The Info List - Elder Futhark

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The Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
(also called Elder Fuþark, Older Futhark, Old Futhark or Germanic Futhark) is the oldest form of the runic alphabets. It was a writing system used by Germanic tribes
Germanic tribes
for Northwest Germanic dialects in the Migration Period. Its inscriptions are found on artifacts (including jewelry, amulets, tools, weapons, and runestones) from the 2nd to the 8th centuries. In Scandinavia, from the late 8th century, the script was simplified to the Younger Futhark, and the Anglo-Saxons
and Frisians
extended the Futhark, which eventually became the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon furhorc and the Younger Futharks, which remained in use during the Early and the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
respectively, knowledge of how to read the Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
was forgotten until 1865, when it was deciphered by Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge.[1]


1 Description 2 Origins

2.1 Derivation from Italic alphabets 2.2 Date and purpose of invention

3 Rune names 4 Inscription corpus

4.1 Scandinavian inscriptions 4.2 Continental inscriptions 4.3 Distribution 4.4 List of inscriptions

5 Unicode 6 See also 7 References 8 References 9 External links

Description[edit] The Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
(named after the initial phoneme of the first six rune names: F, U, Þ, A, R and K) has 24 runes, often arranged in three groups of eight runes called an ætt[2] (pl. aettir). In the following table, each rune is given with its common transliteration:

f     u     þ     a     r     k     g     w    

h n i j ï p z s

t b e m l ŋ d o

þ corresponds to [θ]. ï is also transliterated as æ and may have been either a diphthong or a vowel near [ɪ] or [æ]. z was Proto-Germanic
[z], and evolved into Proto-Norse
[ɹ] and is also transliterated as ʀ. The remaining transliterations correspond to the IPA
symbol of their approximate value. The earliest known sequential listing of the alphabet dates to 400 and is found on the Kylver Stone
Kylver Stone
in Gotland:

[ᚠ] ᚢ ᚦ ᚨ ᚱ ᚲ ᚷ [ᚹ] ᚺ ᚾ ᛁ ᛃ ᛈ ᛇ ᛉ ᛊ ᛏ ᛒ ᛖ ᛗ ᛚ ᛜ ᛞ ᛟ [f] u þ a r k g [w] h n i j p ï z s t b e m l ŋ d o

Two instances of another early inscription were found on the two Vadstena and Mariedamm bracteates (6th century), showing the division in three ætts, with the positions of ï, p and o, d inverted compared to the Kylver stone:

f u þ a r k g w; h n i j ï p z s; t b e m l ŋ o d

The Grumpan bracteate
Grumpan bracteate
presents a listing from 500 which is identical to the one found on the previous bracteates but incomplete:

