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The Fonetik Mode
Version 1.9.5

Thanks to Justin B Rye for much collaborative aid.

This is a guide on how to write in the Fonetik transcription mode for the English language. This mode is one of my own design (with much help from JBR), and I don't really expect anyone to use it (unfortunately), but I have decided to write it up anyway. One interesting aspect of Fonetik is that when you are writing it, your accent is written in to the text itself, so Fonetik written in different areas will stand out, and sources can be seen more clearly, and greater impressions made. (such as the word tomato [(tómétó) or (tómátó)], or with [English with is (with) in American, but commonly (widh) in British])

Throughout this I will refer to various English accents as if they were languages in themselves: American, British, and Scottish.

Some basic rules:

  • No double-letters (such as in letters, platter, or carrot, which become letirz, platir, and kérot) unless actually pronounced that way (such as in unnamed (unnémd in Fonetik) or farreaching (farríciñ in Fonetik)).
  • No silent letters of any kind
  • No question about word pronunciation


  • 1.9.5: The Fonetik Mode unveiled publicly, and some minor changes. Old history has been removed.

The Character Changes

  • a - as in hat (hat), cat (kat), or Latin (Latin)
  • á - as in raw (rá), saw (sá), ball (bál), fall (fál). Codes are Alt-0225 ( á ) and Alt-0193 ( Á ).
  • au - as in pound (paund), round (raund), crown (kraun)
  • b - no change
  • c - makes the ch sound in Fonetik (so church becomes curc). S-sound Cs are now s. K-sound Cs are now k.
  • d - no change
  • dh - th-sound as in that (dhat), there (dhér), this (dhis), wither (widhur), and weather (wedhur). Note also th.
  • e - as in bed (bed), red (red), and said (sed)
  • é - as in bay (bé), pay (pé), or baseball (bésbál). Codes are Alt-0234 ( é ) and Alt-0202 ( É ).
  • f - no change
  • g - as in gray (gré), Gary (Gérí), garden (garden). Never a j-sound.
  • h - no change
  • i - as in bill (bil), sick (sik), mill (mil). Note also ý.
  • í - as in peel (píl), seal (síl), meal (míl). Codes are Alt-0237 ( í ) and Alt-0205 ( Í ). Note also ý.
  • j - no change
  • k - no change
  • l - no change
  • m - no change
  • n - no change
  • ng - as in ungainly (ûngénlí), unglued (ûnglúd)
  • ñ - as in ring (riñ), song (soñ). Codes art Alt-0241 ( ñ ) and Alt-0209 ( Ñ ).
  • ñg - as in finger (fiñgur)
  • o - o-sound as in pop (pop), sock (sok), rock (rok).
  • ó - o-sound as in toe (tó), flow (fló), broken (bróken). Codes are Alt-0244 ( ó ) and Alt-0212 ( Ó ).
  • oi - as in oink (oiñk), point (point), joy (joi).
  • p - no change
  • ph - replaced by f
  • q - completely eliminated
  • r - no change
  • ~ - as in Spanish rolled rr (this is a temporary fix)
  • s - standard s-sound. When pronounced as a z-sound, this is changed to z.
  • sh - no change
  • t - no change
  • th - a th-sound as in thistle (thisl), cloth (kloth), or bath (bath). Note also dh.
  • u - u-sound as in put (put), soot (sut), look (luk), hook (huk). Note also ú, û, and .
  • ú - as in suit (sút), boot (bút), Luke (Lúk), rude (rúd). Codes are Alt-0250 ( ú ) and Alt-0218 ( Ú ). Note also u, û, and .
  • û - u-sound as in cup (kûp), mud (mûd), jump (jûmp), shut (shût). Never as the sounds in put (put), mute (myút), or rude (rúd). Codes are Alt-0251 ( û ) and Alt-0219 ( Û ). Note also u, ú, and .
  • v - no change
  • w - no change
  • x - Xs completely eliminated, and replaced by z, ks, gz, or whatever other odd purpose it is used in. X is now the German ch as in buch (bux) or Scottish loch (lox). Note that this ch is not the ch in English church (curc). I guess Professor Xavier (Prófesor Egzévyur) is going to have to stop going by Professor X, and rename the X-Men...
  • y - consonant y-sound as in you (yú), yellow (yeló), yard (yard), New York (Nú Yórk).
  • ý - as in pie (pý), flight (flýt), climb (klým), sigh (sý), cry (krý), or eye (ý). Codes are Alt-0253 ( ý ) and Alt-0221 ( Ý ).
  • yú - as in pew (pyú), mute (myút), cute (kyút), or you (yú). Not as in crew (krú) or flew (flú). Note also u, ú, and û.
  • z - no change
  • zh - a sound similar to sh. Found in words such as version (vurzhûn), evasion (ívézhûn).

