Talk:Latin alphabet

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How and when was the order we currently know agreed (Gnevin 21:11, 7 February 2007 (UTC))

It goes a long way back, with spontaneous evolutions happening occasionally. It is largely derived from the order of the Greek alphabet, which in itself largely was derived from the Phoenician alphabet. . 惑乱 分からん 12:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

The last change happened some time around 1860, and re-ordered things to the familiar 'U, V, W', replacing 'U, W, V', where the 'W' is seen literally as a 'Double U'. I'm trying to date this properly, as I have a dictionary that (just) pre-dates it Philh42 11:50, 25 April 2007 (UTC)Philh42

  • The history of the ordering is not well described in any of the relevant articles: alphabet, latin alphabet, collating sequence, or collation. It seems to me that the history of the ordering of alphabets is best handled on their own pages, so some improvement here would be good. It's way out of my league, though! Anybody else able to take a pass at it? --Lquilter (talk) 16:03, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The earliest attested ancestral version of the overall modern Latin alphabet order is that of the first 27 letters of the Ugaritic cuneiform alphabet (the last 3 letters of that alphabet are later additions within Ugaritic):

ʔ b g d h w z y k š l m n s ʕ p q r ġ t

Here's a version of the table showing which current Latin letters correspond to which letters in the first known alphabetic order:

ʔ b g d h w z y k š l m n s ʕ p q r ġ t

Some things are a little more complex than can be shown in this format (particularly "s"-"X", which has a kind of structural relationship, but no actual shape correspondence with the Phoenician or Greek letters in that position)... AnonMoos (talk) 03:09, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

"Encyclopedia" self reference[edit]

The image Image:Latin alphabet.png seems to violate Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. Other example text would be more appropriate. —Ben FrantzDale 23:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

"Wikipedia" and "encyclopedia" are two different things. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 02:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
True, but this page has little to do with encyclopedias. That text might as well say "Thesaurus" :-). The other alphabet pages have ancient texts as their examples. I'd think this should have something like The quick brown fox or else something historical that's in Latin characters. —Ben FrantzDale 02:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, No worries. I'll re-upload the picture with the text "The quick brown fox." I suppose that is a better example. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 12:23, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Where's the N?[edit]

No N?????

I know, there ain't a J either! This alfabet sucks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Alphabet Applications[edit]

This is just a shot in the dark, but is it not more logical to call it the Roman alphabet? I consider the Latin alphabet to be the Roman alphabet adjusted to the sounds of the Latin language, just like all the other systems.

For instance, the letter 'W' in the German language is adjusted to be the same sound as the letter 'V' in English. If a German said to me, in his native language, "I work for BMW", and I were to write that in the Latin alphabet with no previous knowledge of German, I would write BMW as 'BMV', because that's how he would say it.

So what I mean is, the Roman alphabet adjusted for the German language is the 'German' alphabet, the Roman alphabet adjusted for the English language is the 'English' alphabet, and the Roman alphabet adjusted for the Latin language is the 'Latin' alphabet.

It was, after all, the Roman Empire which was the principle cause of the adoption of this alphabet by the linguists of Europe, so I cannot see how it would be unfair to call it by this name. I'm hoping for the opinion of someone better placed to decide than me, as I am not a linguistics graduate. Sjnorthwood | Talk 12 July 2007.

It would make more sense, but "Latin alphabet" is far and away the more common name. — Gwalla | Talk 03:54, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Considering that "Latin alphabet" does appear to be the more common name, why is it that we seem to talk exclusively about "romanizing" text from other scripts rather than "latinizing" it? --Lazar Taxon 03:05, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it is the more common name in America? I've never known anyone call it the Latin alphabet. It's always been the Roman alphabet. If there's a distinction, I would say that the Latin alphabet didn't traditionally include j or v as independent letters, or w, whereas the term Roman alphabet denotes the 26-letter entity. - 19:46, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Calling it Roman is more common in the US, also. However, the latin alphabet was standardized as "Latin" by international committees, and that is now the technical term. But there is a bigger problem - This article breaks out the "English" alphabet as different from the Latin Alphabet. In fact, the modern Latin Alphabet and the Modern English Alphabet are the exact same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

See paragraph 4 of the article for a description of the modern usage of "Latin alphabet". The English alphabet is just one of many language alphabets included in the Latin Alphabet. —Coroboy (talk) 14:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Latin names of the letters?![edit]

