Words

Where does the alphabet come from?

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The alphabet is the letters which make up a language. Different languages each have their own alphabet with its own specific history which suits the sounds and needs of that particular language and the people who speak it!

The alphabet has a very old history, so there are some different ideas and theories among those who have studied and traced its origin. Most agree that the use of an alphabet, or at least characters that represent words or ideas, is a practice that's been around since the ancient Egyptians, who used a special system called "hieroglyphics". However, alphabets more similar in use and form to the ones we know today are usually traced to Greece, since the Greeks were the first to include vowels in their alphabet and not just consonants!

Depending on where they came from and when they developed, some alphabets (like English and Spanish) are very similar while other alphabets (like Russian) look very different!

by Mya Kagan (Whyzz writer)

Exploration

ABC Time!

What are some different languages you've seen in writing? For example, maybe you've seen Chinese writing while eating at a Chinese restaurant, or perhaps you sat next to someone on an airplane who was reading a newspaper in Hebrew!

If you were going to invent a new alphabet, what are some things that you think would be important to making your new alphabet useful? How would you shape your letters? What would they each sound like, and why? Try to draw or write a few of your ideas!