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.
Allái manna freihals jah samaleikō in waírþidái jah raíhteis waúrþans. Fraþei jah miþwissei gibnans jah libandau swē broþrjus.
Translation by Roel. Other additions and corrections by Michael Peter Füstumum and Steve Porter
Note: the pronunciation of Gothic has been reconstructed but there is some debate about how certain sounds are pronounced.
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)
Online Gothic lessons
Online Gothic dictionary
Project Wulfila - digital library of texts in Gothic and other Old Germanic languages
Online Gothic news
Music in Gothic
ALPHABETUM - a Unicode font specifically designed for ancient scripts, including classical & medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberian, Celtiberian, Gothic, Runic, Old & Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Old Nordic, Ogham, Kharosthi, Glagolitic, Old Cyrillic, Phoenician, Avestan, Ugaritic, Linear B, Anatolian scripts, Coptic, Cypriot, Brahmi, Old Persian cuneiform: http://guindo.pntic.mec.es/~jmag0042/alphabet.html
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