussion under T). However, other times, TO words that end in ed do have a D sound such as in "We polled the voters or we pulled the wagon". In Angel these become PXLD and PULD).
The H, W, and Y do not appear to end any words in Angel. This may be because that in TO they are in those positions what we call silent letters.
The S is sometimes used as the sound of a TO plural but most often TO plurals actually end in a Z sound (see Z). Sh combinations, such as shout (sdT), of course have their own representation in ANJeL (see s).
Curiously, the ed sound at the end of words in TO often has the T sound in Angel. In old English the e in worked would have been sounded as work-ed. But not now.
Z gets extensive other use in Angel as the plural at the end of TO words - WrDZ.
In the next lesson we will get into actual practice in reading Angel words.
Reading Angel Words
It has been said that anyone who can read TO can learn to read any English phonetic system in about two hours. Angel is a little more difficult than some phonetic systems that are specifically designed for ease of reading by TO readers. It is less difficult than some others like Deseret that are specifically designed as a code to discourage those who do not know the code. Angel is specifically designed to make the learning of English easy for those who do not know English at all. Still, the rule of thumb for most phonetic systems, about two hours, to become a fairly proficient reader in Angel, holds. Speed reading requires sight recognition of thousands of words, and combinations of words, and long periods of practice.
Because 40% of most English text is made up of about 50 words, a very big
help in learning to read Angel is to be able to sight recognize 35 of those
words, of that list of 50, that are less apparent in their translation to
the TO reader. Here are those 35 words in the order of their approximate
frequency of use.
Simply memorizing the above list and being able to easily recognize the above words will greatly facilitate the reading of Angel. However, it is probably best to go through the rest of this lesson for a better understanding of how come those words are translated into English in the manner in which they are. After finishing the lesson, it is well to then come back here and learn to sight recognize the above list. The fastest way, at that time, would be to write them out on a set of 35 flip cards and to repeatedly go through the cards until you can do so very quickly.
Now, let us do a little drill of the ANJeL large vowels.
Cover up the TO line and try to recognize the word in ANJeL before reading the TO line.
BA, DA, SA, RA, MA, GA, HA, JA, LA, PA, WA
Now for E
BE, FE, SE, HE, ME, GE, TE, LE, PE, WE
BI, DI, SI, RI, MI, GI, HI, JIV, LI, PI
The TO is getting stranger and stranger, and more unpredictable isn't it? But still you can read the Angel just fine.
On to X
BX, DX, SX, RX, MX, GX, HX, JX, LX, PX, WX
TO gets stranger and stranger. NX? BUT xN WE GX!
UP, UNDr, SUN, BUT, KUT
And now onward for a little practice with the first column of small vowels.
aD, DaD, FaT, SaT, KaT, RaT, MaT, SaT
Vowels at the beginning, vowels in the middle, vowels at the end. You can handle them all. Much harder to teach to someone who does not speak English. If sometimes a word like aD surprises you because you do not know whether in TO it is going to be ad or add, that is because of the nature of TO. You can tell by the context that it is used in. In TO you do not know by itself whether read is RED or ReD. In Angel you likewise have to know the context, to know whether NO is no or know, but at least you will be able to read it correctly.
eKO, eDiBUL, MeDiKUL, FeD, HeD, ReD, DeD
iD, iF, iL, iN, iT, iZ, DiP, DiM, TiP
DxG, HxG, FxG, DxN, LxN, FxN, KxT, SxD, xF
KmKEZ, FmT, FmL, GmD, HmK, LmK, SmT
Now, that you know the second column of small vowels, we will look at the last column of vowels, which to a TO reader are some of the strangest looking letters in words. First, there is:
dc, d, dR, TdL, Hd, Nd, BRdN, Kd
You probably can't get any of the words in the vowels in the last column without looking at the prompt. But once you know the secret of each of the five letters you will be able to decipher future words. This is the same problem any new reader in any language has. It is almost like learning how to read again, but you already know the principles of reading. That is, the fact of the relationship of sounds to words, and the figuring out about words because of the context. So, you will catch on very quickly, while for someone who cannot read at all, or who cannot speak the language, it will take a little longer.
