User:Wavelength/About languages/Language recognition

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Wikipedia:Language recognition chart

This list is a Language recognition chart. It describes a variety of simple clues one can use to determine what language a document is written in with high accuracy.



You can recognize text in a foreign language by looking up characters specific to that language. For some reason this is often more accurate than language recognition software, which pays little attention to the characters.

  • ا ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي Arabic script
  • Brahmic family of scripts
    • Bengali script
      • অ আ কা কি কী উ কু ঊ কূ ঋ কৃ এ কে ঐ কৈ ও কো ঔ কৌ ক্ কত্‍ কং কঃ কঁ ক খ গ ঘ ঙ চ ছ জ ঝ ঞ ট ঠ ড ঢ ণ ত থ দ ধ ন প ফ ব ভ ম য র ৰ ল ৱ শ ষ স হ য় ড় ঢ় ০ ১ ২ ৩ ৪ ৫ ৬ ৭ ৮ ৯
    • Devanāgarī
      • अ प आ पा इ पि ई पी उ पु ऊ पू ऋ पृ ॠ पॄ ऌ पॢ ॡ पॣ ऍ पॅ ऎ पॆ ए पे ऐ पै ऑ पॉ ऒ पॊ ओ पो औ पौ क ख ग घ ङ च छ ज झ ञ ट ठ ड ढ ण त थ द ध न प फ ब भ म य र ल ळ व श ष स ह ० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९ प् पँ पं पः प़ पऽ
      • used to write, either along with other scripts or exclusively, several Indian languages including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri and Nepali from Nepal.
    • Gurmukhi
      • ਅਆਇਈਉਊਏਐਓਔਕਖਗਘਙਚਛਜਝਞਟਠਡਢਣਤਥਦਧਨਪਫਬਭਮਯਰਲਲ਼ਵਸ਼ਸਹ
      • primarily used to write Punjabi as well as Braj Bhasha, Khariboli (and other Hindustani dialects), Sanskrit and Sindhi.
    • Gujarati script
      • અઆઇઈઉઊઋઌઍએઐઑઓઔકખગઘઙચછજઝઞટઠડઢણતથદધનપફબભમયરલળવશષસહૠૡૢૣ
      • used to write Gujarati and Kachchi
  • БДЖИЛПУЦЧШ (Cyrillic alphabet)
  • ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗΘΙΚΛΜΝΞΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧΨΩαβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρςστυφχψω (Greek Alphabet) – Greek
  • אבגדהוזחטיכלמנסעפצקרשת (Hebrew alphabet)
    • and maybe some odd dots and lines above, below, or inside characters – Hebrew
    • פֿ; dots/lines below letters appearing only with א,י, and ו – Yiddish
    • no dots or lines around the letters, and more than a few words end with א (i.e., they have it at the leftmost position) – Aramaic
    • Ladino
  • 日本語勉強 – East Asian Languages
    • and no other – Chinese
    • with あいうえお Hiragana and/or アイウエオ KatakanaJapanese
    • with characters like 위키백과에 – Korean
    • Vietnamese uses Latin alphabet – see above
  • ㄅㄆㄇㄈㄉㄊㄋㄌㄍㄎㄏ etc. -- ㄓㄨㄧㄋㄈㄨㄏㄠ (Zhuyin)
  • กขคฅฆงจฉชซฌญฎฏฐฑฒณดตถทธนบปผฝพฟภมยรฤฤๅลฦฦๅวศษสหฬอฮ (Thai alphabet) – Thai
  • Ա Բ Գ Դ Ե Զ Է Ը Թ Ժ Ի Լ Խ Ծ Կ Հ Ձ Ղ Ճ Մ Յ Ն Շ Ո Չ Պ Ջ Ռ Ս Վ Տ Ր Ց Ւ Փ Ք Օ Ֆ (Armenian alphabet) – Armenian
  • ა ბ გდ ევ ზ ჱ თ ი კ ლ მ ნ ჲ ო პ ჟ რ ს ტ ჳ უ ფ ქ ღ ყ შ ჩ ც ძ წ ჭ ხ ჴ ჯ ჰ ჵ ჶ ჷ ჸ (Georgian alphabet) – Georgian

Latin alphabet (possibly extended)[edit]

Romance languages[edit]

Lots of Latin roots.

