, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Such a long string of letters, right?

Latin texts are sometimes written like that, with all letters being capitalised and have no space in between words, no punctuation. This is called scriptio continua. Where is the start of each word, when does it stop? Is it neqvep orro or neqve porro? For people who often read Latin texts, the answer is neqve porro (neque porro – v -> u), for the untrained eyes, it is difficult to know where the space is. In modern punctuation (with space), the above string of letters is read as

Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit

This scriptio continua also happens in Mandarin, see the following

但是研究人 员强调说,保障安全的前提是车上所有人员都要系上安全带,否则再安全的汽车 也无济于事。

Especially the bolded part of the sentence above, there is no space. However, in Mandarin, it is easier to extract the word as it is pictorial-based. It is not 安 全的, but 安全 的.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Indonesia are among a few countries who have languages that uses scriptio continua.

Thai script:

โปรดเลือกที่ที่เหมาะสมที่สุดในการถามคำถามของคุณ เพราะคำถามที่ถามผิดที่อาจถูกละเลยได้ อาสาสมัครที่เต็มใจจะตอบคำถามของคุณโดยเร็วที่สุด

In the above Thai text, the words do not have space in between, however, the space comes in between the sentences.

In Indonesia, Balinese and Javanese scripts are examples of scriptio continua.

Yeh ngetel nyidayang ngesongin batu

-> Balinese


-> Javanese

To be able to decipher the sentences above, one of course need to know the language first. For people whose eyes have been trained to read such texts, it’s not a hassle for them to read with correct spaces (pauses). If we want to preserve the use of those scripts, then we must train ourselves in reading those scriptio continua.