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The Deseret Alphabet


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Of the total Utah population in 1880, around 60 percent came from immigrant families. The question before Brigham Young was, how could the Mormon people retain cultural solidarity as they became more diverse?
Young’s solution was to reform the written language, so as to make the path of assimilation easier. In 1854, he announced that church leaders had “formed a new Alphabet,” which they believed would “prove highly beneficial” to foreign converts. The resulting 38-character phonetic scheme, which they called the Deseret Alphabet, was an attempt to accommodate the faith’s European reach. But there were substantial costs for translating and reprinting necessary texts. And further, the language was never fully embraced outside the Church’s leadership. Eventually, the alphabet was discarded within a decade. Brigham Young said:
"The advantages of this alphabet will soon be realized, especially by foreigners. . . . It will also be very advantageous to our children. It will be the means of introducing uniformity in our orthography, and the years that are now required to learn to read and spell can be devoted to other studies." 
Why it’s time for the Mormon Church to revisit its diverse past

To bad it didn't stick, but in the long run I think it was better to have them learn English.
Translate something into the Deseret Alphabet   Deseret Alphabet Translator


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I tried Book of Mormon names Abish, Alma, Deseret, and Hagoth, and the Deseret Alphabet Translator got them all wrong (based on the actual Deseret edition of the Book of Mormon published in 1869 by Orson Pratt).  Maybe it would do better for standard English words.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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This stuff looks a lot like upside down Russian.:huh: There are 26 letters in the alphabet and about 43 sounds  +/- . I for one appreciated the ease of learning Spanish which is quite phonetic. The Deseret producers might have had more support if they had endeavored to make it just a more phonetic version of English using the regular alphabet with minor adjustments to the letters , kind of how the dictionary has a pronouncing alphabet. Oh, and wipe out all those weird spelling confusions, ie. through/rough/bough junk !!!

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