Wikipedia:Language recognition chart

The confusion of tongues at the building of the Tower of Babel

This language recognition chart presents a variety of clues one can use to help determine the language in which a text is written.

CharactersEdit

The language of a foreign text can often be identified by looking up characters specific to that language.

  • ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ (Latin alphabet)
    • and no other – English, Indonesian, Latin, Malay, Swahili, Zulu
    • àäèéëïijöü – Dutch (Except for the ligature ij, these letters are very rare in Dutch. Even fairly long Dutch texts often have no diacritics.)
    • áêéèëïíîôóúû Afrikaans
    • êôúû – West Frisian
    • ÆØÅæøå – Danish, Norwegian
    • single diacritics, mostly umlauts
      • ÄÖäö – Finnish (BCDFGQWXZÅbcfgqwxzå are found only in names and loanwords, occasionally also ŠšŽž)
      • ÅÄÖåäö – Swedish (occasionally é)
      • ÄÖÕÜäöõü – Estonian
      • ÄÖÜẞäöüß – German
    • Circumflexes
      • ÇÊÎŞÛçêîşû – Kurdish
      • ĂÂÎȘȚăâîșț – Romanian
      • ÂÊÎÔÛŴŶÁÉÍÏâêîôûŵŷáéíï – Welsh; (ÓÚẂÝÀÈÌÒÙẀỲÄËÖÜẄŸóúẃýàèìòùẁỳäëöüẅÿ used also but much less commonly)
      • ĈĜĤĴŜŬĉĝĥĵŝŭ – Esperanto
    • Three or more types of diacritics
      • ÇĞİÖŞÜğçıöşü – Turkish
      • ÁÐÉÍÓÚÝÞÆÖáðéíóúýþæö – Icelandic
      • ÁÉÍÓÖŐÚÜŰáéíóöőúüű – Hungarian
      • ÀÇÉÈÍÓÒÚÜÏàçéèíóòúüï· – Catalan
      • ÀÂÆÇÉÈÊËÎÏÔŒÙÛÜŸàâæçéèêëîïôœùûüÿ – French; (Ÿ and ÿ are found only in certain proper names)
      • ÁÀÇÉÈÍÓÒÚËÜÏáàçéèíóòúëüï (· only in Gascon dialect) – Occitan
      • ÁÉÍÓÚÂÊÔÀãõçáéíóúâêôà (ü Brazilian and k, w and y not in native words) – Portuguese
    • ÁÉÍÑÓÚÜáéíñóúü ¡¿ – Spanish
    • ÀÉÈÌÒÙàéèìòù – Italian
    • ÁÉÍÓÚÝÃẼĨÕŨỸÑG̃áéíóúýãẽĩõũỹñg̃ - Guarani (the only language to use g̃)
    • ÁĄĄ́ÉĘĘ́ÍĮĮ́ŁŃ áąą́éęę́íįį́łń (FQRVfqrv not in native words) – Southern Athabaskan languages
    • ąłńóż Lechitic languages
    • A, Ą, Ã, B, C, D, E, É, Ë, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, Ł, M, N, Ń, O, Ò, Ó, Ô, P, R, S, T, U, Ù, W, Y, Z, Ż – Kashubian
    • ČŠŽ
      • and no other – Slovene
      • ĆĐ – Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Latin
      • ÁĎÉĚÍŇÓŘŤÚŮÝáďéěíňóřťúůý – Czech
      • ÁÄĎÉÍĽĹŇÓÔŔŤÚÝáäďéíľĺňóôŕťúý – Slovak
      • ĀĒĢĪĶĻŅŌŖŪāēģīķļņōŗū – Latvian; (ŌŖ and ōŗ no longer used in most modern day Latvian)
      • ĄĘĖĮŲŪąęėįųū – Lithuanian
    • ĐÀẢÃÁẠĂẰẲẴẮẶÂẦẨẪẤẬÈẺẼÉẸÊỀỂỄẾỆÌỈĨÍỊÒỎÕÓỌÔỒỔỖỐỘƠỜỞỠỚỢÙỦŨÚỤƯỪỬỮỨỰỲỶỸÝỴ đàảãáạăằẳẵắặâầẩẫấậèẻẽéẹêềểễếệìỉĩíịòỏõóọồổỗốơờởỡớợùủũúụưừửữứựỳỷỹýỵ – Vietnamese
    • ā ē ī ō ū – May be seen in some Japanese texts in Rōmaji or transcriptions (see below) or Hawaiian and Māori texts.
    • é – Sundanese
    • ñ - Basque
  • ا ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي Arabic script
  • Brahmic family of scripts
    • Bengali script
      • অ আ কা কি কী উ কু ঊ কূ ঋ কৃ এ কে ঐ কৈ ও কো ঔ কৌ ক্ কত্‍ কং কঃ কঁ ক খ গ ঘ ঙ চ ছ জ ঝ ঞ ট ঠ ড ঢ ণ ত থ দ ধ ন প ফ ব ভ ম য র ৰ ল ৱ শ ষ স হ য় ড় ঢ় ০ ১ ২ ৩ ৪ ৫ ৬ ৭ ৮ ৯
      • used to write Bengali and Assamese.
    • Devanāgarī
      • अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऋ ॠ ऌ ॡ ऍ ऎ ए ऐ ऑ ऒ ओ ओ क ख ग घ ङ च छ ज झ ञ ट ठ ड ढ ण त थ द ध न प फ ब भ म य र ल ळ व श ष स ह ० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९ प् पँ पं पः प़ पऽ
      • used to write, either along with other scripts or exclusively, several Indian languages including Sanskrit, Hindi, Maithili, Magahi Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri and Nepali from Nepal.
    • Gurmukhi
      • ਅਆਇਈਉਊਏਐਓਔਕਖਗਘਙਚਛਜਝਞਟਠਡਢਣਤਥਦਧਨਪਫਬਭਮਯਰਲਲ਼ਵਸ਼ਸਹ
      • primarily used to write Punjabi as well as Braj Bhasha, Khariboli (and other Hindustani dialects), Sanskrit and Sindhi.
    • Gujarati script
      • અ આ ઇ ઈ ઉ ઊ ઋ ઌ ઍ એ ઐ ઑ ઓ ઔ ક ખ ગ ઘ ઙ ચ છ જ ઝ ઞ ટ ઠ ડ ઢ ણ ત થ દ ધ ન પ ફ બ ભ મ ય ર લ ળ વ શ ષ સ હ ૠ ૡૢૣ
      • used to write Gujarati and Kachchi
    • Tibetan script
      • ཀ ཁ ག ང ཅ ཆ ཇ ཉ ཏ ཐ ད ན པ ཕ བ མ ཙ ཚ ཛ ཝ ཞ ཟ འ ཡ ར ལ ཤ ས ཧ ཨ
      • used to write Standard Tibetan, Dzongkha (Bhutanese), and Sikkimese
  • АБВГДЕЖЗИКЛМНОПРСТУФХЦЧШ (Cyrillic alphabet)
  • ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗΘΙΚΛΜΝΞΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧΨΩ αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρσςτυφχψω (Greek Alphabet) – Greek
  • אבגדהוזחטיכלמנסעפצקרשת (Hebrew alphabet)
    • and maybe some odd dots and lines above, below, or inside characters – Hebrew
    • פֿ; dots/lines below letters appearing only with א,י, and ו – Yiddish
    • no dots or lines around the letters, and more than a few words end with א (i.e., they have it at the leftmost position) – Aramaic
    • Ladino
  • 漢字文化圈 – Some East Asian Languages
  • 위키백과에 (note commonplace ellipses and circles) Korean
  • ㄅㄆㄇㄈㄉㄊㄋㄌㄍㄎㄏ etc. -- ㄓㄨˋㄧㄣㄈㄨˊㄏㄠˋ (Bopomofo)
  • កខគឃងចឆជឈញដឋឌឍណតថទធនបផពភមសហយរលឡអវអ្កអ្ខអ្គអ្ឃអ្ងអ្ចអ្ឆអ្ឈអ្ញអ្ឌអ្ឋអ្ឌអ្ឃអ្ណអ្តអ្ថអ្ទអ្ធអ្នអ្បអ្ផអ្ពអ្ភអ្មអ្សអ្ហអ្យអ្រអ្យអ្លអ្អអ្វ អក្សរខ្មែរ (Khmer alphabet) - Khmer
  • Ա Բ Գ Դ Ե Զ Է Ը Թ Ժ Ի Լ Խ Ծ Կ Հ Ձ Ղ Ճ Մ Յ Ն Շ Ո Չ Պ Ջ Ռ Ս Վ Տ Ր Ց Ւ Փ Ք Օ Ֆ (Armenian alphabet) – Armenian
  • ა ბ გდ ევ ზ ჱ თ ი კ ლ მ ნ ჲ ო პ ჟ რ ს ტ ჳ უ ფ ქ ღ ყ შ ჩ ც ძ წ ჭ ხ ჴ ჯ ჰ ჵ ჶ ჷ ჸ (Georgian alphabet) – Georgian
  • กขฃคฅฆงจฉชซฌญฎฏฐฑฒณดตถทธนบปผฝพฟภมยรฤลฦวศษสหฬอฮฯะา฿เแโใไๅๆ๏๐๑๒๓๔๕๖๗๘๙๚๛ (Thai script) - Thai
  • AEIOUHKLMNPW' Hawaiian alphabet - Hawaiian
  • ⴰⴱⴲⴳⴴⴵⴶⴷⴸⴹⴺⴻⴼⴽⴾⴿⵀⵁⵂⵃⵄⵅⵆⵇⵈⵉⵊⵋⵌⵍⵎⵐⵑⵒⵓⵔⵕⵖⵗⵘⵙⵚⵛⵜⵝⵞⵠⵡⵢⵣⵤⵥⵦⵧ Tifinagh, a script used for Tamazight (Berber)

