My original idea for the alphabet post started with two questions for quizclub.com. They asked how many letters were in the English and German alphabets.
I was curious so I asked a search engine, DuckDuckGo. My source said about a thousand, but they were based on a hundred alphabets that could be boiled down to nine. After writing about each one, I never got back to the two original questions. Tonight I tried again, but the post grew once more. I found eleven languages. Here’s that world map to help you locate each one. They include:
English, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, Greek, and German
My Source: https://wordcounter.net/blog/2015/11/24/10950_how-many-letters-alphabet.html
Do you recognize the English alphabet, and do you know the importance of this phrase?
It uses all 26 letters.
Did you know two hundred years ago there were 27? The dropped letter is still used today. Curious? It’s &!
Phrase Source: By No machine-readable author provided. Moyogo assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=701210
Can you read this? Me neither! It’s a sample from the Arabic alphabet.
عندما يريد العالم أن يتكلّم ، فهو يتحدّث بلغة يونيكود. تسجّل
It has 28 letters, but, they’re all consonants. Arabic has vowels, but you add them with a mark beside the consonant, like this – ‘a.
You read and write Arabic from right to left, and it’s all done in cursive. English is the exact opposite. It’s printed from left to right.
Arabic has contextual letterforms. That means a letter is shaped by its position within a word, depending on if it’s first, in the middle or last. If it stands alone, it may have yet another shape.
I’ll stick with English, but I love how Arabic flows across a page!
OH NO! There’s something harder than Arabic – Chinese! It doesn’t have a letter alphabet representing sounds. They use ideas and pictures, i.e. ideograms or pictograms.
I read that if you want to have functional literacy, you need to know three to four thousand characters. Would you believe there are TENS of THOUSANDS of Chinese characters? Thank goodness for English!
Ancient Chinese was even harder. It ran in columns from top to bottom, like that green sign with orange letters. It also ran from right to left, like Arabic.
Today it’s a little more like English, running across the page from left to right. It still goes from top to bottom. The Bus Stop sign reads 2E 6C 6F. Then 41 45.
If you’d like to try reading a little Chinese, click on this link, I picked up a teeny tiny bit! https://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2013/04/25/learn-to-read-chinese-in-eight-minutes/#56ff63a2179
Picture Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_Chinese
By Maloongkai - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8004756
4. The next alphabet is a little easier than Chinese, and it also comes from Asia. Do you recognize it? It’s Japanese. I know – it looks a lot like Chinese, or Korean. That’s probably because they come from the same part of the globe. To read basic Japanese, you need to recognize about 2000 symbols from three different alphabets.
The first is called Kanji, and it’s based on those Chinese pictograms. The other two alphabets are phonetic. Both hiragana and katakana have 46 letters each, 92 total. Only 1908 more Kanji symbols to learn. Easy Peasy!
Long ago you read Japanese from top to bottom in columns. It was called vertical writing. You started on page right and moved left.
Today there’s horizontal writing. It moves from left to right. It’s more like how we read English. There’s still one big difference. Japanese book spines are on the right. The book cover is on the back, and the back cover is on the front. To read Japanese, you start at the back and read to the front.
5. This could be Chinese or Japanese, but supposedly it’s easier to read than the other two. Did you recognize it as Korean? South Korea uses Hangul, and the North uses Chosan’gul. Modern Hangul has 14 consonants and 11 vowels, 24 total. Chosan’gul has 19 consonants and 21 vowels, 40 total.
The hardest part of reading or writing Korean is that it’s written in syllable blocks. I see 2 symbols to the left, then 3 and 3. I might be right, but there might be more symbols that I don’t see.
Korean was once written vertically, but now it’s horizontal, going from left to right. Looking at that red sign again, I’m not sure if there are three syllables or three words because Korean has space between its syllables, and its words, if I read correctly. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul
6. Drive down this highway, and you’ll need to read, write, and speak Russian, but you can keep going. Explore Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the rest of the former Soviet Union too.
The Russian alphabet is based on Cyrillic. Modern Russian has 21 consonants, 10 vowels, and 2 extra symbols, or 33 total. It’s phonetic so you can learn the letters and sounds at the same time. Best of all you can still read from left to right, from top to bottom.
