251 - unicode fun



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While hunting for a quincunx [ⵘ] to use in explaining the use of fractions in ancient Rome, I found there is a very large number of symbols I might be expected to know about, but don’t.  So I thought I’d share some. The result might belong more in the Maths than the Writing, but I’ll accept opinions on that after publication.


0. Four ancient elements U1F7nn series: 🜁🜂🜃🜄 is followed by a further alchemical symbols, so I challenge you to supply the chemical formulae for these (and that’s as much help as you get): 

1.   🜔🜛🜺🝁🜚

2.  Here is a different set of fundamental elements to identify, the “Five Phases”: 

木 火 土 ⾦ ⽔, but you might prefer 土火 风 ⽔

There are some lovely little pictures, which may or may not reproduce on your screen: 1F9nn - 🦆🦕🦐🥑🦇

1F6nn  🚴🚼🛒🛠🚂, 1F3nn, 4nn🏃🐄🍳🏐🐖🌏.

3. You might guess these:       الرياح النار الأرض والماء            What is the name of the language?

  What is the name of the language here?        زمین آگ ہوا اور پانی

4. Here is a different set of four things in different character sets. I suggest you decipher one and then conclude the remainder. Identify the language or character set.

 उत्तर  दक्षिण  पूर्व/पूरब पश्चिम             উত্তর  দক্ষিম t  পূর্ব্ব  পশ্চিম         الشمال والجنوب والشرق والغرب

北,南,东,西,        ทิศเหนือ ตอนใต้  ทิศตะวันออก  ทิศตะวันตก

There is a private use area in unicode, in the digit zones F0nnn and 10nnnn (‘planes’ 15 and 16); read about thisThe same document explains that there are exactly 66 non-characters, which seems an oxymoron. You might wonder about those, and sentinels; the link explains enough to set you going.


1.   🜔 Is NaCl, common salt; 🜛is Ag, silver; 🜺 is As, arsenic ; 🝁 is CaO, quicklime ;     🜚 is Au, gold.  

Harder:  🜹sal ammoniac Nh4Cl;  🜦 Cu(SbO3)2  copper antimoniate, copper antimony oxide; 🜿   tartar, KC4H5O6  potassium bitartrate

I couldn’t choose: urine  🝕, a mixture of lots of things including urea;    iron ore 🜜, a mixture, often of oxides and salts of iron;  Aqua regia, 🜆, a 1:3 mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids. I didn’t know these words well enough to use them: regulus (a partially purified form, perhaps up to 1% of impurity) as in regulus of antimony,   🜰 and 🜱; marcasite, a semiprecious stone with iron pyrites (the disulphide)

2.  The “Five Phases” are Wood ( ), Fire ( huǒ), Earth ( ), Metal ( jīn), and Water ( shuǐ).   Also, Jupiter-木, Saturn-土, Mercury-水, Venus-金, Mars-火   see here.   The Japanese is the same.       Wind , feng, 

To find the characters, what I found worked was to put up the unicode set on my screen and search for the character I knew, such as shui: searching for shui produces a list of characters all pronounced ’shui’, ⽔谁睡税瞓说說誰稅 …(24 of them). This is a similar process to that used to send a mandarin text message.


 Hunting through the unicode characters to find one I recognise is useful only in showing the basis for how characters are assembled and ordered — itself useful. Couple with a frequency table (to know which characters are used the most, say the top 200) so that one worked with subsets to learn — this I deem useful. I cannot persuade my other half to see that this is desirable and she says, perhaps correctly, that I should do that myself. I continue to say that there is a need to teach these characters to westerners in a western style, not a far eastern one.

3. الرياح النار الأرض والماء Is alriyah alnaar al’ard walma’ earth fire wind & water again. I cannot even identify for sure where the word breaks are. I typed this into my search engine and the sounds produced do not fit well with the roman character form. This is Arabic, then Urdu.


4    Hindi  North, उत्तर South, दक्षिण East, पूर्व/पूरब West. पश्चिम  Uttar, Dakshin, poorva, paschim

North n – উত্তর (uttōr) South n – দক্ষিম (dōkkhim) East n – পূর্ব্ব (purbbō) West n – পশ্চিম (pōscim)  Bengali, so not surprisingly similar.

الشمال Al shamal, الجنوب, al ganoob, الشرق al sharq, الغرب Al gharb              Arabic    

வடக்கு தெற்கு, கிழக்கு மேற்கு    [Their order would be ENSW] NSEW is vadaku therku kizaku mearku. This is Tamil.

北,南,东,西  Bei nan dong, xi. Their order would be ESWN and for compass point the EW comes before the NS. Korean and Japanese are the same.

ทิศเหนือ ตอนใต้  ทิศตะวันออก  ทิศตะวันตก   Thai. Not what I expected and I didn’t discover pronunciation.

 However, © David Scoins 2017