Did you know that all alphabets with the exception of Hangul originated from one alphabet in history? It’s true! This is the story of how our alphabets, both Latin and Cyrillic, came to be. So, which alphabet is the ancestor of all modern alphabets?
For the answer, we need to go back to the year fourth millennium BCE. Mesopotamia, an area of the world presently called the Middle East, is the origin of the first two alphabets ever conceived. These alphabets were Cuneiform (conceived in Sumer — modern day Iraq), and hieroglyphics (conceived in ancient Egypt). While Cuneiform would be lost with the passing of time, Egyptian hieroglyphics would change and evolve in modern day alphabets.
As the ancient Egyptian empire grew stronger and more influential, their writing form was adopted by the aristocracy of the surrounding civilizations. But unlike the ancient Egyptians, these civilizations used hieroglyphics to convey sounds rather than specific word meanings. These variant alphabets were called Aramaic alphabets. These alphabets would be used throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.
Aramaic alphabets would give birth to our modern day alphabets over the next six-thousand years. The Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic alphabets included! I find that super interesting, and I’m sure you do too.
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