7. This alphabet is golden! It’s Greek to me, but it’s one of the oldest alphabets still in use. Did you know the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets came from Ancient Greece? They only had capital letters. It was the Romans who later developed lower case letters for the Latin alphabet.
The Greek alphabet has grown and changed over the centuries. Now it has 24 letters that match up with English. No Greek J’s or V’s.
If you want to learn Greek, you’ll have to learn to write in syllables. Start with 1, 2, or 3. Then you can move into longer words with more syllables. Greeks like to make l-o-n-g words!
Today the Greek alphabet is still used in technical symbols and labels. If you go into some fields, you must master Greek.
8. Can you read the sign? I can, but it’s not in English. It’s Spanish. I’d mangle every single word on those signs except for Valencia. That’s because there’s one in California. The Valencia below is near Madrid, in Spain.
Spanish doesn’t belong to just Spain. Thanks to the conquistadors, it’s the official language for most of Central and South America, who are also called Latin America.
My original source said there are 29 letters in Spanish, but if they have 4 extra letters (ch, ll, ñ and rr) shouldn’t there be 30?
The letters look like our English ones, except they have accent marks. (papá or güero) Those marks change the pronunciation, even the meaning. Letters in Spanish sound different. For example, their “h” is always silent. In our English word ‘house,’ it’s voiced, but not in ‘hour.’
9. Here are more signs that look English, but they’re actually Italian. My only clue, Roma. Americans always write it as ‘Rome.’ If you want to see and hear Italian, take a trip to Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Slovenia, and Croatia.
Yay! The Italian alphabet has 21 letters, only 21! It matches up to our alphabet, but it uses foreign letters like ‘j, k, w, x, and y’ for foreign words with those sounds. The Italian alphabet has 3 different kinds of accent marks. You can see them in Métro, pescà, or genî.
10. This sign looks like it’s from a farmers’ market – in France. It uses the French alphabet, and it’s spoken/written in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, and Switzerland.
You’ll also find it used in former French colonies in Africa, Asia, North/South America, and Oceania. I didn’t recognize Oceania so I googled. It’s made up of Micronesia, Polynesia, Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and the islands around them), and Melanesia (the islands from New Guinea to Tonga).
The French alphabet has 26 letters, including all 20 of our consonants. It also has all 5 of our vowels (aeiou) – plus y. Y is only a vowel in French, never a consonant. W and K’s are mostly used in foreign words.
French, like the other European languages, uses accents on its vowels. Examples: à, é, î, ü. They also combine them – æ and œ. And C’s look like this: ç.
11. I can’t begin to read this sign, but I see double dots on the last word. That’s German! The sign says stay off the ice. Deutschland or Germany is where 78% of German is spoken.
You’ll also find it in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and South Tyrol, Italy. Three of those countries also speak French. My guess is that German’s spoken in the north, and French in the south. It’s also spoken in the former German colonies and in the Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite communities in North America. I googled again – the Hutterites are found in the Great Plains and in Western Canada.
The German alphabet has the same 26 letters as our English alphabet, but the pronunciation of some of them doesn’t exist in English. The G, CH, and the R are pronounced from the back of the throat. I can’t imagine how!
They also have a few letters with double dots, plus a fancy B – ä, ö, ü and are ß. BTW, if you’re curious, the sign says stay off the ice. I knew it was important . . . there are 2 exclamation marks. Sources: https://www.thoughtco.com/where-is-german-spoken-1444314
How many alphabets are being used around the world? 100 9 1000
Depending on how you define alphabet, it could be all three. I found each answer from a source below. The top one from Quora made sense to me. It said if you look at pure alphabets that have a letter for every sound, there’s about 100, and they boil down to these nine:
Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Braille, and Georgian
Tomorrow, I’ll look for pictures of each one. I’m curious to see how they’re alike and different.
Here’s a world map so you can find each of these nine alphabets.
1. This is the Latin alphabet. It’s everywhere, North and South America, Europe, India, Australia, and most of Africa. Click on the source link to see the ground it covers. The Latin alphabet looks a lot like ours. Did you notice anything missing, like the letters J, U, and W?
