are silent letters
There are many answers. First, spoken language changes faster than orthography, thus English, like many other languages, still retains old ways of writing words that don't correspond anymore to the actual pronunciation.
Second, when a foreign word is borrowed, it often retains its original orthography, but is pronounced differently in English.
sounds are more than the alphabet symbols, so you often have to use more than one letter to represent a sound. In the IPA (International Phonetics Association) alphabet, there
is a one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters, but it is a very technical and complicated system, that would not be easy to use in everyday writing.
Why are silent letters
used in english
when they are not part of the pronunciation?
Etymology is the reason there
are so many silent letters
spelling. Etymology is the study of the history of words, and there
was a widespread view that words should show their history in the way they are spelled. there
was a genuine belief that it would help people if they could ’see’ the original Latin in a latin-derived english
to indicate the pronunciation of other letters. For example, in the word "tinny," the second n is silent; its purpose is to show that the i is not pronounced like the i in "tiny." Likewise, a silent e makes "hate" sound different from "hat."