Army tells gay translators: don't tell, or don't translate

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 25 21:42:49 UTC 2007

The army should be using truespel phonetic spelling for training troops for
reading other languages, perhaps from a phrase book for quick application in
the field.  Truespel is English friendly and can be learned by English
literates in 15 minutes, with an hour practice for basic proficiency.  The
free truespel converter can always be used to show English conversion for
practice.  The entire web can be converted using the URL converter at and used for practice and teaching.

Truespel book one showed that for 13 languages other than English, 95% of
the phonemes for 60 popular phrases/words were the same as for English, but
the phoneme set need be extended from 40 to 50 phonemes.  Swahili had the
least different phoeneme set, French the most.

Soldiers may not be able to read other languages, but it's simple for them
to read them phonetically using an English friendly phonetic spelling like
truespel.  I'd be happy to work on this with the military.  There is no
other English friendly pronunciation guide spelling than truespel, which is
now mature for USA English.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
See - and the 4  truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

>From: Dennis Baron <debaron at UIUC.EDU>
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Army tells gay translators: don't tell, or don't translate
>Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 13:45:49 -0500
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Dennis Baron <debaron at UIUC.EDU>
>Subject:      Army tells gay translators: don't tell, or don't translate
>There's a new post on Web of Language:
>Army tells gay translators: don't tell, or don't translate
>According to the Houston Chronicle, the U.S. army has kicked out as =20
>many as 58 Arabic translators recently because they were gay.  40 =20
>members of the House of Representatives want to know why, when the =20
>army is so short on troops that it=92s issuing what it calls =93moral =20=
>waivers=94 that allow convicted felons, drug users, and those who fail =20=
>to meet the army=92s educational standards all to join up, it can =20
>afford to dismiss soldiers with language skills that are actually =20
>critical for pursuing the war on terror....
>Not only is it difficult for the military to train compulsively =20
>monolingual Americans to speak Arabic, it=92s also tough for the =20
>Pentagon to find Arab American soldiers for that job: American troops =20=
>speaking Arabic as their first language often can=92t pass the security
>clearance.  And even if they do, they may be regarded with suspicion =20
>by their superiors.  Since 2001, several heritage-language =20
>translators with top security ratings have been arrested on suspicion =20=
>of espionage, though, to date, there have been no translators convicted.
>As for those Iraqi Arab-speakers attached to the American occupation =20
>forces, they are frequently assassinated by their countrymen for =20
>consorting with the enemy.  Translation is risky business in a war =20
>zone, and it should also come as no surprise that many Iraqis don=92t =20=
>trust anyone who speaks English.
>Secretary of Defense Bob Gates sees no irony in the fact that the =20
>military finds convicted felons and illiterates less morally =20
>problematic than well-educated homosexuals without so much as a =20
>parking ticket on their records who might actually be able to =20
>understand what the enemy is talking about (not to mention what our =20
>Iraqi =93allies=94 are really saying).  Gates insists that in drumming =20=
>out the translators, the army is simply following the law, a law =20
>which he has no intention of reviewing.
>And perhaps we shouldn=92t be surprised at this latest military catch =20=
>22: the army needs a few good translators, and when it finds them, it =20=
>gets rid of them.  It=92s just a version of the bigger American =20
>monolingual catch 22:
>Americans, whatever their origins, don=92t study foreign languages all =20=
>that much -- we don=92t even study our heritage languages.  We are a =20
>nation forged from many ethnicities, and while Teddy Roosevelt once =20
>warned that the United States could become a polyglot boarding house, =20=
>we have become instead a monolingual nation, one that doesn=92t trust =20=
>speakers of any language except English.
>   ....
>read the whole post on the
>Web of Language
>Dennis Baron
>Professor of English and Linguistics
>Department of English
>University of Illinois
>608 S. Wright St.
>Urbana, IL 61801
>office: 217-244-0568
>fax: 217-333-4321
>read the Web of Language:
>The American Dialect Society -

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