Click here to read this introduction in Óakik

When I was a young person, I was a language nerd, so of course I took Spanish in High School (the first chance I could take a foreign language in my rural school) and discovered to my delight, that Spanish is written phonetically, so much so that I was able to read almost anything aloud in Spanish before long, even if I was unable to understand all that I had read.

That got me thinking about the English language, and why we hadn’t developed a better way of writing which would not only be easier for young people to learn but would also be easier for immigrants to learn. And so I developed a script that I called “Oaklandic.” I continued to play with script over the years (especially when I went through a long stretch of interest in the concept of microstates) but in time abandoned it.

Fast forward about 20 years — I’m still a language nerd, but now am learning Yiddish (via duolingo) and falling in love with the way that Yiddish has taken a Germanic language but have written it in, in a very simple system of Hebrew characters, but with some twists to make vowels work (without using the complicated niqqud dots)… which makes me think, maybe my old phonetic version of English would be do-able, but with some additional changes to make it easier to type using a standard US-International keyboard layout.

So here is the system (renamed to be Óakik):

Upper CaseLower CaseDescriptionExamples
ÁáLong AÁt = Ate
Áp = Ape
Lát = Late
AaShort AApel = Apple
Man = Man
ÉéLong EÉzé = Easy
Pléz = Please
EeShort eEg = Egg
Bed= Bed
ÓóLong OÓpin = Open
Hóld = Hold
OoShort OHop = Hop
Pop = Pop
ÚúLong UZú = zoo
Púp = poop
UuShort UUp = UpPup = Pup
BbAs in EnglishBoi = Boy
Bat = Bat
DdAs in EnglishDog = Dog
Dát = Date
FfAs in English, including words spelled with phFón = Phone
Fel = Fell
GgAs in English but only the non-J like soundGirl = Girl
Gál = Gale
HhAs in EnglishHótel = Hotel
Hop = Hop
Hú = Who
JjAs in EnglishJump = jump
Jál = Jail
KkAs in English, including words spelled with C (that have K sound)Kat = cat
Kan = can
Kilógram = kilogram
LlAs in EnglishLaf = Laugh
Lot = Lot
MmAs in EnglishMál = Mail or Male
Map = Map
NnAs in EnglishNám = Name
Nó = No
PpAs in EnglishPláyer = Player
Plan = Plan
RrAs in EnglishRár = Rare
Rat = Rat
SsAs in EnglishSam = Sam
Sám = Same
TtAs in EnglishTom=Tom
Tám = Tame
VvAs in EnglishViktor = Victor
Valiant or Valéant = Valiant
WwAs in English
Wat = what
Wár = where
Win = When
Wí = Why
YyAs in EnglishYarn = Yarn
Yap = yap
ZzAs in EnglishZoo = zoo
Iz = is

Dipthongs and other possibilities…

ThthAs in EnglishThin = thin
Thum = thumb
IngingAs in EnglishPláing = Playing
Dríving = Driving
Singing = Singing
StstAs in EnglishStop = Stop
Stár = Stare
ShshAs in EnglishShár = share
CHchAs in English, mostlyChurch = Church
Chalinj = Challenge
KhkhGuttural sound, used in place of ch in words like “lochLokh = loch
ÁyáyLong a sound with a little length and liltPláy=Play