Old German writing

The German writing is known since the 16th century. The concept “old German writing” is, actually, a collective term for many fonts up to the 20th century. Basically must be distinguished in block letters and cursive.

Block letters were, e. g., Schwabacher or Fraktur. Both are so-called broken writings with which the curves of a letter have broken all or partly (clearly visible changes of course with the line guidance). Schwabacher was from the late 15. till the middle of the 16th century the prevailing German writing. Fraktur took her place and remained till the 20th century.

  • Schwabacher Schrift

Cursives one meets primarily with official papers or documents. These include in particular the German office writing (till the 19th century), the German Kurrent (18th and 19th century), the German cursives (in the beginning of 20 century) and Sütterlin (from 1928). Documents, reports, protocols, calculations, private recordings and also church register entries are normally written with cursives. Capitalisation and use of small letters are not often to be distinguished. Proper names are mostly emphasised. Since use of goose quills as writing tools (17th century) swings, flourishes and curves also control the typeface. From the 17th century the cursives also sloped to the right. In the 18th century the letters are connected with each other.

Also the orthography often leaves to desired, from today’s point of view. Thus one often finds “ck” instead of “k”, instead of one consonant two consonants and superfluous hyphens. Also it is often worked with abbreviations whose deciphering often gives trouble. Some sentence positions sound rather clumsy from today’s point of view and incomprehensible. And languages are also sometimes mixed with each other, Latin is added, for example, often to the German.

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