f u þ a r k g w ... h n i j ï p (z) ... t b e m l (ŋ) (o) d

Origins[edit] See also: Runes Derivation from Italic alphabets[edit] The Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
runes are commonly believed to originate in the Old Italic scripts: either a North Italic variant (Etruscan or Raetic alphabets), or the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
itself. Derivation from the Greek alphabet via Celtic contact to Byzantine Greek culture was a popular theory in the 19th century, but has been ruled out since the dating of the Vimose inscriptions
Vimose inscriptions
to the 2nd century (while the Goths
had been in contact with Greek culture only from the early 3rd century). Conversely, the Greek-derived 4th century Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
does have two letters derived from runes, (from Jer j) and (from Uruz u). The angular shapes of the runes, presumably an adaptation to the incision in wood or metal, are not a Germanic innovation, but a property that is shared with other early alphabets, including the Old Italic ones (compare, for example, the Duenos inscription). The 1st century BC Negau helmet
Negau helmet
inscription features a Germanic name, Harigastiz, in a North Etruscan alphabet, and may be a testimony of the earliest contact of Germanic speakers with alphabetic writing. Similarly, the Meldorf inscription of 50 may qualify as "proto-runic" use of the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
by Germanic speakers. The Raetic
"alphabet of Bolzano" in particular seems to fit the letter shapes well.[3] The spearhead of Kovel, dated to 200 AD, sometimes advanced as evidence of a peculiar Gothic variant of the runic alphabet, bears an inscription tilarids that may in fact be in an Old Italic rather than a runic alphabet, running right to left with a T and a D closer to the Latin or Etruscan than to the Bolzano or runic alphabets. Perhaps an "eclectic" approach can yield the best results for the explanation of the origin of the runes: most shapes of the letters can be accounted for when deriving them from several distinct North Italic writing systems: the p rune has a parallel in the Camunic alphabet, while it has been argued that d derives from the shape of the letter san (= ś) in Lepontic
where it seems to represent the sound /d/.[4] The g, a, f, i, t, m and l runes show no variation, and are generally accepted as identical to the Old Italic or Latin letters X, A, F, I, T, M and L, respectively. There is also wide agreement that the u, r, k, h, s, b and o runes respectively correspond directly to V, R, C, H, S, B and O. The runes of uncertain derivation may either be original innovations, or adoptions of otherwise unneeded Latin letters. Odenstedt 1990, p. 163 suggests that all 22 Latin letters of the classical Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
(1st Century, ignoring marginalized K) were adopted (þ from D, z from Y, ŋ from Q, w from P, j from G, ï from Z), with two runes (p and d) left over as original Germanic innovations, but there are conflicting scholarly opinions regarding the e (from E ?), n (from N ?), þ (D ? or Raetic Θ ?), w (Q or P ?), ï and z (both from either Z or Latin Y ?), ŋ (Q ?) and d runes.[5] Of the 24 runes in the classical futhark row attested from 400 (Kylver stone), ï, p[a] and ŋ[b] are unattested in the earliest inscriptions of ca. 175 to 400, while e in this early period mostly takes a Π-shape, its M-shape () gaining prevalence only from the 5th century. Similarly, the s rune may have either three () or four () strokes (and more rarely five or more), and only from the 5th century does the variant with three strokes become prevalent. Note that the "mature" runes of the 6th to 8th centuries tend to have only three directions of strokes, the vertical and two diagonal directions. Early inscriptions also show horizontal strokes: these appear in the case of e (mentioned above), but also in t, l, ŋ and h. Date and purpose of invention[edit] The general agreement dates the creation of the first runic alphabet to roughly the 1st century. Early estimates include the 1st century BC,[6] and late estimates push the date into the 2nd century. The question is one of estimating the "findless" period separating the script's creation from the Vimose
finds of ca. 160. If either ï or z indeed derive from Latin Y or Z, as suggested by Odenstedt, the first century BC is ruled out, because these letters were only introduced into the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
during the reign of Augustus. Other scholars are content to assume a findless period of a few decades, pushing the date into the early 2nd century.[7][8] Pedersen (and with him Odenstedt) suggests a period of development of about a century to account for their assumed derivation of the shapes of þ and j from Latin D and G. The invention of the script has been ascribed to a single person[9] or a group of people who had come into contact with Roman culture, maybe as mercenaries in the Roman army, or as merchants. The script was clearly designed for epigraphic purposes, but opinions differ in stressing either magical, practical or simply playful (graffiti) aspects. Bæksted 1952, p. 134 concludes that in its earliest stage, the runic script was an "artificial, playful, not really needed imitation of the Roman script", much like the Germanic bracteates were directly influenced by Roman currency, a view that is accepted by Odenstedt 1990, p. 171 in the light of the very primitive nature of the earliest (2nd to 4th century) inscription corpus. Rune names[edit] Each rune most probably had a name, chosen to represent the sound of the rune itself. The Old English names of all 24 runes of the Elder Futhark, along with five names of runes unique to the Anglo-Saxon runes, are preserved in the Old English rune poem, compiled in the 8th or 9th century. These names are in good agreement with medieval Scandinavian records of the names of the 16 Younger Futhark
Younger Futhark
runes, and to some extent also with those of the letters of the Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
(recorded by Alcuin
in the 9th century). Therefore, it is assumed[by whom?] that the names go back to the Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
period, at least to the 5th century. There is no positive evidence that the full row of 24 runes had been completed before the end of the 4th century, but it is likely that at least some runes had their name before that time.[original research?] This concerns primarily the runes used magically, especially the Teiwaz
and Ansuz
runes which are taken to symbolize or invoke deities in sequences such as that on the Lindholm amulet
Lindholm amulet
(3rd or 4th century).[citation needed] Reconstructed names in Common Germanic
Common Germanic
can easily be given for most runes. Exceptions are the þ rune (which is given different names in Anglo-Saxon, Gothic and Scandinavian traditions) and the z rune (whose original name is unknown, and preserved only in corrupted form from Old English tradition). The 24 Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
runes are:[10]

Rune UCS Transliteration IPA Proto-Germanic
name Meaning

ᚠ f /f/ *fehu "wealth, cattle"

ᚢ u /u(ː)/ ?*ūruz "aurochs" (or *ûram "water/slag"?)

