South and Southeast Asia

A number of alphabets appeared for the writing of the many languages of South and Southeast Asia. No link has been demonstrated between the seal script of the early civilization of the Indus Valley and the Indo-Aryan inscriptions of the 3rd and 4th centuries BCE. Whether this script was invented or borrowed from Semitic origins is conjectural.

Shown are examples of Nagpuria and Hindi (in Devanahari), Tamil, Malayalam, and Gujarati from South Asia; and from Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Lao, Cambodian, Balinese (in Javanese character), Bugis, and Burmese.

Tibetan appars to have been an invented alphabet (7th Centuary CE), but based upon an earlier Indian script.

[click thumbnail for large view]

Bugis
Bugis
Samuel; Amsterdam, Het Nederlandsch,
Bijbelgenootschap, 1893 [70]
Tibetan
Tibetan
New Testament; Shanghai, British and
Foreign Bible Society, 1913 [15]
Burmese
Burmese
St. John, Rangoon; British and Foreign
Bible Society, 1914 [546]
Cambodian
Cambodian
St. Luke; Singapore, British and
Foreign Bible Society, 1900 [189b]
Hindi [in Devanagari]
Hindi [in Devanagari]
Matthew; Allahabad; 1935 [1078]
Malayalam
Malayalam
St. Luke; Mangalore, British and
Foreign Bible Society, 1928 [1266]
Nagpuri [in Devanagari]
Nagpuri [in Devanagari]
St. Michael; Calcutta, 1914 [1031]
Lao
Lao
Matthew; Song Khone, British and
Foreign Bible Society, 1916 [1036]
Tamil
Tamil
St. John; Madras, British and
Foreign Bible Society, 1929 [1064]
Gujarati
Gujarati
Luke; Bombay, British and
Foreign Bible Society
(Bombay Auxillary), 1930 [1061]
  Balinese [in Javanese character]
Balinese [in Javanese character]
Luke; Semarang, Soerabaja, 1910 [987]

 

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