Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I didn't know about Syllabics

The Inuktitut syllabary is a writting system, used by Inuit people in Nunavut and in Nunavik, Quebec. In 1976, the Language Commission of the Inuit Cultural Institute made it the co-official script for the Inuktitut language, along with the Latin Alphabet.

O.K. so what I didn't know was that Syllabics weren't evolved by the Inuit people, "they are a variety of shorthand once taught to secretaries, which was used by missionaries to teach writing to Cree, and then to Inuit." (Nunatsiaq News)

Short hand? What kind of short hand are we talking about here? This ain't like no short hand I ever seen! Who knew people who can write syllabics were actually super secretaries? I wonder if this short form is still being used in some office somewhere. It's way to complicated for me, I am going to just stick to my spoken one word sentences.

Taima (that's it folks)


Jackie S said...

The day after I read this post of yours, Jen, I found an instructional booklet on how to TYPE syllabics correctly, using a "normal" keyboard.

Weird eh?

Jen said...

Really? Like it already exists? or do you have to download a font?

Aleks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aleks said...

I was studying the photocopy of syllabics Macussie gave me on the plane ride home. Actually they're really frickin easy to learn.

There are like a dozen base symbols representing consonants, and the symbols are rotated by each vowel tacked onto it. So if you can memorize like a dozen shapes, and three rotations (four if you could the little mini version that represents "without vowel"), you basically know how to read Inuktitut.

I was reading shit by the time I got to Iqaluit... not that I was UNDERSTANDING it mind you. But interestingly Iqaluit is technically spelt with an "r" after the first I.

Aleks said...

Sorry... i mean rotated and/or reflected.... but still only two affine transformations

Kate Nova said...

I translated my name off my business card and got Kiriina, which I thought sounded pretty cool.
I find it really interesting that Innuinaqtun, on the other hand, is written in roman characters.

J Consortium said...

It's based on Pitman shorthand if you want to do more research on it. :)