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The World’s Writing Systems

a grid of letters from different written languages

a grid of letters from different written languages

a grid of letters from different written languages

A simple and beautiful listing of the World’s Writing Systems. You can sort by time (proto-cuneiform to Toto), region, name (Adlam to Zou), and whether the scripts are living or historical.

Discussion  7 comments

Jacob Mul

Gorgeous - the different sorting methods really make you think about them in new ways too.

E Greene

This reminds me of a wonderful mini-episode of A Way with Words (The Prehistoric Mother Tongue, September 15, 2009) that talks about the art/science of connecting the histories of ancient languages and how we think about things like what a language sounded like when no one alive has heard it spoken. Worth a listen!

E Greene

Also, I was late to the goodness that is A Way with Words and have been listening to them in order from the beginning, so I'm recalling this from a few months ago, not almost 15 years ago!

Grant Barrett

I'm glad you found the show! Martha and I have fun putting it together.

E Greene

Oh man, you two are the best! I was a few episodes in before a current events reference made me realize I was listening to an episode from 2007 and not something contemporary and that instead of having to wait for weekly updates I in fact had an almost unlimited string of episodes ahead of me. You guys should launch a retrospective mega-thread on twitter/mastodon/threads reviewing back from the beginning - it's fascinating to hear you and callers talk about "new" words and usages from a perspective of a listener from the "future". Sometimes I want to skip ahead to see if you're talking about the Antarctic accent or why birds have people names and other times I'll read a current article about getting down from the car or aks instead of ask and I'll think come on, Martha and Grant covered this YEARS ago! Please don't ever stop :)

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Caroline G.

They also sell a poster showing one glyph from all 293 writing systems.

Caroline G.

...but it appears that they only printed in a limited edition and are sold out. Darn!

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