Latin alphabet (possibly extended)Edit

Romance languagesEdit

Lots of Latin roots.

French (Français)Edit

  • Accented letters: â ç è é ê î ô û, rarely ë ï ; ù only in the word , à only in the word à and at end of words ; never á í ì ó ò ú.
  • Angle quotation marks: « » (though "curly-Q" quotation marks are also used); dialogue traditionally indicated by means of dashes.
  • Common short words: la, le, les, un, une, des, de, du, à, au, et, ou, , sur, il, elle, ils, se, je, vous, que, qui, y, en, si, ne, est, sont, a, ont.
  • Many apostrophised contractions for common pronouns and particles, i.e. words l' or d', less often c', j', m', n', s', t', or rarely z' — only before a word starting by a vowel possibly following a leading mute h.
  • Common digrams for vowels, that either were historically diphthongs or long (au, ai, ei, ou, or final -ez), or are nasalized (an, en, in, on and more rarely un, where the n is muted to an m before b, p or m) possibly surrounded by mute letters for longer polygrams (e.g. eau, ein, ain, but oin is a common diphthong).
  • Common digrams as well for some consonants (ch, rarely sh, gu-, gu-) or semi-consonants (-ill-)
  • Final consonants of words are generally mute (notably s), except to form vocalic digrams.
  • Letters w and k, are rare and used only in loanwords, most often from Germanic languages (e.g whisky).
  • Ligatures œ and æ are conventional but are rarely used (a few words are well known, e.g. œil, œuf(s), bœuf(s), most other are scientific/technical and borrowed from Latin).
  • Words ending in -aux, -eux, or -oux.

Spanish (Español)Edit

  • Characters: ¿ ¡ (inverted question and exclamation marks), ñ
  • All vowels (á, é, í, ó, ú) may take an acute accent
  • The letter u can take a diaeresis (ü), but only after the letter g
  • Some words frequently used: de, el, del, los, la(s), uno(s), una(s), y
  • No apostrophised contractions
  • Letters k and w are rare and only used in loanwords (e.g. walkman)
  • Word beginnings: ll- (check not Welsh) double L (ll)
  • Word endings: -o, -a, -ción, -miento, -dad
  • Angle quotation marks: « » (though "curly-Q" quotation marks are also used); dialogue often indicated by means of dashes

Italian (Italiano)Edit

  • Almost every native word ends in a vowel. Example exceptions include non, il, per, con, del.
  • Common one-letter word: è.
  • Common word: perché.
  • Letter sequences: gli, gn, sci.
  • Letters j, k, w, x and y are rare and used only in loanwords (e.g. whisky).
  • Word endings: -o, -a, -zione, -mento, -tà, -aggio.
  • Grave accent (e.g., on à) almost always occurs in the last letter of words.
  • Double consonants (tt, zz, cc, ss, bb, pp, ll, etc.) are frequent.

Catalan (Català)Edit

  • Characters: à, è, é, í, ï, ò, ó, ú, ü, ç, ·
  • Character combination tz (also common in Basque, however) and l·l
  • Syllables and words ending in -aig, -eig, -oig, -uig, -aix, -eix, -oix, -uix
  • Letter sequences: tx (also common in Basque, however) and tg
  • Letter y is only used in the combination ny and loanwords
  • Letters k and w are rare and only used in loanwords (e.g. walkman)
  • Word endings: -o, -a, -es, -ció, -tat, -ment
  • Word beginning: ll- (also common in Spanish and Welsh, however)
  • Common words: això, amb, mateix, tots, que

Romanian (Română)Edit

  • Characters: ă â î ș ț
  • Common words: și, de, la, a, ai, ale, alor, cu
  • Word endings: -a, -ă, -u, -ul, -ului, -ție (or -țiune), -ment, -tate; names ending in -escu
  • Double and triple i: copii, copiii
  • Note that Romanian is sometimes written online with no diacritics, making it harder to identify. A cedilla is sometimes used on S (ş) and on T (ţ) instead of the correct diacritic, the comma (above).

Portuguese (Português)Edit

  • Characters: ã, õ, â, ê, ô, á, é, í, ó, ú, à, ç
  • Common one-letter words: a, à, e, é, o
  • Common two-letter words: ao, as, às, da, de, do, em, os, ou, um
  • Common three-letter words: aos, com, das, dos, ele, ela, mas, não, por, que, são, uma
  • Common endings: -ção, -dade, -ismo, -mente
  • Common digraphs: ch, nh, lh; examples: chave, galinha, baralho.
  • The letters k, w and y are rare. They are found mostly in loanwords, e.g.: keynesianismo, walkie-talkie, nylon.
  • Most singular words end in a vowel, l, m, r, or z.
  • Plural words end in -s.

