February 10, 2010

Carakan - M

Om Swastyastu.

After working for about two hours on my computer, I have finally made something to share with everyone. Do you remember seeing the Bali script written on street signs or temples while you were in Bali? The name of this alphabet is called Carakan in Everyday Balinese, my Balinese textbook, and although it is quite complicated, if man wrote it and writes it, surely man or foreigners can learn it! How am I going to fit this into my schedule? Oh well, even if I learn only half of the Carakan this year, those signs won't look so strange and foreign to me the next time I am in Bali. Besides, I was able to learn Japanese and there are many, many more characters used in Japanese than in Balinese. I know that I can do it with a lot of determination. Let's try learning these letters together! Here is a photo that I took from Wikipedia of the basic letters in the alphabet:

I tried to make the following graphic so that I could try learning both the letter which represents m and the basic vowels. If there is no vowel added to the consonant, it should be pronounced with the vowel a understood. If we take a look at the first letter which I have labeled as ma, in fact only the letter m has been written, but the vowel a is thought to be part of that letter. I don't really understand the whole system just yet, but I will start here. The second group of two letters is the m with an i written above it. Next, the third group of letters. Here we see the and mu giving us mu. The next one is a little tricky because the vowel sound is written first. I studied just a little bit of the Thai alphabet before and understand that the vowels were written just like these Balinese ones: behind, in front, on top, under or both in front and behind the consonants. The same principle is used here as all these alphabets are derived from India. I understand the principles, now I only have to learn the shapes!

So, can I really learn all these letters this week? There is the m plus the five or six vowels, depending on how you count the letter o? I will try! Let's try together! I downloaded this font to my computer, that is why I was able to make the graphic above and could actually type using this alphabet in my blog, but I think that if you don't have the same font installed, you won't be seeing what I am seeing. For the moment, I will just try making a graphic. It takes me forever to make it, but I will get the hang of it and since it is a picture, everyone should be seeing what I have intended for them to see.


1 comment:

  1. hi, my name is lisa. and ive been trying to find somewhere online that will translate English into Balinese because its such a beautiful script, but for the life of me there is no where online that offers any type of translation service... do u know of any??