Jox's Digital Rune Page - ᛁᚬᚴᛋ᛫ᚦᛁᚴᛁᛏᛅᛚᛅ᛫ᚱᚢᚾᛋᛁᚦᛅ
Before you start...
There will be runes used on this page (Unicode characters). If your computer can not display these correctly, try installing the Junicode font (another useful font is Beorc Gothic). You can read about the runic Unicode block in this Wikipedia article, and you could view this chart in that article to see if any of the characters are being displayed.
About the rune character sets...
Younger futhark Unicode characters:
Long-twig variants: ᚠᚢᚦᚬᚱᚴᚼᚾᛁᛅᛋᛏᛒᛘᛚᛣ
Short-twig variants: ᚠᚢᚦᚭᚱᚴᚽᚿᛁᛆᛌᛐᛓᛙᛚᛧ
(See the Latin letter transcriptions here on Wikipedia.)
Find some info about the variants in this Wikipedia article. The best way to see how different variants of runes were used during their original time would be to read rune inscriptions yourself. Some can be found on Wikipedia's "list of runestones" (may want to check Scandinavian versions of Wikipedia aside from English). An easy example to get started with is the article about the Rök-stone.
Typing in runes on your computer...
Using a custom keyboard-layout on your computer, you can enable typing in runes! (Much like you can enable typing in Japanese or other character sets that your keyboard doesn't normally produce.) I've made a basic keyboard-layout for typing in the younger futhark, which you can download - the download link is available below the next bit of information!
Important notes about this keyboard-layout:
- It is based on the Swedish keyboard-layout, and as such may have letters in different places than what you're used to. You can edit this yourself if you use Ukelele, the software I used to create this custom keyboard-layout. Please use the "show keyboard viewer" option on your Mac to see which key produces which rune.
- Pressing keys in lower-case produces short-twig variants, while pressing the keys in upper-case mode produces the long-twig variants (the runes used are shown at the top of the page). Using caps-lock also produces the long-twig variants (as of version 2).
- The "°/§" key (located in front of the number 1 on my keyboard) produces the dot mark "᛫" that you may use to separate between words (example: ᚼᛅᛁ᛫ᛁᛅ᛫ᚼᛁᛏᛁᚱ᛫ᛁᚬᚴᛋ!) if you don't want to use the blank-space for that.
- The key for "D/d" produces the "ᚦ" rune, not the "ᛏ/ᛐ" rune. The reason for this is that I think it makes sense in modern Swedish/Norwegian/Danish, since we've dropped the "TH" sound while using quite a lot of "D" sounds. Feel free to edit the layout or to not use that key if this doesn't work for your typing!
- The key for "Z/z" produces the "ᛣ/ᛧ" rune. The reason for this is that it appears to have been a Z/R sound in older Germanic before turning into a proper R sound in the Norse languages, and since there is no rune for "Z" and the regular "R/r" key uses the "ᚱ" rune, I figured that this was the best way to solve it.
- Known issues to fix in a later version: (1) Superficial fixes, make a custom icon. Other issues of version one has been fixed as of version 2 (April 12th, 2015).
Download my younger futhark keyboard-layout for Mac computers (currently version 2):
Then unzip it and read installation instructions through this site:
... or use a search-engine to find other installation instructions, of course! (For example, search "install custom keyboard layout mac".) On my computer (a MacBook Pro running 10.9.5), the ".bundle" file does not work, so I use the ".keylayout" file. I place it in my "/Library/Keyboard Layouts" folder (it seems like the system Library & the user Library both work, so it depends on if you want it to be available to all users).
How to write with runes...
Q: What language should I write in when I use runes?
A: You should write in any language you like. Norwegian, English or Chinese, it doesn't matter since runes are just a way of representing sounds, just like other alphabets. You don't have to write in an archaic way or anything either, chatspeak is just fine if that suits you better. Remember, it's just an alphabet, and you're allowed to be creative and figure out your own way of using it.
Q: How should I spell? There are so few runes and it's missing lots of letters!
A: First, refer to this chart (the bottom row being the runes used in my keyboard-layout). The runes (or at least almost all of the runes) represent several different sounds. For example, the rune "K" could be read as either "K" or "G" (hard G as in "go", not soft G as in "German"). Very importantly, the rune spelling should preferably be based on actual sound and not on un-pronounced spelling. So if you want to write the English word "thorough", maybe you should spell it "ᚦᚬᚱᚬ" (just my suggestion, it's up to you how you spell). The point being, write what you say, don't add runes for sounds that you don't pronounce. Again, in order to understand which sounds may be represented by which rune, you should simply read up on it (check the Wikipedia articles I've been linking). Also, misspelling something in runes is no worse than misspelling things with the Latin alphabet; take it easy and allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.
Some samples of how I personally might spell using runes...
I don't have a set way that I always spell things, I just consider the pronunciation while I'm writing and write something reasonable (and hopefully understandable) enough. There are many sounds that are a little difficult to think of how to represent using the younger futhark (such as the SH sound in "shop"). It's up to every person how they want to spell and how strict they want to be with their spelling pattern.
ᛅᛁ᛫ᚼᛅᚠ᛫ᚱᛅᚾ᛫ᛅᚢᛏ᛫ᚬᚠ᛫ᛘᚬᚾᛁ - I have run out of money. (transcription: AI-HAF-RAN-AUT-ĄF-MĄNI)
ᚢᛁᚱ᛫ᛁᛋ᛫ᛘᛅᛁ᛫ᛚᚬᚠᛚᛁ᛫ᛚᛁᛏᛚ᛫ᛏᚬᚴ? - Where is my lovely little dog? (transcription: UIR-IS-MAI-LĄFLI-LITL-TĄK?)
ᚴᛅᚾ᛫ᛁᛅ᛫ᛁᚾᛏᛁ᛫ᚠᚬ᛫ᛚᛁᛏᛁ᛫ᚴᚬᚦᛁᛋ? - Kan jag inte få lite godis? (transcription: KAN-IA-INTI-FĄ-LITI-KOÞIS?)
ᚼᛁᚾ᛫ᛒᚢᚱ᛫ᚾᛅᚱᛅ᛫ᛏᚬᚴᛋᛏᛅᛋᚢᚾ᛫ᛁ᛫ᚢᛒᛋᛅᛚᛅ - Hen bor nära tågstation' i Uppsala. (transcription: HIN-BUR-NARA-TĄKSTASUN-I-UBSALA)
Page last updated: April 12th, 2015.