Does your language need a written alphabet

Language Building: Do You Need a (Written) Alphabet?

What medium will you be using to convey your language? Will it be written? Spoken? Or maybe both? Do you need an alphabet?

Conlangs (constructed languages) are created to be used and understood by actors, gamers, or readers. People write to be read, and often the best way to do that is by writing in the language readers use.

But a conlang with its own writing system has a beautiful authenticity to it that language lovers like myself find hard to resist.

Some examples of fictional writing systems are:

Tengwar
Tengwar

Tengwar by Tolkien

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Uruk

Uruk Runes by Tolkien

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Atlantean

Atlantean by Okrand and Emerson

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Klingon

Klingon by Okrand

The fact that these fictional languages can be written down makes them feel more real, which in turn makes the story world more real.

Personally, creating a language’s writing system is one of my favorite aspects of language building. I enjoy studying the systems of other languages and of coming up with my own ways of representing the sounds and words of my constructed language.

Written language gives you a bit more creative and artistic freedom, but if you choose to go in this direction, many readers like myself will appreciate a pronunciation guide 🙂

Here are some interesting resources for creating writing systems:

Omniglot.com is a great resource for all aspects of language building, including writing systems.

This Wikibooks source is a good place for beginners to start when thinking about the type of writing system you want.

Here is a fascinating writing system website with great examples taken from actual human writing systems.

This article has some interesting ideas about how to represent the sounds in your language.

And this article lists several useful questions to ask yourself when you are creating your language.

So do you think you’ll be creating a written alphabet? What does yours look like?

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