ᚦ þ /θ/, /ð/ ?*þurisaz "the god Thor, giant"

ᚨ a /a(ː)/ *ansuz "one of the Æsir

ᚱ r /r/ *raidō "ride, journey"

ᚲ k (c) /k/ ?*kaunan "ulcer"? (or *kenaz "torch"?)

ᚷ g /ɡ/ *gebō "gift"

ᚹ w /w/ *wunjō "joy"

ᚻ h /h/ *hagalaz "hail" (the precipitation)

ᚾ n /n/ *naudiz "need"

ᛁ i /i(ː)/ *īsaz "ice"

ᛃ j /j/ *jēra- "year, good year, harvest"

ᛇ ï (æ) /æː/(?) *ī(h)waz/*ei(h)waz "yew-tree"

ᛈ p /p/ ?*perþ- meaning unclear, perhaps "pear-tree".

ᛉ z /z/ ?*algiz unclear, possibly "elk".

ᛋ s /s/ *sōwilō "Sun"

ᛏ t /t/ *tīwaz/*teiwaz "the god Tyr"

ᛒ b /b/ *berkanan "birch"

ᛖ e /e(ː)/ *ehwaz "horse"

ᛗ m /m/ *mannaz "Man"

ᛚ l /l/ *laguz "water, lake" (or possibly *laukaz "leek")

ᛝ ŋ /ŋ/ *ingwaz "the god Yngvi"

ᛟ o /o(ː)/ *ōþila-/*ōþala- "heritage, estate, possession"

ᛞ d /d/ *dagaz "day"

The rune names stood for their rune because of the first phoneme in the name (the principle of acrophony), with the exception of Ingwaz and Algiz: the Proto-Germanic
z sound of the Algiz
rune, never occurred in a word-initial position. The phoneme acquired an r-like quality in Proto-Norse, usually transliterated with ʀ, and finally merged with r in Icelandic, rendering the rune superfluous as a letter. Similarly, the ng-sound of the Ingwaz
rune does not occur word-initially. The names come from the vocabulary of daily life and mythology, some trivial, some beneficent and some inauspicious:

Mythology: Tiwaz, Thurisaz, Ingwaz, God, Man, Sun. Nature and environment: Sun, day, year, hail, ice, lake, water, birch, yew, pear, elk, aurochs, ear (of grain). Daily life and human condition: Man, wealth/cattle, horse, estate/inheritance, slag/protection from evil, ride/journey, year/harvest, gift, joy, need, ulcer/illness.[citation needed]

Inscription corpus[edit] Main article: Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark

[ek go]dagastiz runo faihido inscription on the 4th century "Einang stone"[11]

