OpenGeofiction

Creating an Alphabet

Posted by forkymapper on 10 April 2020 in English (English)

Hey guys I have a question.

Since I now have a country with an Asian theme, I am curious to know what I can use to develop my own alphabet that can represent an Asian-esque language. Does anyone know a good software or online thing?

Comment from MisterBean on 10 April 2020 at 22:09

For an open-source font editor, try out https://fontforge.org/en-US/

Before you develop the alphabet, you must decide if it is:

a classic alphabet (letters both for vowels and for consonants),

a consonant-only alphabet (like Hebrew) where vocals are marked by diacritics,

an Abugida (where there are letters for various types of syllables, such as Cree, Korean or Ethiopian) or

a logographic script (with hieroglyphs having at least partially ideal meanings, such as Chinese)

For more Information and resources, please refer to conworkshop.com. I also have an account there (MedwedianPres) and I can help you out if you send me a PM (either there or here). If you tell me more about your language and the history and ethnicity of your country, I could give you ideas or develop one or two alphabets for you.

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Comment from Luciano on 11 April 2020 at 05:58

Two points:

1) @forkymapper: the usefulness of an invented alphabet will limited by the fact that there is no way, currently, that it can be made to appear on the map. I had a made up writing system for Mahhal but it is "unmappable" in the OGF platform. Bear this in mind.

2) @MisterBean: a minor quibble. Korean is a true alphabet, not an abugida, as can be validated by discussion in wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet#Asian_alphabets & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul

The individual letters of Korean hangul are called "jamo" and are composed into syllable-glyphs entirely systematically, e.g. ㅎ (h) + ㅏ (a) + ㄴ (n) => 한 (han).

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Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 11 April 2020 at 10:40

Like Luciano says, if you do make your own alphabet or script - or want to use an open source one from somewhere like fontstruct (assuming its one with no restrictions) - you still won't be able to use it in OGF. The way this is set up, only unicode fonts are rendered on the map. Even then, not all unicode is rendered, and there are some differences in what's rendered on standard, topo and histor layers. Is there a work around? Possibly. You could try mixing up unicode symbols to come up with a unique font. It kind of works - I did some mapping with this technique a while ago but have overwritten it since - but I found some problems: it changed when the render got updated, so things that looked ok before then didn't.

But if you're mapping with an 'Asian theme' wouldn't you use an Asian alphabet anyway?

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Comment from forkymapper on 12 April 2020 at 00:26

Thanks guys, this is really helpful!

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