Many years ago, the school sent home a worksheet for a phonics exercise. One of our kids had written “jrag” for one of the words. My wife was confused until I pronounced it as written, then she said that was way the teacher would pronounce “drag”.
A British linguist and speech coach has noted that this sort of thing is going on around the English-speaking world. TR is becoming CHR. DR is becoming JR. STR is becoming SHTR or SHCHR.
Similar changes have already occurred with the “ty” and “sy” sound. Statue is pronounced to sta-chew not stat-you and issue is normally pronounced ish-oo, although some Brits still say “iss-you”.
Should English spelling be updated to reflect sound changes such as these?
Or should schools teach that these sound changes are substandard and need to be corrected?
Or is English evolving to the point where any relation between spelling and pronunciation is coincidental?
My sister majored in that area for one of her degrees. Over the course of a year (she wouldn’t shut up about it lol), I learned a ton from her on how it all came together into the Soup Sandwich we now speak and spell.
For example, “Knight” didn’t used to have three silent letters.
Yes, French spelling is almost as messed up as English spelling.
The difference is that it is usually possible to pronounce a French word correctly as written since there are rules about which letters are silent. The silent letters have not been pronounced for many hundreds of years.
Others are dropped in colloquial speech, but the contractions are rarely recorded in writing. My experience is that my high school French was based on written French, which is based on formal spoken French from hundreds of years ago. There is huge gap between spoken French and written French. “Je ne sais pas” (I do not know) is frequently pronounce “Chai pas” in spoken French.