Hi, these Latin names of the letters confuse me, even though the author readily admits that the names are disputed. The table says the y was called "i graeca". How is this possible? In the classical era, the y was used in Greek words to display the sound of the French u and the German ü. Why would the Romans call that letter "Greek i" when it was pronounced differently? And then the x. According to the article, the letter was called "ex", as in English. This seems highly inplausible to me. In all other languages I know, this letter is called "ix". This goes for both Germanic and Romance languages. So what the... ? Steinbach (fka Caesarion) 08:34, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

You have a point about "x". As for "y", the article explains that: FilipeS 09:53, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
The letter Y when introduced was probably called hy /hyː/ as in Greek (the name upsilon being not yet in use) but was changed to i Graeca ("Greek i") as Latin speakers had difficulty distinguishing /i/ and /y/ .

In any case, the original Latin names of F, L, M, N, R, S were all probably just the sound of the letter prolonged ("fffffff" etc.), while the name of X was a [k] + the sound of [s] prolonged. The initial "e" was added later to make the names more like real words... AnonMoos (talk) 02:59, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Windows font for Roman square capitals[edit]

which font do you use to get an ancient epigraphy impression? -- 09:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC) PS: de:Capitalis Quadrata

Trajan (typeface) -- 09:31, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Esh and Ezh?[edit]

I was wondering why there is no inclusion for these letters here. 20:45, 29 December 2007 (UTC) ·:RedAugust (talk) 06:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

They are listed in the subarticle List of Latin letters. FilipeS (talk) 21:01, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Well yeah... so is every other latin letter... I'm just wondering why they're not included in the "Wholly New Letters" section.·:RedAugust (talk) 06:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Because the "Extensions" section only mentions a few examples. A full list would be too long. FilipeS (talk) 12:07, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Z in the first alphabet table[edit]

There may be a misunderstanding here. I don't think the article means to say that the dropping of the letter Z from the alphabet and the introduction of G happened at the same time. FilipeS (talk) 19:22, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Cumaean alphabet needs replacement for Ionic Alphabet[edit]

In Greece and most southern schools we are thought that the latin alphabet evolved from the Greek-Ionic alphabet, used by the Greeks in the southern region of Italy. Proof: any primary school textbook. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

No, that's not the case; in the Ionic alphabet, the written symbol "H" meant a long [ē] vowel sound, the written symbol "X" meant a [kʰ] aspirate sound, etc. AnonMoos (talk) 02:49, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Mix up in table[edit]

There is a mix up with U and V in the first alphabet table. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Edit: or maybe not. Maybe I jumped to conclusions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Is it worth adding that the ancient language in stargate is based on latin? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

No. It's not really relevant. It belongs in the Stargate article, but here it's just trivia. — Gwalla | Talk 16:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Ligature usage[edit]

Is this statement true "2) ae was used only optionally in Medieval Latin - classical and standard practice is to write letters separately"?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:27, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Retarget Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz[edit]

Currently Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz retargets to Latin alphabet. However, I think it would make more sense as a retarget to English alphabet. After all, the Classical Latin alphabet did not have J, U, or W as separate letters, and this is the English Wikipedia, not the Modern Latin Wikipedia. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 02:45, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Redirect to Basic Latin alphabet would be better than either... AnonMoos (talk) 02:51, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Criticism of global dominance[edit]

As a (non-eurocentric) multilinguist and language-lover, I came to the opinion, that nowadays too many things are romanised or latinised. You can buy whole books that 'teach you Chinese' without a single Chinese character, which is absolutly idiotic. I often see inproper use and "lingual discrimination" when using romanisations. An example is a poster in an international school that apprently shows "Welcome" in many languages, showing Chinese e.ex. as "Huan ying" instead of "欢迎" and so with Arabic, Hebrew, Russian and Japanese.

It's a global trend that I would describe as the Roman/Latin writing culture oppressing other forms of scripts. It's the dominance of the Latin alphabet which I would call "Latin-centrism", "Roman-centrism" or "Roman Scriptism". But there is no such term in fact as per my knowledge. Any ideas on that? I'd like to mention this in the article later on as well. 亮HH (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 15:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC).

World disctribution[edit]

There was a picture of latin alphabet world's distribution, but it was very false. The reason is it was exclusively based on official languages's distribution...But it's a fact that it's not a good element to judge.