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_alphabet Photo by Joannes Arnoldus Bergellus -
http://wally.rit.edu/cary/cc_db/16th_century/9.htmlhttp://www.bl.uk/collections/early/1540.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4409965
2. The letters on this piece of pottery are from the Greek Alphabet. It only reached the land around the country of Greece. If you’d like to see the map, the pottery, or learn more about the Greek alphabet, click on this link:
3. This is the Cyrillic alphabet. It spread – across the entire former Soviet Union, all of it!
Do you recognize this writing? It’s from the book of Matthew. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrillic_alphabets
Unknown - Герранъ мія̈нъ. Шондю-руохтынанъ святой іôванг̧ели матвѣйста, Карьяланъ кїӗлѣлля, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15401241
4. This is the Armenian alphabet, from Armenia, of course. Where is Armenia? It was once part of the Soviet Union. Now it’s its own country. It shares borders with Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia so it’s north of the Middle East, and it was in the southern part of the former Soviet Union. ( I looked it up!)
5. This is the Korean alphabet, and it’s found on the Korean Peninsula, of course. Did you know it has two names? In South Korea, it’s called Hangul. In North Korea, it’s called Chosŏn'gŭl. (I had to paste that in. I’m missing three important keys.)
Photo by Kbarends - cropped from en:Image:Hunminjeongeumhaerye.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4210804
6. This isn’t my computer keyboard, and it probably isn’t yours either. It was designed for people who use the Hebrew alphabet. If you’re Jewish, or live in the country of Israel, this might be your keyboard.
7. Here’s another keyboard. I bet you recognize half the letters, but not the other half. That’s because they’re from the Arabic Alphabet. You’d find this keyboard in the Middle East and in northern Africa.
Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_alphabet
Keyboard By Mohsen Madi - Intellaren Inc., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14688041
8. Do you see two books? One looks like a real book, in German. The other is a notebook of bumpy paper. That’s a braille book.
Braille is an alphabet made up of bumps. Its letters match up with other alphabets from around the world, like English or German. My source listed 104 alphabets that have been translated into braille.
If you’re blind, you can’t see so you read with your fingers. You can read paper books or special computer screens. You can write with a slate and stylus or with special computers and printers. Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braille
9. Can you read the letters on the car? Me neither! It’s a police car, but police is written in Georgian, the country, not one of our 50 states.
The country of Georgia was once part of the Soviet Union. It’s bordered by the Black Sea, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
There are three different ways to write Georgian. The most common is Mkhedruli. That’s what you see on the car. The other two, Asomtavruli and Nuskhuri, are only used by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
I started to share my cover story last night, but I didn’t like how the images fit together on my web site so I’ll try, try again tonight.
This is my final product from the Twelve Days class. It was supposed to be a book cover for the writing I did during class, but I’d rather have it as a poster because it’s my 2020 road map for where I want to go as a writer this year.
My title for the last three years has been ‘Use Your Word Power, Rinda Beach.’ We constantly tell young children to use their words, but it’s exactly what I do every day as a writer. You probably use yours daily in whatever job you do. Words ARE important!
KEEP US GOING
These are the things that I’ve been doing for a year or more successfully. I want to keep them going.
REVISE AND SUBMIT US
These stories are sitting in my computer, waiting. Waiting for me to polish them till I believe they’re submission ready.
WRITE SOMETHING NEW
The first one is as new as my grandgirl, but the others have been around for a while. The last one was my first story. It’s time to re-imagine it.
Try Something New
These ideas are all new. I don’t know if they’ll work, but if they don’t, I’ll learn from the experience.
Thank You to Julie Hedlund and the 12 Days of Christmas for Writers
I won’t share everything I wrote this year for my class with Julie Hedlund – it’s too long! Instead I’m sharing the parts I posted in our private Facebook Group. It all started with surprises. I had 20, but these are my top 4. SURPRISES:
1. I discovered a month before self-publishing that Neil Armstrong's name and image are trademarked. OOPS!
2. Within a day or two I had a few friends who helped me figure out what to do. It took a month, but 17 days after my original book birthday, Neil was published
3. The best 2-fer ever - The day I watched my daughter get married. That night I saw the sonogram of my first grandchild
4. Best of all, here's one of first photo ops. Look at all that hair!
It’s great to look back at 2019. I had 34 successes, more than 2018, but I’m only sharing the Fab Five.
