Sunday, September 9, 2012

Latinisation: Do As The Romans Do?

For most speakers of European languages, use of the Latin alphabet is second nature. We sing the song, practice writing the letters and see it almost everywhere. For those in other parts of the world, the symbols that form the written basis of most of our languages have just as much meaning linguistically as a Rorschack test.

Random pattern or best-selling novel? Freud would say "genitals".

The Latin alphabet is everywhere. The widespread coverage of European languages and especially EFIGS (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish) has helped to promote the use of the alphabet across the world.

Why don't Greek footballers have their names in Greek on their shirts?

"What do you mean I can't have Παπαδόπουλος on the back!?"

The internet, technology, and the relatively small number of characters have facilitated the spread of the Latin alphabet, especially through English and its lack of diacritics (loanwords excluded).

An early Chinese keyboard. Operated by a team of ten giants.

A-to-Z works on the World Wide Web and fits nicely onto a numerical keypad for writing texts. As we start to type more and write less the system we use will become more important. Will there be only one? The answer is as easy as ABC... sorry.

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