Re: Mandombe

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 01:30:56 +0200

2012/6/10 Doug Ewell <>:
> Michael Everson wrote:
>> we would want to see some practical examples of how and where it is in use by more than the inventor.
> Yes, but that's true for all proposals, isn't it? Otherwise Ewellic would qualify.

May be that's not enough, there's now much more people than the
inventor of Ewellic and Klingon, in many countries. But yes this is a
side effect of the success of the books written by the inventor, the
scripts and languages are popularized by fans (which then use these
creations for new unrelated artworks and communications). Is that bad

Ewellic in my opinion would qualify for encoding first before Mandombe
which is still not representative of how the intended people even
write their own language (and that certinaly first need to get
litteracy decent level, without requiring a so specialized
representation suitable only to those that are trained with a
"mathematical" eye, and that will for now always need a paper with a
preprinted grid, until there's some more convenient way : the computer
will be more convenient than a simple sheet of paper, but much more
expensive ; paper preprinted with grids may be found in schools, or in
the form of notepads and paper notebooks.)

 But in Africa too, paper has a cost, wood resources are precious, and
a script that uses so much space on costly types of paper with decent
quality, just in order to be readable once it is rendered, cannot
succeed easily. So the script will succeed somewhere else than in
education : for artistic creations, or a secret code known to a small
educated community that already has no problem reading the usual Latin
and/or Arabic scripts.

Another factor of resistance is the intent to make the sript "sacred"
: this will hurt religious communities that will strongly refuse to
use it, as long as no Bible or Quran is written transcripted with it,
and as long as the author claims a distinct sacred status of his

He would have more success in developping the script simply as an
artwork, for fun, or because it may be beautiful (by using creative
and less strict designs for its typography).

He should no forget that Africans are experts in arts, and love
geometric shapes in lots of objects, as long as they can be
decrorated, recolored, dimensionned more freely, and used on various
types of materials (not just paper but also stones, wood, clothings,
carpets, everyday-used objects like plates and bowls, jewelry, or
painted on walls, or as a decorative alternate script on the
frontcover of books...)
Received on Sat Jun 09 2012 - 18:32:58 CDT

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