While crawling on my last legs to finish Spanish in high school, I realized how hard it is to learn a second language.
Studying a new alphabet, learning how to stress certain sounds and practicing how to write characters were always an annoyance from the 10:15 to 11:05 slot in my schedule. Let’s just say learning a second language took a back seat in my priorities due to the fact lunch was the following period.
That all changed this past semester when my two friends from school picked up Italian and Japanese for the semester. They would both bounce off each other, seeing who had a more diverse vocabulary in their respective language while I sat there with nothing to contribute. I hated it. How can my friends pick up a second language while I can barely speak English?
Nothing like good ol’ FOMO to use as a motivator.
I got really inspired, the FOMO was real, so I began researching which language to study over the summer. As I went through the lists of possibilities, one language caught my eye. What’s even cooler? It’s. Brand. Freakin’. New.
A new language? How can that be? Isn’t language boring, obsolete, and been replaced by Emojis? Good point, but let me do the explaining and then you can chime your two cents in again.
Liron Lavi Turkenich, an Israeli typography designer created a ‘language of coexistence’ called Aravit, and it’s not hard to see why.
Turkenich took on this project as her final undergraduate project in hopes of promoting coexistence within Arab Israelis and Jews living in Israel. This new typeface merges Hebrew and Arabic together in hopes of bridging the gap between the two sides. Think of it as peanut butter and chocolate coming together to form a delicious language of Reese’s goodness.
The way the language works is fascinating. In Arabic, all you need to read a character is the top half of the letter, and for Hebrew, all you need is the bottom half. How convenient is that? So far 638 characters have been formed covering all letter combinations.
The writing system utilises the work of French ophthalmologist Louis Émile Javal, who discovered that we only need to be able to see the top half of Latin letters to make sense of a word.
Although Hebrew and Arabic have their own depth, histories and sentimental value to both sides, there has been overwhelming support of this undertaking. Since the beginning of this month, over 1 million have watched a Hebrew-language video explaining Aravit with positive comments throughout. That’s even including the trolls in the Middle East.
As the head correspondent of peace in the Middle East for two buttons deep, I fully back this new language and I hope that it gets incorporated into everyday life. Whether it’s on airports, street signs, or menus at a local Falafel shop, it’s a step in the right direction for unity.
As I continue to learn more about this hybrid language, I am eager to continue learning all the characters available, and more importantly, rubbing it in my friend’s faces after months of putting up with their crap.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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