Favourite writing system

The place to discuss alphabets and other writing systems.

Re: Favourite writing system

Postby imbecilica » Sun 07 Jun 2009 8:37 am

Sobekhotep wrote:Hey, imbecilica, how would you feel about a Cyrillic alphabet for writing Vietnamese? I think Cyrillic looks more "exotic" than Latin.


I actually don't mind the current writing system, be it that it may look horrendous still it does its job quite well. Here is how the Vietnamese language has been written through time:

Chữ Khoa Dầu (? > ?)
Ancient Script of the Vietnamese language, these have been found on stone etchings and on bronze drums and other artefacts. Little information is available but from a documentary I watched it is described as "frog-like etchings and bubbly-looking", it seems likely to have been related to the other Brahmic style scripts of Laotian, Thai, Khmer etc (no surprise considering location).

Chữ Hán (Hán Tự) (~39 BC > ~1939 AD)
When the Chinese annexed what is now northern Vietnam into its empire, all official documents were written in Classical Chinese. It is undeniable how influential Chinese language and culture has been on Vietnamese culture and language.

Chữ Nôm (~1000 AD > ~1939 AD)
While Classical Chinese was the official writing system employed by the elites, and because the Vietnamese language did not "die out", native words had to also be written down. One way or another, this gave birth to Chữ Nôm (Vernacular Script). It was used alongside native Chinese characters to record native Vietnamese words.

Chữ Quốc Ngữ (~1600 AD > present)
When European missionaries (mainly French and Portuguese) started arriving in Vietnam during the 1600s, they required a script in order to record the language with. The man accredited with the creation of Chữ Quốc Ngư (National Script) was Alexandre de Rhodes. Though at first it didn't acquire much success, it became the national script during the French colonialisation of Vietnam (~1880 > 1954) as both a means to dissuade Chinese influence and later onwards as a tool to increase literacy rates which augmented significantly.

Anyways, though I think Vietnamese writing is fine the way it is, it would be nice to see how it would look. The problem would be how to add the tone markings.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Sobekhotep » Tue 09 Jun 2009 7:54 pm

imbecilica wrote:Chữ Khoa Dầu (? > ?)
Ancient Script of the Vietnamese language, these have been found on stone etchings and on bronze drums and other artefacts. Little information is available but from a documentary I watched it is described as "frog-like etchings and bubbly-looking", it seems likely to have been related to the other Brahmic style scripts of Laotian, Thai, Khmer etc (no surprise considering location).

Wow, I'd not heard of that one. I'm guessing khoa dầu is <蚪喻> or <蝌喻> in sinographs.

imbecilica wrote:Anyways, though I think Vietnamese writing is fine the way it is, it would be nice to see how it would look. The problem would be how to add the tone markings.

It could be the same way, using the same diacritics.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby kaenif » Wed 10 Jun 2009 6:14 am

Sobekhotep wrote:
imbecilica wrote:Chữ Khoa Dầu (? > ?)
Ancient Script of the Vietnamese language, these have been found on stone etchings and on bronze drums and other artefacts. Little information is available but from a documentary I watched it is described as "frog-like etchings and bubbly-looking", it seems likely to have been related to the other Brahmic style scripts of Laotian, Thai, Khmer etc (no surprise considering location).

Wow, I'd not heard of that one. I'm guessing khoa dầu is <蚪喻> or <蝌喻> in sinographs.

<蝌蚪>?
Can you recognise this character?
Nope, it's not shāng. It is a 囧 with a hat which 囧ed its chin off!
囧囧囧囧囧囧囧囧囧!
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby imbecilica » Wed 10 Jun 2009 9:08 am

oops I must've misread the name - it's actually Khoa Đẩu (科斗). Some people believe that the modern Chữ Quốc Ngữ script was transcribed directly from it, but I don't think so as the language has evolved a lot since.

If you can read Chinese fluently, can someone test to see if they can understand this: (The translation is given but you'll have to tilt your head) :mrgreen:
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Sobekhotep » Wed 10 Jun 2009 11:04 pm

imbecilica wrote:oops I must've misread the name - it's actually Khoa Đẩu (科斗).

