My new writing system

The place to discuss constructed writing systems (con-scripts)

My new writing system

Postby Mikhail » Mon 17 Dec 2012 10:11 pm

Greetings,
I am new in this forum and want to present my con-script. It is here on the site: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/scythian.htm
Some info is also there.
So, it would be interesting to discuss things related to creation of new writing systems in general and about my con-script in particular.

Cheers,
Mikhail
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
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Re: My new writing system

Postby choc_pud » Tue 18 Dec 2012 12:49 pm

Your script looks great! But mayn't it be a trifle harder to learn than the Latin alphabet? A fair amount of the letters look rather complicated in comparison to their Latin equivalent.

I have invented many conscripts for wrighting English (not American), German, and Welsh, but none of them look as good written down as yours does!

:ugeek:
Þu forstanden myccel gód Ængliscum!
Du forstår mal godt dansk!
Du verstehest sehr gut Deutsch!
Vous comprend trés bon, á la français!
Вы знат очынь хорошо па-Русский!
Folchen þeo meor goð Sursðk!
Du farstanden rijt gut Norslandich!
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Re: My new writing system

Postby Anoran » Tue 18 Dec 2012 2:03 pm

Hey there, Mikhail, and welcome to Omniglot!

Focusing on readability, eh?
Well, I think it's fair to say that you've successfully steered clear of Tengwaritis there. However, I do feel that the complexity of the letters may not lend themselves to easy "at a glance" recognizance, ie. they'll be harder to read than Latin at a distance or if small, or if only briefly glimpsed.
Additionally, the letters may also be somewhat cumbersome to write, given the higher number of strokes for most of the letters as compared to their Latin counterparts. Have you considered also perhaps having the most commonly used letters being the simplest?

That said, the alphabet is gorgeously beautiful, and would lend itself wonderfully to calligraphy. I'd like to see a book written in this sometime. ;)

I problem I often get with designing conscripts, is that in the process of making them simpler and easier to write, I end up simplifying them into forms that greatly resemble existing alphabets such as Latin, Armenian, Cyrillic, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can be confusing for someone trying to learn a new alphabet if many of the characters are shared but have different phonemes.

Balancing readability, writability, and aesthetics is a difficult task.
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Conlangs: Elysiani, Melkovin, Solmeia, Sorone, Tartaran
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Re: My new writing system

Postby Mikhail » Tue 18 Dec 2012 7:04 pm

Thank you people!

Anoran wrote:Well, I think it's fair to say that you've successfully steered clear of Tengwaritis there.

I think I didn't understand that. Who are Tengwaritis? :?

Anoran wrote: However, I do feel that the complexity of the letters may not lend themselves to easy "at a glance" recognizance, ie. they'll be harder to read than Latin at a distance or if small, or if only briefly glimpsed.

Yes, the letters are not the easiest (and easy only for me now). Still their form is the result of a long practical work (now more than 2 years) which goal is overall text readability (not separate letter or word).
They are quite hard to write, but of course, it is not necessary to be exact when you do handwriting. Even I self cannot do this accurate. But I am not a calligrapher.

Anoran wrote:Have you considered also perhaps having the most commonly used letters being the simplest?

That is reasonable, hmm and it seem that it is so. All vowels are the same as in Latin. About the consonants: S, L, N, H almost the same as in Greek alphabet (sigma, lambda, nu, gamma - Σ λ ν γ). Letters B, D, M again similar to Latin. Well, R, T, K are definitely not.
But I didn't really borrowed the forms from those alphabets, it is just a coincedence. It seems for me that people who worked on those alphabets based their work on the same principles of readability and no surprise, that some of the letter forms look similar.

Anoran wrote:That said, the alphabet is gorgeously beautiful, and would lend itself wonderfully to calligraphy. I'd like to see a book written in this sometime. ;)

Thank, thanks! I really wish to learn to do calligraphy, and probably here or on some calligraphy-related forums I will find people who are interested in writing in my script.
My next task is to make a vector based font for this alphabet. Now I choose a good (free) program for that. I had a look at 'fontforge' program, it seems to be good. When someone has expirience with that, share your opinion.

Anoran wrote:Balancing readability, writability, and aesthetics is a difficult task.

That is true. For Latin, it took hundreds of years to develop in what we have now. In my work however I didn't think about writability.
Moreover, I think In some decades most people will loose the ability to write good. Everybody will sit by their computers :D

So, to speak ohnestly, I wish that people who see my script and find it good would help me in this hard task. I will try best to make more examples and handwriting as well in the future. But what I really want that people help to develop and spread among others. It is IN NO WAY my personal interest or way to promote. The only reason is that I feel that my work has a practical purpose.
However only way to estimate the readability of the text is of course to learn the alphabet and read a lot of big texts in it. Now I m the only person who do this and I can say that there are reasons to think that, regarding readability, it has benefits over the mighty Latin minuscule.