Old Futhark inscriptions were found on artifacts scattered between the Carpathians and Lappland, with the highest concentration in Denmark. They are usually short inscriptions on jewelry (bracteates, fibulae, belt buckles), utensils (combs, spinning whorls) or weapons (lance tips, seaxes) and were mostly found in graves or bogs. Scandinavian inscriptions[edit] Words frequently appearing in inscriptions on bracteates with possibly magical significance are alu, laþu and laukaz. While their meaning is unclear, alu has been associated with "ale, intoxicating drink", in a context of ritual drinking, and laukaz with "leek, garlic", in a context of fertility and growth. An example of a longer early inscription is on a 4th-century axe-handle found in Nydam, Jutland: wagagastiz / alu:??hgusikijaz:aiþalataz (wagagastiz "wave-guest" could be a personal name, the rest has been read as alu:wihgu sikijaz:aiþalataz with a putative meaning "wave/flame-guest, from a bog, alu, I, oath-sayer consecrate/fight". The obscurity even of emended readings is typical for runic inscriptions that go beyond simple personal names). A term frequently found in early inscriptions is Erilaz, apparently describing a person with knowledge of runes. The oldest known runic inscription dates to 160 and is found on the Vimose
Comb discovered in the bog of Vimose, Funen.[12] The inscription reads harja, either a personal name or an epithet, viz. Proto-Germanic
*harjaz ( PIE
*koryos) "warrior", or simply the word for "comb" (*hārijaz). Another early inscription is found on the Thorsberg chape
Thorsberg chape
(200), probably containing the theonym Ullr. The typically Scandinavian runestones begin to show the transition to Younger Futhark
Younger Futhark
from the 6th century, with transitional examples like the Björketorp or Stentoften stones. In the early 9th century, both the older and the younger futhark were known and used, which is shown on the Rök Runestone
where the runemaster used both. The longest known inscription in the Elder Futhark, and one of the youngest, consists of some 200 characters and is found on the early 8th century Eggjum stone, and may even contain a stanza of Old Norse poetry. The Caistor-by-Norwich astragalus reading raïhan "deer" is notable as the oldest inscription of the British Isles, dating to 400, the very end of Roman Britain and just predating the modifications leading to the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. Continental inscriptions[edit] The oldest inscriptions (before 500) found on the Continent are divided into two groups, the area of the North Sea coast and Northern Germany (including parts of the Netherlands) associated with the Saxons
and Frisians
on one hand (part of the "North Germanic Koine"),[13] and loosely scattered finds from along the Oder
to south-eastern Poland, as far as the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
(e.g. the ring of Pietroassa in Romania), associated with East Germanic tribes. The latter group disappears during the 5th century, the time of contact of the Goths
with the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and their conversion to Christianity. In this early period, there is no specifically West Germanic runic tradition. This changes from the early 6th century, and for about one century (520 to 620), an Alamannic "runic province"[14] emerges, with examples on fibulae, weapon parts and belt buckles. As in the East Germanic case, use of runes subsides with Christianization, in the case of the Alamanni
in the course of the 7th century. Distribution[edit] There are some 350 known Elder Futhark inscriptions
Elder Futhark inscriptions
with a total of approximately 81 known inscriptions from the South (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and 267 from Scandinavia.[15][16] The precise numbers are debatable because of some suspected forgeries, and some disputed inscriptions (identification as "runes" vs. accidental scratches, simple ornaments or Latin letters). 133 Scandinavian inscriptions are on bracteates (compared to 2 from the South), and 65 are on runestones (no Southern example is extant). Southern inscriptions are predominantly on fibulae (43, compared to 15 in Scandinavia). The Scandinavian runestones belong to the later period of the Elder Futhark, and initiate the boom of medieval Younger Futhark
Younger Futhark
stones (with some 6,000 surviving examples). Elder Futhark inscriptions
Elder Futhark inscriptions
were rare, with very few active literati, in relation to the total population, at any time, so that knowledge of the runes was probably an actual "secret" throughout the Migration period. Of 366 lances excavated at Illerup, only 2 bore inscriptions. A similar ratio is estimated for Alemannia, with an estimated 170 excavated graves to every inscription found.[17] Estimates of the total number of inscriptions produced are based on the "minimal runological estimate" of 40,000 (ten individuals making ten inscriptions per year for four centuries). The actual number was probably considerably higher. The 80 known Southern inscriptions are from some 100,000 known graves. With an estimated total of 50,000,000 graves (based on population density estimates), some 80,000 inscriptions would have been produced in total in the Merovingian South alone (and maybe close to 400,000 in total, so that of the order of 0.1% of the corpus has come down to us), and Fischer 2004, p. 281 estimates a population of several hundred active literati throughout the period, with as many as 1,600 during the Alamannic "runic boom" of the 6th century. List of inscriptions[edit] After Looijenga 1997, Lüthi 2004.


