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Dear Editors,

A colleague and I have been trying to identify the languages represented on the front page of the latest IUCr newsletter. From left to right the top row appears to be Bulgarian (?), Turkish, Romanian, and Macedonian/Serbian. The lower row is more challenging. Far left is Croatian/Slovenian, far right is Greek, near right is perhaps Hungarian (but not according to Google Translate), and near left is unclear. Perhaps Moldovan?

John Copley

Naumov replies:

Thank you for your interest. One reason for showing the different words was to illustrate the diversity of cultures and languages that exist within a very small area. Your identifications were almost perfectly correct! Full identifications are as follows.

Top row: (1) Bulgarian, (2) Turkish and Albanian, (3) Romanian and Moldovan, and (4) Serbian.

Bottom row: (1) Croatian, Slovenian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, (2) Macedonian, (3) Hungarian, and (4) Greek.

The languages belong to different families and groups. In some cases the official alphabet is the Cyrillic, while in other cases it is Latin or both. In some cases, even though written with the same alphabet, depending on the country, some letters in the printed and written fonts are different (note the subtle differences in some letters in the two italic fonts in the top and the bottom row).