Walloon (Walon)Edit

  • Characters: å, é, è, ê, î, ô, û
  • Common digraphs and trigraphs: ai, ae, én, -jh-, tch, oe, -nn-, -nnm-, xh, ou
  • Common one-letter words: a, å, e, i, t', l', s', k'
  • Common two-letter words: al, ås, li, el, vs, ki, si, pô, pa, po, ni, èn, dj'
  • Common three-letter words: dji, nén, rén, bén, pol, mel
  • Common endings: -aedje, -mint, -xhmint, -ès, -ou, -owe, -yî, -åcion
  • Apostrophes are followed by a space (preferably non breaking one), eg: l' ome instead of l'ome.

Galician (Galego)Edit

  • Similar to Portuguese; the indefinite article "unha" (fem. plural), the suffix -ción and a heavier usage of the letter "x" usually sign Galician.
  • Definite articles o (masc. sing.), os (masc. plural), a (fem. sing.), as (fem. plural)
  • Common diagraphs: nh (ningunha)
  • The letters j, k, w and y are not in the alphabet, and appear only in loanwords

Germanic languagesEdit

EnglishEdit

  • words: a, an, and, in, of, on, the, that, to, is, what, I (I is always capital when talking about oneself)
  • letter sequences: th, ch, sh, ough, augh, qu
  • word endings: -ing, -tion, -ed, -age, -s, -’s, -’ve, -n’t, -’d
  • diacritics or accents only in loanwords (piñata)

Dutch (Nederlands)Edit

  • letter sequences ij (capitalized as IJ, and also found as a ligature, IJ or ij), ei, doubled vowels (but not ii), kw, sch, oei, ooi, and uw (especially eeuw, ieuw, auw, and ouw).
  • words: het, op, en, een, voor (and compounds of voor).
  • word endings: -tje, -sje, -ing, -en, -lijk,
  • at the start of words: z-, v-, ge-
  • t/m occasionally occurs between two points in time or between numbers (e.g. house numbers).

West Frisian (Frysk)Edit

  • letter sequences: ij, ei, oa
  • words: yn

Afrikaans (Afrikaans)Edit

  • Words: 'n, as, vir, nie.
  • Similar to Dutch, but:
    • the common Dutch letters c and z are rare and used only in loanwords (e.g. chalet);
    • the common Dutch vowel ij is not used; instead, i and y are used (e.g. -lik, sy);
    • the common Dutch word ending -en is rare, being replaced by -e.

German (Deutsch)Edit

  • umlauts (ä, ö, ü), ess-zett (ß)
  • letter sequences: ch, sch, tsch, tz, ss,
  • common words: der, die, das, den, dem, des, er, sie, es, ist, ich, du, aber
  • common endings: -en, -er, -ern, -st, -ung, -chen, -tät
  • rare letters: x, y (except in loanwords)
  • letter c rarely used except in the sequences listed above and in loanwords
  • long compound words
  • a period (.) after ordinal numbers, e.g. 3. Oktober
  • many capitalised words in the middle of sentences since German capitalizes all nouns.

Swedish (Svenska)Edit

  • letters å, ä, ö, rarely é
  • common words: och, i, att, det, en, som, är, av, den,
  • long compound words
  • letter sequences: stj, sj, skj, tj, ck, än, and occasionally surnames ending in -qvist
  • no use of characters w, z except for foreign proper nouns and some loanwords but x is used, unlike Danish and Norwegian, which replace it with ks
  • doubling of consonants common, but doubling of vowels very rare

Danish (Dansk)Edit

  • letters æ, ø, å
  • common words: af, og, til, er, på, med, det, den;
  • common endings: -tion, -ing, -else, -hed;
  • long compound words;
  • no use of character q, w, x and z except for foreign proper nouns and some loanwords;
  • to distinguish from Norwegian: uses letter combination øj; frequent use of æ; spellings of borrowed foreign words are retained (in particular use of c), such as centralstation.
  • doubling of consonants common, but doubling of vowels very rare

Norwegian (Norsk)Edit

  • letters æ, ø, å
  • common words: av, ble, er, og, en, et, men, i, å, for, eller;
  • common endings: -sjon, -ing, -else, -het;
  • long compound words;
  • no use of character c, w, z and x except for foreign proper nouns and some loanwords;
  • two versions of the language: Bokmål (much closer to Danish) and Nynorsk – for example ikke, lørdag, Norge (Bokmål) vs. ikkje, laurdag, Noreg (Nynorsk); Nynorsk uses the word òg; printed materials almost always published in Bokmål only;
  • to distinguish from Danish: uses letter combination øy; less frequent use of æ; spellings of borrowed foreign words are ‘Norsified’ (in particular removing use of c), such as sentralstasjon.
  • doubling of consonants common, but doubling of vowels very rare

Icelandic (Íslenska)Edit

  • letters á, ð, é, í, ó, ú, ý, þ, æ, ö
  • common beginnings: fj-, gj-, hj-, hl-, hr-, hv-, kj-, and sj-,
  • common endings: -ar (especially -nar), -ir (especially -nir), -ur, -nn (especially -inn)
  • no use of character c, q, w, or z except for foreign proper nouns, some loanwords, and, in the case of z, older texts.
  • doubling of consonants common, but doubling of vowels very rare

Faroese (Føroyskt)Edit

  • letters á, ð, í, ó, ú, ý, æ, ø
  • letter combinations: ggj, oy, skt
  • to distinguish from Icelandic: does not use é or þ, uses ø instead of ö (occasionally rendered as ö on road signs, or even ő).
  • doubling of consonants common, but doubling of vowels very rare

Baltic languagesEdit

Latvian (Latviešu)Edit

  • uses diacritics: ā, č, ē, ģ, ī, ķ, ļ, ņ, ō, ŗ, š, ū, ž
  • does not have letters: q, w, x, y
  • no longer uses ō or ŗ in modern language
  • extremely rare doubling of vowels
  • rare doubling of consonants
  • a period (.) after ordinal numbers, e.g. 2005. gads
  • common words: ir, bija, tika, es, viņš

Lithuanian (Lietuvių)Edit

  • visual abundance of letters ą, č, ę, ė, į, š, ų, ū, ų
  • does not have letters q, w, x
  • extremely rare doubling of vowels and consonants
  • many varying forms (usually endings) of the same word, e.g. namas, namo, namus, namams, etc.
  • generally long words (absence of articles and fewer prepositions in comparison to Germanic languages)
  • common words: ir, yra, kad, bet.

Slavic languagesEdit

Polish (Polski)Edit

  • consonant clusters rz, sz, cz, prz, trz
  • includes: ą, ę, ć, ś, ł, ń, ó, ż, ź
  • words w, z, we, i, na (several one-letter words)
  • words jest, się
  • words beginning with był, będzie, jest (forms of copula być, "to be").

