Gothic is an extinct East Germanic language that was spoken in parts of the Crimea until the 17th century. It was originally written with a runic alphabet about which little is known. One theory of the origins of Runes is that they were invented by the Goths, but this is impossible to prove as very few inscriptions of writing in Gothic runes survive.
The Gothic alphabet was invented around middle the 4th century AD by Bishop Wulfila (311-383 AD), the religious leader of the Visigoths, to provide his people with a written language and a means of reading his translation of the Bible. It is based on the Greek alphabet, with some extra letters from the Latin and Runic alphabets.
The Goths were divided into two main tribes: the Ostrogothi or Greutungi (dune-dwellers) and the Visigothi or Tervingi (steppe-dwellers). Related tribes included the Burgundians and the Vandals.
There are no separate numerals, but each letter has a numeric value.
atta unsar þu in himinan weihnai namo þein
qimai þiudinassus þeins wairþai wilja þeins
swe in himina jah ana airþai
hlaif unsarana þana sinteinan gif uns himma daga
jah weis afletam þai skulam unsaraim
jah ni briggais uns in fraistubnjai
ak lausai uns of þamma ubilin
unte þeina ist þiudangardi
jah mahts jah wulþus in aiwins
Allai mans freihalsa jah ibnassau wairþidai jah bilageinim waurþanaim. Fraþei jah miþwissei gibnanai jah libandau swē broþruns.
Translation by Roel
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Gothic
An introductory overview of the Gothic language
Online Gothic dictionary
Project Wulfila - digital library of texts in Gothic and other Old Germanic languages
Online Gothic news
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