Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Writing Samples

Dear world,

You should be able to tell scripts apart when you see them, even if you can't read the script phonetically. I'll help.

  • Arabic and Parsi (Iranian) are almost identical - the script used for Parsi is a modified version of the Arabic script that adds new characters for some sounds Parsi has that Arabic lacks. Arabic: Parsi: . Both are written right to left, have letters that take somewhat different forms at the start, middle, and end of a word, and use vowel marks above/below the main (consonant) datastream. Out-of-band data, eh?
  • The Hebrew writing system is similar to Arabic if you squint correctly, although alternate forms of letters are more rare. It's used to write Yiddish and modern Hebrew. Sample:
  • Hangul (Korean) usually clusters sounds/letters together in triplets. Notice the simple shapes.
  • Cyrillic (Russian, others) looks and acts a lot like the Latin languages we're familiar with, but with different letters. Like with Greek, you need to learn to recognise some letters to really recognise it. Cyrillic is used to write a number of slavic languages, and near Greece, more literal greek characters are used.
  • The Chinese writing system tends to have complex-looking characters. Some of them come in two parts (a left side and a right side, one phonetic, one meaning-cue). It's used to write a number of languages inside and outside China, and is often borrowed for "educated" terms in a number of other east-asian languages. Recognising Chinese is mainly a matter, for me, of looking for uninterrupted complexity.
  • The Japanese writing system borrows heavily from Chinese, but also has its own two writing systems (kanas) and frequently borrows from English as well. Recognising it is easier when one knows several symbols from the kanas, and also involves looking for a transition out of the complex chinese characters to much simpler characters here and there, especially for structural parts of the sentence (verbs are at the end of Japanese sentences, and they tend to be in Hiragana).
  • Thai has a distinct look that almost looks western. There are lots of little circles in their symbols.
  • Devangari is one of the many scripts used to write a handful of the many languages of India. Most characters are based off of a baseline that goes across the top of the letter space, with many types of hooks above (which I think represent one of the many vowel possibilities) and different shapes below.

I can't read most of those scripts, but I'm pretty good at recognising/distinguishing them (and a few others). Hopefully this is at least lightly educational.


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