Czech (Čeština)Edit

  • visual abundance of letters ž š ů ě ř
  • words je, v
  • to distinguish from Slovak: does not use ä, ľ, ĺ, ŕ or ô; ú only appears at the beginning of words.

Slovak (Slovenčina)Edit

  • visual abundance of letters ž š č;
  • uses: ä, ľ, and ô and (very rarely) ĺ and ŕ;
  • typical suffixes: -cia, ;
  • to distinguish from Czech: does not use ě, ř or ů.

Croatian (Hrvatski)Edit

  • similar to Serbian
  • letters-digraphs dž, lj, nj
  • does not have q, w, x, y
  • typical suffixes: -ti, -ći
  • special letters: č, ć, š, ž, đ
  • common words: a, i, u, je
  • to distinguish from Serbian: infixes -ije- and -je- are common, verbs ending in -irati, -iran

Serbian (Srpski/Српски)Edit

Serbian LatinEdit
  • similar to Croatian
  • letters-digraphs dž, lj, nj (lj and nj are somewhat more common than dž, although not by much)
  • no q, w, x, y
  • typical verb suffixes -ti, -ći (infinitive is much less used than in Croatian)
  • foreign words might end in -tija, -ovan, -ovati, -uje
  • special letters: đ (rare), č, š (common), ć, ž (less common)
  • common words: a, i, u, je, jeste
  • future tense suffix -iće, -ićeš, -ićemo, -ićete (not found in Croatian)
  • infixes -ije- and -je- are very often in Serbian that is spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia (ijekavica), but it does not appear in Serbia because each of those infixes are substituted with -e- (ekavica).
Serbian CyrillicEdit
  • uses Џ, Ј, Љ, Њ, Ђ, Ћ
  • does not use Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, Я, Ё, Є, Ґ, Ї, І, Ў
  • to distinguish from Macedonian: does not use Ѕ, Ѓ, Ќ

Celtic languagesEdit

Welsh (Cymraeg)Edit

  • letters Ŵ, ŵ used in Welsh
  • words y, yr, yn, a, ac, i, o
  • letter sequences wy, ch, dd, ff, ll, mh, ngh, nh, ph, rh, th, si
  • letters not used: k, q, v, x, z
  • letter only used rarely, in loanwords: j
  • commonly accented letters: â, ê, î, ô, û, ŵ, ŷ, although acute (´), grave (`), and dieresis (¨) accents can hypothetically occur on all vowels
  • word endings: -ion, -au, -wr, -wyr
  • y is the most common letter in the language
  • w between consonants (w in fact represents a vowel in the Welsh language)
  • circumflex accent (^) is by far the commonest diacritical mark, although diacritics are often omitted altogether

Irish (Gaeilge)Edit

  • vowels with acute accents: á é í ó ú
  • words beginning with letter sequences bp dt gc bhf
  • letter sequences sc cht
  • no use of the letter J, K, Q, V, W.
  • frequent bh, ch, dh, fh, gh, mh, th, sh
  • to distinguish from (Scottish) Gaelic: there may be words or names with the second (or even third) letter capitalized instead of the first: hÉireann.

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig)Edit

  • vowels with grave accents: à è ì ò ù (é and ó still occasionally seen but usage is now discouraged)
  • letter sequences sg chd
  • frequent bh, ch, dh, fh, gh, mh, th, sh
  • to distinguish from Irish: prefixes are hyphenated, so capitals in the middle of words generally do not occur: an t-Oban.

Albanian (Shqip)Edit

  • unique letters: ë, ç.
  • ë is the most common letter in the language.
  • the letter w is not used except in loanwords.
  • dh, gj, ll, nj, rr, sh, th, xh, and zh are considered one letter instead of two.
  • common words: po, jo, dhe, i, të, me

Maltese (Malti)Edit

  • unique letters: ċ, ġ, ħ, għ, ħ, ż
  • semitic origin, fairly intelligible with Arabic
  • uses il-xxx for the definite article

Iranian languagesEdit

Kurdish (Kurdî / كوردی)Edit

  • uses circumflex ( ^ ): ê, î, û and cedilla ( ¸ ): ç, ş
  • the word xwe (oneself, myself, yourself etc.) appears frequently and is highly specific (xw combination)
  • ( I, i ) is the most common letter in the language
  • uses eight vowels (a, e, ê, i, î, o, u, û)
  • impossible to find a word without any vowel
  • has lots of compound words

Finno-Ugric languagesEdit

Finnish (Suomi)Edit

  • distinct letters å, ä and ö; but never õ or ü (y takes the place of ü)
  • b, f, z, š and ž appear in loanwords and proper names only; the last two are substituted with sh or zh in some texts
  • c, q, w, x, å appear in (typically foreign) proper names only
  • outside of loanwords, d appears only between vowels or in hd
  • outside of loanwords, g only appears in ng
  • outside of loanwords, words do not begin with two consonants; this is reflected in the general syllable structure, where consonant clusters only occur across syllable boundaries, except in some loanwords
  • common words: sinä, on
  • common endings: -nen, -ka/-kä, -in, -t (plural suffix)
  • common vowel combinations: ai, uo, ei, ie, oi, , äi
  • unusually high degree of letter duplication, both vowels and consonants will be geminated, for example aa, ee, ii, kk, ll, ss, yy, ää
  • frequent long words

Estonian (Eesti)Edit

  • distinct letters: õ, ä, ö and ü; but never ß or å
  • similar to Finnish, except:
    • letter y is not used, except in loanwords (ü is the corresponding vowel)
    • letters b and g (without preceding n) are found outside of loanwords
    • occasional use of š and ž, mainly in loanwords (plus combination )
    • loanwords more common generally than in Finnish, mainly loaned from German
    • words end in consonants more frequently than in Finnish, word-final b, d, v being particularly typical
    • letter d is much more common in Estonian than in Finnish, and in Estonian it is often the last letter of the word (plural suffix), which it never is in Finnish
    • double öö more common than in Finnish; other doubles can include õõ, üü, rarely hh (for German ch) and even šš
  • common words: ja, on, ei, ta, see, või.

Hungarian (Magyar)Edit

  • letters ő and ű (double acute accent) unique to Hungarian
  • accented letters á and é frequent
  • letter combinations: cs, gy, ly, ny, sz, ty, zs (all classed as separate letters), leg‐, ‐obb (note: sz also common in Polish)
  • common words: a, az, ez, egy, és, van, hogy
  • letter k very frequent (plural suffix)

Eskimo–Aleut languagesEdit

GreenlandicEdit

  • long polysynthetic words (a single word can number 30+ letters)
  • relatively abundant n, q (not necessarily followed by u), u
  • ubiquitous double consonants and vowels (aa, ii, qq, uu, more rarely ee, oo)
  • vowels a, i, u conspicuously more frequent than e, o (which are only found before q and r)
  • no diphthongs except occasional word-final ai, only consonant combinations besides double consonants and (n)ng consist of r + consonant
  • old spellings (now abolished in spelling reform) sometimes included acute accent, circumflex and/or tilde: Qânâq vs. Qaanaaq.

