Tifinagh wr

Tifinagh wr

Name: ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ

Systeme: alphabet

Code: Tfng

Direction: bottom up, right to left, left to right

Creation: 3rd century B.C. (or earlier according to certain hypotheses) in connection with the Lybico-Berber writings

Complements: There are several Tifinagh alphabets related to the different languages transcribed.

Pahlavi wr

Name: (Pārsīk or Pārsīg)

Code: Phli - Phlp - Phlv

Creation: 300 or 200 B.C. (from the Aramaic alphabet) / Attested on Parthian coins c. 250 BC.

Complements: Classified in two styles: Pehlevi of inscriptions and Pehlevi of books.

Sogdian wr

Systeme: alphabet

Direction: right to left - then in columns from left to right

Creation: approx. 100 (from Syriac) / 312 - 313 (Dunhuang)

Complements: Three styles exist: ancient Sogdian (non-cursive), Buddhist sutra writing, Uyghur cursive writing / Used in particular for Buddhist, Manichean or Christian transcriptions.

Runic wr

Name: The name of this alphabet, known as futhark, was given to it by the association of its first six letters, all of which had a particular function.

Code: Runr

Creation: The Roman writer Tacitus (c. 55 - c. 120) wrote about the Scandinavian priests: "Their way of consulting fate is simple. They cut the branches of a tree bearing fruit and prune it into sticks, on which they make certain distinctive marks; they scatter them on a white cloth completely at random. Then the official priest (...) or the father of the family (...) addresses a prayer to the gods and three times takes a stick while looking at the sky. He interprets the sticks he has taken according to the mark engraved beforehand. "(quoted by February)

Complements: The word "rune" comes from the old Icelandic word runar, which means "secret".

Phags-pa wr

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Phag

Direction: left to right

Creation: Around 1269 (died out with the Yuan Dynasty one hundred years later) - The Tibetan Drogön Chögyal Phagspa (1235 - 1280) at the request of the Mongolian Emperor Kubilai Khan to unify writing throughout the empire under the Yuan Dynasty

Complements: Some people think it inspired the Korean alphabet.

Tamil wr

Tamil wr

Name: தமிழ் அரிச்சுவடி, Tamiḻ ariccuvaṭi

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Tami

Direction: left to right

Creation: An ascetic from the north, Agastya... / Deed of Gift made by a King of Pallava, Nandivarmà

Complements: This complex script was originally written on coconut or palm leaves, the characters being engraved with earthen styles. Unlike the scripts in the north of the country, those in the south were generally much rounder in shape, as the straight horizontal lines might cut the fibre of the palm leaf. / There are three Tamil scripts: the natural or ordinary, the poetry and the theatre scripts.

Telugu wr

Telugu wr

Name: తెలుగు లిపి Telugu lipi

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Telu

Direction: left to right

Creation: c. 5th century (from the Brahmi and then the Kadamba script)

Complements: An ancient style prevailed until the middle of the 20th century, when it was replaced by modern writing / Developed especially in the 11th century in the service of literature and poetry

Thai wr

Thai wr

Name: อักษรไทย akson thai

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Thai

Direction: left to right without separation between the words

Creation: King Po-khun Ramkhamhæng (1275-1317) of Sukhothai to spread Theravada Buddhism (as it was entrusted to the monks of Sri Thamnakorn) / Stele dating from 1292 (National Museum of Bangkok). The first book written in Thai would be the Trai Phum (the Three Worlds) written by King Li Thay in 1345.

Complements: No upper and lower case letters.

Odia wr

Odia wr

Name: Oṛiā lipi, Oṛiā akṣara, ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଲିପି, ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଅକ୍ଷର

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Orya

Creation: 11th century BC (via Brahmi, and the Kalinga alphabet) / Kalinga Text - 1051

Tibetan wr

Tibetan wr

Name: དབུ་ཅན་ Uchen, Dbu-can (or Ujain)

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Tibt

Direction: left to right

Creation: 7th century - Thonmi Sambhota, minister of King Songtsen Gampo (609/613 - 650), was sent to India along with sixteen other students to study Buddhism. / Inscription on the stele of Zhol (Potala) in 767 or 764

Complements: "One can divide into two families: according to whether one marks a headline" called Uchen, or without it called Umeh. In this second family, there is the "long style" (Tsugring or Druchen), the "short style" (Tsugtung), the Petsug for historical, epic, religious texts, or the Tsugmakhyug whose forms are rounder. In order to separate the syllables, a period is used."

Mendé wr

Mendé wr

Name: ki-ka-ku (first three letters of the system)

Code: Mend

Direction: right to left

Creation: Kisimi Kamara

Complements: The Mende writing refers to a syllabic system that can be explained by the phoneticism of the Mende language itself.

Mongolian wr

Mongolian wr

Name: Mongol bichig

Systeme: alphabet

Code: Mong

Direction: vertical from left to right

Creation: Adapted from the Uyghur alphabet by Lama Schagkia Pandida for the dissemination of Buddhist texts in Mongolian.

Complements: (as in Arabic) The letters change shape depending on whether they are isolated, initial, median or final.

Lao wr

Lao wr

Name: Akson Lao ອັກສອນລາວ

Systeme: alphabet

Code: Laoo

Direction: left to right

Creation: In the 14th century, shortly after 1354 / Pha Lak Pha Lam, according to the epic of the Ramayana, dating back about 900 years.

Complements: No distinction between lower and upper case letters.

Latin wr

Systeme: alphabet

Code: Latn

Direction: right to left, in boustrophedon, then left to right

Creation: First origins as early as the 6th century B.C.E. - Inspired by the Greek and Etruscan alphabets. / The oldest works in Latin would be the plays of Plautus, dated from the 3rd century BC.

Complements: In capitals (large letters) and lower case (known as Carolingian).

Greek wr

Greek wr

Name: ἑλληνικός ἀλφάβητος hellēnikós alphábētos / ελληνικό αλφάβητο ellinikó alfávito

Systeme: alphabet

Code: Gre

Direction: left to right

Creation: Late 9th and early 7th B.C. from Phoenician - Cadmos, son of Agenor (king of Tyre in Phoenicia) and Telephassa, legendary founder of the city of Thebes. / Homer mentions a Greek script when he recounts the legend of Bellerophon in the Iliad between 85O and 75O BC.

Complements: The Greeks were inspired by the Phoenician alphabet to create their script. They adapted it to their language by inventing vowels. Revolutionary invention since it is the first writing to note the vowels. However, they did not add letters, in fact, they used the Phoenician letters by giving them a new phonetic value. For example, the Phoenician consonant aleph became the Greek vowel alpha, keeping its basic form and Phoenician name.

Gujarati wr

Gujarati wr

Name: ગુજરાતી લિપિ Gujǎrātī Lipi

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Code: Gujr

Direction: left to right

Creation: 16th century (from Gupta writing, the Devanagari)

Complements: No distinction between upper and lower case. Note its similarity to the Devanagari, without the upper stroke.

Gupta wr

Systeme: alphasyllabary

Creation: C. 4th century (from the Brahmi) / One of the oldest traces is a text from the 5th century describing the reign of Samudragupta.

Complements: Gave birth in particular to the Nagari, but also to the Sâradâ and Siddham scriptures.


Back to Top