1. I self-published my debut chapter book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
2. Neil was ranked #4 on Amazon over Christmas. He’s #8 today, but he’s still on page one in those all-important search results. ‘I am over the moon!’
3. I'm on track to self-publish my debut picture book, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME in May.
4. I have a debut group and a May 20th interview already scheduled for the lake book.
5. Best of all, I've been a grandma for almost a month! 2019 was a very good year!
Disappointments, Judgements, The Truth, Learning, and Action Plan
I wasn’t going to share this with the private group, but confession is good for the soul, so I did, and I’ll share them with you too. I wrote five, the number Julie recommended. This disappointment encompasses elements of the five I put down.
DISAPPOINTMENT - I’m not getting enough done – writing, marketing, using my blog, etc.
MY BIG FAT JUDGEMENT - I don’t push myself hard enough or use my time well enough. URGH! There’s always more to do – no matter how hard I work.
MY HEART KNOWS/THE TRUTH - I’m learning as I go. I do as much in a day as possible. There is no more than my best.
LEARNING - In 2019 I learned how to target an area and stick with it. In 2020 I need to extend this to the business side of writing.
MY ACTION PLAN - Each Sunday I’ll target one piece to write during the week, one place/thing to market, and one way to grow my blog. The next Sunday will find me reviewing, re-targeting, re-engaging, and repeating,
I wrote last about disappointments, but this section is a real morale booster. Every year it makes me realize how blessed I am.
I found 23 things to be grateful for last year, more than 2018. They’re mostly people, ranging from my family and friends to the writing community. They also include you, the people who read my blog or bought my book. I’m grateful to all of you.
Last year I picked “Know When to . . .” from Kenny Rogers’ song, “The Gambler.” This year my word is balance. Sorry, no song, but balance is something I’ve always struggled with.
I tend to put more time into work than anything else, especially when I was teaching. My father was a principal, and I was a daddy’s girl so I put my heart and soul into teaching. It got trickier when I married and had a family. Now as a writer, I want to balance work with family and fun. Here’s to this year’s adventure with balance.
Writing Prompt for this Year: During a visit to the library, a book flies off a shelf and bonks you in the head. What book is it, and what happens next?
I searched the shelves for the new book about Elizabeth I.
Thud! Thud! Thud! I turned and stared. Three books encircled my feet. I’d read two – The Royal Diaries Elizabeth, Tangled in Time, and the new one, The Heretic Heir. (YA title)
Tangled opened and whispered, “You’ve been reading about our girl since you were little. Now, write about her.”
My head spun. I stumbled, sat on the floor and held my head in my hands. “Me? I’d love to, but which one? The toddler who lost her mother. The girl who watched her stepmothers disappear. The imprisoned princess. Which!”
The book answered, “Read us again. Open your imagination, and you’ll find your story.”
I nodded, picked up the books, and checked them out.
I already have a chapter book idea, for Elizabeth. It came to me like magic!
Back in 2018 I posted My Twelve Days of the New Year. It’s a writing class I took back with Julie Hedlund. Tonight I’d like to show you how to find it on my Pinterest boards. I have 156 posts pinned across the 8 boards titled Pictures and Text. They’re sorted into Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
Pinterest is THE easiest way for kids to find facts for a school report. Teachers, it’s also a great way for you to find content for your classroom. Here’s the link for this post: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/the-twelve-days-of-the-new-year
If you’d like to learn how to find it, try clicking on this link. It will take you straight to all of my Pinterest Boards. https://www.pinterest.com/rindabeach/
I have 8 boards of pictures and text from my website’s blog. The post about Twelve Days is on my language arts board. You can click on it from Pinterest or from this link: https://www.pinterest.com/rindabeach/pictures-text-language-arts-posts/
My Language Arts board is divided into 15 sections. You can browse, or slide down to Writing Friends/Classes. This is where you’ll find those Twelve Days.
