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for their study and evaluation as a means to encourage the use of English as world language to promote international good will and understanding; and
That the Congress of the United States and the President are hereby memorialized to devise ways and means to promote the study and use of the global alphabet as a means to encourage the use of English as a world language. Adopted by the house of representatives the 24th day of April 1945.
House of Representatives. Adopted by the senate the 26th day of April 1945. •
President pro tempore of the Senate. Correctly enrolled :
F. C. CARTER,
Secretary of State. By FRANCES A. STANWOOD.
ENGLISH AS A WORLD LANGUAGE Extension of remarks of Hon. A. S. Mike Monroney, of Oklahoma, in the House of
Representatives, Saturday, May 26, 1945 Mr. MONRONEY. Mr. Speaker, under leave to extend my remarks in the Record, I would like to insert a letter from Hon. Robert L. Owen, a former United States Senator from Oklahoma, with further reference to the progress of his heroic undertaking to establish English as the world language.
Our cliffi ulties in the postwar period will be greatly magnified by our lack of understanding of the languages of other people and their lack of understanding of ours. Senator Owen has perfected the global alphabet comprising a phonetic system of 33 letters and 9 digraphs by which any language in the world can be read and correctly pronounced. More than 200 leading linguists of the world have endorsed this system.
It is said that the global alphabet can be learned in 1 day by a child of 8 or 10 years of age. Senator Owen's recent letter briefly outlining the purpose and need for such an alphabet, and the ease with which it can be studied, is incorporated in my remarks.
I would like also to call the attention of the House to House Concurrent Resolution 33 by the Oklahoma State Legislature recently passed commending the global alphabet to all educators and language students and requesting that the Congress and the President devise ways and means to promote the study and use of it to encourage English as a world language.
As a further supplement, I include a list of publications further explaining the global alphabet as published in the Congressional Record since 1942:
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 24, 1945. Hon. A. S. MIKE MONRONEY, M. C.,
New House Office Building, Washington, D. C. Subject : English spelling and pronunciation.
MY DEAR MR. CONGRESSMAN: English is the most widely distributed language in the world. It is known to 200,000,000 people. It is the official language of India of between three and four hundred million people, but it is unknown as a spoken and printed language to approximately 2,000,000,000. It has one serious obstacle, to which I call your especial attention. As currently printed, foreigners find the pronunciation and spelling impossible except through a professional tutor who will teach them the pronunciation word by word.
Our revered ancestors, in spelling English, gave multiple meanings to the letters, especially the vowels and the compound vowels. For example, the letter “a” has 9 different sounds, as in the words "man,” “plate," "far," "fall," "ask," "fare." "prelate," "errant,” “Persia.” The letter "e" has 6-for example, "met," “meet." "her," "Episcopal," "prudent,” “the.” The letter "i" has 3—"pin," "pine, "machine." The letter “o" has 7—"not,” "note," "move," "nor," "eulogy," "aetor, ** "women." The letter “u" has 5—“tub," “mute," "pull," "singular," "nature."
I have a recent letter from Mr. R. Wrenick, member of the executive conmittee, Simplified Spelling Society, Ashley Rice, Walton-on-Thames, England Mr. Wrenick in a printed article sent me says:
"Muddle in pronunciation: In addition, the digraph 00 has 5 sounds, OU has 7, EA has 5, and EI 5, making a total of 22 sounds for 4 digraphs.
“Muddle in spelling: The sound A in eh, aid, lady, may, they, weigh, great, grate, gaol, and gauge is spelled in 10 ways. Similarly the sound Eis spelled in 10 ways, I in 11, 0 in 11, and U in 11, making a total of 53 ways of spelling 5 sounds. In addition to this, short I sound is spelled in 10 ways, long co in 10 ways, AA/AR in 11, AU/OR in 11, making a total of 42 ways of spelling these 4 sounds.
“This muddle in spelling and pronunciation is the despair of foreigners and the confusion of our children, necessitating constant correction for which no ade quate reason can be given. In Italy and Germany, where the spelling is phonetic, children of 7 and 8 can read as well as English of 9 and 10."
Mr. Wrenick further asks:
“In order that English may become a common world language as suggested by Mr. Winston Churchill, why not join the Simplified Spelling Society?"
The great amount of time it takes to learn to spell English correctly and pro nounce it correctly is well known to all teachers. The amount of mental energy consumed in learning to spell and correctly pronounce English words could be advantageously employed in learning the facts of life of importance to children and adults alike.
The silent letters employed in English spelling multiply the difficulties cited above, because nearly four-fifths of English words contain from one to three silent letters, adding to the difficulties of foreigners in learning to pronounce English words.
The global alphabet requires the memory to deal with only 33 letters and nine digraphs composed of such letters. The letters of the global alphabet are in form the simplest humanly possible and easily remembered. They can be learned in 1 day by a child of 8 or 10 years of age.
With this alphabet any person in the world can write any language in the world, and read and correctly pronounce the words of any language printed in the global alphabet. During the last 3 years I have given thousands of hours to the perfection of this alphabat and explained it to others.