French (Français)[edit]

  • Common words: de, la, le, du, des, il, et;
  • Words ending in -ux, especially -aux or -eux;
  • Letter w is rare and used only in loanwords (e.g whisky).
  • Many apostrophised contractions, i.e. words beginning with l' or d', less often c', j', m', n', s', t' — only before vowels and h
  • Accented letters: â ç è é ê î ô û, rarely ë ï ; ù only in the word , à only as the word à ; never á í ì ó ò ú
  • Rare to use accents on capital letters
  • Angle quotation marks: « » (though "curly-Q" quotation marks are also used); dialogue traditionally indicated by means of dashes


  • Common words: , , tchi, ès, i', ch'
  • "Tch", "dg", "th" and "în" are common character combinations. "ou" is frequently followed by another vowel.
  • Many apostrophised short forms, e.g. words beginning with l', d' or r'. é frequently alternates with an apostrophe e.g. c'mîn/quémîn.

Spanish (Español)[edit]

  • Characters: ¿ ¡ (inverted question and exclamation marks), ñ
  • All vowels (á, é, í, ó, ú) may take an acute accent
  • Some words frequently used: de, el, los, la(s), uno(s), una(s), y
  • No apostrophised contractions
  • Word beginnings: ll- (check not Welsh)
  • Word endings: -o, -a, -ción, -miento, -dad
  • Angle quotation marks: « » (though "curly-Q" quotation marks are also used); dialogue often indicated by means of dashes

Italian (Italiano)[edit]

  • Almost every word ends in a vowel. Exceptions include non, il, per, con, del.
  • Common one-letter word: è.
  • Common word: perché.
  • Letter sequences: gli, gn, sci.
  • Letters j, k, w, x and y are rare and used only in loanwords (e.g. whisky).
  • Word endings: -o, -a, -zione, -mento, -tà, -aggio.
  • Grave accent (e.g., on à) almost always occurs in the last letter of words.
  • Geminate consonants (tt, zz, cc, ss, bb, pp, ll, etc.) are frequent.

Catalan (Català)[edit]

  • Character combination "l·l"
  • Word endings: -o, -a, -es, ció, -tat
  • Word beginning: ll-

Romanian (Română)[edit]

  • Characters: ă â î ș ț
  • Common words: și, de, la, a, ai, ale, alor, cu
  • Word endings: -a, -ă, -u, -ul, -ului, -ţie (or -ţiune), -ment, -tate
  • Double and triple i: copii, copiii
  • Note that Romanian is sometimes written online with no diacritics, making it harder to identify. A cedilla is sometimes used on S (ş) and on T (ţ) instead of the correct diacritic, the comma (above).

Portuguese (Português)[edit]

  • Common one-letter words: a, à, e, é, o
  • Common two-letter words: ao, as, às, da, de, do, em, os, ou, um
  • Common three-letter words; aos, das, dos, ele, ela, não, por, que, uma, uns
  • Common endings: -ção, -ções, -dade
  • Common digraphs: nh, lh; example: pilinha, caralho.
  • Most singular words end in vowels. Other singular words end in l, m, r, z
  • Plural words end in -s
  • European Portuguese often uses c before ç and t: acção, acto, etc.

Walloon (Walon)[edit]

  • Characters: å, é, è, ê, î, ô, û
  • Common digraphs and trigraphs: ai, ae, én, -jh-, tch, oe, -nn-, -nnm-, xh, ou
  • Common one-letter words: a, å, e, i, t', l', s', k'
  • Common two-letter words: al, ås, li, el, vs, ki, si, pô, pa, po, ni, èn, dj'
  • Common three-letter words: dji, nén, rén, bén, pol, mel
  • Common endings: -aedje, -mint, -xhmint, -ès, -ou, -owe, -yî, -åcion
  • Apostrophes are followed by a space (preferably non breaking one), eg: l' ome instead of l'ome.

