Re: Unidentified North Borneo script?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Feb 14 2006 - 18:02:23 CST

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    tamps.html .
    > (I suppose it could actually be
    > Malay in Arabic script rather than Arabic)

    Yeah, I would say the whole collection of North Borneo stamps
    here have the denominations written in Chinese and Malay.

    The Chinese on these stamps has some very odd glyphs.

    The 1887 8c green Coat of Arms reads ba1fen1 <516B, 5206> "8 cents",
    but with two of the oddest glyphs I've ever seen. They might be
    seal or bronze forms.

    The 1899 4c on 12c blue and black Saltwater Crocodile reads
    shi2er4xian1shi4 <62FE, 8CB3, 4ED9, 662F> "twelve cents",
    but the first two have strange glyphs, as if they were engraved
    by someone who couldn't read Chinese and who was copying characters
    from some source copied from someplace else, also by someone
    unfamiliar with the characters. The "xian1shi4" must be some
    attempt at a local (Hakka?) Chinese transliteration of 'cent', with
    the shi4 more likely pronounced "ti" -- cf. the usage of the
    component shi4 as the phonetic in words like ti2 "carry"

    If the Malay (in Arabic) is written as strangely as the Chinese
    in some cases, I wouldn't be surprised if it were hard to make
    out, too.


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