Explanation of kword phonemes

Kword was developed to help learners of English as a second language recognize the multiple spellings of the phonemes in the English language. Below is a list of phonemes used in the English language. There are approximately 43 phonemes in the English language, yet when we write the English language there are approximately 80 different spellings of these 43 phonemes.  This is why learning the English language can be so difficult.

In kword we have developed one spelling for each of the 43 phonemes. Kword is a translation program that will translate standard English into a form of English that is totally phonetic. Comparing standard English to a phonetic English will help learners to correctly pronounce and recognize the multiple spellings in the English language. Below, are lists of words that contain these multiple spellings followed by the kword spelling of the same word.

Long vowels

Long /a/ vowel phonemes
kword = aa
Standard English
kword
table
taabl
take taak
train traan
eight aat
day daa
steak staak
vein vaan
trey traa

Long vowel /e/ phonemes
kword = ee
Standard English
kword
be
bee
bean
been
sleep
sleep
key
kee
mete
meet
shield
sheeld
happy
hapee
weird
weerd

Long vowel /i/ phonemes
kword = ii
Standard English
kword
tiger
tiigr
bike biik
fight
fiit
mild
miild
by
bii
pie
pii

Long vowel /o/ phonemes
kword = oo
Standard English
kword
go
goo
hole
hool
goat
goot
window
windoo
gold
goold
toe
too

Long vowel /u/ phonemes
kword = uu
Standard English
kword
music
muusik
mute
muut
feud
fuud
few
fuu
argue
orguu

Short vowels

Kword spells the short vowel sounds the same as standard English with a single letter as “a” in bat or “e” in net.
There is one exception: vowel team ea can also make the short e sound.
Standard English
kword
bread bred

Special consonants

In standard English the /k/ phoneme can be spelled with the letter “k”, the letter “c”, or the letters “ck” together. In kword only the letter k is used to spell the /k/ sound.
Standard English
kword
kiss
kis
cup
kup
truck
truk

In standard English the /j/ phoneme can be spelled with the letter “j”, the letter “g”, or the letters “dge”. In kword only the “j” will spell the /j/ sound
Standard English
kword
jump
jump
gym
jim
judge
juj

In standard English the phoneme “ph” makes the /f/ sound.  It is spelled with the letter “f”
Standard English
kword
phone
foon

In standard English the letter “s” sometimes makes the /z/ sound. In kword when the letter “s” makes the /z/ sound, the letter “s” will be spelled with “z” in kword.
Standard English
kword
is
iz
his
hiz

In standard English the letters “qu” make /kw/ sound blended together. In kword “qu” is spelled with “kw”.
Standard English
kword
quick
kwik

In standard English the letter “x” is used to make the /ks/ sound blended together. In kword the “x” is replaced by “ks”.
Standard English
kword
next
nekst

“r” controlled vowels

In standard English when the letter “r” follows a vowel it modifies the vowel sound. These are called “r” controlled vowels. In the word car, the “a” makes the short /o/ sound. In the word corn the “o” makes the long /o/ sound. In words containing er, ir and ur all make the “r” sound like in words her, bird and turn.
Standard English
kword
car
kor
corn
koorn
her
hr
bird
brd
turn
trn

In standard English the diphthong /oo/ makes two different sounds. The first sound is like in the word moon. The second sound is like the word took. In kword, we spell the first phoneme “uo”. So moon would become muon. The second diphthong we spell “ou” so took would become touk.
Standard English
kword
room
ruom
look
louk

H diphthongs

There are four diphthongs in standard English that use the letter “h”. They are ch, sh, wh, and th. In kword “ch” is spelled “ch” and makes the sound like chin. “Sh” is spelled “sh” and makes the sound like shell. “Wh” is spelled “wh” and make the same sound like wheel. The last one is “th” and it makes two different sounds. The first sound is spelled the same and makes an unvoiced sound  like thin. The second sound is a voiced sound and in kword is spelled “thz”.  It makes the sound as in them.
Standard English
kword
chin
chin
shell
shel
wheel
wheel
thin
thin
the
thzu

l

In standard English the diagraphs “au”, “al”, and “aw” all make the same sound as in the word haul. In kword all of these words are spelled with “au”.
Standard English
kword
haul
haul
ball
baul
saw
sau

Voiced consonants

Voiced consonant sounds are produced by using your vocal cords. In kword they are spelled the same way as in standard English.
Standard English
kword
b
bat
d
dog
g
got
j
jump
l
let
m
mug
n
nut
r
run
v
van
w
wig
y
yet
z
zip

Unvoiced consonant sounds are produced in the mouth without using the vocal cords. In kword, they are spelled the same as in standard English.

Standard English
kword
f
fan
h
hat
k
kid
p
pot
s
sat
t
tip

Note:  When pronouncing consonant sounds be sure not to add the short “u” to the sound. Many teachers do this to try to emphasize the  sound. “B” becomes bu, “m” becomes mu, and “t” becomes tu.  This is incorrect.  When pronouncing any consonant sound, you should not drop your chin.