  • ch - Completely eliminated. English ch in church becomes c. German ch in buch becomes x.
  • ea - when sounded like:
    read ("I will read the book later.") ríd
    read ("I read that book before.") red
    bear bér
    beauty byútí
    bureau byúró
    changeable cénjábl
    create kríét
    deal díl
  • gh - when sounded like (some examples obscure or British):
    bough bau (au)
    Callaghan Kaláhan (h)
    doghouse doghaus (gh [Wow! A real one!])
    eight ét (silent)
    gingham giñem (velariser G, silent H)
    height hýt (ý)
    hiccough hikûp (p [meet the worlds worst actual spelling of "hiccup"])
    hough hok (k [also spelt "hock"])
    Hugh Hyú (ú)
    laugh laf (f)
    Leigh lí (í)
    longhand láñhand (velariser G, audible H)
    straight strét (é)
    yoghurt (British) yógurt (audible G, silent H)
  • oo/u - eliminated in favor of u or ú. Indicates a longer o-sound (the difference between soot (sut in Fonetik) and suit (sút in Fonetik)).
  • ou - when sounded like pound, pout, or round changed to au. When sounded like soup changed to ú.
  • ow - when sounded like pound, how, or now, changed to au. When sounded like row or tow, changed to oh.
  • ui - when sounded like:
    guide gýd
    alleluiá álélúyá
    mosquito moskító
    Jesuit Jezúit
    build bild
    squirt skwurt
    bruise brúz
    quit kwit
  • unc/unk - when pronounced like uncommon replaced by ûnk (ûnkomûn). When pronounced like uncle replaced by ûñk (ûñkl).
  • y (vowel) - eliminated in favor of appropriate vowels or vowel combinations (toy becomes toi, fly becomes flý, rhythm becomes ridhm)

The Alphabet

A a   Á á   B b   C c   D d   E e   É é   F f   G g   H h   I i   Í í   J j   K k   L l   M m   N n
O o   Ó ó   P p   Q q   R r   S s   T t   U u   Ú ú   Û û   V v   W w   X x   Y y   Ý ý   Z z

Seven additions: Á á   É é   Í í   Ó ó   Ú ú   Û û   Ý ý



Uncommon Characters

LATIN-1 Codes:
Á 193 á 225 É 201 é 233 Í 205 í 237
Ñ 209 ñ 241 Ó 211 ó 243 Ú 218 ú 250
Û 219 û 251 Ý 221 ý 253        
To use these in an MS-Windows environment, hold the Alt key, and on the keypad (the number keys on the right of the keyboard, not the top) press zero (0), then the LATIN-1 Code listed above for the character you want, then let go of Alt. So if you wanted to make an á, hold Alt, press 0225 on your kepad, and let go of Alt (be aware that the 0 does matter in MS-Windows).

Vowel + R Combinations
Note: Examples are based on my accent (South Minnesota, USA) unless otherwise noted, but should remain somewhat constant throughout the US.

V+R English Fonetik
AR car, tarnish kar, tarnish
ÁR British car kár
ER British merry merí
ÉR bear, care, fair bér, kér, fér
IR British squirrel skwirel
ÍR clear, ear, weird klír, ír, wírd
OR -incomplete- -incomplete-
ÓR torn, roar, foreign, ward tórn, rór, fóren, wórd
UR bird, quirk, word, murder burd, kwurk, wurd, murdur
ÚR tour, moor túr, múr
YÚR cure, pure kyúr, pyúr

Easily Mistranslated

wórd (Fonetik) = ward (English)

wírd (Fonetik) = weird (English)

wurd (Fonetik) = word (English)

murdur (Fonetik) = murder (English)

Check Cs (should be k and s when not ch) and Ss such as was, is, or as (should be wûz, iz and az, or however it is in your accent).

Note: Examples are based on my accent (South Minnesota, USA) unless otherwise noted, but should remain somewhat constant throughout the US.

Here are some basic phrases translated in to the Fonetik mode.

Standard English Fonetik English
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Ál hyúmen bíiñz ar bórn frí and íqwel in dignití and rýts. Thé ar endaud with rísen and conshens and shud akt tórdz wûn ánûdhur in é spírit ûv brûdhurhúd.
The quick brown fox jumps over the slow, lazy dog. Dhe kwik braun foks jûmps óvur dhe sló lézí dog.
The white gate is opening. Dhe wýt gét iz ópeniñ.
A great ship has just pulled in to the southern harbor. É grét ship haz jûst puld in tú dhe sûthurn harbur.
Why are those women watching those birds for so long? Wý ar dhóz wimen wáciñ thóz burdz fór só loñ?
I like to read while sitting by this tree. Ý lýk tú ríd wýl sitiñ bý dhis trí.
Close the door, it's getting cold in here! Klóz dhe dór, it's getiñ kóld in hír!
Close the door, it is getting cold in here! Klóz dhe dór, it iz getiñ kóld in hír!
The great, and well-known, author J.R.R. Tolkien has been a huge influence on me. Dhe grét, and wel-nón, áthur J.R.R. Tolkien haz ben é hyúj inflúens on mí.
There are many schools of philosophy, such as pragmatists. Dhér ar mení skúls ûv filásófí, sûc az dhe prégmátists.
The unnamed horse has won the race. Dhe ûnnémd hors haz wûn dhe rés.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Wûn Riñ tú rúl dhem ál, Wûn Riñ tú fýnd dhem,
Wûn Riñ tú briñ dhem ál and in dhe darknes býnd dhem.

The pronunciations of the names of the letters of the English alphabet written in Fonetik.

a é b c d e í
f ef g h éc i ý j
k l el m em n en o ó
p q kyú r ar s es t
u v w dûbl-yú x eks y

The pronunciations of the names of the letters of the Fonetik alphabet written in Fonetik.

a at á á b c d
e et é é f ef g h
i it í í j k l el
m em n en o ot ó ó p
r ar s es t u ut ú
û ûn v w x y
ý ý z

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