A sample text of Tjapingarriwangka. (Image courtesy of Omniglot)
La Cañada High School

Opinion: Tjapingarriwangka is a fascinating Australian Aboriginal language

The Tjapingarriwangka script was created to write Ngaanyatjarra by Robert Hancock.

“The name Tjapingarriwangka means ‘message stick speech’ in Ngaanyatjarra,” according to Omniglot.

Ngaanyatjarra is a member of the Pama-Nyungan language family that is “spoken mainly in Western Australia” according to Omniglot.

According to Omniglot, Tjapingarriwangka is written in horizontal lines from left to right.

In my opinion, this writing system is absolutely beautiful. The main reason why I like it so much is because when you look at a sample text of the script, some of the letters look like they could possibly be from the Thai and Lao alphabets.

The Thai and Lao alphabets are two of my personal favorites, which is why I like this script so much. Since parts of the script resemble Thai and Lao to a certain degree, it is now one of my favorite scripts.

My favorite letters from the script are the ones that represent the “n,” “ng,” “rt,” and “rr” sounds. The reason for this is that these letters from the script are the ones that appear to resemble letters from Thai and Lao letters the most.

My favorite part of this script in particular is the fact that it uses vowel markers.

According to Omniglot, “The vowel markers are called: a – mulyarti (spear), i – karli (boomerang), u – nyinngi (snake).”

I can see why these names were chosen for the vowel markers as well. The “a” marker is a short vertical line that could technically be considered a spear, the “i” could be interpreted as a boomerang, and the “u” does look like it is a slithering snake.

Those are by far the most creative names for vowel markers I have ever seen in a language. I find these names for the vowel markers to be especially fascinating because I have never seen these particular ones in any other language before.

I was fascinated by this beautiful alphabet, and I hope you were as well.

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