What is in a Name: Calligraphy Alphabet – Beautiful Writing
Calligraphy - Beautiful Writing
Calligraphy is a Greek word meaning ‘beautiful writing’. I took some calligraphy classes back in the 1980’s. It was a very fascinating hobby which could either be very satisfying or very frustrating because it takes a tremendous amount of practice and patience, especially if you want to be any good at it. It also takes a lot of hand and eye coordination. I did not master calligraphy by any stretch of the imagination but I used to letter all the certificates for the people retiring in my department at work. Even though they were all impressed, I knew how much better it could have been! I haven’t used them for a long time but I still have the pen with the different nibs and inks, and the pads of paper and rules to practice different fonts. I even have a Chinese brush set with a block of ink. You dip the brush in water and swirl it on the ink block. It is slower than dipping into a bottle of ink. There is definitely an art to mixing the right amount of water and ink. You also need to consider the paper type of your project to determine how thick it is and how well it will absorb the ink. Some of the most popular American calligraphic fonts are Italic, Blackletter (Old English), Roman, Bookhand and Uncial. Calligraphy is a hobby for many people but it truly is an art form held in high regard in many other countries.
I thought it would be fun to see what my name looks like is in calligraphic alphabets in different languages.
Rose in Japanese
In Japan, calligraphy is called shodou or “the way of writing”. All Japanese school children learn calligraphy as part of their elementary education.
Three types of Japanese calligraphy are:
Kaisho means “correct writing”. Each stroke is done very clear and very deliberate. Everyone can read this style.
Gyousho means “traveling writing” and is a semi-cursive style. This is the style most people write.
Sousho means “grass writing”. This is a flowing cursive style where the brush rarely leaves the paper. Only those trained in shodou are able to read this type of script.
Rose in Chinese
In China calligraphy is a highly regarded art form and it is found hanging in museums next to paintings. They also decorate everyday items with calligraphy.
There are many styles of Chinese calligraphy. There are two modern styles commonly in use today.
Regular: This one is based on the old Clerical style which was used in the Han dynasty that ended in 220 AD. It is precise like the Clerical but less formal. The horizontal lines slope upward and the vertical lines are strictly vertical and do not lean away from the center.
Running: This style allows for more freedom. The dots and strokes kept separate in the Regular style are joined together in a single sweep of the brush.
Rose in Thai
Thai is a beautiful alphabet with 44 consonants and 15 vowel symbols that combine into 28 vowel forms. Rose in Thai is pronounced like Rot.
Rose in Arabic
The Arabic alphabet has 28 consonants and three vowels: a, i, and u. Arabic is sixth on the list of major languages of the world in terms of native speakers. The traditional instrument of the Arabic calligrapher is the galam, a pen made of dried reed or bamboo and they often choose colored ink because its intensity in the strokes may vary greatly adding more interest.
Rose in Hebrew
My Hebrew name is Vered. The writing is read from right to left. It is the official language of Israel and based on Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
Rose in Korean
The Korean alphabet has 14 consonants and 10 vowels used to make syllables. The syllables are stacked in a ‘square’ so you need to learn the letters and then how to correctly stack them.
Rose in Tibetan
My name was so easy to figure out in Tibetan by looking at the alphabet charts below. The first syllable is ra and the mark above modifies the a to o. The second character is sa with the mark above modifying the a into an e.
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Calligraphy is beautiful writing.
These are only a few examples of calligraphic alphabets being used in the world today. My favorite for my name is Tibetan. It would be fun to try to learn to write in this alphabet. I may even dig out the calligraphy equipment and give it a try!