Making French easier to read might sound very tempting but writing vowels as accent marks actually achieves the opposite result. As anybody who's ever tried reading a newspaper in Arabic knows, the vowel marks are simply dropped, leaving the reader with consonants alone and having to understand the text mainly through context.
Additionally, similarly to English, making French a phonetic language would mean cutting off the ability to read anything written in the past centuries.
Rachid Zamani says he got the idea to invent an alphabet in a dream on the night of the solstice in 2003. Zamani (35), worked in information systems for Renault in the Paris region. It was a dream that started in Arabic and ended in French, and in the morning the idea came to him.
The idea is a phonetic script which simplifies writing French. Zamani calls his invention "code ZMN". Zamani, whose parents are Moroccan, was brought up in Arabic since he was a child and has always lived with both languages. His alphabet is situated midway between them. The letters are from the French alphabet but the logic is that of Arabic. The sounds of the vowels are represented by accents.
The result is a very aesthetic script that remains a code to be deciphered.
Zamani is not a dreamer. After finishing college in Villefranche-de-Rouergue he obtained a master's degree in aerodynamics at the Paul Sabatier University and then moved to Basque country to finish his engineer's diploma in Bilbao.
Currently Zamani doesn't make money off his script, but with his passion for encryption and codes, he expects his invention to be useful. His ambition is that code ZMN might help in learning French in a playful manner.
He remembers his father trying to learn French after coming back from working on construction site, without success.
On his website, code ZMN is available for download for mobile phones and for PC and Mac computers. Zamani is even considering working with experts, giving his dream a promising future.
Zamani says that for this project he wants to work with linguists and designers in order to get a simplified method in the form of a small book.
Sources: La Depeche, Code ZMN (French)