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Origin and Evolution of Western Alphabets

This is an educational poster I created to show the evolution of modern Western and Middle Eastern alphabets. It starts with the prehistoric African rock art traditions that would form the foundation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (with perhaps some additional inspiration from Sumerian cuneiform) and then shows derivative forms such as proto-Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic (among others). It's by no means a complete collection of all the scripts that evolved from these foundations, nor does it include alphabets from other literary traditions (e.g. Indian, East Asian, or Mesoamerican ones). Nonetheless, it should go to demonstrate the multicultural, transcontinental heritage of the modern English alphabet we use today.
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© 2018 - 2021 TyrannoNinja
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VarnaHan's avatar

Lovely work!

Cyrillic was created 40 years earlier, but still a minor mistake. You should have included Glagolic, the real "slavic alphabet", that was not inspired by any other alphabet (with some minor exceptions).

Plus cyrillic itself gave birth to other alphabets based on cyrillic, some of them even being a mix of latin and slavic.

Jesus spoke aramaic fun fact

drRONIN-93's avatar
You forgot ancient Ethiopian (the REAL first phonetic alphabet!) and it's relationship with Egyptian hieroglyphics.
TyrannoNinja's avatar
Unfortunately I had only so much space to cram everything in. I do wish I had included the Meroitic script used by the kingdom of Kush, which is directly derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Komsommolets's avatar
Немного кириллицы  для наглядности.
(Translation: "A little Cyrillic for clarity").
MysteriousGirl92's avatar
Sketch Turner from Comix Zone is English? I didn't know that. :giggle:
BoriHun's avatar
And where are the Hunnic-Scythian-Szekler-Hungarian Runes ("Rovás") and the Viking Runes??
  Aboriginal hungarian runes by haadesm
haadesm's avatar
Hunnic-Scythian-Szekler-Hungarian are almost the same
Viking Runes are based on these runes, check this site for more information:…
BoriHun's avatar
TyrannoNinja's avatar
Couldn't fit them in, unfortunately.
AB-Norway's avatar
Should You ever feel like revise this diagram, I propose that You insert Sabaean (in use between about 600 BC until 200 AD in between Aramaic and Arabic, the Sabaean also begetting the alphabet of Ethiopia, ready formulated about 500 AD I think. Out of the Aramaic, in use as a business language of Achaemenid Persia, Indians learned to write and that was the bridge to alphabets of the East, with one exception, Korea. China and Japan can of course write but their script isn't an alphabet.
pinchback's avatar
Informative. Nice job
MoonyMina's avatar
this is way cool :) well done :)
Eldr-Fire's avatar
Not only do I love the concept of this language chart, but I love the pairs of people you've chosen to illustrate the people who would have used the alphabets. It really brings it to life. :)
Dragonlord16's avatar
Yay learning the alphabet. It's preschool all over again.
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