Re: Mandombe

From: Jean-François Colson <>
Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2012 13:41:47 +0200

> * ease of being handwritten
If you find it hard to write, it seems there’s a more cursive version,
with rounded angles:

> * ease of being typed
If it’s ever encoded, you should simply type the consonants and the
vowels, and perhaps a few modifiers. The rendering engines should be
able to handle it rather easily: it’s only a matter of glyph
substitution, and perhaps also of reordering.
Mandombe doesn’t seem very difficult. I’ll try to describe it without
using the strange terminology they’ve provided in their proposal.
There are 5 basic consonants and five basic vowels. The consonant and
the vowel are drawn on each side of an S-like element.
A reversed S before the consonant marks the prenasalization of the
There are two additional signs for the liquids. They are written just
before the vowel element which is then inverted.
There are also diacritics used to write the second part of diphtongs or
the nasalization of vowels.
By a 180° rotation or a mirror (either horizontal or vertical) of the
whole syllable, you get 15 new consonants.
That’s nearly all, folks.

> * speed of being read
I think it’s only a matter of practice.

> * likelihood of confusion of individual characters/letters/symbols
> (in either production or recognition)
It seems the vowel part of the syllable is easily recognizable thanks to
its shape and, as soon as you get used to the system, you can easily
identify the consonant by its position and the way it is linked to the
rest of the syllable.

> * 1-to-1-ness of the mapping between orthographic representation and
> phoneme string
I’ve found no ambiguity in Mandombe.

Received on Sat Jun 09 2012 - 06:44:24 CDT

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