Southern Athabaskan languagesEdit

  • vowels with acute accent, ogonek (nasal hook), or both: á, ą, ą́
  • doubled vowels: aa, áá, ąą, ą́ą́
  • slashed l: ł (check not Polish!)
  • n with acute accent: ń
  • quotation mark: ' or ’
  • sequences: dl, tł, tł’, dz, ts’, ií, áa, aá
  • may have rather long words

Navajo (Diné bizaad)Edit

In addition to the above,

  • does not use u, ú, or ų

(Mescalero / Chiricahua) (Mashgaléń / Chidikáágo)Edit

In addition to the above,

  • uses: u, ú, ų
  • does not use o, ó, or ǫ

GuaraníEdit

  • lots of tildes over vowels (including y) and n
  • tilde over g: g̃—it's the only language in the world to use it. Example words: hagũa and g̃uahẽ.
  • b, d, and g usually do not occur without m or n before (mb, nd, ng) unless they're Spanish loan words.
  • f, l, q, w, x, z extremely rare outside loan words
  • does not use c without h: ch

Japanese in Romaji (Nihongo/日本語)Edit

  • words: desu, aru, suru, esp. at end of sentences;
  • word endings: -masu, -masen, -shita;
  • letters: Japanese almost always alternates between a consonant and a vowel. Exceptions are digraphs shi and chi, fricative tsu, gemination (two of the same consonant in a row) and palatalization (a consonant followed by the letter y).
  • a macron or circumflex may be used to indicate doubled vowels, eg. Tōkyō
  • common words: no, o, wa, de, ni

(Note: Romaji is not often used in Japanese script. It is most often used for foreigners learning the pronunciation of the Japanese language.)

Hmong (Hmoob) written in Romanized Popular AlphabetEdit

  • Almost all written words are quite short (one syllable).
  • Syllables (unless they are pronounced with mid tone) end in a tone letter: one of b s j v m g d, leading to apparent "consonant clusters" such as -wj
  • w can be the main vowel of a syllable (e.g. tswv)
  • Syllables can begin with sequences such as hm-, ntxh-, nq-.
  • Syllables ending in double vowels (especially -oo, -ee) possibly followed by a tone letters (as in Hmoob "Hmong").

Vietnamese (tiếng Việt)Edit

  • Roman characters with more than one diacritical mark on the same vowel. See above.
  • Almost all written words are quite short (one syllable, mostly less than six characters long).
  • Words beginning with ng or ngh
  • Words ending with nh
  • common words: cái, không, có, ở, của, và, tại, với, để, đã, sẽ, đang, tôi, bạn, chúng, là

Vietnamese Quoted-Readable (VIQR)Edit

  • The following characters (often in combination) after vowels: ^ ( + ' ` ? ~ .
  • DD, Dd, or dd
  • The following character before punctuation: \

Vietnamese VNI encodingEdit

  • The digits 1-8 after vowels
  • The digit 9 after a D or d
  • The following character before numbers: \

Vietnamese TelexEdit

  • The following characters after vowels: s f r x j
  • The following vowels, doubled up: a e o
  • The letter w after the following characters: a o u
  • DD, Dd, or dd

Chinese, RomanizedEdit

Standard Mandarin (現代標準漢語)Edit

  • In general, Mandarin syllables end only in vowels or n, ng, r; never in p, t, k, m
PinyinEdit
  • Words beginning with x, q, zh
  • Tone marks on vowels, such as ā, á, ǎ, à
    • For convenience while using a computer, these are sometimes substituted with numbers, e.g. a1, a2, a3, a4
Wade–GilesEdit
  • Words do not begin with b, d, g, z, q, x, r
  • Words beginning with hs
  • Many hyphenated words
  • Apostrophes after initial letters or digraphs, e.g. t'a, ch'i
Gwoyeu RomatzyhEdit
  • Many unusual vowel combinations such as ae, eei, ii, iee, oou, yy, etc.
  • Insertion of r, e.g. arn, erng, etc.
  • Words ending in nn, nq

Southern Min / Min-Nan (Bân-lâm-gí/Bân-lâm-gú) in Pe̍h-ōe-jīEdit

  • Many hyphenated words.
  • Words can end in p, t, k, m, n, ng, h; never r
  • Roman characters with many diacritical marks on vowels. Unlike Vietnamese, each character has at most one such mark.
  • Unusual combining characters, namely · (middle dot, always after o) and | (vertical bar). ¯ (macron) is also common.

Austronesian languagesEdit

Malay (bahasa Melayu) and Indonesian (bahasa Indonesia)Edit

May contain the following:
Prefixes: me-, mem-, memper-, pe-, per-, di-, ke-
Suffixes: -kan, -an, -i
Others (these almost always written in lowercase): yang, dan, di, ke, oleh, itu

Malay and Indonesian are mutually intelligible to proficient speakers, although translators and interpreters will generally be specialists in one or other language. See Comparison of Standard Malay and Indonesian.

Frequent use of the letter 'a' (comparable to the frequency of the English 'e').

Turkic languagesEdit

Note that some Turkic languages like Azeri and Turkmen use a similar Latin alphabet (often Jaŋalif) and similar words, and might be confused with Turkish. Azeri has the letters Əə, Xx and Qq not present in the Turkish alphabet, and Türkmen has Ää, Žž, Ňň, Ýý and Ww. Latin Characters uniquely (or nearly uniquely) used for Turkic languages: Əə, Ŋŋ, Ɵɵ, Ьь, Ƣƣ, Ğğ, İ, and ı. All Turkic languages can form long words by adding multiple suffixes.

Turkish (Türkçe/Türkiye_Türkçesi)Edit

Turkish AlphabetEdit

Lowercase: a b c ç d e f g ğ h ı i j k l m n o ö p r s ş t u ü v y z

Uppercase: A B C Ç D E F G Ğ H I İ J K L M N O Ö P R S Ş T U Ü V Y Z

Common wordsEdit
  • bir — one, a
  • bu — this
  • ancak — but
  • oldu — was (happened)
  • şu — that
Misc.Edit
  • The letter "j" is only used in loanwords.
  • Words never begin with "ğ"
  • Look for common word endings. Tense changes in Turkish verbs are created by adding suffixes to the end of the verb. Pluralizations occur by adding -lar and -ler.
    • Common Tense Changes: -yor -mış -muş -sun
    • Possessivity/person: -im -un -ın -in -iz -dur -tır
    • Example: Yap, "[He] did it"; Yap is the verb stem meaning "to do", -mış indicates the perfect tense, -tır indicates the third person (he/she/it).
    • Example: Adalar, "Islands"; Ada is a noun meaning "island", -lar makes it plural.)
    • Example: Evimiz, "Our house"; Ev is a noun meaning "house", -im indicates the first-person possessor, which -iz then makes plural.)

Azeri (Azərbaycanca)Edit

Azeri can be easily recognized by the frequent use of ə. This letter is not used in any other officially recognized modern Latin alphabet. In addition, it uses the letters x and q, which are not used in Turkish.