As you request, I enclose a memorandum giving some of the particulars where the global alphabet has been explained in the Records of Congress, which I hope may be of interest to students of the subjet matter. Within these Records are the endorsements of Prof. Mario A. Pei, Ph. D., Columbia University, and Rev. Frank C. Laubach, Ph. D., director of the Committee on World Literacy, and many of their associates.
I deeply appreciate the endorsement of the Oklahoma delegation in Congress of February 10 last, particularly your friendly attitude.
Since dietating the above letter I have just received from the Honorable Robert S. Kerr, Governor of Oklahoma, a copy of a concurrent resolution of the Senate and House of Representatires of the State of Oklahoma, which the Gorernor sent me as having passed the two houses. I enclose it as a part of this letter to you for your information.
i am grateful to the people of Oklahoma and to Governor Kerr for their study of this matter and for their approval. I submitted the global alphabet and an explanation of it to over 200 leading linguists and have the approval of many and the disapproval of none of them. With kind regards,
ROBERT L OWEN, LIST OF GLOBAL ALPHATET PUBLICATIONS Dicember 13, 1943. publishel by Jerry Voorhis, volume se, part 10. page A4326, permanent Rewrl.
Mar: 1:43. pib'ished bi Enver Thomas Senate Document 49, rolume 89, part 4. ps 107. prmanent Rerunu.
jure 19 14 published by Mike Monroney, rolume 89, part 11, page A3 , permanent Ruri,
July 8, 1943, published by A. S. Mike Monroney, volume 89, part 11, page A3675, permanent Record.
October 18, 1943, Senate Document 133, petition to Wallace, volume 89, part 6, page 8104, permanent Record.
December 21, 1943, published by A. S. Mike Monroney, volume 89, part 12, page A5630, permanent Record.
January 24, 1944, published by Jerry Voorhis, letter to Cordell Hull, page A385, daily Record.
F bruary 29, 1944, published by Victor Wickersham, letter to Studebaker, page A1066, daily Record.
May 24, 1944, published by Lyle Boren, page A2739, daily Record.
December 4, 1944, published by Elmer Thomas, Senate Document 230, page 8845, daily Record.
January 24, 1945, published by A. S. Mike Monroney, letter to Judson King, page A289, daily Record.
February 1, 1945, published by Victor Wickersham, letter to Boudinot, page A410, daily Record.
February 8, 1945, published by Jed Johnson, birthday luncheon proceedings, page A549, daily Record.
March 22, 1945, published by A. S. Mike Monroney, page A1498, daily Record.
April 5, 1945, published by Elmer Thomas, letter to Alice Paul, page A1790, daily Record.
April 17, 1945, published by William Langer, Phonetic Alphabet, page 3455, daily Record.
New York, July 9, 1945. Hon. ROBERT L. OWEN,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. OWEN: In reply to your letter of the 7th, I am happy to state that in my opinion the grestest, not to say the only obstacle in the way of English as a world language is its antiquated system of spelling, which makes it diffi'ult for those who have learned to speak English to learn to read and write it, and for those who have learned to read and write it (as is the case with most foreigners in their own countries) to learn to speak it.
A system of spelling reform bringing the written language in line with the spoken tongue would undoubtedly enormously simplify the process of learning English and correspondingly make easier the acceptance of English as an international language by other speakers. Your global alphabet is to my mind admirably suited for that purpose.
For a further clarification of my views, may I refer you to my article in last September's Town and Country, "A Universal Language Can Be Achieved," of which I believe you have a copy, and to my booklet English: A World-Wide Tongue, Vanni, N. Y., 1941. Cordial regards and best wishes. Sincerely yours,
MARIO A. PEI.
OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION,
Washington, May 7, 1943. Senator ROBERT L. OWEN,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR Owen: Some time ago I had the pleasure of reading and examining the mimeograph copy of your very interesting paper Instructions on Writing with Global Alphabet. This paper was also read by the Chinese and Japanese specialists on our staff. They, too, felt that there are many useful suggestions in it. Thinking that you would be interested in their comments I take the liberty of sending them to you. With all good wishes and sincere regards, I am, Very truly yours,
(Signed) DANIEL C. BUCHANAN,
Office of War Information.
A FEW FURTHER TESTIMONIALS
Dr. Daniel C. Buchanan, associated with Mr. Elmer Davis, of the Office of War Information, sent me the reports of the Japanese and Chinese experts, as follows:
MAY 5, 1943. To: Dr. Daniel C. Buchanan. From: T. A. Miyakawa. Subject: Global Alphabet.
1. After due consideration of the "global alphabet” as created by Senator Robert Owen, it is thought that with very few alterations or additions, the sys tem contains the possibliity of practical world-wide application.
2. It is a recognized fact that in most languages the symbols representing particular sounds are not immutable. This results in utilizing a given symbol to represent a multiplicity of sounds leading to not only mispronounciation but difficulty in language comprehension.
