Do you know much about Digimon?
Like “Pokémon”, the word is a portmanteau: digital + monsters = Digimon. (Or, in Japanese, デジタル ＋ モンスター ＝ デジモン; dejitaru + monsutā = dejimon.)
Anyway, Digimon has something in common with other franchises: its own alphabet. DigiCode or デジ文字 (dejimoji), as it’s called, is a simple replacement cipher for English letters. (Technically, Japanese DigiCode would be more of a syllabary than an alphabet…)
Long intro aside, the idea is that is used in the Digital World (the world Digimon live in, of course; what else?) instead of the letters and Japanese characters we know of in our world. Why did the creators of the franchise do this instead of just using what we use, since Digimon do speak English and Japanese in the show…?
But it’s kinda cool. And gives a sort of… I dunno… unfamiliar (fantasy/sci-fi?) feel to the franchise…? Gives it the feeling like it’s truly another world… they’re dealing with…? So, I guess that’s why…?
In any case, remember that Fiverr gig I told you about?
Well, I sort of decided to practise for that gig, by making a Hebrew DigiCode. My fanfiction Digimon Reboot has a Jewish character, so I thought… why not?
It was fun! I made it as complete as I could, creating a DigiCode equivalent for every letter (including the form that some letters take at the end of a word), vowel point (נוקוד, nikud), and even one each for geresh and gershayim (those apostrophy-like things at the bottom).
I also learnt that קוד (kod, code) is masculine in Hebrew, so the name of this DigiCode is דיג׳יקוד עברי (dijikod ivri), not דיג׳יקוד עברית (dijikod ivrit) as it would be called if it were a feminine noun!
As fun as all this was, though, I had a bit of a discussion a linguist friend of mine about how little sense the whole idea makes: TV shows, etc. often just replace the letters/characters we know with some other ones…
The above pictures are from show the basic replacement cipher of the Hunter x Hunter alphabet, which, of course, uses the same concept as DigiCode.
It’s kind of a lazy way to do things if you ask me. Why not create another writing system altogether? With different rules about how to write it…? That’s the kind of thing Tolkien did, I believe!
But since my story is based on Digimon, I followed their tradition as closely as possible. And had fun doing it!
Hebrew DigiCode will show up in chapter 3 of Digimon Reboot! 😀 So, please do check it out!
And if you’re interested, I’d love to help you come up with an alphabet for your made-up language!