Nanyang Script – a featural writing system inspired by the scripts of Southeast Asia

Nanyang Script is an alternate writing system which is inspired by the abugidas of Southeast Asia.
The word ‘Nanyang’ 南洋 is an old Chinese term that means ‘Southeast Asia’, hence the name.
I was wondering whether it would be possible to make a script like Hangul, where letters are derived from other letters with closely related sounds, but with a Southeast Asian aesthetic. This would make it easy to learn and be easily adaptable to writing different languages easily. The end result is a unique alphabetic script that visually resembles the Myanmar and Thai scripts, but is distinct enough to stand on its own. Continue reading “Nanyang Script – a featural writing system inspired by the scripts of Southeast Asia”

Javanese script for English (ꦗꦴꦨꦴꦤꦷꦣ ꦱ꧀ꦏꦿꦶꦥ꧀ꦠ ꦦꦵꦂ ꦆꦁꦒ꧀ꦭꦶꦯ)

The Javanese script (also called Hanacaraka, from the first 5 letters in the traditional Javanese letter ordering) is one of the most elaborate writing systems in the world. Having adopted Khmer script a few months back, I soon turned my attention to Javanese, as it is a descendant of the closely related Kawi script that was widely used throughout Maritime Southeast Asia a thousand years ago. The common ancestry of Khmer and Javanese is easy to point out, as a few of their letterforms are very visually similar to each other.

Continue reading “Javanese script for English (ꦗꦴꦨꦴꦤꦷꦣ ꦱ꧀ꦏꦿꦶꦥ꧀ꦠ ꦦꦵꦂ ꦆꦁꦒ꧀ꦭꦶꦯ)”

Khmer script for English (ខ្មែរ ស្ក្រិប្ត ផួរ ឥងគ្លិឆ)

Southeast Asia is home to many different writing systems, all of which are pretty much descended from the Pallava script originating from southern Asia. After having a go at adopting Thai and Burmese to write English phonetically a while back, I shall now turn my attention to another elegant Southeast Asian script: Khmer.

Khmer script allows consonants to be placed under or around each other, a useful property for writing a language like English with potentially complex syllables like /stɹɛŋθs/, which can be easily rendered as ស្ត្រេង្ឋ្ស in this Khmer script adaptation. (It looks complicated at first, so I’ll get around to explaining it soon)

Continue reading “Khmer script for English (ខ្មែរ ស្ក្រិប្ត ផួរ ឥងគ្លិឆ)”

Telugu script for English తేలుగు స్కరిప్త ఫొర ఇఙగ్లిశ

Shortly after adapting the Kannada script, I took a look at the closely related Telugu script. Both Kannada and Telugu scripts have a common ancestral origin, and have even been said to be typographical variants of the same script. Hence, this adaptation of Telugu is basically my adaptation for Kannada with each letter replaced with their Telugu equivalents.

Having said that, I now prefer using the Telugu adaptation as its vowel diacritics are more compact than Kannada’s. (For example, /noʊ/ in Kannada is ನೋ while Telugu is నో, much more compact indeed)

Continue reading “Telugu script for English తేలుగు స్కరిప్త ఫొర ఇఙగ్లిశ”

Thai script for English ทั่ ษริฎ ฟ็ร อิงดิๅช

After having used my adaptation of Hangul for a while, I wondered if other writing systems could be used to write English phonetically. I soon focused my attention on Thai script, with its large inventory of letters and diacritics.

Adaptation process

In the original Thai orthography, up to 6 letters were mapped to the same phoneme, but used to represent Thai tones.

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‘Yongogul’, a Hangul adaptation for English (‘이옹오굮’, 어 한굮 야덮테썬 뽈 잉그낐)

Hangul is an alphabetic script widely used to write the Korean language, and was originally developed in 1446 by Joseon Dynasty ruler Sejong the Great and his ministers to improve literacy. As the only widely used script in the world to be based on linguistic features, I thought it would be cool to have a go at adapting it to write English.

The end result is a slightly hacky phonetic system that I call Yongogul (from the Korean words for ‘English language’ and ‘writing’ put together), which fully utilises all letters in standard Korean hangul. Nevertheless, it works pretty well and visually looks like actual written Korean.
Continue reading “‘Yongogul’, a Hangul adaptation for English (‘이옹오굮’, 어 한굮 야덮테썬 뽈 잉그낐)”