Period I (150–550)

Vimose inscriptions
Vimose inscriptions
(6 objects, 160–300) Øvre Stabu spearhead
Øvre Stabu spearhead
(ca. 180), raunijaz Illerup inscriptions
Illerup inscriptions
(9 objects) Mos spearhead (c. 300), gaois(?)[18] Golden horns of Gallehus (ca. 400) Einang stone
Einang stone
(400) Kylver Stone
Kylver Stone
(400) Rö Runestone
(400–450) Kalleby Runestone
(5th century) Möjbro Runestone
(400–550) Järsberg Runestone
(500–550) Hogganvik runestone
Hogganvik runestone
(5th century)

Bracteates: total 133 (see also Alu)

Seeland-II-C (500) Vadstena bracteate Tjurkö bracteate

Period II (550–700)

Skåäng Runestone
(6th century?) Björketorp Runestone Gummarp Runestone Istaby Runestone Stentoften Runestone

South-Eastern Europe (200–550): 4 AD.

Gothic runic inscriptions
Gothic runic inscriptions

Continental inscriptions (mainly Germany; 200–700): 50 legible, 15 illegible (39 brooches, 11 weapon parts, 4 fittings and belt buckles, 3 strap ends, 8 other)

Thorsberg chape
Thorsberg chape
(200) Bülach fibula Charnay fibula Nordendorf fibula Pforzen buckle

English and Frisian (300–700): 44; see futhorc

Unicode[edit] Further information: Runic ( Unicode
block) The Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
is encoded in Unicode
within the unified Runic range, 16A0–16FF. Among the freely available TrueType
fonts that include this range are Junicode
and FreeMono. The Kylver Stone
Kylver Stone
row encoded in Unicode


Encoded separately is the "continental" double-barred h-rune, ᚻ. A graphical variant of the ng-rune, ᛝ, is also encoded separately. These two have separate codepoints because they become independent letters in the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. The numerous other graphical variants of Elder Futhark
Elder Futhark
runes are considered glyph variants and not given Unicode
codepoints. Similarly, bindrunes are considered ligatures and not given Unicode
codepoints. The only bindrune that can arguably be rendered as a single Unicode
glyph is the i͡ŋ bindrune or "lantern rune", as ᛄ, the character intended as the Anglo-Saxon Gēr rune. See also[edit]

Rune poem Runic script


^ Speculated by Looijenga 1997 to be a variant of b. ^ Westergaard 1981 postulates occurrence in 34 Vimose
and 23 Letcani, rejected by Odenstedt 1990, p. 118.


^ Vänehem, Mats, Forskning om runor och runstenar (article), Stockholms Lans Museum . ^ Elliott 1980, p. 14. ^ Gippert, Jost, The Development of Old Germanic Alphabets, Uni Frankfurt . ^ Stifter 2010, p. 374. ^ Odenstedt 1990, pp. 160ff. ^ Moltke 1976, p. 54: "the year 0±100". ^ Askeberg 1944, p. 77. ^ Odenstedt 1990, p. 168. ^ Moltke 1976, p. 53. ^ Page 2005, pp. 8, 15–16. The asterisk before the rune names means that they are unattested reconstructions. ^ "Runic", Nordic life . ^ Ilkjær 1996, p. 74 in Looijenga 2003, p. 78. ^ Martin 2004, p. 173. ^ Martin 2004. ^ Fischer 2004, p. 281. ^ Lüthi 2004, p. 321. ^ Lüthi 2004, p. 323. ^ Jansson, Sven Birger Fredrik (1962), The runes of Sweden, Bedminster Press, pp. iii–iv, The oldest known runic inscription from Sweden is found on a spearhead, recovered from a grave at Mos in the parish of Stenkyrka
in Gotland. The inscription, consisting of only five runes, might be dated to the end of the third century of our era .