Germanic languages[edit]


  • words: a, an, in, on, the, that, is, are, I (should always be a capital)
  • letter sequences: th, ch, sh, ough, augh
  • word endings: -ing, -tion, -ed, -age, -s, -’s, -’ve, -n’t, -’d
  • no diacritics or accents whatsoever

Dutch (Nederlands)[edit]

  • letter sequences ij, ei, doubled vowels (but not ii), kw, sch,
  • words: het, op, en, een, voor (and compounds of voor).
  • word endings: -tje, -sje, -ing, -en, -lijk,
  • at the start of words: z-, v-, ge-
  • t/m occasionally occurs between two points in time or between numbers (e.g. house numbers).

West Frisian (Frysk)[edit]

  • letter sequences: ij, ei, oa
  • words: yn

Afrikaans (Afrikaans)[edit]

  • Words: 'n, as, vir, nie.
  • Similar to Dutch, but:
    • the common Dutch letters c and z are rare and used only in loanwords (e.g. chalet);
    • the common Dutch vowel ij is not used; instead, i and y are used (e.g. -lik, sy);
    • the common Dutch word ending -en is rare, being replaced by -e.

German (Deutsch)[edit]

  • umlauts (ä, ö, ü), eszet (ß)
  • letter sequences: sch, tsch, tz, ss,
  • common words: der, die, das, den, dem, des, er, sie, es, ist, ich, du, aber
  • common endings: -en, -er, -ern, -st, -ung, -chen, tät
  • rare letters: x, y (except in loanwords)
  • letter c rarely used except in the sequences listed above and in loanwords
  • long compound words
  • many capitalised words in the middle of sentences

Swedish (Svenska)[edit]

  • common words: och, i, att, det, en, som, är, av, den,
  • long compound words
  • letter sequences: stj, sj, skj, tj

Norwegian (Norsk)[edit]

  • common words: er, og, en, et, men, i, å, for, eller
  • common endings: -sjon, -ing, -else, -het
  • long compound words
  • no use of character c, w, z and x except for foreign proper nouns and some loanwords (for most, c is replaced with k).

Baltic languages[edit]

Latvian (Latviešu)[edit]

  • uses diacritics: ā, č, ē, ģ, ī, ķ, ļ, ņ, ō, ŗ, š, ū, ž
  • does not have letters: Q, W, X, Y
  • extremely rare doubling of vowels
  • rare doubling of consonants
  • a period (.) after ordinal numbers, e.g. 2005. gads
  • common words: "ir", "bija", "tika", "es", "viņš"

Lithuanian (Lietuvių)[edit]

  • visual abundance of letters ą, č, ę, ė, į, š, ų, ū, ž
  • does not have letters q, w, x, y
  • extremely rare doubling of vowels and consonants
  • many varying forms (usually endings) of the same word, e.g. namas, namo, namus, namams, etc.
  • generally long words (absence of articles and fewer prepositions in comparison to Germanic languages)
  • common words: "ir", "yra", "kad", "bet".

Slavic languages[edit]

Polish (Polski)[edit]

  • consonant clusters "rz", "sz" , "cz", "prz", "trz";
  • includes: ą, ę, ć, ś, ł, ó, ż, ź;
  • words "w", "we", "i", "na" (prepositions);
  • words "jest", "się";
  • words beginning with "byl", "był", "będ", "jest" (forms of copula być, "to be").

Czech (Čeština)[edit]

  • visual abundance of letters "ž,š,ů,ě,ř";
  • words "je", "v";
  • to distinguish from Slovak: does not use ä, ľ, ĺ, ŕ or ô.

