Mandalorian Writing Systems

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Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 04 Mar 2015 11:32

Answering the previous questions, here's the file on mando'a that i found. It has not much to add to things we already know except maybe numerals. But it's very interesting to someone who wants to write in mando'a as well.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 04 Mar 2015 19:06

That reminds me of something. As it stands, mando'a miit'gaanar is the msot annoying script I've ever written anything in. We really need to work up a handwriting form that's easier to use. I saw these pictures that had some ideas, and I'm going to try to make something soon.

http://i.imgur.com/vRJlWzh.png
http://i.imgur.com/vmrmnSr.png
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Jaster Mereel » 04 Mar 2015 19:56

I'll have to post my work on creating a Mandalorian writing system. My main reason for attempting it was to overcome the copyright issue. But I also think we could use more intentional symbolism in our writing system
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 04 Mar 2015 20:18

You mean like pictograms the ancient egyptians used? I really doubt thats its very practical.
I think what Vlet has found is more close to home (the first one). Not sure about the second, looks like mando'a letters written by Middlearth elves. I think the font we're using now is good, we just need to figure out how to write it by hand.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Jaster Mereel » 04 Mar 2015 21:51

No, not pictograms. More like how Ancient Hebrew was pictographic, but then evolved into its modern form. The symbolism of the symbols is still there even though the symbols have changed. There's meaning behind each letter. The current Mando'a alphabet are just a bunch of symbols someone made up because they looked cool. But there's no real meaning behind them.

I do like that first one the vlet posted. It looks like runes.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 04 Mar 2015 22:14

Well, thats the thing, they look like runes. But runes come from a very different universe.
About the letters we have now, i think they are designed that way intentionally. I guess maybe ancient tongs had pictogrammatic writing if they had any, but this was made that way so writing would be easily fit onto helmet/mask/armor plates. And they mostly look similar to blades or knives. You know how mandos love their knives.
But handwriting, yes, i think it looked somewhat different, ill try to work on it if i get the time.
Also, i think there can be a two types of writing, one "official" where we use computer font, and the othe "common" or "written", which is used for handwriting. And these two can be very different looking indeed. History knows examples of such cases.
And besides that, what's the meaning behind english (latin) letter "A" for example. I dont know where it came from or if it represents some evolved form of ancient pictogram. But we use it today and dont think about it. Same could be applied to mando alphabet.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 05 Mar 2015 19:08

Look at the D'ni language. One script is very strict, all straight, boxy lines, and the other is a cursive version of that, but both are quick to write and easy to read. That's what I'm hoping for. Even years later, it takes me a minute to read anything in Mando'a script, and it's a pain to letter.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 05 Mar 2015 20:39

Thats what im talking about, take the script we already have and adopt it for handwriting. I'd try it if i could, but im not very good with fonts and my own handwriting is awful.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Jaster Mereel » 05 Mar 2015 20:52

Is the preference for a more cursive(curvy) script or a straight line(rune style) script?
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 05 Mar 2015 21:53

Like I used as an example in my last post, those can be two sides of the same coin.
The big issues are just readability and ease of writing, with a focus on reading for the more block letter/runic style, and writing for the more cursive-like one.
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Re: Words i accumulated or invented so far

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 09 Mar 2015 19:38

Okay, my first attempt at handwriting looked like the 9th symphony if Beethoven had been blind as well as deaf... MK.II tomorrow...
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Adi'karta » 14 Mar 2015 01:27

merged from another thread wrote:About the writing system, I have long lamented its inconvenience as a handwritten system, but done nothing about it. I believe I posted a thread long ago about the MLD pdf, and while the linguist in me thrills at the prospect of a purely phonetic writing system, something about that particular implementation just doesn't feel right. It could just be my personal aversion to that specific font. And if I were creating a phonetic writing system, I would make vowels have only one sound as they do in Japanese with the Hiragana and Katakana writing systems, or in Esperanto. I am a big fan of writing systems which are easy to learn and consistent in their representation of sounds (giving pronunciation cues, in the way that the D'ni cursive script does, or the way Tolkien's Tengwar writing system does).

