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Reply #121


Response to Maeve (Reply #22)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 02:46 AM

121. Yeah, I was just going to chime in about my experience with German.

Within a decade of the end of WWII most German printed material changed from a family of fonts called Fraktur to Antiqua, which looks just like what you're reading now. But not only did they change the printed font, they changed the handwriting system from a system called Sütterlin to something more similar to western cursive. This switch started around 1950 and was more or less complete by 1960. What I found interesting in my experiences there is that your typical college student has difficulty with Fraktur (as in, they'll pay good money for a book that is new when they could read the same book in the old typeface for free online) and cannot read the old handwriting. So as a society, even among well educated people, they have a literacy that only goes back about 60 years and the ability of normal people to do archival work is severely limited.

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