Cheers
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Re: My new writing system

Postby choc_pud » Tue 18 Dec 2012 7:55 pm

I believe that "Tengwaritis" is a 'disease' whereby the script-designer makes the characters look to similar to one another. As in Tengwar. The elves must have really had a problem with dyslexia!

(I have been guilty of Tengwaritis on many occasions myself!)

:ugeek:
Þu forstanden myccel gód Ængliscum!
Du forstår mal godt dansk!
Du verstehest sehr gut Deutsch!
Vous comprend trés bon, á la français!
Вы знат очынь хорошо па-Русский!
Folchen þeo meor goð Sursðk!
Du farstanden rijt gut Norslandich!
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Re: My new writing system

Postby Anoran » Wed 19 Dec 2012 4:29 am

Mikhail wrote:Thank, thanks! I really wish to learn to do calligraphy, and probably here or on some calligraphy-related forums I will find people who are interested in writing in my script.


If you can provide some images or instructions on how to write each letters, that would be a step in the right direction.
I'm also curious as to how you got those faint lines in the letters. Short of running my pen across the paper really quick (which gives me unreliable results), or diluting the ink, I can't seem to do that.

I tried writing some stuff in Scythian (As well as I could by the images) and the results were a mess, with letters unaligned or crammed too close together. I couldn't figure out if the bottom of the character was on the line or below it, or above it... lol

Also, I noticed a lot of the characters have dot-like marks. Do these serve a specific purpose, or are they simply there to differentiate one letter from another?

I also noticed that most of the letters are simply another letter (or at least very similar), but rotated 180 degrees. Obviously, this is intentional, though I wonder, for what purposes? Omniglot is also missing three letters of your alphabet; I presume these are the rotated forms of b, i, and kh. It seems to me more of an artistic feature than one for readability. For example, it can be hard to tell whether the book you're reading is upside-down or just in a foreign language... Or you could intentionally write a poem that is a second poem if read upside-down.

Additionally, does your script have majuscule (upper case) letters? They greatly augment readability by making it easy to determine where a sentence ends and begins, and what words are names rather than regular nouns.
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Conlangs: Elysiani, Melkovin, Solmeia, Sorone, Tartaran
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Re: My new writing system

Postby Mikhail » Wed 19 Dec 2012 8:08 pm

choc_pud wrote:I believe that "Tengwaritis" is a 'disease' whereby the script-designer makes the characters look to similar to one another. As in Tengwar. The elves must have really had a problem with dyslexia!


:D I see now. I think it is also the case with some oficially accepted writing systems.
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Re: My new writing system

Postby choc_pud » Wed 19 Dec 2012 8:23 pm

I see now. I think it is also the case with some oficially accepted writing systems.


Such as Cyrillic and Armenian? And Katakana/Hiragana? Chinese... Cherokee...

:ugeek:
Þu forstanden myccel gód Ængliscum!
Du forstår mal godt dansk!
Du verstehest sehr gut Deutsch!
Vous comprend trés bon, á la français!
Вы знат очынь хорошо па-Русский!
Folchen þeo meor goð Sursðk!
Du farstanden rijt gut Norslandich!
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Re: My new writing system

Postby Mikhail » Wed 19 Dec 2012 8:30 pm

Anoran wrote:If you can provide some images or instructions on how to write each letters, that would be a step in the right direction.


I write with a simple ball pen or pencil.
I attached anexample, the same text handwritten, and below some tips for writing (a dot is where I start with). Does it look like yours? :)
scan1.jpg
scan1.jpg (52.36 KiB) Viewed 4322 times

Anoran wrote:Also, I noticed a lot of the characters have dot-like marks. Do these serve a specific purpose, or are they simply there to differentiate one letter from another?

Everything is a part of a letter, and yes they form each letter in a unique way.


Anoran wrote:I also noticed that most of the letters are simply another letter (or at least very similar), but rotated 180 degrees. Obviously, this is intentional, though I wonder, for what purposes? Omniglot is also missing three letters of your alphabet; I presume these are the rotated forms of b, i, and kh.

You can mention also that in Latin letters b, d, p, q, all are rotation/mirror of self. But what does it means? Its just the way it is.
I didnt include some letters. One is rotated b, you are wright, but letter i and x have no pair, since they are simmetrical ;)
Other two letters are secret :geek:

Anoran wrote:Additionally, does your script have majuscule (upper case) letters? They greatly augment readability by making it easy to determine where a sentence ends and begins, and what words are names rather than regular nouns.


No it doesnt. For sentence breaking I thing some punctuation will do the job. But this is not interesting, I will make It all when I make a font for my script.
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Re: My new writing system

Postby Mikhail » Wed 19 Dec 2012 9:11 pm

choc_pud wrote:
I see now. I think it is also the case with some oficially accepted writing systems.


Such as Cyrillic and Armenian? And Katakana/Hiragana? Chinese... Cherokee...

:ugeek:


Cyrillic is ok, just some letters like - и н п ш - have similar look. In Georgian, Armenian they seem to me all very similar. I would say Hangul text also looks just like ... hmm I don't know how to describe this feeling, like a texture for a cosmic shooter game?
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

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