Slovak (Slovenčina)[edit]

  • visual abundance of letters "ž, š, č";
  • uses : ä, ľ, ĺ, ŕ and ô;
  • typical suffixes: -cia, ,
  • to distinguish from Czech: does not use ě, ř or ů;

Croatian (Hrvatski)[edit]

  • similar to Serbian
  • letters-digraphs "dž", "lj", "nj"
  • does not have q, w, x, y
  • typical suffixes: -ti, -ći
  • special letters: č, ć, š, ž, đ
  • common words: a, i, u, je
  • to distinguish from Serbian: infixes -ije- and -je- are common, verbs ending in -irati, -iran

Serbian (Srpski/Српски)[edit]

Serbian Latin[edit]
  • similar to Croatian
  • letters-digraphs "dž", "lj", "nj" (lj and nj are somewhat more common thandž, although not by much)
  • no q, w, x, y
  • typical verb suffixes -ti, -ći (infinitive is much less used than in Croatian)
  • foreign words might end in -tija, -ovan, -ovati, -uje
  • special letters: đ (rare), č, š (common), ć, ž (less common)
  • common words: a, i, u, je, jeste
  • future tense suffix -iće, -ićeš, -ićemo, -ićete (not found in Croatian)
  • infix -ije- virtually nonexistent, infix -je- extremely rarely appears before a consonant (in contrast with Croatian)
Serbian Cyrillic[edit]
  • uses Џ, Љ, Њ, Ђ, Ћ
  • does not use Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, Я, Ё, Є, Ґ, Ї, І, Ў
  • distinguishing from Macedonian: does not use Ѕ, Ѓ, Ќ
  • distinguishing from any other Cyrillic language: does not use Й (й); uses Ј (ј) instead

Celtic languages[edit]

Welsh (Cymraeg)[edit]

  • letters Ŵ, ŵ used in Welsh
  • words y, yr, yn, a, ac, i, o
  • letter sequences wy, ch, dd, ff, ll, mh, ngh, nh, ph, rh, th, si
  • letters not used: k, q, v, x, z
  • letter only used rarely, in loanwords: j
  • commonly accented letters: â, ê, î, ô, û, ŵ, ŷ
  • word endings: -ion, -au, -wr, -wyr
  • y is the most common letter in the language
  • w between consonants (w is in fact a vowel in the Welsh language)
  • circumflex accent (^) is by far the commonest diacritical mark, although diacritics are often omitted altogether.

Irish (Gaeilge)[edit]

  • vowels with acute accents: á é í ó ú
  • words beginning with letter sequences bp dt gc bhf
  • letter sequences sc cht

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig)[edit]

  • vowels with grave accents: à è ì ò ù
  • letter sequences sg chd

Iranian languages[edit]

Kurdish (Kurdî / كوردی)[edit]

  • The word "xwe" (oneself, myself, yourself etc.) is highly specific (xw combination) and frequent.
  • kir

Finno-Ugric languages[edit]

Finnish (Suomi)[edit]

  • distinct letters ä and ö; but never õ or ü
  • b, f, z, š and ž appear in loanwords and proper names only; the last two are substituted with sh or zh in some texts
  • c, q, w, x appear in (typically foreign) proper names only
  • outside of loanwords, d appears only between vowels or in hd
  • outside of loanwords, g only appears in ng
  • outside of loanwords, words do not begin with two consonants
  • common words: sinä, on
  • common endings: -nen, -ka/-kä, -in
  • common vowel combinations: ai, uo, ei, ie, oi, , äi
  • unusually high degree of letter duplication, both vowels and consonants will be geminated, for example aa, ee, ii, kk, ll, ss

Estonian (Eesti)[edit]

  • distinct letters: ä, ö, õ and ü; but never ß or å
  • similar to Finnish, except:
    • letter y is not used, except in loanwords
    • letter b is found outside of loanwords
    • letter õ is unique to Estonian
    • words end in consonants more frequently than in Finnish
    • letter d is much more common in Estonian than in Finnish, and in Estonian it is often the last letter of the word, which it never is in Finnish
  • common words: ja, on, ei, ta, see

Hungarian (Magyar)[edit]