3. In utilizing a phonetic alphabet it is more possible to arrive at a solution whereby the above difficulty is eliminated without the danger of employing too many signs to represent each of the different audible sounds. It is as stated in Bulletin B that the “visible form of the audible sound need be accurate only to the extent of bringing to the mind of the writer or reader the word which the context indicates."
4. It is further believed that this use of the "global alphabet" be encouraged as an instrument through which the thoughts and ideas of one tongue may be transported into the minds of those of another.
T. A. MIYAKAWA.
MAY 5, 1943. To: Dr. Daniel C. Buchanan. From : Chau Wing Tai. Subject : Global alphabet.
I had a talk with Senator Owen some time ago about the global alphabet invented by him and was highly impressed with it. I think that it is the very thing that now-a-day China needs in order to facilitate and expedite the education of the great mass of her illiterates.
I have studied the sample sheet very carefully and have come to the conclusion that the system provides all signs necessary to cover all the sounds of the Chinese spoken languages.
By utilizing this system, a Chinese student may save many years of hard study in order to master the Chinese written language.
CHAU WING TAL.
FEBRUARY 11, 1944. DEAR SIR: I see no reason why the global alphabet could not easily be applied to Japanese, Japanese sounds are clear and simple, in fact, as clear as and very similar to the ancient Roman pronunciation of Latin.
Japanese conid be written in the global alphabet more easily even than English or French, The Japanese are in sad need of a simple alphabet. The average Jap boy spends about 7 years in school before he can read an ordinary newspaper with any kind of ease, so difficult are the Chinese ideograms in which he writes. Yours faithfully,
R. WALKER SCOTT, Professor of Japanese, Trinity College.
OCTOBER 6, 1944. DEAR MR. OWEN: I hare finished the text of the first global alphabet bilingual book teaching the Spanish and English to converse with each other through the global alphabet. As you very well know, this book is in four vertical columns horizontally arranged. In column 1 the Spanish word or phrase appears in Roman letters as the Spanish print it; column 2, the global equivalent, which can be read and intelligibly pronounced by an English speaker at sight; third column, the English equivalent in the global alphabet which the Spanish can read and pronounce; fourth, the English equivalent in Roman letters as printed in current English roman type. The book will contain about 1,500 words with a glossary arranged under the head of topics employed in conversation.
With this book the English speaker should be able to speak conversational Spanish within 60 to 90 days, and what is of more importance the Spanish can in 60 to 90 days learn to speak acceptably conversational English. These words are taken from Prof. Mario Pei's selected English words and the words used by the basic English system with 300 or 400 words additional of common use.
As you know, I took the degree of M. A. and Ph. D. from the University of Virginia, and for many years served as professor of Greek and Latin, Converse College, Spartanburg, S. C., and have been a student of other languages. I have been concentrating on your global alphabet and I express to you my considered opinion about it.
I regard the global alphabet as a miracle of prodigious value in advancing the cause of human knowledge, abolishing illiteracy, multiplying human production, mutual understanding, and brotherhood, and am dedicating myself to that cause. By using the phonetic alphabet, all the leading nations can be taught conversational English quickly, economically using the "each one teach one" system so successfully used by that consecrated Christian scholar and missionary, Dr. Frank C. Laubach, Ph. D. With kindest regards. Your friend,
JANET H. C. MEAD.
MAY 15, 1944. DEAR MR. OWEN: Answering your inquiry, I have taught two classes of children to read and write the global alphabet since January 1. They could read it after a few hours of instruction and have been pleased and interested with it. I have found no word in the English language that I could not write in the letters of the global alphabet.
One of my children of 10 years of age speaks Portuguese and I had her write in Portuguese the phrase, “Can we go home?" I translated this in the global alphabet and found that my children could immediately read and intelligibly pronounce the Portuguese sentence. They were delighted to read the Portuguese. Of course, you would know this, but it surprised and pleased them because they could not read and intelligently pronounce the Portuguese as written in roman letters. The name of the child who speaks Portuguese is Helena Fonseca. Her father is a diplomat in the employ of the Brazilian Government. She is 10 years old. Yours respectfully,
Mrs. FRANCES D. DORMAN,
Teacher, Durch School, District of Columbia. Dr. Laubach is now engaged in teaching his system to the different nationalities in the Caribbean and in Central and South America with the cooperation of Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller's organization.
I enclose his letter to me of recent date, as follows:
"I have long since learned that the greatest single obstacle to the use of English as a universal language is its chaotic spelling. Experience in 80 languages shows that if we can adopt a phonetic spelling it will be exceedingly simple to pronounce every word correctly. We then have only the problem of acquiring the meaning of words to make English universal.
"I grow increasingly satisfied with your alphabet as I experiment with it, for I find it easy to write connected letters, and it is swift, since there is but one stroke for each letter, I believe your idea of writing above and below a line and of using curves upward, downward, and straight lines is the best ever yet deyised. "Yours for a great cause,
"FRANK C. LAUBACH."