Iban alphabet

I thought that almost all the world’s writing systems were on Omniglot, but today I discovered another one: the Iban alphabet, which was invented in 1947 by Dunging Anak Gunggu.

Iban alphabet

It’s a partly syllabic, partly alphabetic script that never really caught on, mainly because there was no tradition of writing among the Iban-speaking community. During the past few years there have been efforts to revive it mainly by Dr Bromeley Philip at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Sarawak, Malaysia – I’ve written to him to ask about the current situation.

Iban is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, but I’m sure you knew that.

For me it’s always exciting to discover a previously unknown (to me) writing system like this.

This entry was posted in Language, Writing.

3 Responses to Iban alphabet

  1. Lev says:

    > almost all the world’s writing systems were on Omniglot
    Actually, some American systems are missing. They can be found at ancientscripts.com .

  2. Chris Miller says:

    Oh, I could give you quite a few more: there are some 6-10 from Indonesia and the Philippines, at few more from northern India, plus older versions of Saurashtra script, the Arabic-based Sorabe script for Malagasy (and a similar one for Swahili. There are definitely a few others that I can’t think of off the top of my head, but I know they’re out there.

  3. Simon says:

    Chris – it would be great to have details of those scripts.

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