Secret language

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During the 15th century, rural women in China's southern Hunan province developed a secret written language. In a few days, I'm going to get to find out more about Nushu in person. A friend is doing a story on the efforts to preserve this language and I'm tagging along.

The last "sworn sister" of Nushu died in September last year at age 98, but there are others who still can read and write the language. It is a mix of Chinese characters and embroidery patterns, each symbol expressing a sound rather than an idea like normal written Chinese.

Women used the script to write letters to one another and when a daughter was married, her mother would give her a handbound book with the first three pages filled with songs from her hometown. The new bride would fill the blank pages herself.

I can hardly wait to learn more.

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That's fascinating. And oddly coincidental - there was a link on a little while ago to this story:

A writer named Hu Wenliang has written a novel in a secret language composed of punctuation characters. He's offering a cash prize to the first person to decrypt it.

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  • David: That's fascinating. And oddly coincidental - there was a link read more