Last year I posted about Glagolitic in Unicode; now I’m happy to report that Avva has created a gizmo that converts Cyrillic text into “true Cyrillic,” or Glagolitic, in image form. He says you can copy the result into a blog post, but when I try to post the Glagolitic equivalent of истинная кириллица ‘true Cyrillic,’ I get: “The image “[long string of code]” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors”; perhaps someone can explain to this neanderthal how to make it work.


  1. I suspect it was a momentary glitch—I can see the text without trouble. Try hitting Ctrl-Shift-R, and if you’re really stuck and curious, there’s a copy here.

  2. Siganus Sutor says

    perhaps someone can explain to this neanderthal how to make it work
    Sorry, I couldn’t. I’m not sapient enough, especially here. But… hem… don’t the “neanderthals” know that they now ought to write their name neandertal? At least if they want to follow the orthographic reform of those who coined the word. And if they want to follow some scientific journals as well. Such as:
    Science Magazine
    Mild Climate, Lack of Moderns Let Last Neandertals Linger in Gibraltar
    Scientific American
    Who Were the Neandertals?
    And the TalkOrigins website, which says that: “In 1904, German spelling was regularized to be more consistent with pronunciation, and “thal” became “tal”. In 1952 Henri Vallois proposed that it should be spelt as the Germans spell it, and the “-tal” spelling has become widely used since then. The “-thal” spelling persists most strongly in England.”
    But of course it is not expected from each Homo neanderthalensis to know his updated German as much as any ‘knowing man’… (And, moreover, the English-speaking sapiens seem rather relaxed about it.)

  3. But I think it’s still neaderthal in English, like it’s still Peking duck or Pekingnese dog, isn’t it?

  4. Yes, exactly. I’m aware of the changed spelling conventions of German, but they do not (or should not) affect English usage. I grew up with Neanderthal, I intend to continue with Neanderthal, and furthermore I pronounce the th as such so it would make no sense for me to write –tal. And the OED’s June 2003 entry is Neanderthal, a. and n.; the etymology begins “< Neanderthal (now Neandertal)…” as is right and proper.

  5. David Marjanović says

    1901, not 1904; and “regularized” is quite an understatement — there wasn’t any orthography at all before that date, only a largely but not entirely consistent tradition.
    I wonder why th was ever used. Probably to make German look like Greek.

  6. James Crippen says

    Some German dialects distinguish aspirated /tʰ/ and unaspirated /t/. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the orthography though.

  7. Siganus Sutor says

    Ahem… do I need to say that I was naughtily facetious? (Even if it further wrecks the attempt at joking.)
    Maybe we should try to find out how the old inhabitants of the Neander valley were writing the name of the place — if we ever have a clue about Neandertaal*”, of course.
    * I wonder if by any chance the Germanic dialect originally spoken in this region had this particular word (taal) to mean ‘language’, like in “tsotsitaal” or “standaardtaal”…

  8. David Marjanović says

    You are probably thinking of the Alemannic dialects which constrast aspirated /t/ from unaspirated /d/ (a voiceless lenis)…
    Tal = valley; Düsseldorf is too far south to have kept the /t/ of het Nederlandse taal, and the (High) German cognate Zahl means “number”. (Likewise, zählen means “count” rather than “tell”.)

  9. There’s no real point in arguing with Neanderthals.
    There wouldn’t be any point in arguing with Neandertals either — and thank God the two aren’t together in the same room!

  10. David Marjanović says

    LOL! 😀

  11. Try replacing [long string of code] with the original Cyrillic string, and see what happens.

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