For exemple, in a country like Algeria, where for political reason arabic is the sole official language (kabyle is 'national'), the arabic alphabet is nearly never used !!! 'cause the main languages of algeria in practice are french and kabyle...both of them written in latin alphabet. The algerian arabic language, which is officially considered as 'just a dialect', is rarely wrote, but when it is it's always in latin scrip too !!! Despite all this, Algeria is shown in the picture like a country where latin alphabet is "not used" !!!!!

Another exemple: Serbia. Officially serbia's official language is serbian. Offficially serbian language is wrote in both latin and cyrillic alphabets, but in reality cyrillic is the sole alphabet used sinc the 90s...

So, i think that it will be interesting to make a map with the REAL latin alphabet world's distribution —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are displayed as Latin being a codominant alphabet. However, a major error is in displaying Montenegro as using solely Latin since Cyrillic is codominant with Latin. As for the above suggestion: In Serbia, Cyrillic is the only alphabet approved for state/official use, however Latin has roughly equal popularity (if not more) as Cyrillic in common life. (talk) 21:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
for the smart person that has depicted Kosovo as an independent country - the latin script isn't exclusive script in Kosovo no matter if you see it as independent. And yes - cyrilic script is used in Montenegro. --PrimEviL 11:18, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Etruscan alphabet[edit]

I have inserted Etruscan in place of "Old Latin" in the list of families near the top of the article, as the Old Latin article here points to a number of alphabetic systems, but the consensus (which the other Wikipedia articles show) is that the Romans in the time of the kings learned writing from the Etruscans directly, so a "Greek->Etruscan->Latin" path would be more straightforward...
William J. 'Bill' McCalpin (talk) 05:38, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Description of G[edit]

The article describes the "new letter G" as being "a C modified with a small horizontal stroke". However, the ancient Roman "new letter G" was clearly produced by adding a vertical stroke to the C, as can be seen in the article Roman square capitals. The horizontal stroke often seen in modern writing and typography comes from a misinterpretation of the Roman serif at the top of that vertical stroke as being an integral part of the letter, as also happens with the letter I. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

You're right, of course! I'll correct it. FilipeS (talk) 12:22, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I briefly uncorrected it, then realised I was mistaken... Sorry about that! –CapitalLetterBeginning (talk) 13:16, 1 April 2010 (UTC)


There is a map showing all the areas that use the Latin alphabet in green, however shouldn't Japan be green as it is used there with rōmaji. JE19426 (talk) 10:12, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

The Latin alphabet is rarely used for writing words in Japanese. When it is used in connection with Japanese, it is mainly used solely as letters/ symbols, similarly to how Arabic numerals isn't part of the English alphabet. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 00:29, 12 July 2011 (UTC)


I was thinking, maybe this page should have a table that shows some common pronunciations of each letter in modern European languages. I know it might be hard, since different languages use the letters for different sounds, but it seems like each letter's individual page mentions the common pronunciations for that letter. For example, the page A says "In most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, "a" denotes an open front unrounded vowel (/a/)." B says "In English and most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, ‹b› denotes the voiced bilabial plosive /b/, as in bib." I'm wondering if anyone else thinks that's a good idea. Maybe it isn't, but I'm just wondering. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:40, 22 August 2010 (UTC).

C [k or q] ?[edit]

About phonetic [k] is modern pronounciation ancient used [q], because in latin Q is used only before vowel [U] in other case C is used and have two phônetic walor [g] or [q], besides the kyril letter Ҁ [q] have a C shape. C it's a strange letter and have many prononciation [s / ʦ, q / ʧ, ʤ / g, ʨ] in french, turkish, latin slavic (Ćć-Ћћ, Čč-Чч, Cc-Цц), also check Georgian [ʦ] or Egoptic [ʣ], also analyse Ellêniqo Ϟ Ϙ & Ϭ (Egoptic)... Mag-Zen 16:01, 3 December 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemzag (talkcontribs)

Also, it's seems that the phônetic walue [k] came after byzantinë (ruman conqueror of Ellênic) adoption of Kappa instead of removed Qoppa [q]... The use of Q survived in Slavic until rewoluþion (1918 because of use of typewriter machine : Source, the sound ق [q] is only used in Arabia... Someone or a society are trying to trouble comprehension & magic ormfulatiôn of ancient text by removing letter, perhaps the Temple, Priests or Gods (Check Bible Gen 11-9). Nemzag (talk) 15:42, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Since K is sound [k], you should perhaps use [q] for C & Q in wiki documents to have more sound than only [k] Nemzag (talk) 20:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

