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Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics


Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics is the collective name for the syllabic writing systems developed from James Evans' Ojibwe syllabary, which he invented in 1840.

They are used to write a number of the indigenous languages of Canada, including:

Blackfoot (ᑯᖾᖹ [Pikuni] / ᖿᐟᖻᐟ [Kainai] / ᓱᖽᐧᖿ [Siksika]), an Algonquian language with about 9,000 speakers in southern Alberta, Canada and in the USA.

Carrier (ᑕᗸᒡ [Dakelh]), a number of Athabascan languages spoken by about 11,655 people in central British Columbia, Canada.

Cree (ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ [Nēhiyawēwin]) a number of Algonquian languages spoken by about 70,000 people in Canada, especially in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Naskapi (ᓇᔅᑲᐱ [Innu Aimun]), an Algonquian language closely related to Cree with about 400 speakers in Schefferville and Davis Inlet on the Labrador coast of Canada.

Inuktitut (ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ), an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Greenland Canada, Alaska and Siberia by about 65,000 people.

Ojibwe (ᐊᓂᔑᓇᐯᒧᐎᐣ [Anishinaabemowin]), an Algonquian language spoken on by about 50,000 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and by about 30,000 people in the US states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota.

Slavey, an Athabascan language spoken by about 4,000 people in northern Alberta, north-eastern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Common glyphs used for many of these languages

Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics - common glyphs

Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics - common glyphs

Variant glyphs for specific languages

Variant glyphs


Further Information about languages written with Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics and about other indigenous languages of North America:

Universal Syllabic Translator

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