  • letters Ő, Ű, ő and ű (double acute accent) unique to Hungarian
  • letter combinations: sz, gy, cs, leg‐, ‐obb
  • common words: a, az, ez, egy, és, van

Southern Athabaskan languages[edit]

  • vowels with acute accent, ogonek (nasal hook), or both: á, ą, ą́
  • doubled vowels: aa, áá, ąą, ą́ą́
  • slashed l: ł
  • n with acute accent: ń
  • quotation mark: ' or ’
  • sequences: dl, tł, tł’, dz, ts’, ií, áa, aá
  • may have rather long words

Western Apache[edit]

In addition to the above,

  • may use: u or ú
  • may use vowels with macron: ā ą̄
  • does not use ų


In addition to the above,

  • does not use u, ú, or ų

Chiricahua or Mescalero[edit]

In addition to the above,

  • uses: u, ú, ų
  • does not use o, ó, or ǫ

Basque (Euskara)[edit]

  • word ending: -ak
  • letter sequence: tx

Japanese in Romaji (Nihongo/日本語)[edit]

  • words: "desu", "aru", "suru", esp. at end of sentences;
  • word endings: "-masu", "-masen", "-shita";
  • letters: nearly 50% vowels (a e i o u);
  • letters: no consonant clusters, except "n" and "h", at end of syllables
  • a macron or circumflex may be used to indicate doubled vowels, eg. Tōkyō
  • common words: no, o, wa, de, ni
  • uses 4 alphabets: romaji (romanized letters), hiragana (used for native words), katakana (used for foreign words) and kanji (originated from Chinese)

(Note: Romaji is not often used in Japanese script. It is most often used for foreigners learning the pronunciation of the Japanese language.)

Hmong written in Romanized Popular Alphabet[edit]

  • Almost all written words are quite short (one syllable).
  • Syllables (unless they are pronounced with mid tone) end in a tone letter: one of b s j v m g d, leading to apparent "consonant clusters" such as -wj
  • w can be the main vowel of a syllable (e.g. tswv)
  • Syllables can begin with sequences such as hm-, ntxh-, nq-.
  • Syllables ending in double vowels (especially -oo, -ee) possibly followed by a tone letters (as in Hmoob "Hmong").

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)[edit]

  • Roman characters with many diacritical marks on vowels. See above.
  • Almost all written words are quite short (one syllable).
  • Words beginning with "ng"
  • common words: "cái", "không", "có", "ở"

Vietnamese Quoted-Readable (VIQR)[edit]

  • The following characters (often in combination) after vowels: ^ ( + ' ` ? ~ .
  • DD, Dd, or dd
  • The following character before punctuation: \

Vietnamese VNI encoding[edit]

  • The digits 1-8 after vowels
  • The digit 9 after a D or d
  • The following character before numbers: \

Vietnamese Telex[edit]

  • The following characters after vowels: s f r x j
  • The following vowels, doubled up: a e o
  • The letter "w" after the following characters: a o u
  • DD, Dd, or dd

Chinese, Romanized[edit]

Standard Mandarin[edit]

  • In general, Mandarin syllables end only in n, ng, r; never in p, t, k, m
  • Words beginning with x, q, zh
  • Tone marks on vowels, such as ā, á, ǎ, à
    • For convenience while using a computer, these are sometimes substituted with numbers, e.g. a1, a2, a3, a4
  • Words do not begin with b, d, g
  • Words beginning with hs
  • Many hyphenated words
  • Apostrophes, e.g. t`a, ch`i
Gwoyeu Romatzyh[edit]
  • Many unusual vowel combinations such as ae, eei, ii, iee, oou, yy, etc.
  • Insertion of r, e.g. arn, erng, etc.
  • Words ending in nn, nq

Standard Cantonese[edit]

  • In general, Cantonese syllables can end in p, t, k, m, n, ng; never r

Minnan in Pe̍h-ōe-jī[edit]

  • Many hyphenated words.
  • Words can end in p, t, k, m, n, ng, h; never r
  • Roman characters with many diacritical marks on vowels. Unlike Vietnamese, each character has at most one such mark.
  • Unusual combining characters, namely · (middle dot, always after "o") and | (vertical bar). ¯ (macron) is also common.

