It’s often extremely difficult to find out from a distance whether, or to what extent, a particular script is still in use. We’d love to hear from anyone who can give us good information on the current state of any of these scripts, especially if an effort is being made to preserve or revive them:
Akagu (Nigeria) An alphabet used for writing Igbo.
Balti A Tibetan-based language spoken in Pakistan and India that may actually have two different indigenous scripts, whose health and even names are unknown to the principal Western sources.
Badugu (India) A script was developed for the Badaga language by Anandhan Raju, but it’s not clear whether it is in use.
Beria (Sudan, Chad) In the 1950s, a Sudanese Zaghawa schoolteacher named Adam Tajir created an alphabet for the Beria language, spoken in eastern central Chad, and in Darfur in the northwest of Sudan, whose characters were derived from the clan brands used for camels and other livestock. Not clear to what extent it is used, or whether there is consensus on what revisions should be made to the original script.
Bété (Côte d’Ivoire) In 1952 Bruly Bouabre, an artist from Côte d’Ivoire, created an entire pictographic writing system for the language of Bété based on geometric designs he found on a series of small red and white stones that he concluded were part of an ancient, lost Ivoirean alphabet.
Blackfoot syllabary (USA, Canada) The Blackfoot syllabary was devised by John William Tims (1857-1945), an Anglican missionary from England who spent 12 years from 1883 to 1895 among the Blackfoot people in the North-West Territories of Canada (now Alberta).
Bhujel (Nepal) A script recently created by CB Bhujel and then recreated by Bishnulul Bhujel.
Carrier syllabary (Canada) The Carrier syllabary, or Déné Syllabics, was adapted by Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice in 1885 from the syllabic writing systems developed for the Athabaskan languages of the Northwest Territories of Canada. The Carrier syllabary was fairly widely used for several decades for such purposes as writing diaries and letters and leaving messages on trees.
Caucasian Albanian (Azerbaijan, Daghestan) Rediscovered, yes, but actually used?
Coorgi-Cox (India) A script developed by Gregg Cox for the Coorgi/Kodava language in 2005.
Dham (Nepal) a script used for the Dhimal language
Dogra Also called Takri, once the official script of Jammu and Kashmir in India, seen on currency, judicial and non-judicial papers, postcards, and postage stamps.
Gadabuursi (Somalia) In 1933 Sheikh Abdurahman Sheikh Nuur invented another script for Somali known as Borama or Gadabuursi which was only used by the Sheikh’s small circle of associates in Borama.
Gangga Malayu A cipher alphabet of secret script “only employed for the purposes of intrigue” in Malaya.
Great Lakes Syllabics (Canada, USA)
Halvi (India) a script invented by Bikram Soni of Jagdalpur to write the Halvi or Halbi language.
Kaddariya (Somalia) The Kaddare alphabet was invented by Sheikh Hussein Sheikh Ahmed Kaddare of the Abgaal Hawiye clan in 1952.
Kaithi (India) once the script used by a caste of professional scribes all across northern India.
Kerinci An ancestral script of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Khambu Rai A script created for writing Bantawa in Sikkim and Nepal.
Khema Phri (India) A script created for the Gurung language.
Khudabadi (India) A script for writing Sindhi.
Kirat Rai A script created for writing Bantawa in Sikkim and Nepal.
Kpelle (Liberia/Guinea) Devised in the 1930s by Gbili, a chief of Sanoyea, in Bong County, Liberia.
Kripa-Salyan (Sikkim) A script used in Sikkim for writing the Bawantawa Rai language.
Kurukh Banna (India) Invented by Basudev Ram Khalkho in Odisha during the 1990s to write the Kurukh language.
Lampung An ancestral script of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Loma A script invented in the 1930s and used to some extent during the 1930s and 1940s for private correspondence in Liberia and Guinea.
Magar Akkha (Nepal) A script for writing the Magar language.
Mahajani A commercial script mostly used by bankers and money-lenders in northern India.
Mende A Sierra Leoni script invented in 1921 that was widely used for a while but now seems to have lapsed into disuse.
Multani A mercantile script once used in northern India and Pakistan.
Mundari Bani (India, Bangladesh, Nepal) A script invented by Rohidas Singh Nag to write the Mundari language
New Tai Lue (China) A simplified version of the Old Tai Lue script, used almost exclusively in Jinghong.
Nwagu Aneke (Nigeria) A syllabary and some logographs that was developed by Nwagu Aneke for the Umuleri dialect of Igbo in the late 1950s.
Osmanya (Somalia) The Osmanya alphabet was created in between 1920 and 1922 by Osman Yusuf Kenadid (Cusmaan Yuusuf Keenadiid / عثمان يوسف), brother of the Sultan of Obbia, to write Somali.
Phags-Pa Formerly a Mongolian script, now possibly still used in Tibet for seals and temple inscriptions and as a display font by some businesses in Mongolia.
Rejang An ancestral script of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Syriac (multiple Middle Eastern countries) Once one of the major writing systems of the Christian world
Tagbanwa (an ancestral script from Palawan Island in the Philippines)
Tafi (Nigeria) a script proposed for writing the Hausa language
Tangsa Khimhun (India) A writing system developed by Latsam Khimhun for writing the Tangsa languages spoken in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Khumhun’s script is associated with the Rang Frah religious community.
Tangsa Mossang (India) A writing system developed by Lakhum Mossang for writing the Tangsa languages spoken in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Tani Lipi (India) A script used for representing the Tani sub-family of Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India, designed by Tony Koyu of Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.
Tikamuli (India, Nepal) Developed by Tikaram Mulica Sunuwar for writing Sunuwari in Nepal.
Yugtun (Alaska) A syllabary invented around the year 1900 by Uyaquq to write the Central Alaskan Yup’ik language.
Have information about any of these alphabets? Please let us know!