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Fundamental chapters: Languages, Image

The writing is an artificial way to store and transmit the verbal and logical information in the space and time. The functions of the writing are:

  • Help for a weak memory.
  • Transmitting of information on a physical media.
  • Hiding and encryption of the information.

The writing comes from a human ability to draw pictures, comics and rebuses. The written information is a linear sequence of the images, which shows the logical thought, the process flow, or the literal speech. The development of a writing system converts the images into a simplified stylized form of the alphabetic characters.

Types of writing
Type Advantages Disadvantages
Pictogram (Ideogram) Compact notation.
Intuitive understanding sometimes.
Large alphabet.
Ambiguous pronunciation.
Phonetic syllabary Optimum ratio of the alphabet size and the word length. Lack of the intuitive and imaginative understanding.
Phonetic Small alphabet.
Usually the unambiguous pronunciation, spelling and transliteration.
Long words without images.
Racial features of writing
Race Writing direction Type of writing
Pictograms Syllabary Phonetic
Aryan horizontally,
from left to right
Indian Runes, Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Armenian, Georgian
Semitic horizontally,
from right to left
Egyptian Hebrew, Arabic
Mongoloid traditionally downwards,
from left to right
Chinese Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Korean
American Mayan Mayan, Canadian

The Etruscan alphabet is a predecessor of the Latin alphabet. It is derived partly from the Phoenician (Semitic) alphabet, so its characters are usually written from right to left.

The syllabary is like a musical notation, where each syllable-sound is denoted by one or two characters. The religious texts are written by a syllabary in a poetic form: the mantras and hymns of the Indian Vedas (in Sanskrit), and also the Quran (in Arabic). The Bible paragraphs are called the verses, though they are not sound like a poetry even in Hebrew and in the Greek.

National variants of the syllabic writing
Variant Feature
Chinese, Japanese One syllable is one character. Only the Japanese writing (Hiragana, Katakana) has a system: the indication of voiceless and voiced sounds. The Chinese characters are pronounced ambiguously.
Korean (Hangul) One syllable is one character, which is made up of the simple phonetic elements in a simple system.
Indian, Tibetan, Hebrew, Arabic, Canadian The alphabet basis is the consonants. The vowels are pronounced after the consonants and denoted by the diacritical marks or the modified characters.
Phonetic elements of the Korean characters
(one of the most regular systems)
neutral ㅣ   i ᅱ   wi (ui)
ㅡ   eu ᅴ   euy
ᅢ   ae (a-i) ᅤ   yae ᅫ   wae (oae)
ᅦ   e (o-i) ᅨ   ye ᅰ   we (ue)
yang ㅏ   a ㅑ   ya ᅪ   wa (oa)
yin-yang ㅗ ㅓ   o ᅭ ᅧ   yo ᅯ   wo (uo)
yin ㅜ   u ㅠ   yu
closed mouth ㅁ   m
bending tongue ㄹ   l, -r-
tongue in contact with a gum ㄴ   n
laryngeal ㅇ   ɳ
aspiration ㅎ   h
closed mouth ㅂ   p, -b- ㅍ   ph
tongue in contact with a palate ㄱ   k, -g- ㅋ   kh
tongue in contact with a gum ㄷ   t, -d- ㅌ   th
whistling ㅅ   s, -t
hissing ㅈ   c, -j-, -t ㅊ   ch, -t

An example of a Korean word: 한글 (han-gul).

The Indian and Tibetan syllabary is a group of the alphabets with a common construction principle but with the various images, which are originated from the ancient Brahmi.

The syllables or their parts are starting with a consonant followed by a short vowel sound "A" by default. The diacritical marks indicate a different vowel or its absence ( ् ). Sounds "L" and "R" are treated as the vowels.

Devanagari alphabet for Sanskrit, Hindi and other languages
इ ि   i ई ी   ii
ए े   e ऎ ै   ai
अ   a आ ा   aa
ऒ ॊ   o औ ौ   au
उ ु   u ऊ ू   uu
ऌ ॢ   li ॡ ॣ   lli ऋ ृ   ri ॠ ॄ   rri
ल   la र   ra
म   ma ँ   -m ॐ   om
न   na ं   -n
ण ञ ङ   ɳa
ह   ha ः   -h
प   फ   phа ब   भ   bhа
क   ख   khа ग   घ   ghа
त ट   थ ठ   thа द ड   ध ढ   dhа
स   sa
श ष   şa
च   ca छ   cha ज   ja झ   jha

For example, the word "sanskrit": संस् कृता   (san-s-kri-taa).

The Semitic writing was built similarly to the Indian writing. The diacritical marks define the vowels pronunciation. The alphabets are not large, and the multivocal vowels are used, from which the syllables are started.

