tunajitahidi kuwaelezea Cia ya kuaFika na kusoma hati za kaFo ya ziwa. katika tovuti hili utajua historia , matumizi na maEo ya usoni kuhusu hati hii ya ajabu ya kiafrika.
We are commited to showing you how to write and read the African Lakeside Script. In this website you will get to know the history , usage and the future of this amazing African writing system.
The total number of letters in the writing system is 33 representing different phonemes. The features that are described below are the obvious ones but a linguist can come up with others after proper study.
1. Type of writing sysyem: Alphabet
There are different types of writing systems around the world e.g.
Abjads – these are systems that only have consonants. Vowels are not included in the writing but can be denoted by diacritics or may be totally left out. Examples are Arabic and Hebrew.
Syllabic alphabets– A single letter mutates depending on the vowel attached to the consonant. Examples are Amharic in Ethiopia and Hindi in India.
Syllabries– A single letter represents a syllable. A syllable is often made up of a consonant plus vowel or a vowel only. Examples are Katakana in Japan and Cherokee in America.
Semanto-phonetic– Each symbol is a pictogram representing whole words. Examples are Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Chinese writting.
Alphabets– Every letter is a representation of a vowel or consonant. Examples are Greek and Latin.
The Lakeside script is also an alphabet with every letter representing a phoneme(sound). In Latin, some phonemes are created by combining two or more letters e.g mb, ng, sh, but these are kept separate in Lakeside writing system. Examples are:
2. Style of writing: Cursive.
Writing systems may be block or cursive. Block means that the letters or symbols are written individually and no stroke joins them together. For example Latin and Greek are traditionally block style but cursive forms exist and are widely used. Computers represent Latin as block.
Cursive means that the letters are joined-up or running. The most common cursive script is Arabic because of how the sounds join each other. Arabic must not be confused with Lakeside script. Here below is a phrase written to show the cursive nature:
ukitaka ca mvuxuni, Aarti uiname
Ukitaka cha mvinguni, sharti uiname
Compare the Lakeside script and the block letters in Latin script. However the Latin script can be made cursive in a hand writting.
3. Direction of writing: left to right.
All over the world, people write in staight lines except if it is for artistic reasons or if the surface itself is not straight. The only difference is direction of writing.
Vertical systems are written from top to bottom. These include far eastern languages such as Chinese and Japanese. In modern days these languages have adopted horizontal writing in their books.
Horizontal systems are written either from right to left such as Arabic and Hebrew or from left to right such as Thai in Thailand or Cyrillic in Russia. Lakeside script is also written from left to right.
Traditionally numerals have not been the strength of writing systems. It meant that numbers were ignored or selected letters were used to represent numbers. The Lakeside script system has its own symbols for numbers. These numbers range from zero to nine for mathematical use but large number representations are also available for colloquial use. The table on the Numerals page shows these numerals compared to Roman numerals and Arabic(western) numerals. Other Roman numerals such as M, C, L are not included in the table.
5. Vowel Diacritics.
In this alphabet, there are five vowels represented by the same stroke. The difference is in the diacritic added to the vowel stroke. These diacritics do not show vowel stress, tone or length as can be in other languages or writing systems. The table below shows the vowels, notice the different diacritics applied on the same stroke.
6. Punctuation and Symbology.
Different systems have traditionally used different punctuation marks. Some did not even have any punctuation at all. In the Lakeside system commas, fullstops, slash, colon, semi-colon, question marks, brackets, hyphens, etc are borrowed from the Latin system and are use in the same way. Mathematical or scientific symbols are also borrowed from the Latin system in the western world. These symbols include $, %, @, &, +, =, etc.
The Lakeside writing system can be used by most African languages because of the similarity in pronunciation in Africa. One thing that has to be kept in mind is that there are no Capital letters. Also when typing on a keyboard just keep CAPS lock off and only use SHIFT when typing the letters whose keyboard mapping require CAPS. The keyboard mapping is very important as Indicated on the Alphabet page.
For example in order to type shangazi, type Aaxazi.
The alphabet is downloadable for use on a computer from HERE, then drag and drop the downloaded .ttf file to the windows fonts folder. DO NOT COPY PASTE!
If you are using a Macbook , use the fontbook to install the font then restart your Macbook.