ScriptSource: Pretty much every form of human writing, all documented on one site
June 16, 2011 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Scriptsource: Pretty much every form of human writing, all documented on one site. Simon Ager’s, which went online circa 1998, documents the many writing systems in use through history and in the present day. Now SIL International’s ScriptSource packs an even more boggling array of information on scripts and writing into one site, drilling all the way down to pages for individual letters.
posted by joeclark (8 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
What? No Graffiti?
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:03 AM on June 16, 2011

Awesome post.
posted by DU at 11:07 AM on June 16, 2011

Aw.. Awesome Metafilter coincidence moment!

I've been putting off launching into a Khmer translation project for a few days now. One of the things that's been slowing me down is that I'm a long way from home and study, and I'm lacking both a decent chart of the abugida and a set of truetype/unicode keyboard maps.

I almost always need hardcopies of both stuck up next to my monitor for those brain fart moments when I forget a character or a key. Now, voila, there seems to be about half a dozen charts linked to from Scriptsource's general overview page, and a whole lot of links to those weirder fonts and keymaps themselves.

It's pure gold, at just the right time, and joeclark.. I thank you for it from the bottom of my heart!
posted by Ahab at 12:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, you kids.
posted by joeclark at 12:22 PM on June 16, 2011

This is so crazy cool. Thanks!
posted by OmieWise at 12:29 PM on June 16, 2011

When I worked at a library in college, we regularly had to figure out what language items were in, and obviously a lot of that involved identifying the script. One day we got this book written in a completely unintelligible script. It was impossible to figure out, it looked sort of like Armenian, but mostly like a fucking moon language. Anyway, after about a week we figured out that it was Deseret, the Mormon language.

posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

I love obscure scripts, especially the as-yet untranslated ones. Something about unreadable writing stirs the imagination - are they poems and songs? Scientific texts, prayers to lost gods, invitations to peace, declarations of war, invoices for fine wines? The secret workings of a mind by vast stretches of time and place and culture removed from mine, meant to be shared, but tragically lost from the stream of human knowing.

Some of them, like Rongorongo, are beautiful, haunting and tantalizing. Others, like Vinca script, so ancient, one has to wonder what history they could reveal, what the widening the horizon of knowledge by millennia could mean. The stuff the finest daydreams are made of.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:06 AM on June 17, 2011

This is excellent—many thanks!
posted by languagehat at 12:25 PM on June 17, 2011

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