Austronesian languages[edit]

Malay and Indonesian[edit]

May contain the following:
Prefixes: me-, mem-, memper-, pe-, per-, di-, ke-
Suffixes: -kan, -an, -i
Others (these almost always written in lower case): yang, dan, di, ke

Malay and Indonesian are mutually intelligible to proficient speakers, although translators and interpreters will generally be specialists in one or other language.

Frequent use of the letter 'a' (comparable to the frequency of the English 'e').

Turkic languages[edit]

Note that some Turkic languages like Azeri and Türkmen use a similar Latin alphabet (often Jaŋalif) and similar words, and might be confused with Turkish. Azeri has the letters Əə, Xx and Qq not present in the Turkish alphabet, and Türkmen has Ää, Žž, Ňň and Ýý. Latin Characters uniquely (or nearly uniquely) used for Turkic languages: Əə, Ŋŋ, Ɵɵ, Ьь, Ƣƣ, Ğğ, İ, and ı.


Turkish Alphabet[edit]

Lowercase: a b c ç d e f g ğ h ı i j k l m n o ö p r s ş t u ü v y z

Uppercase: A B C Ç D E F G Ğ H I İ J K L M N O Ö P R S Ş T U Ü V Y Z

Common words[edit]
  • bir — one, a
  • bu — this
  • fakat — but
  • oldu — was
  • şu — that
  • Look for word endings. Tense changes in Turkish verbs are created by adding suffixes to the end of the verb. Pluralizations occur by adding -lar and -ler.
    • Common Tense Changes: -mış -muş -sun
    • Possessivity/person: -im -un -ın -in -iz -dur -tır
    • Example: Yapmıştır, "[He] did it"; Yap is the verb stem meaning "to do", -mış indicates the perfect tense, -tır indicates the third person (he/she/it).
    • Example: Adalar, "Islands"; Ada is a noun meaning "island", -lar makes it plural.)
    • Example: Evimiz, "Our house"; Ev is a noun meaning "house", -im indicates the first-person possessor, which -iz then makes plural.)


Azeri can be easily recognized by the frequent use of ə. This letter is not used in any other officially recognized modern Latin alphabet. In addition, it uses the letters x and q, which are not used in Turkish.

  • Common words: , ki, ilə, bu, o, isə, görə, da,
  • Frequent use of diacritics: ç, ə, ğ, ı, İ, ö, ş, ü
  • Words ending in -lar, -lər, -ın, -in, -da, -də, -dan, -dən
  • Words never beginning with ğ or ı
  • Words rarely beginning with two or more consonants
  • Transliteration of foreign words and names, e.g. Audrey Hepburn = Odri Hepbern


  • No spaces
  • Arabic numerals (0-9) sometimes used
  • Punctuation:
    • Period 。(not .)
    • Serial comma 、(distinguished from the regular comma ,)
    • Ellipse …… (six dots)
  • No hiragana, katakana, or hangul
  • May be written vertically

Simplified Chinese vs Traditional Chinese[edit]

Note: Many characters were not simplified. As a result, it is common for a short word or phrase to be identical between Simplified and Traditional, but it is rare for an entire sentence to be identical as well.

Common radicals different between Traditional and Simplified:

  • Simplified: 讠钅饣纟门(e.g. 语 银 饭 纪 问)
  • Traditional: 訁釒飠糹門(e.g. 語 銀 飯 紀 問)

Common characters different between Traditional and Simplified:

  • Simplified: 国 会 这 来 对 开 关 门 时 个 书 长 万 边 东 车 为 儿
  • Traditional: 國 會 這 來 對 開 關 門 時 個 書 長 萬 邊 東 車 為 兒

Standard written Chinese (based on Mandarin) vs written Vernacular Cantonese[edit]

Note: Cantonese-speakers live in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, so written Cantonese can be written in either Simplified or Traditional characters.