Then click on Writing Friends/Classes and it will take you to the 6 pins in this section. The link doesn’t work so I won’t share it. Sorry!
Here are the 6 pins from this section. The only one that’s labeled is Twelve Days. I’m working my way through all my pins, adding in the TITLE and STRANDS. My goal is to finish it by the end of February. Now, all you have to do is click on the pin titled The Twelve Days of the New Year. It works! So does this link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/201325045826994590/
t will take you here, with this image. It will tell you the TITLE, the Twelve Days, and the STRANDS. This one is only for Language Arts. If a book is listed several places, it will tell you here. Finally click on the image, and it will take me straight to my Blog.
If you want to practice, try starting at my original Pinterest Board. See if you can find those Twelve Days again. If you get lost, no problem! You can browse my boards and see if there’s anything you’d like to read. Happy New Year!
PS – My next post will be on this year’s class. I’ve been with Julie Hedlund since 2017. Her classes have shaped who I’ve become as a writer, and I’d love to share my new one with you!
Besides America, what country is home to the most McDonald’s restaurants?
China Japan Canada France
The US is #1 for McDonald's with 14,146 locations. We love our Golden Arches! Did you figure out who's in second place?
t’s not even close, but Japan claims the honor with 2,975 restaurants in the country. You can still get Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, Happy Meals, and McFlurries, but in Japan you can also order Mega Macs, Bacon Lettuce Burgers, Ebi Filet-O, and McPork. Warning – you’ll have to give up your supersize drinks and free refills. They’re not on the menu.
Click on this link to find Mcdonald's ten happiest countries.
Question source: https://www.traveltrivia.com/answer-besides-america-what-country-is-home-to-the-most-mcdonalds-restaurants/.”
Map Source: By Connormah - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Source for menu (with pictures): https://delishably.com/dining-out/JapanMcDonalds
Take a look at that world map again. Which country has the only ski-through McDonald’s?
Canada France Russia Sweden
It’s Sweden. Want to visit? Take a trip to the Lindvallen ski resort. It’s 200 miles north of Stockholm. The ski-through opened in 2014, and it’s still going strong.
You can go inside. There’s room for 140 people. But if you’re in a hurry, you’ll ski up to the window, place your order, and pick it up. No need to mess with coats and gloves. You’re back on the slopes – and you’re loving it!
Click on the first source if you’d like to look at the Swedish ski-through.
Delish | Date Updated: December 18, 2019
My map source: By Rob984 - Derived from File:Germany on the globe (Germany centered).svg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70142703
What food is named in the words of this old commercial?
The words . . . 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese , pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.
The answer: The McDonald’s Big Mac
Would you believe I missed it by one word? I had ‘and’ instead of ‘on a sesame seed bun.’ The commercial originally aired December of 1974. That was 46 years ago. I was a high school sophomore. Not bad! I didn’t catch my error until I looked at the YouTube link. Not bad for my 60-year-old memory!
That’s great in the world of memory retention! To get my last teacher’s license, I took a brain class about six years ago. My teacher said jingles were a great way to remember something. Do you remember ‘Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is.’ That’s the old Alka-Seltzer jingle, written in 1953. I was born in 1959.
It worked on my second graders! I used it to teach them animals (mammal, insect, etc.) and for landforms (plateaus, plains, etc.) I thought my kids did better later on those tricky tests too. My brain teacher said her students would lip-sinc those songs during tests. Too True! Some of my second graders did too!
PS – Want to add another layer to help your memory along? Try adding motions. I did it with landforms. (Example – arm held straight out was a plain – flat land.)
Click the link to hear this ad from 1974. Watch for Gordon Jump. (He was the station manager for the old TV show, WKRP in Cincinnati.
This link was from 1975. My brain teacher would say ‘repeat to remember. Remember to repeat.’ That’s what this commercial had us doing back in 1974/75. Oh, the good old days. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK2qBbDn5W0
Enjoy! I hope you’re loving it! (No LOL – that's another McDonald’s commercial.)
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!