Category Archives: Alphabet

Latin Carolingian Reforms — ~782 AD, Germany

Emperor Charlemagne apparently tried to learn how to read and write, but with poor success.  Probably part of his difficulty was that he had to spend a bunch of time conquering countries, part of the difficulty was that he started … Continue reading

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Ogham – 300 AD, Ireland

Ogham is a runic script mostly used in Ireland, but to a lesser extent in the northern island of Britain.  While the earliest provable use dates from the 4th century AD, there are linguistic clues that it is older: there … Continue reading

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Old Hungarian — 600? AD, Hungary

Hungary, despite being solidly in Europe, has had a long history of trade with and conquest by Central Asian peoples.  It is not entirely clear where Hungarians came from — or more specifically, where the people who brought the Hungarian … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, now ceremonial, probably first in its area, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 2 Comments

Younger Futhark — 800 AD, Scandinavia

Elder Futhark evolved into Younger Futhark, with the transition happening between 650 AD and 800 AD.  Younger Futhark was most different from Elder Futhark in the number of characters: Younger Futhark had only two-thirds as many letters as Elder Futhark.  … Continue reading

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Elder Futhark — 160 AD, Denmark

Elder Futhark, an early runic script, was definitely used in 160AD in Denmark.  Based on linguistic clues, some people think that it is much older. One of the clues cited is that it is written both left-to-right and right-to-left, like … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, first in its area, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!", technology influenced | 3 Comments

Leet — ~1980 AD, USA

Leet, also known as “1337” is a writing system developed for the English language which gains some of its value in being difficult to understand — but not too difficult.  It is in some respects a code-substitution cipher, where glyphs … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, private or secret, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 1 Comment

Ol Chiki — 1925 AD, India

The Santali spoken language is not an Indo-European language, while  the majority spoken languages in northern India are Indo-Europeean.  (Santali is an Austro-Asiatic language, and hence more closely related to Vietnamese than to Sanskrit.)  The Indic writing systems designed for … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, inventor known, National pride, previous script didn't quite work, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | Tagged | 1 Comment

Pau Cin Hau alphabet — 1931 AD, Mayanmar

The Pau Cin Hau logographic script was reformed in 1931 AD, moving from a logographic language to an alphabet.  While it is not unusual for a phonetic writing system to evolve from a logographic writing system, it is very rare … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, inventor known, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 1 Comment

Mahajani — 1600 AD? <1850 AD?, India

Mahajani, like the Punjabi Landa, was used as a mercantile script (and is sometimes classified with Landa).  Unlike Punjabi Landa, which dispenses with vowels altogether, Mahajani is sort of like a sloppy alphabet.  It is possible to show a vowel … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Alphabet, mercantile script, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | Leave a comment

Jenticha — 1942 AD, Nepal

In Northern India and southern Nepal, there is a language called Sunuwar, alternatively Kõits-Lo, Mukhiya, Kiranti-Kõits, Koinch, Koincha, and Koints.  In 1942, Karna Jeticha developed a script for this language. There have been two versions of Jenticha: the first was … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, Alphabet, inventor known, National pride, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 1 Comment