Start at the beginning
- developed by illiterate(s)
- Evolved slowly from parent
- first in its area
- inventor known
- language unknown
- mercantile script
- National pride
- now ceremonial
- previous script didn't quite work
- private or secret
- probably developed by illiterate(s)
- probably first in its area
- Rating: 1 "Dull, only here for completeness"
- Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting"
- Rating: 3 "I did not know that"
- Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!"
- Rating: 5 "Whoa!!"
- revealed in a dream
- significant female influence
- spiritual or supernatural
- technology influenced
Monthly Archives: March 2011
The Zhuang people of southern China have been using an augmented Chinese script for over 1300 years called Sawndip. This writing system was used extensively in popular culture (songs, poems, ceremonies, and some literature) and religion, but not governmental documents. … Continue reading
While Hiragana and Hangul were considered “women’s scripts”, nobody actively prevented the men from using the script as well, and eventually the men came around. However, in China, women were actively prevented from learning Chinese script, so they went underground … Continue reading
Like Japanese and Korean, Vietnam was under the cultural influence of China for a long time and thus started out by using the Chinese script. Unlike Japanese and Korean, however, Vietnamese is not agglutinative — most of its words are … Continue reading
Chinese script didn’t work terribly well for Korean, even with Gugyeol, Hyangchul, or Idu additions. Around 1440 AD, King Sejong the Great asked his board of scholarly advisers to advise him on a better writing system. On October 9, 1446 … Continue reading
Gugyeol, also transliterated as Kwukyel, and also sometimes called Tho, was developed to help convert Chinese literature into understandable Korean. The Chinese characters and word order were preserved, but characters for word endings, particles, and some verb forms were tacked … Continue reading
Hyangchal — literally “vernacular letters” — borrowed the shapes of Chinese characters, but used them exclusively to represent the sounds of the Korean spoken language. There are not very many documents in Hyangchal, but there are some poems written in … Continue reading
As in Japan, Koreans first started writing with Chinese script, but Chinese script didn’t work well to write Korean for similar reasons that it didn’t work well for Japanese. (Japanese and Korean are syntactically very similar.) One thing the Koreans … Continue reading
Kanji — the Japanese adaption of Chinese script — was the first script used to write Japanese. Kanji is very very similar to Chinese script, but unsurprisingly, the two scripts have diverged over the course of fourteen hundred years (or … Continue reading
Like Hiragana, Katakana is a syllabary used in Japan. While Hiragana is used for “Japanese-y”/non-Chinese type things — Japanese words, declensions, inflections, and pronunciation, Katakana is used mostly for transcribing foreign words and/or words with a foreign origin. (This is … Continue reading