Questions tagged [written-language]

Questions which apply solely or mostly to the written forms of languages as opposed to their spoken forms.

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23
votes
1answer
5k views

Deciphering a handwritten script

There are many studies on calligraphy, and in some cultures (Chinese, Indic, Arabic) it became a really significant part of culture. However, there are not only examples of good handwriting. Often we ...
11
votes
3answers
906 views

How are line breaks handled in bidirectional messages containing both English and Hebrew?

I have some Hebrew (right-to-left) text within an English (left-to-right) text as such: The Hebrew text (right-to-left) by itself looks like this: When the paper does not have enough width, the ...
20
votes
12answers
46k views

Why was korea able to remove kanji but japan wasn't when both languages use homophones?

I am strictly interested in the question of homophones and kanji. Korean has homophones yet they removed the Chinese characters and are getting by just fine? Or are they? Japanese kanji lovers say ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

How would someone begin translating an unknown language?

Excuse my ignorance. I'm writing a work of fiction wherein an archeologist finds a tomb that contains not only the bodies of an unknown/unstudied society, but also samples of writing in that society's ...
8
votes
9answers
22k views

Why does linguistics focus on spoken languages rather than written ones?

I might be wrong since I'm unable to find any sources supporting this, but it's increasingly my gut feeling that linguistics appears to focus on spoken languages as opposed to written ones. If this is ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Most succinct written language

I am wondering what the most succinct written language is. I would call one language more succinct than another if that language could communicate the same idea as another with fewer characters. I ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

Languages which changed their writing direction

I am interested in account of languages that had undergone a change in the writing direction somewhere in the history. We might say, for example, that Greek was used to be written also (not sure if ...
3
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it possible to become fluent in any language simply by reading books in that language?

I know the best way to learn a language is to go to a country which speaks that language, but what if you don't have that convenience. Is it possible to become fluent simply through reading books in ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the term for correspondence between the written and the spoken form of a language?

Not all languages have the same degree of correspondence between the spoken and the written form. Saying correspondence, I'm referring to the equivalence between what we write in a certain language ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Are Written and Spoken English distinct languages?

First of all, I am not a linguist, but I was thinking the other night that being literate was almost the same as being bilingual. My reasoning is that sign language is distinct from written and ...
8
votes
1answer
216 views

Are there literate speech communities for Sign Languages?

I am aware of some systems of sign writing (e.g. Sutton SignWriting). They are used in dictionaries, teaching materials, or scientific documentation. But did some Sign Language speech communities ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How to identify a foreign language from handwriting?

As asking language-ID-questions on this site seems off-topic I'd like to know whether there is a resource on the internet which can help me. I found a the curious snippet attached to a balloon which ...
16
votes
4answers
569 views

Can one's native medium of language be written, rather than spoken or signed?

(This is probably a poorly-formed question, but I'm really just trying to find out if there's any research in this area.) Most children pick up a spoken or signed language at an early age, and this ...
4
votes
3answers
305 views

Is capitalization a recurring feature across writing systems?

Is it a common feature for a writing system to include a capitalized variant of itself? What is the purpose of capitalization in itself? Is it ever truly necessary for comprehension?
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Sources on average retention rate of language based on time [closed]

I am creating a language learning app and am interested in sources/publications which offer statistics on retention rate of languages over time. For example, I have data that my product taught ...
1
vote
1answer
324 views

How are numerals written in Arabic?

How are multi-digit numbers written in Arabic? For example, if someone wanted to write 123, would they write "321" from the right or in some other way?
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Is punctuation necessary in written language?

I'm wondering if punctuation is necessary for written languages. I can't quite tell if in spoken languages we use "punctuation". It seems like "we say multiple words without pauses, breaks, or other ...