Difference between Language and Script, Wikipedia, Example, History

Difference between Language and Script, Wikipedia, Example, History, UPSC | Language vs Script | Script vs Language | Difference between Script and Language

Currently, there are many languages spoken around the world, and each of these languages has its own script or writing system. However, some people may not be aware of the distinction between a language and its script.

In order to provide clarity, here we have outlined the differences between a language and a script, which should help to better understand the distinction between the two.

Language is essential for communication and the exchange of ideas, and similarly, a script is necessary for every language to be written. Some individuals may not be aware of the difference between a language and its script. However, through this article, you will gain a detailed understanding of the distinctions between the two.

Difference Between Language and Script | Language vs Script

Language and script are closely related but distinct concepts.

Language refers to the system of communication used by a particular group of people. It includes the grammar, vocabulary, and structure used to convey meaning. There are thousands of languages spoken around the world, each with its own unique characteristics. Examples of languages include English, Spanish, Mandarin, and French.

Script, on the other hand, refers to the written representation of a language. Scripts are a set of characters or symbols used to represent the sounds and words of a language. Some scripts, such as the Latin script used for English and many other languages, are composed of a small set of characters, while others, such as Chinese script, have thousands of characters. Different languages can be written using the same script, and a single language can be written using different scripts. For example, Hindi and Urdu are two different languages spoken in India and Pakistan, but they are both written using the same script, the Devanagari script.

In short, A language is a way of speaking, Listening and convey the message, whereas Script is the way of writing that language.

Overview of the Differences Between Language and Script | Script vs Language

Language is the means by which we express our thoughts and emotions to others through written or spoken communication, and also understand the thoughts and emotions of others.Script refers to the set of characters or symbols used to write down and represent the sounds and words of a language.
A system of meaningful words or symbols used to convey information and express thoughts, ideas, and emotions is known as a language.Script is a set of rules and conventions for writing a language, and it can be considered as an aspect of the grammar of the language.
Language is commonly used in speech. In other words, language refers to the system of communication that is spoken.Script is primarily used to standardize and document a language, through the use of a set of characters or symbols to represent its sounds and words.
Language is widely used and spoken across many regions.Script is primarily utilized for writing and standardizing the language, rather than in spoken communication.
Language is a system of symbols, primarily composed of sound symbols that are arranged in a specific, but often arbitrary way. It can be described as the “arrangement of sound symbols in an often random order.Script is a system of symbols, arranged in a specific way, used to represent the sounds and words of a language through written representation, often in the form of characters or pictographs.
Language serves as the primary means of communication and expression. Script serves as a secondary means of recording and representing a language, which is often optional, but can be used as support for the primary oral communication.
The development of language predates the development of script.The development of script occurred several millennia after the emergence of language.
Language can exist and be effectively communicated without a script, as there are still many languages spoken today that do not have a written representation.Script cannot exist without language, as it relies on the sounds and structure of a language to represent it.
Language is subject to change over time.Script tends to be more resistant to change compared to language.

World Popular Languages Script list

There are many scripts used around the world for various languages. Here are some of the most widely used scripts:

  • Latin script: used for many European languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian.
  • Chinese script: used for various Chinese languages and dialects, including Mandarin and Cantonese
  • Devanagari script: used for many languages spoken in India and Nepal, such as Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali
  • Arabic script: used for Arabic and many other languages spoken in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Farsi, Urdu, and Pashto
  • Cyrillic script: used for many languages spoken in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, such as Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian
  • Greek script: used for Greek
  • Kanji and kana scripts: used for Japanese.
  • Hanja script: used for Korean

few more scripts such as,

  • Amharic script for Amharic,
  • Armenian script for Armenian,
  • Ethiopic script for Geez and other languages
  • Brahmi script for historical writing in India and south Asia. and many more.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and just mentioning some major scripts which are widely used across different parts of the world.

First known script in the world

The first known script in the world is the Sumerian script, also known as cuneiform script. It was used in ancient Sumer, which was located in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) around 3400 BCE. Cuneiform script was primarily used for writing Sumerian, but it was also used for Akkadian and other languages spoken in Mesopotamia. The script was written on clay tablets using a stylus to make wedge-shaped marks. It was a logographic script, meaning that each symbol represented a word or a concept, rather than a sound. Cuneiform script was used for over 3,000 years and it is considered to be one of the earliest systems of writing.

Major Scripts of the Languages Spoken in India

The major scripts of the languages spoken in India are :

  • Devanagari for Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and other languages
  • Bengali-Assamese script for Bengali and Assamese languages
  • Gurmukhi script for Punjabi
  • Grantha script for Tamil
  • Telugu script for Telugu
  • Malayalam script for Malayalam
  • Kannada script for Kannada
  • Odia script for Odia (Oriya) language
  • Sharda script, Brahmi script, Kharosthi script, Modi script have been used in historical context, not in present time.

Please note that there is a considerable overlap between the scripts used in different languages and that some languages are also written in more than one script.


In this article, we have presented an overview of the differences between language and script, language vs script. We hope you found this information on the differences between script and language or script vs language to be informative and useful.

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