  • Common words: , ki, ilə, bu, o, isə, görə, da,
  • Frequent use of diacritics: ç, ğ, ı, İ, ö, ş, ü
  • Words ending in -lar, -lər, -ın, -in, -da, -də, -dan, -dən
  • Words never beginning with ğ or ı
  • Words rarely beginning with two or more consonants
  • Transliteration of foreign words and names, e.g. Audrey Hepburn = Odri Hepbern

Chinese (中文)Edit

  • No spaces, except between punctuation marks and (sometimes) foreign words.
  • Arabic numerals (0-9) sometimes used
  • Punctuation:
    • Period 。(not .)
    • Serial comma 、(distinguished from the regular comma ,)
    • Ellipse …… (six dots)
  • No hiragana, katakana, or hangul
  • May be written vertically

Simplified Chinese (简体) vs Traditional Chinese (繁體)Edit

Note: Many characters were not simplified. As a result, it is common for a short word or phrase to be identical between Simplified and Traditional, but it is rare for an entire sentence to be identical as well.

Common radicals different between Traditional and Simplified:

  • Simplified: 讠钅饣纟门(e.g. 语 银 饭 纪 问)
  • Traditional: 訁釒飠糹門(e.g. 語 銀 飯 紀 問)

Common characters different between Traditional and Simplified:

  • Simplified: 国 会 这 来 对 开 关 门 时 个 书 长 万 边 东 车 爱 儿
  • Traditional: 國 會 這 來 對 開 關 門 時 個 書 長 萬 邊 東 車 愛 兒

Standard written Chinese (based on Mandarin) vs written Vernacular CantoneseEdit

Note: Apart from Hong Kong, there are also Cantonese-speakers in southern Mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore[1], so written Cantonese can be written in either Simplified or Traditional characters.


Common characters in Vernacular Cantonese that do not occur or seldom occur in Mandarin:

  • 嘅 咗 咁 嚟 啲 唔 佢 乜 嘢 嗰 冇 睇

Some of the above characters are not supported in all character encodings, so sometimes the 口 radical on the left is substituted with a 0 or o, e.g.

  • o既 0既


Sometimes, different Chinese characters are used to express the same meaning in Cantonese and Mandarin. If you use the one commonly used in Cantonese to express the same meaning when you are speaking or writing Mandarin, a native speaker may be confused or even find it difficult to understand, and vice versa. Some examples are: (Cantonese vs Mandarin)

  • 食vs吃(eat) 飲vs喝(drink) 企vs站(stand) 凍vs冷(cold) 落vs下(down) 著vs穿(wear) 讀vs唸(read) 鬧vs罵(scold) 計vs算(calculate) 咪vs別(do not) 行vs走(walk/go) 先vs才(then)


There are Chinese words used to construct vocabularies used in Cantonese that are not or seldomly implemented in modern Mandarin. Some examples are: (Cantonese vs Mandarin)

  • 成日vs整天(always) 傾計vs聊天(talk) 返工vs上班(go to work) 溫書vs溫習(study) 影片vs視頻(video) 隔離vs旁邊(nearby) 起屋vs蓋樓(build a house) 聽日vs明天(tomorrow) 巴閉vs囂張(arrogant) 搞掂vs完成(finished) 定係vs還是(or) 靚仔vs帥哥(handsome male) 鍾意vs喜歡(like) 犀利vs厲害(powerful) 同埋vs和/及(and) 黐綫vs瘋的(crazy) 雪櫃vs冰箱(fridge)


Cantonese vocabularies constructed by Cantonese words are used in daily life in southern China and are not used in modern Mandarin. Some examples are:

  • 咪咁(don't be like this) 好冇(ok?) 玩嘢(to play tricks) 做嘢(to work) 睇戲(to watch a film/movie) 唔知(don't know) 埋嚟(come) 嗰個(that) 咁嘅嘢(such thing) 佢哋(they) 咩事/乜事(what?) 冇嘢(nothing) 嗰陣(at that moment) 越嚟越多(more and more) 我嘅(mine) 梗係(of course) 𥄫(to peek) 冧佢(love him/her) 拎畀我(take it to me) 嘥曬(everything is wasted) 你啱(you are right) 𢫏住(to cover something) 冚唪唥(all) 撳實(to press something tightly) 瞓覺(to sleep) 掟石仔(to throw a tiny stone) 唓[a modal word to express comtemption] 噃[a modal word for reminding or warning someone] 詏交(to argue) 好嬲(very angry) 心悒(feeling depressed in heart) 𧨾女仔(to please a girl) 得咁多咋(only this much) 做好咗(done something well)


Finally, when terms are introduced from other countries(especially the US and the UK) to China, Cantonese and Mandarin often get different translations, where Cantonese often translates according to pronunciation of the terms in English and Mandarin often translates according to the meaning of the terms. Some examples are: (Cantonese vs Mandarin)

  • 的士(dik1 si2, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation.) vs 出租車(chū zū chē, meaning cars for renting.), translated from Taxi.
  • 巴士(baa1 si2, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation.) vs 公車(gōng chē, meaning public cars.), translated from Bus.
  • 多士(do1 si2, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation.) vs 土司(tǔ sī, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation.), translated from Toast.
  • 騷(sou1, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation.) vs 秀(xìu, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation), translated from Show.
  • 士多(si2 do1, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation) vs 小店(xiǎo diàn, meaning small shop), translated from Store.
  • 𨋢(lip1, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation) vs 升降機(shēng jiàng jī, meaning machine that goes up and down), translated from Lift/Elevator.
  • 掰拜(baai1 baai3, has no direct meaning, translated according to the English pronunciation) vs 再見(zài jiàn, meaning see you again), translated from Byebye/Goodbye.

Japanese (日本語)Edit

  • Katakana (カタカナ) and hiragana (ひらがな) characters mixed with kanji (漢字)
  • No spaces
  • Number system = Arabic Numerals (1,2,3 etc.)
  • Punctuation:
    • Period 。
    • Comma 、(,also used in double byte)
    • Quotation marks 「」
  • Occasional small characters beside large ones, eg. しゃ りゅ しょ って シャ リュ ショ  ッテ
  • Double tick marks (known as daku-on) appearing at upper right of characters, eg. で が ず デ ガ ズ
  • Empty circles (known as handaku-on) appearing at upper right of characters, eg. ぱ ぴ パ ぴ
  • Frequent characters: の を は が
  • Originally written vertically(books, school, etc.) but mostly appears horizontal online.

Korean (한국어/조선말)Edit

  • Western-style punctuation marks
  • Western-style spacing
  • Hangul letters(phonetic) ex: ㅂ(b in book) ㅈ(j in jump) ㅅ(s in sock)ㅊ(ch in champion) ㅍ(p in pox)
  • Hangul letters used to form syllable blocks; e.g. ㅅ s + ㅓ o + ㅇ ng = 성 song
  • Circles and ellipses are commonplace in Hangul; are exceedingly rare in Chinese.
  • General appearance has relatively-uniform complexity, as contrasted with Chinese or Japanese.

Khmer language ភាសារខ្មែរEdit

Khmer is written using the distinctive Khmer alphabet.

