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Thread: Shouldn't We Write in Runes, Rather Than Latin Alphabet?

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    Member alexross's Avatar
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    Shouldn't We Write in Runes, Rather Than Latin Alphabet?

    Sorry for not being on here in a long while. A good story about that; I was thinking of coming here; I went to my email, and I found a message from Skadi forum saying "we miss you".

    I don't believe, as Germanic folk, that we are supposed to just carry on with our culture in the subset, and likeness, of other cultures. I believe we should separate what it is to be Germanic from what it MEANS to be Germanic. Runes are a good way to express this, because it is something unique to us, that hasn't been tampered with by mainstream culture; it is almost sacred to us(It IS sacred to a lot of pagans), because of the fact that it is not used, but that it is put above the current alphabet.
    I'm not saying that we should use it in full-blown conversation; the way we communicate now, would absolutely devalue it. When people are surrounded by others of another culture, those people speak in their own language; we are surrounded by people who share similar culture and language, but we should use it amongst ourselves, here on Skadi forum, to retain its essence.

    I have a language setting on my computer that allows me to switch between keyboard settings; I could use Icelandic settings, Norwegian settings, and I have a program that allows me to create a whole new setting scheme; I've done that, and have created a rune keyboard setting; of course, my keyboard still looks Latin, but keys would input runes. EX: ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ

    The Rune system might come easily to those of Scandinavian countries, where they used Elder Futhark; however, Anglo Saxons may have to do a census to decide whether we use Elder or Anglo futhorc, and whether we use the rune phonetic system, or we just replace latin letters with corresponding Runes(which I favor more, for simplicity).

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    I believe we should use the runes for somethings, but definitely not everything. I plan on having a runestone done instead of a tombstone for when I die. The text will be in OHG but written in runic script. For everyday use, I think the Runes would be overused and lose their potency.

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    Sounds romantic, but I can't see it happening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexross View Post
    I'm not saying that we should use it in full-blown conversation; the way we communicate now, would absolutely devalue it. [...] but we should use it amongst ourselves, here on Skadi forum, to retain its essence.
    How so? Why is its essence dilluted by common, everyday usage? Wouldn't we instead honor the runes by giving them the place in our communities and everyday lives that it deserves?

    Is it because you fear it would turn the runes into something mondane and less mystical? That is indeed a valid concern, but it is unfortunately a requisite of every living, vibrant culture that wants to preserve itself in the long term. By making all alternative forms of cultural expression redundant - and our own a fundamental necessity in order to fully function in society - we would stand a much better chance at keeping the runes alive. It is be shutting out all opposition that cultures survive, not by restraining itself to mystic, underground circles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    Sounds romantic, but I can't see it happening.
    In today's contemporary society - certainly not. But if we were to experience a surge in Nationalism and identitariansim in Germanic lands (which there unquestionably is going to have to be), then it might very well 'set the table' for such a transformation.

    In Israel, for example, during its formative years, it was decided upon reviving the Hebrew language and form of writing and give it official status, and the entire nation learned and accustomed themselves to a completely different mother's tongue over the course of a generation. So although reverting back to the runes as our common form of writing might seem drastic, it is hardly an impossible task, compared to other succesfull changes in communication elsewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar View Post
    In today's contemporary society - certainly not. But if we were to experience a surge in Nationalism and identitariansim in Germanic lands (which there unquestionably is going to have to be), then it might very well 'set the table' for such a transformation.

    In Israel, for example, during its formative years, it was decided upon reviving the Hebrew language and form of writing and give it official status, and the entire nation learned and accustomed themselves to a completely different mother's tongue over the course of a generation. So although reverting back to the runes as our common form of writing might seem drastic, it is hardly an impossible task, compared to other succesfull changes in communication elsewhere.

    Even with the national romantic surge and many language reforms in our country this was never an idea. Not even our own Ivar Aasen suggested it.

    Hebrew language foremost had an revival as a spoken language, not as a written one.

    Like with hebrew, it would make more sense to go back to using the runes as a writing system if we also reverted back to speaking old Norwegian.

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    The Latin alphabet has some advantages that makes it better to use. First of all, it has a both capital and lower case letters, which is not only a requirement for certain grammatical rules in various Germanic languages, but also greatly increases reading speed.

    Also, it makes communication with other countries and cultures easier. Do we really want to live in a world that has several hundreds kinds of alphabets and phonetic scripts?

    And what about teaching this? I presume that our school children would still have to learn both the Latin alphabet and the futhark, which means that it will take twice as many resources to learn our pupils basic reading and writing skills.

    What is so uniquely Germanic about runes? It is an alphabet derived from the Latin alphabet and used because it consists only of straight lines, making it easier to use for carving in wood and stone. We have paper now, and the Internet, so we do not need this practical consideration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    Even with the national romantic surge and many language reforms in our country this was never an idea. Not even our own Ivar Aasen suggested it.

    Hebrew language foremost had an revival as a spoken language, not as a written one.

    Like with hebrew, it would make more sense to go back to using the runes as a writing system if we also reverted back to speaking old Norwegian.
    I don't think that our situation is similar to the Jews' situation, because they spoke a corrupted version of a German dialect, Yiddish, and they used the Hebrew writing system; Yiddish wasn't meant to be written with Hebrew letters.
    We speak English, Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish, German, Dutch, etc; our language wasn't meant for the Latin alphabet, just as Yiddish wasn't meant for Hebrew alphabet. The Jews learned Hebrew and used Hebrew letters; in our case, we don't have to learn any old language, because we already have our language that is Germanic. There would be no point in learning Old English or Old Norse, because we already speak those languages, or at least newer versions.