Really? I was sure I had it. :D
Since you said it was described as "frog-like" writing, <蚪喻> and <蝌喻> make sense, don't they?

imbecilica wrote:If you can read Chinese fluently, can someone test to see if they can understand this: (The translation is given but you'll have to tilt your head) :mrgreen:

I didn't know that <和> also means "and", but that's what I get for learning sinographs from the Japanese perspective. :P

Hey, I have another question about Vietnamese (I guess I've hijacked this thread).
I've noticed that Chinese personal names are "Vietnamized" but Korean personal names are taken from English. For example, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the current President of the Republic of China, his name is rendered in Vietnamese as Mã Anh Cửu, which is the Vietnamese reading for the sinographs in his name. However, Lee Myung-bak (이명박/李明博), the current President of the Republic of Korea, his name is rendered in Vietnamese as Lee Myung-Bak, the same as in English. Why not use the "Vietnamization" for his name, which is Lý Minh Bác? Why not use the Hán-Việt names for Koreans as well? :?:
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby imbecilica » Sat 13 Jun 2009 7:56 am

Sobekhotep wrote:However, Lee Myung-bak (이명박/李明博), the current President of the Republic of Korea, his name is rendered in Vietnamese as Lee Myung-Bak, the same as in English. Why not use the "Vietnamization" for his name, which is Lý Minh Bác? Why not use the Hán-Việt names for Koreans as well? :?:


I wouldn't see any reason why not, most Korean singers' and actors' names I know of have their names translated via Hán-Việt like Lee Byung Hun (I Byeong-hun/이병헌/李炳憲) is known as Lý Bỉnh Hiến. Maybe it just depends on the source.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Sobekhotep » Sat 13 Jun 2009 10:32 pm

imbecilica wrote:
Sobekhotep wrote:However, Lee Myung-bak (이명박/李明博), the current President of the Republic of Korea, his name is rendered in Vietnamese as Lee Myung-Bak, the same as in English. Why not use the "Vietnamization" for his name, which is Lý Minh Bác? Why not use the Hán-Việt names for Koreans as well? :?:


I wouldn't see any reason why not, most Korean singers' and actors' names I know of have their names translated via Hán-Việt like Lee Byung Hun (I Byeong-hun/이병헌/李炳憲) is known as Lý Bỉnh Hiến. Maybe it just depends on the source.

Hmmm. I gues the Wikipedia writers prefer the anglicized versions.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby ILuvEire » Mon 15 Jun 2009 3:13 am

Sobekhotep wrote:
imbecilica wrote:
Sobekhotep wrote:However, Lee Myung-bak (이명박/李明博), the current President of the Republic of Korea, his name is rendered in Vietnamese as Lee Myung-Bak, the same as in English. Why not use the "Vietnamization" for his name, which is Lý Minh Bác? Why not use the Hán-Việt names for Koreans as well? :?:


I wouldn't see any reason why not, most Korean singers' and actors' names I know of have their names translated via Hán-Việt like Lee Byung Hun (I Byeong-hun/이병헌/李炳憲) is known as Lý Bỉnh Hiến. Maybe it just depends on the source.

Hmmm. I gues the Wikipedia writers prefer the anglicized versions.

Vietnamese Wikipedia seems to be split between people who use anglicized names and people who prefer translations. That's why you'll find "Ý" for Italy, but "Ireland" for Ireland.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Tue 23 Jun 2009 9:47 pm

Out of abjads, Sogdian.
Out of alphabets, Avestan.
Out of syllabics, tie between Syloti Nagri.
Out of syllabaries, Yi.
Out of logographic scripts, Tangut.

Gah! Nobody shares my tastes!
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Neqitan » Tue 23 Jun 2009 11:11 pm

Aeetlrcreejl wrote:Out of abjads, Sogdian.
Out of alphabets, Avestan.
Out of syllabics, tie between Syloti Nagri.
Out of syllabaries, Yi.
Out of logographic scripts, Tangut.

Gah! Nobody shares my tastes!

Well, it's hard not to base our opinions on some bias: the Arabic script is not the same without Middle Eastern culture. :)
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