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Introduction to Language Calligraphy

Language Calligraphy Introduction

The first Question you might have is, what exactly is Calligraphy?

A Calligraphy is a stylized form of writing of many of the world’s languages. The origin of calligraphy finds its roots over a thousand years ago way back to the 600 B.C. period. These old calligraphy styles were practised in Italy, Rome and East Asian areas.

The famous Western calligraphy uses the Roman alphabet in its style by employing Etruscan, Greek and Phoenician alphabets. Though this is an old calligraphy style it is used even to this day as in the past, in the writing of holy books, especially in monasteries. The many wars and the rise and fall of empires made the art of calligraphy flourish and the various styles revolve around their local regions such as French, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic.

The old calligraphy style of Gothic calligraphy, originating from the 8th century, is easy to read and hence it is used even today in calligraphy writing. The other versions are more elaborate in appearance but not readable by all people, except those who are familiar with the lettering.

The Cyrillic alphabet was developed from Slavonic lettering from countries like Croatia and Bulgaria and is very widely used even today. The old calligraphy of these countries originally had 43 letters but today the Serbian language has been introduced that is similar to the older versions of Russian letters. The script is Unicial and makes use of straight lines that make it easily readable.

Dating back to the 200 B.C. period, the East Asian old calligraphy used pieces of parchment that cannot be found today. However, a few tablets with dried ink prove that old calligraphy existed amongst the Chinese and Japanese writers who used brushes with different sizes of hair to form the best calligraphy lettering.

The origin of old calligraphy in India was around the same time as the East Asian period – 265 B.C. Copper was the medium of inscriptions for calligraphy then. This practice slowly moved to birch bark and palm leaves cut into rectangular pieces of uniform size and put together to form books. These pieces were tied together with a string drawn through a hole in the leaves. The best old calligraphy styles were preserved on palm leaves which were easy to write on because of its thin texture.

Countries like Nepal, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Tiber used old calligraphy to write the famous Qur’an which was written in the Arabic language initially. ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’, is an old adage that is apt for the art of calligraphy. Calligraphy has come a long way through the ages, maintaining and indeed increasing its fame each day.

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About Sally Morgan

My name is Sally Morgan, I'm American and currently a Language Teacher in New York State Schools for French and Spanish. I have studied Foreign Languages, translation and teaching at the Columbia University in New York. I lived for 3 years in Europe including France, UK and Italy.

I am a passionate linguist and love how speaking another language opens the doors of communication and therefore a whole world.

Please ask me any questions below

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