A Simple Phonetic Respelling for the English Language


Lytspel has been selected for a shortlist of six spelling reform proposals that will be considered in the final round of the International English Spelling Congress organized by the English Spelling Society.

All selected schemes can be downloaded from the Society’s website. Discussion of the proposed schemes is possible on the blog of the Spelling Society or on Reddit. Soon the final session of the Congress will take place and participants will vote on their final choice – to join in the decision, you have to fill out an application form.

Scope and Purpose of This Website

The traditional English spelling system is afflicted with exceptions and conflicting rules, making writing and reading texts unnecessarily hard.

Lytspel is a proposal for reforming the English spelling in order to establish a predictable relationship between written letters and spoken sounds. Lytspel (for «lytwait speling» or ‹lightweight spelling›) not only creates an unambiguous mapping between the sounds used in English and their written representations, it also indicates which syllable in each word is the stressed one. See Idea and Motivation for more on why this makes sense and how it would make everyone’s life easier.

In addition to the online converter found above, this website also contains a short and a detailed explanation of the rules of Lytspel. We explicate how pronunciation differences between regional varieties of English are handled and discuss a few inevitable limitations of the dictionary used by the online converter. Additionally, we explain how to install the converter on your own computer if you prefer to do that.

This website also contains several sample texts, showing traditional and reformed spelling side by side: the last chapter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll; Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As required by law and recommended by common sense, this website has a privacy policy. You are welcome to contact us if you have questions, ideas for improvement, or any other feedback.