  • rarely uses spaces
  • Letters have a distinctively "taller" shape than other Brahmic scripts.
  • Uses Khmer numerals in writing ១ ២ ៣ ៤ ៥ ៦ ៧ ៨ ៩.
  • Has smaller version of consonants placed below main consonants that may appear clustered
  • Has 24 diacritics denoting syllable rhymes - ា ិ ី ឹ ឺ ុ ូ ួ ើ ឿ ៀ េ ែ ៃ េា ៅ ុំ ំ ាំ ះ ុះ េះ ោះ
  • Uses this as a full stop: ។

Greek (Ελληνικά)Edit

Modern Greek is written with Greek alphabet in monotonic, polytonic or atonic, either according to Demotic (Mr. Triantafilidis) grammar or Katharevousa grammar. Some people write in Greeklish (Greek with Latin script) which is either Visual-based, orthographic or phonetic or just messed-up (mixed). The only official orthographic forms of Greek language are Monotonic and Polytonic.

Normal Modern Greek (Greek Monotonic)Edit

  • words και, είναι;
  • Each multi-syllable word has one accent/tone mark (oxia): ά έ ή ί ό ύ ώ
  • The only other diacritic ever used is the tréma: ϊ/ΐ, ϋ/ΰ, etc.

Pre-1980s Greek (Greek Polytonic)Edit

Katharevousa, Dimotiki (Triantafylidis' grammar)

  • Diacritics: ά, ᾶ, ἀ, ἁ, and combinations, also with other vowels.
  • Some texts, especially in Katharevousa, also have ὰ, ᾳ, in combination with other diacritics.

Ancient GreekEdit

  • Diacritics: ά, ὰ, ᾶ, ἀ, ἁ, ᾳ, and combinations, also with other vowels; ῥ; tilde (ᾶ) often appears more like a rounded circumflex
  • some texts feature lunate sigma (looks like c) instead of σ/ς

Greek AtonicEdit

  • Was common in some Greek media (television);
  • You will see Greek characters without accents/tones;
  • words: και, ειναι, αυτο.

Greek in GreeklishEdit

  • Automated conversion software for Greeklish->Greek conversion exists. If you notice a Greeklish text it may be useful for the Greek el.wikipedia (after conversion).
  • Keep in mind: in Greeklish more than one character may be used for one letter. (example: th for Θ (theta)).

Orthographic GreeklishEdit

  • words kai, einai.

Phonetic GreeklishEdit

  • words ke, ine;
  • omega appears as o;
  • ei, oi appear as i;
  • ai appears as e.

Visual-based GreeklishEdit

  • omega (Ω or ω) may appear as W or w;
  • epsilon (E) may appear as 3;
  • alpha (A) may appear as 4;
  • theta (Θ) may appear as 8;
  • upsilon (Y) may appear as \|/;
  • gamma (γ) may appear as y
  • More than one character may be used for one letter.

Messed-up (Mixed) GreeklishEdit

  • words kai, eine;
  • combines principles of phonetic, visual-based and orthographic Greeklish according to writer's idiosyncrasy;
  • The most commonly used form of Greeklish.

Armenian (Հայերեն)Edit

Armenian can be recognized by its unique 39-letter alphabet:

Ա Բ Գ Դ Ե Զ Է Ը Թ Ժ Ի Լ Խ Ծ Կ Հ Ձ Ղ Ճ Մ Յ Ն Շ Ո Չ Պ Ջ Ռ Ս Վ Տ Ր Ց Ւ Փ Ք ԵՎ(և) Օ Ֆ

Georgian (ქართული)Edit

Georgian can be recognised by its unique alphabet (note some characters have fallen out of use).

ა ბ გ დ ე ვ ზ ჱ თ ი კ ლ მ ნ ჲ ო პ ჟ რ ს ტ ჳ უ ფ ქ ღ ყ შ ჩ ც ძ წ ჭ ხ ჴ ჯ ჰ ჵ ჶ ჷ ჸ

Cyrillic alphabetEdit

Bolding denotes letters unique to the language

Slavic languagesEdit

Belarusian (беларуская)Edit

  • uses: ё, і, й, ў, ы, э, ’
  • features: шч used instead of щ
  • the only Cyrillic language not to feature и.

Bulgarian (български)Edit

  • uses: ъ, щ, я, ю, й
  • words: със, в
  • features: many words end in definite article –ът, –ят, –та, –то, –те

Macedonian (македонски)Edit

  • uses: ј, љ, њ, џ, ѓ, ќ, ѕ
  • words: во, со
  • features: р is usually found between consonants, for example првин

Russian (русский)Edit

  • uses: ё, й, ъ (rarely), ы, э, щ

Serbian (српски)Edit

  • uses: ј, љ, њ, џ, ђ, ћ
  • does not use: ъ, щ, я, ю, й
  • words: је, у
  • features: large consonant clusters, for example српски

Ukrainian (українська)Edit

  • uses: є, и, і, ї, й, ґ, є щ, ’
  • does not use: ъ, ё, ы, э

MongolianEdit

  • uses: ө, ү
  • does not use: ё, й, к, щ, ъ, ы, ь, ю, я
  • used only in names or borrowed words: в, е, з, ф, ц

Arabic alphabetEdit

  • All languages using the Arabic alphabet are written right-to-left.
  • A number of other languages have been written in the Arabic alphabet in the past, but now are more commonly written in Latin characters; examples include Turkish, Somali and Swahili.

Arabic (العربية)Edit

  • short vowels are not written so many words are written with no vowel at all
  • common prefix: -ال
  • common suffix: ة-
  • words: إلى, من, على

Persian (فارسی)Edit

  • uses: پ, چ, ژ, گ
  • words: که, به

Urdu (اردو)Edit

  • uses: ‮ٹ‎, ڈ‎, ڑ‎, ں, ے
  • many words ending in ے
  • words: اور, ہے
  • to distinguish from Arabic: in many texts, Urdu is written stylistically with words ‘slanting’ downwards from top-right to bottom-left (unlike the ‘linear’ style of Arabic, Persian etc).

Syriac AlphabetEdit

Syriac (ܐܬܘܪܝܐ)Edit

  • short vowels are not usually written so many words are written with no vowel at all
  • three styles of writing (estrangela, serto, mahdnaya) and two different ways of representing vowels
  • basic alphabet in Estrangela style is: ܐ ܒ ܓ ܕ ܗ ܘ ܙ ܚ ܛ ܝ ܟ ܠ ܡ ܢ ܣ ܥ ܦ ܨ ܩ ܪ ܣ ܬ
  • basic alphabet in Serto style is: ܬ‎, ܫ‎, ܪ‎, ܩ‎, ܨ‎, ܦ‎, ܥ‎, ܣ‎, ܢ‎, ܡ‎, ܠ‎, ܟ‎, ܝ‎, ܛ‎, ܚ‎, ܙ‎, ܘ‎, ܗ‎, ܕ‎, ܓ‎, ܒ‎, ܐ
  • basic alphabet in Madnhaya style is: ܬ‎,ܫ‎,ܪ‎,ܩ‎,ܨ‎,ܦ‎,ܥ‎,ܣ‎,ܢ‎,ܡ‎,ܠ‎,ܟ‎,ܝ‎,ܛ‎,ܚ‎,ܙ‎,ܘ‎,ܗ‎, ܕ‎,ܓ‎,ܒ‎,ܐ

Dravidian languagesEdit

  • All Dravidian languages are written from left to right.
  • All Dravidian languages have different scripts. But similarity can be found in their orthography.

