Drifting round hostels the past year I have had a lot of conversations with people struggling with the illogicality of the language you are reading this in, and I generally explain the many bear traps – especially in pronunciation – in terms of the word origins, but last night I got a really odd notion thrown at me.
Someone asked me , how can you write without speaking the words?
I had no idea what he was saying at the time, but this was coming from an Italian, whose language is predictable in its spelling. But it seems in order to figure out how to spell a word, he has to say it several times to try to figure out the spelling of it.
This is fair enough for him, because the words may be new to him, but I could not then or now figure out why I would need to say the words out loud.
I just know them.
So then it was his turn to be confused.
How could I possibly know all the strangely spelt and /or pronounced words in my native language.
That’s the difference between learning it at your mother’s knee rather than from text books etc.