Home > Learning English, Random thoughts > Why I hate Russian spelling

Why I hate Russian spelling

Practically every Russian studying English considers it his/her duty to bash English spelling. People go on and on in forums and even in books about how illogical and unpredictable English spelling is and how poorly it correlates with pronunciation. There’s even a joke that in English you spell Manchester but say Liverpool. And usually when it’s Russians doing the bashing they will tell that in Russian the spelling is very easy and closely matches the pronunciation and that you essentially just say the words the way they’re spelled.

Now let me tell you that that is a bold-faced lie. Russian spelling is in many ways just as crazy and illogical as English spelling and people will often pronounce words in ways that are far removed from how those same words are spelled. In recent years, with the spread of Internet access and mobile phones, increasing numbers of Russians have been resorting to phonetic spelling which has come to be known as the Punk language. This Punk Russian is basically standard Russian only it’s spelt the way people actually speak Russian.

There’s one thing in Russian spelling, however, that really drives me nuts. It’s the letter T. It appears in a whole bunch of words such as the Russian word for ‘governmental’ and the problem with all those words is that they’re all really long and there these totally insane sequences of consonants one of which is the damn T and I just keep forgetting to insert it there, simply because there’s already several consonants too many and then MS Word or OpenOffice will underline the word in red and I still can figure out on my own where to insert the T, every time I have open up the context menu and let the software insert it for me, which takes time.

So perhaps instead of criticising English or French the Russians should do something to improve their own spelling first?

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