Archive for the Category: Writing


I came across the word ductus today in an interesting article about the origins of the writing. The articles focuses particularly on the development of the Latin/Roman alphabet and traces it’s origins back to ancient Egypt. Ductus /ˈdʌktəs/ means: 1. the number of strokes that make up a written letter, and the direction, sequence and […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Language, Latin 4 Comments


This picture was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what the inscription means. The writing is looks like Arabic, but I can’t make any sense of it. Can you help? [Update: The image is now the right way round, thanks to Christopher]

Also posted in Arabic, Language, Puzzles 10 Comments


Avoiuli is a writing system used on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu which was brought to my attention today – the image on the right shows an example of the script inscribed on a stone. Apparently Chief Viraleo Boborenvanua based the script on traditional sand drawings and spent 14 years developing it, and it is used […]

Also posted in Language 1 Comment

Circassian calligraphy

Recently I was sent a version of the Circassian alphabet which I hadn’t seen before. Today I discovered that it came from a site about Circassian calligraphy, which includes information about it (in Russian) and plenty of examples. Here’s the alphabet: And here’s a sample text: Here you seen this before?

Also posted in Language 8 Comments

Mysterious inscription

This photo was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to find out what the writing means. To me it looks like Devanagari or a related script. Can you decipher this?

Also posted in Language, Puzzles 3 Comments


This piece of writing was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who got it in Rajasthan. Can anyone identify the language and decipher it?

Also posted in Language, Puzzles 6 Comments

Endangered Alphabets Poetry Project

Today’s post comes from Tim Brookes Dear Friends and Colleagues, My Endangered Alphabets Project is in the process of giving birth to a new phase: the Endangered Alphabets Poetry Project. Let me explain what I’m trying to do. I’ve written a short, simple poem about the importance of preserving endangered languages in their spoken and […]

Also posted in Language, Poetry 1 Comment

Egyptian medallion

This image of a medallion was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot. Can you decipher the writing on it?

Also posted in Language, Quiz questions 7 Comments


The owner of the knife pictured below would like to know what script is written on it, and what it says. Can you help? The writing looks like Arabic to me, but I can’t make any sense of it.

Also posted in Arabic, Language, Puzzles 5 Comments

Endangered Alphabets Project

Today’s post is an appeal for your help from Tim Brookes. Dear fellow linguists, anthropologists and scholars in general all across the planet: Having finished my original Endangered Alphabets Project, I’m now starting a similar carving project whose aim once again is to draw attention to the world’s vanishing scripts — and I need your […]

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