To Vlet's imgur links, I like the practicality of runic systems, but something with curves makes good sense from a handwriting perspective. Taljair's point about having two systems (one for writing, one for computer) is sensible -- if you examine Chinese fonts and compare them to handwriting, there are quite a few big differences. As for where the common European letters came from, the main theory is that they evolved from the Phoenician alphabet (read about that here and see an example here). To Vlet's point about the current Mando'a font being difficult to read, I heartily concur. One of the primary factors that determines the survival of a writing system (the same follows for spoken languages) is its fidelity. How clearly can you communicate what you want to say, despite interference and distance? One thing strikes me as guaranteed about the current font: it is hard to read up-close and almost impossible to read at great distances. Clarity of communication strikes me as something that would be very important to a semi-militaristic society such as the Mandalorians, especially one which adopts members of other cultures and requires them to learn the same language. By that logic, Mando'a should be: 1. easy to learn, 2. easy to write, 3. easy to read, 4. easy to get your point across.
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 25 Mar 2015 11:23

How about we keep this font and call it "archaic"? :D
In this case we can invent 2 more writing systems, one for "modern" typing, one for handwriting.
In case of discussed fonts, i dont really like the runic one, it just doesnt seem to belong. But unfortunately i cant come up with something better still, so I wont make a stand against it.
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 10 Aug 2015 15:38

Would anyone object if i rewrite the whole vocabulary using mando'a font i have to standardize the written form of the words?
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 10 Aug 2015 17:08

I'm always interested to see what you produce, vod.
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 11 Aug 2015 07:19

Will take some time, it grew rather big. And I still have 145 words to make to reach 2000. I'd apriciate help with what words we still need.
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 25 Aug 2015 07:37

My attempt at handwriting mando'a...
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 25 Aug 2015 22:17

I like it.

One thing that vexes me, though. there's just so many strokes, even with this, that some letters are cumbersome to write. I propose that, for letters such as H, we remove the extraneous hash marks above the glyph, since they don't add any distinction to the letter, and they're annoying to draw.

The original font is really more like a Gothic type, with way more fanciness than it needs to be readable. A handwritten form should, I think, be as minimalistic as possible to make it easier to write comfortably.
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Adi'karta » 06 Jan 2016 01:26

Something I just noticed about the font used in be'Taljair MANDOR.pdf document and b'A'nu modified font in this thread is the disparity against the original font as designed by Philip Metschan (also visible without any numbers or special characters on be'Karbuir old website). It seems as though they both based theirs on ErikStormtrooper's older variant of the font, which is inaccurate and was later updated for more accuracy. Example:


0 1 2 C M P Q V X Z
old 0 1 2 C M P Q V X Z
new 0 1 2 C M P Q V X Z


ErikStormtrooper's new font still differs from Metschan's original creation by the 0, 1, 2, and C.

As for the C/U issue with Metschan's font (they look very similar but are not identical)...I still don't know what to do about that, as it *is* a problem for readability. In the end, since the font is currently the only part of the language which is still technically canonical (as it is used in AOTC and in TCW which are still canon), I think we should try to keep our fonts as close to the official documentation as possible whenever we're discussing Legends words and usage.

The MANDOR.pdf document is not quite canonical in its application of the Mandalorian font, as Taljair took a more phonetic approach to the transcription of Mando'a words (inspired by the mysterious MLD.pdf) rather than a direct character swap like the official font. I think it's fine as-is for now, but it might make it easier to cross-learn canon and non-canon if the basis for the two fonts is more similar. Conversely, it might also be easier if they were more different so it's clear at-a-glance which transcription method was used.

If we ever get around to agreeing on a customised third-party font for our own use as a forum/community/culture, then maybe we can start using that for all internal non-Legends stuff.

Sidebar: I stumbled across a possible origin of the mysterious MLD.pdf. Here's an archived copy of its original home.
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Re: Mandalorian Writing Systems

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 06 Jan 2016 14:23

Internecine conflict for orthographic reform!

Everyone pick sides and make sure to write all your banners in your chosen alphabets, so everyone knows who's on what side!
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