Common characters in Vernacular Cantonese that do not occur in Mandarin (only characters that are the same between Traditional and Simplified are chosen here):

  • 嘅 咗 咁 嚟 啲 唔 佢 乜 嘢

Some of the above characters are not supported in all character encodings, so sometimes the 口 radical on the left is substituted with a "0" or "o", e.g.

  • o既 0既


  • Katakana (カタカナ) and hiragana (ひらがな) characters mixed with kanji (漢字))
  • Few or no spaces
  • Arabic numerals (0-9) sometimes used
  • Punctuation:
    • Period 。
    • Comma 、(,also used)
    • Quotation marks 「」
  • Occasional small characters beside large ones, eg. しゃ りゅ しょ って シャ リュ ショ  ッテ
  • Double tick marks (known as dakuon or handakuon) appearing at upper right of characters, eg. で が ず デ ガ ズ
  • Empty circles (maru) appearing at upper right of characters, eg. ぱ ぴ パ ぴ
  • Frequent characters: の を は が
  • May be written vertically


  • Western-style punctuation marks
  • Western-style spacing
  • Hangul letters, e.g. ㅎ h, ㅇ ng, ㅂ b, etc.
  • Hangul letters used to form syllable blocks; e.g. ㅅ s + ㅓ eo + ㅇ ng = 성 seong
  • Circles and ellipses are commonplace in Hangul; are exceedingly rare in Chinese.
  • General appearance has relatively-uniform complexity, as contrasted with Chinese or Japanese.


  • Thai in writing can most easily be identified by its unique alphabet (Thai alphabet):
Thai alphabet consonants, in order: กขคฅฆงจฉชซฌญฎฏฐฑฒณดตถทธนบปผฝพฟภมยรฤฤๅลฦฦๅวศษสหฬอฮ
  • No spaces, generally
  • Use of double-quotes (" ") and exclamation mark (" ไทย! ") somewhat common, especially in newsprint
  • Unique system of diacritics (ไม้เอก, ไม้โท, ไม้ตรี, and ไม้จัตวา), derived from Indic numberals.
  • Frequently uses roman numerals, but often uses Thai numerals (๐ ๑ ๒ ๓ ๔ ๕ ๖ ๗ ๘ ๙ ).
Example of roman numberal usage: วันอาทิตย์ ที่ 30 ธันวาคม 2550 ("Sunday 30 December 2007")
  • Certain vowels located above ( -ิ -ี -ึ -ื ), and others below ( อุ อู ), consonant letters on the line.


Modern Greek is written with Greek alphabet in monotonic, polytonic or atonic, either according to Demotic (Mr. Triantafilidis) grammar or Katharevousa grammar. Some people write in Greeklish (Greek with Latin script) which is either Visual-based, orthographic or phonetic or just messed-up (mixed). The only official forms of Greek language are the Monotonic and Polytonic.

Normal Modern Greek (Greek Monotonic)[edit]

  • words "και", "είναι";
  • Each multi-syllable word has one accent/tone mark (oxia): ά έ ή ί ό ύ ώ
  • The only other diacritic ever used is the trema: ϊ/ΐ, ϋ/ΰ, etc.

Ancient or pre-1980s Greek (Greek Polytonic)[edit]

  • This is Katharevousa or some mixed form of Demotiki (Triantafilidis' grammar) and Katharevousa;
  • You will notice several accents/tones. Examples: ~ ` and oxia (looks like 'ί);
  • You may also notice this: ΐ, ΰ. ϊ, ϋ etc.

Greek Atonic[edit]

  • Was common in some Greek media (television);
  • You will see Greek characters without accents/tones;
  • words: "και, ειναι, αυτο".

Greek in Greeklish[edit]

  • Automated conversion software for Greeklish->Greek conversion exists. If you notice a Greeklish text it may be useful for the Greek el.wikipedia (after conversion).
  • Keep in mind: in Greeklish more than one characters may be used for one letter. (example: th for theta).

Orthographic Greeklish[edit]

  • words "kai", "einai".

