"Analog" letters and alphabets

gouinpaul's picture

I am trying to locate "analog" alphabets in various languages.
By "analog", I mean that the shape of the letter looks like something, and that something has a name which starts by the same sound.
For example S and a snake. b and bat and balls. M and Mountains.
The idea is to speed up the teaching of the alphabet by triggering some mnemotechnic association in a child's mind.
I have found a couple of examples in english such as a "Curious George" book and a Rudyard Kipling short story.
I was wondering if some forum members remember running across other examples and can give a reference.

Paul Gouin

oldnick's picture

"Rebus Letters" might be a more appropriate moniker…

guifa's picture

Simon and George, he's meaning like what Kevin posted. For example, in English you might have an A made out of an Apple, and B out of a bat, C out of a car, etc. and in Spanish you'd have the A made out of a tree (árbol), B out of a bicycle (bicicleta) and C out of a house (casa), and so on for each other language.

Theunis de Jong's picture

Ah -- so perhaps, as a challenge, one could create an A for Apple Opentype font that's language sensitive!

HVB's picture

These are known as abecedarians (often misspelled as abcedarians).

If you google for abecedarian fonts, and then for abcedarian fonts you'll find many. My collection includes 41 such fonts.

- Herb VB

5star's picture

Aren't these also known as Alphabet Flashcards? I've used them before in my Stop War graphic series...

cerulean's picture

Theunis, I imagine that in designing an appropriate alphabet for every language, selecting designs for the glyphs that can be used in more than one language might add as much work as it took away.

I wonder about our fixation on the beginnings of words (which has given us so much trouble with X), and whether it is universal. If Germans do this, how do they deal with the fact that nothing starts with ß? I know different cultures have differing ideas of what constitutes a rhyme, for example. There are tribes who describe the future as "back" and the past as "forward" based on the compelling logic of which one they can see. Might there be written languages somewhere that would best organize a list by final sound, or whose idea of a monogram would be the stressed vowel in each name?

kentlew's picture

This isn’t an alphabet like the o.p. is asking for, but on the subject of A B C books:

Last year, Cyrus Highsmith was showing around some pages from a little A B C book like this that he was illustrating for his daughter. He now has images of the final — which he calls Apple Bear Cat and which he had printed up by Blurb — on his personal site.

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