If English was written like Chinese


The English spelling system is such a pain, we’d might as well switch to hanzi— Chinese characters. How should we go about it?

Japanese style

One way would be to use hanzi directly, asthe Japanese do. For instance, we’d write “work” as , and “ruler” as . Chinese and Japanese borrowings could be written using the original hanzi, e.g. “gung-ho” would be , and “tycoon” as . 

You can already see that this is going to be tricky. We’ve just given  two readings, for instance– /wrk/ and /gûng/– and  two as well– /rulr/ and /kun/. 

Proper names will be a problem as well. Again, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean names already have hanzi forms– e.g.  for the name of the bodaciously cute singer Faye Wong— but for English names we’d have no better recourse than to spell things out using the nearest Chinese syllables. For instance, Winston Churchill would be represented by hanzi that would be transliterated Wensuteng Chuerqilu.