Introduction to the Esper Alphabet
The Esper' alphaber is made up of five parts. Not five letters, but 26 litters grouped into five little alphabets. The Esper' word for Alphabet is enherited from spoken Esperanto, where the first three letters, A, B, and C, have names that are pronounced like "ah", "bo", "tso", forming the Esperanto word "aboco" which in the Esper' language is spelled "abotso" replacing the Esperanto letter "c" with the Esper letters "ts" which together make form the same consonent blend. The Esper' "abotso" is broken into "kvin abotsetoy", which roughly means "five little alphabets" as "kvin" means "five" and the "et" suffix forms the diminutive.
Letter Case and Accent Marks
While upper case letters and accent marks do get used in the Esper' language, they because people as individuals, they tend to be somewhat unpredictable. On the one hand, there is the use of particular diacritic marks which may make sense to people with particular backgrounds, and the use of upper case letters in the Esperanto language, which the Esper' language supports, and on the other hand there is the aim of simplicity inherited from the Pont' language which treats only simple lower case letters as actually being part of the alphabet and every other writing symbol as separate from the alphabet, in order to make less for a person to learn who does not have a background in any derivation of the Roman alphabet. The path each of us chooses is up to that individual, but just keep in mind that there is no requirement to use upper case letters anywhere in your Esper' writing. Further discussion of this topic is probably beyond the scope of this WikiBooks textbook, and perhaps better suited for the Esper project on the WikiVersity site.
la' onx' abotset'o
The first abotset'o consists of four letters, "a", "b", "c", and "d", with names that sound like "aah", "baa", "shaa", "daa"... that is, if you read those English phonetic spellings all with the same vowel sound as the "a" in the English word "father". Notice the "sh" in the English phonetic spelling of the Esper letter "c". This letter has been known to make such a sound on occasion in the English language, but in the Esper' language that's its full time job, so don't expect it to be filling in for "k" and "s" and "z" and whatever else while they're off taking a break. It's a one sound letter in the Esper' language. They ALL are!
la' dux' abotset'o
The second little alphabet, or la' du'ef abotset'o in the Esper' language, also consists of only four letters. They are "e", "f", "g", and "h", and they make sounds in Esper that will come as no surprise to English speakers, except perhaps the fact that the letter "e" always has the same sound and none of the letters are ever "silent letters" in the Esper' language. It's difficult to spell the sounds of their names in the English language, not because their names are complicated, but because the English phonetics system is so complex and contorted, but here is a close approximation. "e", "fe", "ge"... and um "heh"? Oh, the "g" sound is not like in the English word "gem" but like in the English word "get". The "hard g" sound. Always. There's no "h sound" on the end of that last letter name. It's just that the vowel should approximate an English "short e" sound like in the word "egg" or the approximate sound of the letter "e" in many Latin based languages, but the spelling "he" in English makes a "LONG E" sound, so that wouldn't do at all.
la' trix' abotset'o
Next is la tri'ef abotset'o with six letters in it. They are as follows... i, j, k, l, m, n. Their names all end in the sound of the letter "i" as in "thick" or "thin" or depending upon one's accept perhaps something more like that "e" in "he" we mentioned earlier, but the idea is that their names all have the same vowel sound. You should be able to get the consonant sounds straight out of English for all of those except for two. One being the vowel "i" of course, which doesn't have a consonant sound, and the other being the letter "j" which like the letter "c" takes on a sound in the Esper' language which any fluent English speaker should be at least vaguely familiar with it having from time to time. It is the sound of the "z" in the English word "azure" or the "s" in the English word "closure" and the last "g" in "garage" or the "j" in the French word "jour" which means "day" and which most English speakers probably know. If you can think of a good English word example feel free to throw it in there. That's what I mean about languages being unnecessarily complicated. Esper' won't fix all the broken languages out there, but it gives us a language simple enough to begin practicing with a friend in a day, that anyone in the world can learn quickly. In fact, anyone who can speak, read, or write ANY language should be able to learn to do likewise in the Esper' language inside of a few days if they practice with a friend or family member, and they can start practicing with only a handful of word elements, filling in as needed with stemmed down words or full words from a language they already know. Find more on that in the chapter on Esper/Word_Elements.
la' kvarx' abotset'o
The fourth, or kvar'ef abotset'o consists of the letters o, p, q, r, s, and t. Their names, as you may have guessed ahead, all end in the "o" sound, like the "o" in the English word "go", not the one in the English word "to", nor the one in the English word "dog", but rather more like the "o" in the English word "both". Had to be careful how I worded that one. Wouldn't want to say something stupid sounding like "the one in both" which could be taken to mean "in both word examples I just gave which had the wrong vowel sound". The letter "r" tends to be pronounced many ways in many languages and even in many dialects of the same language. In the Esper' language you can use any of those sounds, as long as you keep it clearly different from the way you pronounce the sound of any other Esper' letter. The letter "q" makes a raspy "hard h" sound, like the "ch" in the Scottish word "loch".
la' kvinx' abotset'o
And now for the last little alphabet. La' kvin'ef abotset'o contains the letters u, v, w, x, y, and z. One letter in this group deserves special attention, and that would be the letter "x" who's name is pronounced like "thoo", as it has the same consonant sound as the hard "th" in the English word "think". The name of the letter "z" can be pronounced like the English word "zoo", but you may notice that if you use that sound for the vowel, the name of the letter "w" which starts with the same "w" sound you know from English and ends with the same vowel sound as the others in that group, may turn out to be a bit difficult to pronounce. For that reason, many people recommend leaning a little toward the "short u" sound, ending up with something like the "oo" in the English word "book", but again the important thing is to make sure no two letters sound alike and that you can pronounce each letter with a single consistent sound wherever it occurs. This will not be "perfect" of course, as we humans tend toward imperfection, but just remember not to do the sloppy things you might not even notice in English, like making the "d" sound for the letter "t" in some words, and a glottal stop for the letter "t" in other words, with a pure "t" sound in still other words. Whatever you can decide sounds the most like the given letter SHOULD sound... use that.
Esper's "Alphabet Song"
Now, to help you "memorize" them, try singing these 5 little alphabets to the tune of old French song "Frere Jacques". Hey! There's that "soft j" sound again!
At the end of the song you can tag on cant'u lo', abots'o roughly meaning "sing, there it is, alphabet".