Writing systems of the world today.
A writing system is a system of symbols that are used to represent language.
There are different kinds of writing systems, with symbols that represent different things: logographic, syllabic and alphabetic. Beside natural scripts, there are also constructed scripts.
A logographic system, is a writing system with symbols that mean whole words, symbols that represent things or ideas. These symbols are called logogram or logograph. Examples of logographic writing systems are those used for the Chinese language and for various hieroglyphs. Both these systems use logographs only partly.
A syllabary is a writing system with symbols that mean a syllable. An example for syllabaries are the hiragana and katakana used for the Japanese language.
An alphabet is a writing system with symbols that mean a sound. An example for an alphabetic writing system is the Roman alphabet, which is used in large parts of the world.
Images for kids
Chinese characters (漢字) are morpho-syllabic. Each one represents a syllable with a distinct meaning, but some characters may have multiple meanings or pronunciations
A Specimen of typefaces and styles, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia
Table of scripts in the introduction to Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier Monier-Williams
This textbook for Puyi shows the English alphabet. Although the English letters run from left to right, the Chinese explanations run from top to bottom then right to left, as traditionally written
A Bible printed with Balinese script