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Learn to Write in Futhark (Elder Fuþark)

Updated on March 8, 2013

What is Futhark

Futhark is an ancient writing system that dates back thousands of years. It is much like the alphabets we learn today in our native tongues, yet it only consists of lined letters, no curves.

© Brandon Jared Martin
© Brandon Jared Martin

How Futhark Got Its Shape

Considering the age of this writing system and that ancient civilizations did not have writing paper nor ink or lead utensils, Futhark was often carved onto wood, metal or stone with other tools used for the engraving.

When using a chisel to engrave letters into stones, rocks, metal or wood, it becomes quite difficult to write with curves in each letter. Chiseling at a curved angle could also create the carving surface to chip off and destroy the document at hand. It was (supposedly) decided to be easier to carve lines without curves, which also saved much more time in writing important documents.

History of Futhark

Futhark dates back to the stone ages when everything was written in stone. It is thought to be used by Paganistic people as a way of secret communications. Many ancient spiritual documents and texts are found written in this language.

Futhark is a language that had changed much over time, and spread to other areas of the world, forming multiple versions of the writing system.

Historical Modernism Changed Futhark

Even though Futhark is an ancient writing system, it is found that surviving texts were carved back in 200 CE by the Greeks. This version of the Futhark writing system contains 24 letters- 18 consonants and 6 vowels.

How to Read Futhark

Futhark is read just like in the American language, from left to right, eventually reaching the bottom of the page. Since Futhark has a few letters missing from its alphabet for us Americans, it is usually read and written without nouns. Since modernism had changed the writing systems a bit, Futhark now has nouns.


© Brandon Jared Martin
© Brandon Jared Martin


© Brandon Jared Martin
© Brandon Jared Martin

When Will I Use this Writing System?

Personally, I like to write personal notes, journal entries (when I write one), or security information in Futhark. Whichever way you find this system of writing most useful or fascinating.

In the above 'Translate' picture, I added a hyphen as my punctuation mark. I Since this writing system was not as complex as some of our writing systems these days, you want to be able to simplify your text as much as possible, while still being able to understand your conversion of text.

Runes and Futhark

Many ancients forms of fortune telling deal with bones, stones, and earthy materials. Futhark was used in a method of fortune telling called rune casting. Rune casting required Futhark letters to be engraved onto objects.

Futhark is coming back...

Since the beginning of the New Age, Futhark has been on the rise, being noticed by younger audiences wearing jewelry adorned in the alphabet. I have seen it written on more t-shirts, toys, and even video games since no one really knows how to read it these days, so it makes it easy to write and hide clues, sly remarks, and personal or spiritual facts... or even gibberish.


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