I also believe that latin CH greek Χ was originaly pronounced [qʰ] after rôman conquest by remove of qoppa the combination became [kʰ]. The CH [qʰ] still exist in georgian since Q [q] is ... Nemzag (talk) 13:20, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Some exemple : track & Traque, Oceanë & Oqean (ωκεανός), Coran & Qoran, κούκος (quqos) & Cuckoo (Cuculus, coccum (qoqqum, “Scarlet”) from קאק (qôq, “Jackdaw”), κουρούνα (quruna, “Crow”), κορώνα (qorôna, “Corona”), κρανίο (qranɪo, “Cranium”), Κρόνος (qronos, “Cronos”), κόκαλο / кокал (qoqalo, “bone” calcium), κόκκυξ (qoqqyqs, “coccyx”), κοχλίας (qoqʰlea, “cochlea”), (qoqal, “Bone”) and others. Nemzag (talk) 18:42, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Z & G remplacement (3rd century BC) in latin[edit]

G have two walor [g] & [ʒ], since in latin G [ʒ] (numeral walue 7 - Geobritian ז׳ Orbitian ژ) replaced ellênic Z [z] (numeral walue 7 - Geobritian ז Orbitian ز). Nemzag (talk) 11:21, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Also if True is VERAX RÊCTUS RÊGULA RÊX (ρήγας) [verags rɛgθus rɛgula rɛgs rɛgas], in slavic ВЕРЕН [verɛn], deviated in germanic in WARA (True [vara] ; caution & attention [wara] !), some word like guarrantor & guerissor would be correctly pronounced [ʒvarranθɔr] & [ʒverrɪssɔr]... Gmazdên 09:12, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Written Latin "G" did not indicate a palatalized or assibilated pronunciation until the early Romance period (more like the 6th-century AD than the 3rd-century BC). AnonMoos (talk) 02:45, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

V, U, W remplacement in latin[edit]

In old latin, all words were writed CAPITALIZED and used V. After V became U & W. So some modern word using V were pronounced [w] or [v]. Nemzag (talk) 23:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

V and U were mere glyph swash variants of the same letter until the 17th century... AnonMoos (talk) 02:42, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

No, V and U are not the same in ancient latin maejuskles, the letter which looks like a V but is an U has not the same heigth as the letter V. the letter U, looking quite like a V, doesnt cut through the baseline whilst the letter V does. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Significant ommissions[edit]

The development of the lower-case letters (Carolingian miniscule) and the experimentation with medieval hand-written scripts is completely missing from the article. Same for the standardization of serifs and printing, as well as additional "lost" forms of letters like long-S. History of the alphabet is almost entirely confined to the introduction. There need to be more pictured examples from throughout history. Above all, this article needs references. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

It was not until the Middle Ages ...[edit]

Currently the article states:

It was not until the Middle Ages that the letter ⟨W⟩ (originally a ligature of two ⟨V⟩s) was added to the Latin alphabet, to represent sounds from the Germanic languages which did not exist in medieval Latin, and only after the Renaissance did the convention of treating ⟨I⟩ and ⟨U⟩ as vowels, and ⟨J⟩ and ⟨V⟩ as consonants, become established. Prior to that, the former had been merely allographs of the latter.

This paragraph has problems because it is not referring to all derivations of the Latin alphabet but specific ones such as the English and German alphabets. Those languages such at Italian (Italian alphabet) do not have W or J. -- PBS (talk) 15:04, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The Italian alphabet never had a W as far as I know, however J was occasionally used until the final standardization of the Italian language in the late XIX century. Giovanni Verga still routinely used "J" to distinguish the vowel from the consonant (e.g. he wrote "bujo" instead of "buio" or "noja" instead of "noia"). BRG~itwiki (talk) 14:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Latin Script[edit]

User:Woodstone, the Latin script is an extension of the Latin alphabet, is this correct? The Latin alphabet was used to make the Latin script, the 2 are not the same, is that correct? The article mentions the Latin script but does introduce the script, and reads like the 2 are the same. Thank you,CuriousMind01 (talk) 21:15, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Latin script and Latin alphabet not that clearly separated. They are used as synonyms. All alphabets or scripts based on the original set of letters used to write Latin are loosely named Latin. Any sharp distinction is artificial and may lead to cumbersome formulations. −Woodstone (talk) 13:21, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

User:Woodstone, thank you. I think the two separate Wikipedia articles, Latin alphabet,Latin script are confusing presenting the two terms as 2 different subjects.CuriousMind01 (talk) 15:06, 5 June 2016 (UTC)