When you read this post on your device, does the title look like
(as it should), or does it look like a bunch of boxes? Or maybe just like random gibberish? If your device and software are old, you might not see it the way it’s intended (i.e., as shown above). Maybe, of course, you think that this is what I mean by random gibberish.
Well, I don’t. And it’s not. It’s actually a word written in the world’s most beautiful writing system: the word “Burmese” as written in the Burmese language, which is spoken by about 43 million people (mostly of course in Burma, a.k.a. Myanmar) and has been written since the 11th Century.
You may be wondering—as I was—why all the letters are curved, in contrast to most letters in more familiar scripts, like ours, which tend more toward straight lines, at least in part. According to Omniglot:
The rounded appearance of letters is a result of the use of palm leaves as the traditional writing material. Straight lines would have torn the leaves. The Burmese name for the script is ca-lonh ’round script’.
Aha. So that explains it.
But there’s a lot more gorgeous complexity to Burmese writing than its roundedness. If you read the page in the Omniglot link above, you will see sections on various combined letters, numerals, tone diacritics, and a sample text, along with its transliteration, translation, and an audio recording. A lot of rich material there!
Maybe I need to learn this writing system.
Maybe I will actually do so.
But don’t bet on it.