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)

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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)

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Kannada script for English ಕಾನ್ನಾದಾ ಸ್ಕರಿಪ್ತ ಫೋರ ಇಙಗ್ಲಿಶ

The ‘Look of Disapproval’ ಠ_ಠ is a popular emoticon on the Internet that also happens to use a letter from the Kannada script. As someone who enjoys reading and learning new things, I found myself reading about Kannada script. As I read more about it, I noticed that Kannada had a lot of letters, like the Thai and Burmese scripts I had adapted previously, and supported consonant clusters too. These are features that, in my view, made Kannada script especially suitable to adaptation for writing languages like English.

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Burmese script for English ဗဲရ္မီဇ စ္ကရိပ္တ ဖိုရ ဧိငဂ္လိဍ

Note: This blog uses Unicode Myanmar script. If your default Burmese font is the non-Unicode ‘Zawgyi’, the Burmese text may not display as intended

After creating the Thai script adaptation, I began checking out other Brahmic scripts to learn how they work, and ended up learning a few to see if I could write English with them. Burmese script had a large inventory of letters and diacritics that are arranged differently depending on context, giving it a complex appearance. And because I like complex challenges, I decided that I had to learn Burmese script next.

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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)”