KannadaEdit

  • Kannada has a 49 letter alphabet.

TamilEdit

  • common word endings :ள்ளது, கிறது, கின்றன, ம்
  • common words: தமிழ், அவர், உள்ள, சில
  • Tamil has a unique 30-letter alphabet. With the help of diacritics, as many as 247 letters can be written.

அ ஆ இ ஈ உ ஊ எ ஏ ஐ ஒ ஓ ஔ க ங ச ஞ ட ண த ந ப ம ய ர ல வ ழ ள ற ன

TeluguEdit

Telugu has 56 characters (Aksharamulu) including vowels (Achchulu) and consonants (Hallulu). Telugu uses eighteen vowels, each of which has both an independent form and a diacritic form used with consonants to create syllables. The language makes a distinction between short and long vowels.

అ ఆ ఇ ఈ ఉ ఊ ఋ ౠ ఌ ౡ ఎ ఏ ఐ ఒ ఓ ఔ అం అః క ఖ గ ఘ ఙ చ ఛ జ ఝ ఞ ట ఠ డ ఢ ణ త థ ద ధ న ప ఫ బ భ మ య ర ఱ ల ళ వ శ ష స హ

౦ ౧ ౨ ౩ ౪ ౫ ౬ ౭ ౮ ౯

BengaliEdit

The Bengali alphabet or Bangla alphabet (Bengali: বাংলা বর্ণমালা, bangla bôrnômala) or Bengali script (Bengali: বাংলা লিপি, bangla lipi) is the writing system, originating in the Indian subcontinent, for the Bengali language and is the fifth most widely used writing system in the world. The script is used for other languages like Assamese, Maithili, Meithei and Bishnupriya Manipuri, and has historically been used to write Sanskrit within Bengal.

BengaliEdit

Bengali has unique 50 letter Alphabet.

  • The Bengali script has a total of 9 vowel graphemes, each of which is called a স্বরবর্ণ swôrôbôrnô "vowel letter". The swôrôbôrnôs represent six of the seven main vowel sounds of Bengali, along with two vowel diphthongs. All of them are used in both Bengali and Assamese languages.

অ আ ই ঈ উ ঊ ঋ এ ঐ ও ঔ

  • The Bengali script has a total of 39 Consonants. Consonant letters are called ব্যঞ্জনবর্ণ bænjônbôrnô "consonant letter" in Bengali. The names of the letters are typically just the consonant sound plus the inherent vowel অ ô. Since the inherent vowel is assumed and not written, most letters' names look identical to the letter itself (the name of the letter ঘ is itself ghô, not gh).

ক খ গ ঘ ঙ চ ছ জ ঝ ঞ ট ঠ ড ঢ ণ ত থ দ ধ ন প ফ ব ভ ম য র ল শ ষ স হ ড় ঢ় য় ৎ ঃ ং ঁ

  • has 10 diacritics denoting syllable rhymes -

া ি ী ু ূ ৃ ে ৈ ো ৌ

AssameseEdit

  • The Assamese script has a total of 9 vowel graphemes, each of which is called a স্বরবর্ণ swôrôbôrnô "vowel letter" too.

অ আ ই ঈ উ ঊ ঋ এ ঐ ও ঔ

  • has a total of 39 Consonants. Consonant letters are called ব্যঞ্জনবর্ণ bænjônbôrnô "consonant letter" in Bengali.

ক খ গ ঘ ঙ চ ছ জ ঝ ঞ ট ঠ ড ঢ ণ ত থ দ ধ ন প ফ ব ভ ম য ৰ ল শ ষ স হ ড় ঢ় য় ৎ ঃ ং ঁ

  • has 10 diacritics denoting syllable rhymes -

া ি ী ু ূ ৃ ে ৈ ো ৌ

Canadian Aboriginal syllabicsEdit

In modern writing, Canadian Aboriginal syllabics are indicative of Cree languages, Inuktitut, or Ojibwe, though the latter two are also written in alternative scripts. The basic glyph set is ᐁ ᐱ ᑌ ᑫ ᒉ ᒣ ᓀ ᓭ ᔦ, each of which may appear in any of four orientations, boldfaced, superscripted, and with diacritics including ᑊ ᐟ ᐠ ᐨ ᒼ ᐣ ᐢ ᐧ ᐤ ᐦ ᕽ ᓫ ᕑ. This abugida has also been used for Blackfoot.

Other North American syllabicsEdit

CherokeeEdit

Cherokee writing features a unique syllabary consisting of the following characters:

ᎡᎢᎣᎤᎥᎦᎧᎨᎩᎪᎫᎬᎭᎮᎯᎰᎱᎲᎳᎴᎵᎶᎷᎸᎹᎺᎻᎼᎽᎾᎿᏀᏁᏂᏃᏄᏅᏆᏇᏈᏉᏊᏋᏌᏍᏎᏏᏐᏑᏒᏓᏔᏕᏖᏗᏘᏙᏚᏛᏜᏝᏞᏟᏠᏡᏢᏣᏤᏥᏦᏧᏨᏩᏪᏫᏬᏭᏮᏯᏰᏱᏲᏳᏴ.

Artificial languagesEdit

Esperanto (Esperanto)Edit

  • words: de, la, al, kaj
  • Six accented letters: ĉ Ĉ ĝ Ĝ ĥ Ĥ ĵ Ĵ ŝ Ŝ ŭ Ŭ, their corresponding H-system representation ch Ch gh Gh hh Hh jh Jh sh Sh u U or their corresponding X-system representation cx Cx gx Gx hx Hx jx Jx sx Sx ux Ux
  • words ending in o, a, oj, aj, on, an, ojn, ajn, as, os, is, us, u, i,

Klingon (tlhIngan Hol)Edit

  • When written in the Latin alphabet Klingon has the unusual property of a distinction in case; q and Q are different letters, and other letters are either always (e.g. D, I, S) or never (e.g. ch, tlh, v) written in upper case. This causes a large number of words that look quite strange to people who aren't used to it, for example: yIDoghQo', tlhIngan Hol (with mixed case).
  • The apostrophe is fairly frequent, especially at the end of a word or syllable.
  • Common suffixes: -be', -'a'
  • Common words: 'oH, Qapla'
  • May use one or more apostrophes in the middle of a word: SuvwI″a'

Lojban (lojban.)Edit

  • (almost) all lowercase;
  • common words lo, mi, cu, la, nu, do, na, se;
  • paragraphs delimited with ni'o and sentences delimited with .i (or i);
  • many five-letter words in consonant-vowel shape CCVCV or CVCCV;
  • many short words with apostophes between vowels, like ko'a pi'o etc.;
  • usually no punctuation except for dots;
  • may use commas in the middle of words (typically proper nouns).

Toki Pona (toki pona)Edit

  • alphabet is all lowercase and limited
  • no diacritics
  • only uses unvoiced consonants in writing, e.g. p, t, k

Full alphabet: p, t, k, s, m, n, l, j, w, a, e, i, o, u

  • common words li, mi, e, sina, ona, jan
  • often sounds like a simplified and phonetic form of English or Swedish
  • many two-syllable words
  • very long sentences with many adjectives

External linksEdit