Semitic and European phonetic alphabets with their ancestors
(Phoenician and Syriaс alphabets, Runes):
Hebrew Arabic Greek Runes Latin Glagolitic Cyrillic Russian
Phen alef.png Asyr alef.png alef (ox) א ﺍ   ﺎ Α α
9px-Runic letter ansuz.svg.png ansuz A a 25px-Glagoljica Az.svg.png аз Cyr az.png А а
Phen bet.png Asyr bet.png bet (house) ב ﺏ   ﺑ Β β
12px-Runic letter berkanan.svg.png berkanan B b 25px-Glagoljica Buki.svg.png buki (bogi) Cyr buki.png Б б
Wunjo.svg.png wunjo 25px-Glagoljica Vedi.svg.png vedi Cyr vedi.png В в
Phen gimel.png Asyr gimel.png gimel (camel) ג غ Γ γ
14px-Runic letter gebo.svg.png gebo G g 23px-Glagolitic glagoli.svg.png glagoli Cyr glagol.png Г г
Phen dalet.png Asyr dalet.png dalet (door) ד Δ δ
Dagaz.svg.png dagaz D d 29px-Glagolitic dobro.svg.png dobro Cyr dobro.png Д д
Phen he.png Asyr he.png   he (window) ה ﻩ   ﻪ Ε ε
14px-Runic letter ehwaz.svg.png ehwaz E e 23px-Glagolitic jest.svg.png jest,
30px-Glagolitic ens.svg.png small yus
Cyr est.png
Cyr yus small.png
Е е
Э э
ﻒ ﻓ ﻔ Fehu.svg.png Fehu F f
ﺝ ﺞ ﺟ 29px-Glagolitic zhivete.svg.png zhivete Cyr zhivete.png Ж ж
Phen zain.png Asyr zain.png   zayin (knife) ז Ζ ζ
Z z 29px-Glagolitic dzelo.svg.png zelo
29px-Glagolitic zemlja.svg.png zemlja
Cyr zelo.png
Cyr zemla.png
З з
Phen het.png Asyr het.png   het (fence) ח ﺡ ﺢ ﺣ Η η
14px-Runic letter haglaz.svg.png hagalaz H h 25px-Glagolitic djerv.svg.png gerv
Phen tet.png Asyr tet.png   tet (wheel) ט Θ θ
12px-Runic letter thurisaz.svg.png þurisaz 30px-Glagolitic fita.svg.png fita Cyr teta.png
Phen yod.png Asyr yod.png   yod (hand) י ﻱ ﻲ ﻳ Ι ι
2px-Runic letter isaz.svg.png isaz I i
J j
29px-Glagolitic izhe.svg.png GlagolitsaI1.gif 25px-Glagolitic i.svg.png izhe
GlagolitsaIzhitsa.gif ik
Cyr i1.pngCyr i2.png
Cyr izhe.png
И и
Й й
Phen kaf.png Asyr kaf.png   kaf (hand palm) ך כ ﻙ   ﻛ Κ κ
13px-Runic letter kauna.svg.png kaunan K k 33px-Glagolitic kako.svg.png kako Cyr kako.png К к
Phen lamed.png Asyr lamed.png   lamed (goad) ל ﻝ   ﻟ Λ λ
12px-Runic letter laukaz.svg.png laguz L l 33px-Glagolitic ljudi.svg.png ljudi Cyr ludi.png Л л
Phen mem.png Asyr mem.png   mem (water) ם מ ﻡ   ﻣ Μ μ
14px-Runic letter mannaz.svg.png mannaz M m 33px-Glagolitic mislete.svg.png mislete Cyr myslete.png М м
Phen nun.png Asyr nun.png   nun (fish) ן נ ﻥ   ﻧ Ν ν
12px-Runic letter naudiz.svg.png naudiz N n 33px-Glagolitic nash.svg.png nash Cyr nash.png Н н
Phen ain.png Asyr ain.png   ayin (eye) ע ﻉ ﻊ ﻋ ﻌ Ο ο
O o 33px-Glagolitic on.svg.png on
35px-Glagolitic ons.svg.png big jus
Cyr on.png
Cyr yus big.png
О о
Phen pe.png Asyr pe.png   pe (mouth) ף פ پ Π π
12px-Runic letter pertho.svg.png perþ P p 33px-Glagolitic pokoi.svg.png pokoj Cyr pokoi.png П п
Phen resh.png Asyr resh.png   resh (head) ר Ρ ρ
12px-Runic letter raido.svg.png raido R r 33px-Glagolitic rtsi.svg.png rtsi Cyr rcy.png Р р
Phen sameh.png Asyr sameh.png   samekh (support) ס ﺹ   ﺻ Ξ ξ xi
Σ ς σ sigma
12px-Runic letter sowilo.svg.png sowilo
12px-Runic letter sowilo variant.svg.png sigel
S s 33px-Glagolitic slovo.svg.png slovo Cyr ksi.png
Cyr slovo.png
С с
Phen tav.png Asyr tav.png   taw (cross) ת ﺕ   ﺗ Τ τ
14px-Runic letter tiwaz.svg.png teiwaz T t 33px-Glagolitic tverdo.svg.png tverdo Cyr tverdo.png Т т
Phen waw.png Asyr waw.png   waw (hook) ו Υ υ
14px-Runic letter uruz.svg.png uruz U u
V v
W w
Y y
33px-Glagolitic uk.svg.png uk Cyr uk.png У у
Phen kof.png Asyr kof.png   qof (needle head) ק ﻕ ﻗ ﻘ Φ φ
Q q 32px-Glagolitic fert.svg.png fert Cyr fert.png Ф ф
Χ χ
X x 33px-Glagolitic kher.svg.png kher Cyr her.png Х х
Ψ ψ
Cyr psi.png
Ω ω
16px-Runic letter othalan.svg.png odal GlagolitsaOht.gif oht Cyr ot.png
Phen cadi.png Asyr tsadi.png   cadi (hunt) ץ צ C c 33px-Glagolitic tsi.svg.png tsi
33px-Glagolitic cherv.svg.png cherv
Cyr tsy.png
Cyr tsherv.png
Ц ц
Ч ч
Phen shin.png Asyr shin.png   shin (tooth) ש ﺱ   ﺳ 33px-Glagolitic sha.svg.png sha
33px-Glagolitic shta.svg.png shta
Cyr sha.png
Cyr scha.png
Ш ш
Щ щ
39px-Glagolitic yerj.svg.png ерь
33px-Glagolitic yer.svg.png jer
Cyr er .png
Cyr er.png
40px-Glagolitic yeri.svg.png jeri Cyr eri.png Ы ы
30px-Glagolitic yu.svg.png ju Cyr yu.png Ю ю
36px-Glagolitic yat.svg.png jat Cyr yat.png Я я