Phonetic Greeklish[edit]

  • words "ke", "ine";
  • omega appears as o;
  • ei, oi appear as i;
  • ai appears as e.

Visual-based Greeklish[edit]

  • omega (Ω or ω) may appear as W or w;
  • epsilon (E) may appear as "3";
  • alpha (A) may appear as "4";
  • theta (Θ) may appear as "8";
  • upsilon (Y) may appear as "\|/";
  • gamma (γ) may appear as "y"
  • More than one characters may be used for one letter.

Messed-up (Mixed) Greeklish[edit]

  • words "kai", "eine";
  • combines principles of phonetic, visual-based and orthographic Greeklish according to writer's idiosyncrasy;
  • The most commonly used form of Greeklish.


Armenian can be recognised by its unique 38-letter alphabet:



Georgian can be recognised by its unique alphabet.

ა ბ გდ ევ ზ ჱ თ ი კ ლ მ ნ ჲ ო პ ჟ რ ს ტ ჳ უ ფ ქ ღ ყ შ ჩ ც ძ წ ჭ ხ ჴ ჯ ჰ ჵ ჶ ჷ ჸ

Slavic languages using the Cyrillic alphabet[edit]

Bolding denotes letters unique to the language

Belarusian (беларуская)[edit]

  • uses: ё, і, й, ў, ы, э, ’
  • features: шч used instead of щ

Bulgarian (български)[edit]

  • uses: ъ , щ , я , ю , й
  • words: със , в
  • features: ъ is used as a vowel

Macedonian (македонски)[edit]

  • uses: ј , љ , њ , џ , ѓ , ќ , ѕ
  • words: во , со
  • features: р is usually found between consonants, for example првин

Russian (русский)[edit]

  • uses: ё, й, ъ, ы, э, щ

Serbian (српски)[edit]

  • uses: ј , љ, њ , џ , ђ , ћ
  • words: је , у
  • features: large consonant clusters, for example српски

Ukrainian (українська)[edit]

  • uses: й , і , ї , ґ , є, щ, ’
  • words: і, є

Arabic alphabet[edit]

  • All languages using the Arabic alphabet are written right-to-left.
  • A number of other languages have been written in the Arabic alphabet in the past, but now are more commonly written in Latin characters; examples include Turkish, Somali and Swahili.

Arabic (العربية)[edit]

  • short vowels are not written so many words are written with no vowel at all
  • common prefix: -ال
  • common suffix: ة-
  • words: إلى, من, على

Persian (فارسی)[edit]

  • uses: پ, چ, ژ, گ
  • words: که, به

Urdu (اردو)[edit]

  • uses: ‮ٹ‎, ڈ‎, ڑ‎, ں, ے
  • many words ending in ے
  • words: اور, ہے

Artificial languages[edit]


  • words: de, la, al, kaj
  • Six accented letters: ĉ Ĉ ĝ Ĝ ĥ Ĥ ĵ Ĵ ŝ Ŝ ŭ Ŭ
  • words ending in o, a, oj, aj, on, an, ojn, ajn, as, os, is, us, u, i,


  • When written in the Latin alphabet Klingon has the unusual property of a distinction in case; "q" and "Q" are different letters, and other letters are either always (e.g. D, I, S) or never (e.g. ch, t, v) written in upper case. This causes a large number of words that look quite strange to people who aren't used to it, for example: "yIDoghQo'", "tlhIngan Hol" (with mixed case).
  • The apostrophe is fairly frequent, especially at the end of a word or syllable.
  • Common suffixes: -be', -'a'
  • Common words: 'oH


  • starts with "ni'o" or ".i" (or "i");
  • has many words like "ko'a" "pi'o" etc;
  • almost all lowercase
  • usually no punctuation except for dots;
  • may use commas in the middle of words (typically proper nouns).

External links[edit]

  • Translated, an online language identifier, 102 languages supported
  • Xerox, an online language identifier, 47 languages supported
  • Language Guesser, a statistical language identifier, 74 languages recognized