Criteria for an optimal phonetic spelling system - Truespel Phonetics


(This page can be accessed as a link at

by Tom Zurinskas 


1.  Is it English friendly? 

English is the lingua franca of the world.  A phonetic system needs to be English friendly especially for native speakers.  Truespel was designed to meet this test.   See .


2.  Is it keyboard friendly?

Truespel uses only letters of the alphabet for English so it is maximally keyboard friendly.  There are no special symbols, so it is easily WRITABLE an excellent capability.


3.  Is it computer friendly?

Truespel can be used for copy/paste, filenames, and spreadsheets without a problem.


4.  Is it capitalization friendly?

Truespel allows capitals as normal for special words and first word in a sentence.


5  Is it punctuation friendly?

Truespel permits regular punctuation.  It does have an alternative use for apostrophes (for glottal stop) and quote marks (for stress) that don't conflict with traditional spelling.


6.  Is it accurate?

Truespel is more accurate than those notations that use schwa.(which stands for many sounds).  All schwas are spelled out as modeled in the spoken words of talking dictionaries.


7.  Is it mature?

Truespel is the first ever pronunciation guide system based on English (that shows stressed syllables).  It was initiated in 1986, the same year Europe created SAMPA as an alternative to computer unfriendly IPA.  See .


8.  Is it published?

There are four books on  truespel.  Two analyze phoneme frequency via spreadsheets.  One book is a database of US English phonetic spellings.  One is the Voice of American (VOA) intermediate dictionary of US English with a truespel pronunciation key (where no key was there).


9.  Is it online?

Truespel is online at .


10.  Does it have an online converter?

Truespel the first two-way online converters at that can convert whole paragraphs at a time, and reconverted from phonetics back again showing word click definitions.


11.  Is it free?

Truespel is free for noncommercial (educational) use.  Free tutorials are at .


12.  Is it tested?

Trials with Korean high school ESL students in 2012 showed that they preferred truespel phonetics to IPA for learning US English.  They said that it was learnable in less than an hour and were writing phonetically with it in a few days. 


13.  Is it transportable to other languages as a standard phonetic spelling?

Truespel in book one is shown to apply in trials with 13 other popular languages with the addition of 10 phoneme spellings.   Truespel has even been discussed as an alternative spelling for Korean.  See  for “Thank you” in 59 languages


ANALYSIS  - There is no other phonetic notation other than truespel that meets these criteria .  But if you should come across one,  let me know and we'll test compare them.  Contact creator Tom Zurinskas to report any results or ideas you have had regarding truespel phonetics at .