aTrNE, aVreJ, BeTr, SrTeN, crc, LATr, NUMBr, Uhr, Wr, WrKr
bL, bNK, Bb, Bb, Tb, TbL, BbL, SbL
Some people would pronounce bouy as BkE, but it is the nature of ANJeL that we select some one pronunciation, and then that becomes the ANJeL pronunciation. This applies particularly to words that are foreign to English and come into ANJeL. Often ANJeL does not have the accurate French sound, the trilled Spanish R, or some tonal expression of Chinese. The list goes on and on, but we simply Angelize the word. This also applies to some marginal U, ai, and aw sounds in English, and particularly to many schwa sounds. They simply become Angelized. The word angel itself is an example in its becoming ANJeL.
kZ, kPS, FkL, TkL, Tk, Tk, Tk, BLk, Yk
WE HaV Nd LmKT aT xL UV ANJeL VdLZ. NeKST WE WiL LmK aT hU SMxL KxNSXNaNTS.
Rin, Rxn, RUn, Ran, Ban, Sin
n needs a preceeding vowel in order to be pronounced. You can't pronounce it with a vowel after it.
Yk KaN Nd RED MXST WrDZ aND SeNTeNSeZ RiTeN iN ANJeL SX I WiL BeGiN RITin iN ANJeL.
cAR, cAN, cEP, cIM, ciN, cd, cb, ck
sE, sk, siP, sxT, sIN, sUN, skT
tExLXJE, tiN, tiSuL, tinK
weR, weN, wI, wxT
azkR, GaRxz, KXRSxz, BAz, BeZk, DeSizUN, iNVAsUN, PLezr
z iZ hU LEST YkZD UV eNE LeTr iN ANJeL.
hu, hA, heR, heR
h WxZ hU LaST DiFiKULT LeTr aND SdND FXR A "TX" REDr Tk LrN. h iZ eSPesiaLE DiFiKULT BEKxZ SUM LiSeNrZ KaNNxT HER hU DiFreNS aND SUM SPEKrZ WiL SA Wit aND tin aND uhrZ WiL SA Wih aND hin.
hU REMANin LeTrZ xR hU LxRJ KaPiTxLZ. hEZ xR xL PRiTE MUc SeLF eViDeNT aND Yk WiL JUST BREZ hRk heM. WE WiL YkZ heM iN SiLE SeNTeNSeZ hA xR aKckaLE MXR FUN Tk GeS aT FRUM FLiP KxRDZ.
BaD Bb BxB BkKT hU BiG BXT.
DdN hU DiRTE DUZeN DXV iN hU DEP DIV.
FE, FI, FX, FUM, FERLeS FReDE FkMD FkREUSLE.
GX GeT GRaNDPx Tk Gahr hU GXTS FRUM hU GxRDeN.
Hd HaPE A HXM haT HaZ HxRMUNE.
JUST JUDJeZ aND JUST JkREZ GiV JUSTiS.
KaN Yk KEP hU KxTAJ KLEN?
LeT xL hU LkS LaDZ LEV.
MI MUhr MAD MeNE MXR.
WE NeVr NED NIN NIVZ aT NkN.
PLEZ PaS hU PePrD PETZU
RUN aRdND hU Rin Wit hU ReD RXZ.
SiMPUL SiLE SeNTeNSeZ xR skR SUMtin Tk SA.
tiS TxPS hU TdN FXR A TRUBULD TUn.
VxLUMZ UV VbSeZ VXKULIZin VrBZ.
iF Yk WxK xN hU WxTr, Yk WiL GeT WeT.
YeS, hU YUn YeLX DxG YaPT aT hU Ykt.
HE ZaPT hU ZiPr aT hU Zk.
Yk HaV Nd KUMPLETeD LeSUN tRE. Nd, aFTUR MeMXRIZin hU MXST
YkZD WrDZ aT hU BeGiNin UV hU LeSUN Yk XNLE NED PRaKTiS iN
XRDr Tk BEKUM A RaPiD REDr UV ANJeL.
Yk HaV Nd KUMPLETeD LeSUN tRE. Nd, aFTUR MeMXRIZin hU MXST YkZD WrDZ aT hU BeGiNin UV hU LeSUN Yk XNLE NED PRaKTiS iN XRDr Tk BEKUM A RaPiD REDr UV ANJeL.
End of Tutorial
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