    I suppose we could alternate between certain words of romance origin and Germanic origin, with the corresponding script; ex:
    ᛁ ᚹᛖᚾᛏ ᛏᚩ ᛏᚻᛖ store ᛏᚩ ᛒᚢᚣ ᛋᚩᛗᛖ ginger, ᛒᚢᛏ ᛏᚻᛖ store ᛞᛁᛞᚾ'ᛏ ᚻᚪᚡᛖ ᚪᚾᚣ.
    That probably wouldn't work so well, but it's just an idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scario View Post
    I believe we should use the runes for somethings, but definitely not everything. I plan on having a runestone done instead of a tombstone for when I die. The text will be in OHG but written in runic script. For everyday use, I think the Runes would be overused and lose their potency.
    The main idea behind it, is that the movement will be connected to a more nationalistic Germanic culture; our culture comes, so do the runes, but then the culture goes, and then the runes go. It's a fail-safe, or a backup

    It was easy for English to be butchered, because it was taught to non-English people; and now we have movements that seek to purify English of Latin/French/non-English words.

    If Runes were only associated with a specific movement, then outsiders (nonGermanic people) will not be allowed to use runes, because it is something we will feel heavily strong about. As long as we keep runes part of a specific movement, we won't risk it being butchered like modern English.

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    Runes are made for carving messages into pieces of wood. Modern Latin letters are made for the page and the screen; open a book and note how the serifs bind the word together into an image, you don't get that with runes. When we stop sending e-mails and go back to sticks with scratches, I'll consider runes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sindig_og_stoisk View Post
    And what about teaching this? I presume that our school children would still have to learn both the Latin alphabet and the futhark, which means that it will take twice as many resources to learn our pupils basic reading and writing skills.
    Learning the writing system of the Fužark in itself isn't really that time consuming. The Elder Fužark has only 24 signs, for example, and has very many similarities with the Roman alphabet. Young children tend to pick up that kind of stuff fairly easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindig_og_stoisk View Post
    What is so uniquely Germanic about runes? It is an alphabet derived from the Latin alphabet [...]
    By the same logic, one could say; what's so uniquely 'Germanic' about our languages? They are only languages derived from the same Proto-Indo-European stem as almost all other European languages. Uniqueness comes from distinct ways of expression, not necessarily seperate origins. The runes may have been derived from the Roman alphabet (although that is not completely certain), but they have been mended into something of our own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindig_og_stoisk View Post
    Also, it makes communication with other countries and cultures easier. Do we really want to live in a world that has several hundreds kinds of alphabets and phonetic scripts?
    Yes. Identity and heritage should hardly be compromised to benefit practicality and convenience, in my opinion. Besides, in the quest for ethnic preservation, all cultural barriers between us and the outsiders works to assist our cause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindig_og_stoisk View Post
    [...] and used because it consists only of straight lines, making it easier to use for carving in wood and stone. We have paper now, and the Internet, so we do not need this practical consideration.
    I have copied this from a post I made on the same topic on another forum:

    I would love the Fužark to become a commonly used form of writing among Germanics, if not the primary form of writing. I find the runes to be very aesthetically inspiring and also much more "personal" to myself, as the Latin alphabet today is used as the primary writing system to the majority of the World's population. The runes are something that is - and would be - exclusively ours.

    As for it's implementation in modern society, I see it far more achievable now, after the computerization, than for a hundred years ago, as the runes are intrinsically very impractical to write by hand, compared to the Latin alphabet, which evolved into different fonts during the Middle-Ages. Until then, all writing was written in capital letters, which share the same impractical qualities of the stocky runes, which takes ages upon ages to write long texts with. This was of course because the runes were made to be written in stone and wood, which makes vertical and diagonal lines the easiest to carve or chisel.

    As the writing material eventually softened, so did the runes, as can be seen in the Medieval runes:



    Although, there's also the "staveless" rune alphabet, called 'Hälsinge runes', which evolved from the Younger Fužark in the 10th century which had mostly lost the staves and therefore became much more practical and easy to write, also on paper:


    In a place called Dalarna in Sweden, the people kept using a modified rune "alphabet" up until the beginning of the 20th century. These runes had evolved from the Medieval runes in the 16th century, and over the years just became more and more "Latinized", until it was completely taken over by the Latin alphabet.

    A table of the evolution of the Dalecarlian runes through the ages:


    If we were to take up writing in the Fužark once again, I imagine it would need some refurnishing to be practical for both writing and reading long texts, as well as a slight customization to the respective languages it is meant for. A mixture of the Medieval Fužark and the Staveless runes (primarily to function as todays lower case lettering), would be the ideal foundation to start off with.
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    Spirit of the Runes

    Runes are not merely an alphabetic system. Above and beyond their phonetic values the Runes contain the mysteries of the cosmos.
    Whether you interpret the myths account of how the Runes came into existence as a literal account or a symbolic account, really doesn't matter.
    What matters is that the Runes exist. They either came into existence from a ritual by Odin, or through the folk collective unconsciousness of our ancestors. By either of these accounts the Runes came into existence communicating much more than just an alphabetic system!
    The Runes are alive not only from their cosmic creations, but alive with thousands of years of our ancestors infusing the Runes with their identities and ideals. Bottom line is the Runes are apart of our spiritual identity.
    If this living part of our spiritual identity was used by the masses as another alphabetic system it would not only destroy the Runes, it would sever our connection to one of the last remaining tools available for us to directly communicate with our ancestors folk collective unconsciousness.
    CAUTION TO ALL: Please spend some time speaking and listening to the Runes before you just use them for their phonetic values, or you may end up clouding their ability to communicate their spiritual value to you.
    ALU!!!

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