Bæksted, A (1952), Målruner og troldruner, Copenhagen . Elliott, Ralph Warren Victor (1980), Runes: An Introduction, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-0787-9  Fischer, Svante (2004), "Alemannia and the North — Early Runic Contexts Apart (400–800)", in Naumann, Hans-Peter; Lanter, Franziska; et al., Alemannien und der Norden, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 266–317, ISBN 3-11-017891-5  Ilkjær, Jørgen (1996), "Runeindskrifter fra mosefund i Danmark – kontekst og oprindelse", Frisian Runes
and Neighbouring Traditions, Rodopi . Looijenga, Jantina Helena (1997), Runes
around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150–700 (dissertation), Groningen University . Looijenga, Tineke (2004), Texts and Contexts of the Oldest Runic Inscriptions, Leiden: Brill, ISBN 90-04-12396-2  Lüthi, Katrin (2004), "Von Þruþhild und Hariso: Alemannische und ältere skandinavische Runenkultur im Vergleich", in Naumann, Hans-Peter; Lanter, Franziska; et al., Alemannien und der Norden, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 318–39, ISBN 3-11-017891-5  Martin, Max (2004), "Kontinentalgermanische Runeninschriften und 'Alamannische Runenprovinz'", in Naumann, Hans-Peter; Lanter, Franziska; et al., Alemannien und der Norden, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 165–212, ISBN 3-11-017891-5  Nowak, Sean (2003), Schrift auf den Goldbrakteaten der Völkerwanderungszeit (PDF) (diss), Göttingen . Odenstedt, Bengt (1990), On the Origin and Early History of the Runic Script, Typology and Graphic Variation in the Older Futhark, Uppsala, ISBN 91-85352-20-9 . Page, Raymond Ian (2005), Runes, The British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-8065-3 . Rix, Helmut (1997), "Germanische Runen und venetische Phonetik", in Birkmann; et al., Vergleichende germanische Philologie und Skandinavistik, Festschrift für Otmar Werner, Tübingen, pp. 231–48, ISBN 3-484-73031-5 . Robinson, Orrin W (2004), Old English and its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-08169-6  Stifter, David (2010), "Lepontische Studien: Lexicon Leponticum und die Funktion von san im Lepontischen", in Stüber, Karin; et al., Akten des 5. Deutschsprachigen Keltologensymposiums. Zürich, 7.–10. September 2009, Wien, pp. 361–76 . Westergaard, Kai-Erik (1981), Skrifttegn og symboler : noen studier over tegnformer i det eldre runealfabet, Osloer Beiträge zur Germanistik (in Norwegian), 6, Oslo: Germanistisches Institut der Universität Oslo, ISBN 978-82-90389-02-9 .

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to runes.

Runenprojekt inscription database at the University of Kiel Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Older Runic". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  Ancient Scripts: Futhark Omniglot.com – Elder Futhark Rune Converter hosted by Viking Rune

v t e


Elder Futhark ᚠ ᚢ ᚦ ᚨ ᚱ ᚲ ᚷ ᚹ ᚺ ᚾ ᛁ ᛃ

ᛇ ᛈ ᛉ ᛊ ᛏ ᛒ ᛖ ᛗ ᛚ ᛜ ᛟ ᛞ          

Old English Futhorc ᚠ ᚢ ᚦ ᚩ o ᚱ ᚳ c ȝ ᚹ ᚻ ᚾ ᛁ ᛄ

eo ᛈ
x ᛋ ᛏ ᛒ ᛖ ᛗ ᛚ ᛝ
œ ᛞ   ᚪ a ᚫ æ ᚣ y ᛠ ea

Younger Futhark ᚠ ᚢ ᚦ ᚬ ą ᚱ ᚴ     ᚼ ᚾ ᛁ

ᛅ a       ᛋ ᛏ ᛒ   ᛘ ᛚ       ᛦ ʀ        

Transliteration f u þ a r k g w h n i j

ï p z s t b e m l ŋ o d

See also Epigraphy Runestones Rune Poems Medieval runes Runology Runic magic

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Asomtavruli Nuskhuri Mkhedruli

Glagolitic Gothic Gregg shorthand Greek Greco-Iberian alphabet Hangul Hanifi IPA Kaddare Latin

Beneventan Blackletter Carolingian minuscule Fraktur Gaelic Insular Kurrent Merovingian Sigla Sütterlin Tironian notes Visigothic

Luo Lycian Lydian Manchu Mandaic Medefaidrin Molodtsov Mongolian Mru Neo-Tifinagh New Tai Lue N'Ko Ogham Oirat Ol Chiki Old Hungarian Old Italic Old Permic Orkhon Old Uyghur Osage Osmanya Pau Cin Hau Runic

Anglo-Saxon Cipher Dalecarlian Elder Futhark Younger Futhark Gothic Marcomannic Medieval Staveless