The Glagolitic letters look originally, and they are derived obviously from some writing system, which existed before the christianization of Rus'. Also the Glagolitic letter "buki" ("bogi") is very similar to the Chinese character 巴 (ba). The Cyrillic alphabet, which had replaced the Glagolitic is already similar to the Greek alphabet. The ancient names of letters help to memorize the alphabet:

Alphabet Literal translation Translation
Az buki (bogi) vedi glagol I letters (gods) know speak I know letters (gods) and speak
Dobro jest zhivete zelo zemlja izhe Good is live very land/Earth and It's good to live well on Earth
I kako ljudi mislete And as/how people think And to think like the people do
Nash on pokoj Our he/it peace We are peaceful
Rtsi slovo tverdo Say a word firmly Say a word firmly

The letters of the Semitic and European languages, especially the vowels, are not always pronounced as written. The diacritics (vocalization) in the Semitic languages are even written only in the dictionaries and the textbooks. The consonants "C", "G", "S" are pronounced ambiguously in the languages with the Latin alphabet. Thus, the Western European and Semitic writing lacks the phonetic writing advantage: a regular pronunciation without the rules and dictionaries.

The letters 'F' and 'T' look like they are not of the Semitic origin but rather German (Runes). For example, the rune ’teiwaz’ and the letter 'T' is a symbol of a warrior: a spear or an axe. The Runes probably began to form within the Etruscan (predecessor of Latin) and the Greek alphabets, that is, long before the common era. The Runic system (Futhark) has its own order of letters, which differs from the Semitic order, which is the basis of the modern European alphabets.

The Etruscan language is lost. Perhaps, the modern images of vowels (which are ignored by the Semites) came from the Etruscan writing and the Etruscan numeral system, which later became the Roman system.

Principle of the vowel images
Roman numeral European letter Meaning of image
I I The highest pitch sound (as in the Korean writing).
II E, Э The opened mouth and the tongue in its middle.
III A, Л The high pitch sound (up arrow).
IV O The puckered lips.
V V, U, W, У The lowest pitch sound (down arrow).

The numerical values of letters are used in Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Georgian, Latin and Slavonic alphabets. The alphabetical order of letters corresponds to an increase in their values. The letters are used instead of the digits to write the numbers shortly. The group of letters represents a number as the sum of their values. This convention was invented by the Semites along with Gematria (numerology). According to the gematria, any word and any phrase has its numeric value as the sum of all its letter values.

Numerical value of the phrase "King of Israel" in Hebrew
Letters Pronunciation Value
ה ha 5
מ me 40
ל le 30
ך h 20
ל le 30
י i 10
ש s 300
ר ra 200
א e 1
ל l 30
המלך לישראל ha-meleh le-israel 666

The traditional Chinese numbers are written as the phrases like «N hundreds, M tens, K». For example, the number 666 is written as 六百六十六

The modern arithmetics uses the Indian positional decimal system with the "Arabic" digits.

Digits of the various alphabets (similar shapes are marked yellow)
Chinese, Japanese, Korean Indian (Devanagari) Persian, Indo-Arabic Modern «Arabic»
۰ 0
۱ 1
۲ 2
۳ 3
۴   ٤ 4
۵ 5
۶   ٦ 6
۷ 7
۸ 8
۹ 9

The table shows, that the modern digits have a little to do with the real Arabic (Semitic) digits, and they are mostly similar to the Indian Devanagari writing. The Indian numeral system came to Europe in the XII century with a book of the founder of algebra al-Khwarizmi (Latin: Algorismus) «On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals". This book was written in Arabic, so the digits were called the Arabic.

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