The term multialphabetism describes parallel use of different alphabets. One can discriminate between

  • Multialphabetic languages, e.g. Japanese which uses logograms (Kanji) as well as syllabaries (Hiragana, Katakana), or Latin letters (Romaji).
  • Languages (or groups of closely related languages) that are written sometimes in one, sometimes in another alphabet. For example, Serbian street signs are either in Latin or in Cyrillic, with no preference. Moldovan is officially written in Latin (as being virtually identical to Romanian), but also in Cyrillic, in certain parts of Moldova (considering the former Russian influence).
  • Multialphabetism as a result of multilingualism in the context of migration, especially if the languages learned are based not on varieties of the same alphabet but on different scripts (e.g. Latin/Cyrillic, Latin/Arabic).
  • Multialphabetism as an expression of intercultural competence, e.g. correct representation of names from other Latin alphabets with all required diacritical marks and special characters in print and online media (Potočnik instead of Potocnik, Guðmundsdóttir instead of Gudmundsdottir).
  • Multialphabetism as a result of interoperability in the ICT sector, especially in E-Government. Thanks to increasing use of the international Unicode character set (ISO 10646), data can be exchanged across borders without damaging the information (Potočnik will no longer turn into Potocnik, Poto?nik or Potoènik).

External links

  • Multialphabetism in the EU
  • Multilingual virtual keyboard
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