Sidetic Shavian Somali Tifinagh Vagindra Visible Speech Vithkuqi Wancho Zaghawa


Braille Maritime flags Morse code New York Point Semaphore line Flag semaphore Moon type


Adinkra Aztec Blissymbol Dongba Ersu Shaba Emoji IConji Isotype Kaidā Míkmaq Mixtec New Epoch Notation Painting Nsibidi Ojibwe Hieroglyphs Siglas poveiras Testerian Yerkish Zapotec


Chinese family of scripts

Chinese Characters

Simplified Traditional Oracle bone script Bronze Script Seal Script

large small bird-worm

Hanja Idu Kanji Chữ nôm Zhuang


Jurchen Khitan large script Sui Tangut


Akkadian Assyrian Elamite Hittite Luwian Sumerian

Other logo-syllabic

Anatolian Bagam Cretan Isthmian Maya Proto-Elamite Yi (Classical)


Demotic Hieratic Hieroglyphs


Hindu-Arabic Abjad Attic (Greek) Muisca Roman



Celtiberian Northeastern Iberian Southeastern Iberian Khom


Espanca Pahawh Hmong Khitan small script Southwest Paleohispanic Zhuyin fuhao


ASLwrite SignWriting si5s Stokoe Notation


Afaka Bamum Bété Byblos Cherokee Cypriot Cypro-Minoan Ditema tsa Dinoko Eskayan Geba Great Lakes Algonquian syllabics Iban Japanese

Hiragana Katakana Man'yōgana Hentaigana Sogana Jindai moji

Kikakui Kpelle Linear B Linear Elamite Lisu Loma Nüshu Nwagu Aneke script Old Persian Cuneiform Vai Woleai Yi (Modern) Yugtun

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1829 braille International uniformity ASCII braille Unicode
braille patterns


French-ordered scripts (see for more)

Albanian Amharic Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Belarusian Bharati

(Hindi  / Marathi  / Nepali) Bengali Punjabi Sinhalese Tamil Urdu etc.

Bulgarian Burmese Cambodian Cantonese Catalan Chinese (Mandarin, mainland) Czech Dutch Dzongkha (Bhutanese) English (Unified English) Esperanto Estonian Faroese French Georgian German Ghanaian Greek Guarani Hawaiian Hebrew Hungarian Icelandic Inuktitut (reassigned vowels) Iñupiaq IPA Irish Italian Kazakh Kyrgyz Latvian Lithuanian Maltese Mongolian Māori Navajo Nigerian Northern Sami Persian Philippine Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Samoan Scandinavian Slovak South African Spanish Tatar Taiwanese Mandarin (largely reassigned) Thai & Lao (Japanese vowels) Tibetan Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese Welsh Yugoslav

Reordered scripts

Algerian Braille

Frequency-based scripts

American Braille

Independent scripts

Japanese Korean Two-Cell Chinese

Eight-dot scripts

Luxembourgish Kanji Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8)

Symbols in braille

music Canadian currency marks Computer Braille
Code Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8/GS6) International Phonetic Alphabet
(IPA) Nemeth braille code


e-book Braille
embosser Braille
translator Braille
watch Mountbatten Brailler Optical braille recognition Perforation Perkins Brailler Refreshable braille display Slate and stylus Braigo


Louis Braille Charles Barbier Valentin Haüy Thakur Vishva Narain Singh Sabriye Tenberken William Bell Wait


Institute of America Braille
Without Borders Japan Braille
Library National Braille
Association Blindness organizations Schools for the blind American Printing House for the Blind

Other tactile alphabets

Decapoint Moon type New York Point Night writing Vibratese

Related topics

Accessible publishing Braille
literacy RoboBraille

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Electronic writing systems

Emoticons Emoji iConji Leet Unicode

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Internet slang
Internet slang

3arabizi Alay (Indonesia) Denglisch Doge Fingilish (Persian) Greeklish Gyaru-moji (Japan) Jejemon (Philippines) Leet
("1337") Lolspeak / LOLspeak / Kitteh Martian language (Chinese) Miguxês (Portuguese) Padonkaffsky jargon
Padonkaffsky jargon
(Russian) Translit Volapuk

See also English internet slang (at Wiktio