What language is this?
March 26, 2010 1:14 PM   Subscribe

What language is this written in? Obviously the top third is English, but the bottom third and side? No one I know can identify it. Extra points for any clue as to what it says.
posted by ochenk to Education (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's not Russian, but resembles it from the style of the handwriting. Almost entirely sure it's either a language written in Cyrillic or one from around somewhere they use Cyrillic.
posted by griphus at 1:23 PM on March 26, 2010

The writing is cursive Cyrillic, and words like "uu" look Mongolian to me.
posted by dhoe at 1:24 PM on March 26, 2010

I googled "dyyccan" and several results came back in Cyrillic, so if I were a betting man, I'd say Russian, though some of the forums mention Mongolia. No idea what it says though - here's hoping languagehat sees it and stops on by.
posted by jquinby at 1:33 PM on March 26, 2010

Most likely what dhoe said. It could be also Buryat (or some other language of south Siberia nations) which are close to Mongolian. Also there is a word "Mongol" in the forth line from the bottom.
posted by m1dra3 at 1:48 PM on March 26, 2010

I'd say Russian

It's not. Russian uses "Д" not "D"
posted by griphus at 1:53 PM on March 26, 2010

Gotta be Mongolian. There's a list in which each item is labeled 3, 2, or 1. The word just after the 3, transliterated into English writing, is "magtaal". Put that in Google with "language" and you get all kinds of links to Mongolian stuff.
posted by lorrer at 2:07 PM on March 26, 2010

But Mongolian cursive doesn't look anything like the sample...
posted by kitcat at 2:11 PM on March 26, 2010

Russian uses "Д" not "D"

When we were learning Russian-Cyrillic handwriting a few years ago, we were taught that for upper-case "Д" in handwriting, we were to write "D." Not sure if that's a new thing, though. So that doesn't rule it out as Russian, but all the double-vowels ("aa," and "yy" which in Latin-alpha is "uu") do.

I can't type in Cyrillic on this computer, but if you find someone who could, and who also reads Cyrillic handwriting, you should type some of this up and then put that into Google.

Languages written with the Cyrillic alphabet (from Omniglot.com):
Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Aghul, Akhvakh, Archi, Avar, Azeri, Balkar, Bashkir, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Buryat, Chechen, Chukchi, Church Slavonic, Chuvash, Dargwa, Dungan, Erzya, Even, Evenki, Gagauz, Ingush, Kabardian, Kalmyk, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Komi, Koryak, Kumyk, Kurdish, Kyrghyz, Laz, Lak, Lezgi, Lingua Franca Nova, Macedonian, Mansi, Mari, Moksha, Moldovan, Mongolian, Nanai, Nenets, Nivkh, Old Church Slavonic, Ossetian, Russian, Ruthenian, Serbian, Slovio, Tabassaran, Tajik, Tatar, Turkmen, Tuvan, Tsez, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Uyghur, Uzbek, Votic, Yakut, Yukaghir, Yupik
posted by thebazilist at 2:13 PM on March 26, 2010

But Mongolian cursive doesn't look anything like the sample...

That's Mongolian (the language) written in Mongolian (the script). What this could possibly be (although I have no clue) is Mongolian (the language) written in Cyrillic (the script).

Meanwhile, just because they're talking about Mongolian doesn't mean that this is Mongolian.
posted by thebazilist at 2:16 PM on March 26, 2010

kitcat: that's a completely different script from Mongolian Cyrillic.
posted by holgate at 2:18 PM on March 26, 2010

Also, what this looks like to me is a native Cyrillic-writer practicing their English/Latin alphabet. The letters that are the same in both alphabets (eg, b and Y, although they don't represent the same sounds) are written Cyrillic-style in the English sentences (I know that we can write "b" in the Latin alphabet that way, too, but we were taught that we had to write it that way in Cyrillic).
posted by thebazilist at 2:19 PM on March 26, 2010

Back again. I think it is Mongolian, after all. I transliterated some of the handwriting, just a word here and there where I was sure I was reading the whole thing correctly, into Latin alphabet, which I put into Google.

Here are the pages that came up:

Tuvshin's Blog; Tuvshin is in Mongolia

This page which is the MGL club

It looks like the same stuff. However, it could be some similar Central Asian language; I bet Dutch and German would look very similar transliterated into Cyrillic and presented to a Russian-speaker.
posted by thebazilist at 2:34 PM on March 26, 2010

holgate: yes, of course.

Here is a sample of Mongolian writing in cursive Cyrillic.
posted by kitcat at 2:42 PM on March 26, 2010

I am pretty sure this is Mongolian Cyrillic, but I think Standard Soviet Uyghur is also a possibility.
posted by elizardbits at 2:46 PM on March 26, 2010

It's Mongolian.

zob > amar = truth > peace

Maybe I translate more a bit later.

Here's an online Mongolian-English dictionary you can use, if you can use it.
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:16 PM on March 26, 2010

Uh... here, I mean. http://asuult.asuultserver.com/dic/
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:21 PM on March 26, 2010

Heh. I looked at the image before coming into the thread and guessed it was Mongolian (or, like m1dra3 says, Buryat), and I'm pleased to see my instincts didn't fail me!
posted by languagehat at 5:31 PM on March 26, 2010

Hunh. A friend of mine just came back from teaching in Mongolia for year. She is not perfectly fluent but seems fairly conversant (and she reads Cyrillic) -- I forwarded the scan and asked her if it might be Mongolian and it took her ten seconds to say it was not. Her Croatian husband opines that it looks to be Hungarian written with the Cyrillic alphabet.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:32 PM on March 28, 2010

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