The story, geared towards young readers age 10-17, includes nine Asian languages which were selected with consideration for geographical balance and linguistic affiliation: Hindi, Arabic, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Mongolian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The writing systems of these nine languages are introduced in terms of their developmental process, unique forms, and calligraphy.
“To preserve speech and to pass it on, humanity invented letters. Civilizations could be developed through letters, in which knowledge could be preserved, accumulated, and transferred. As a result, not only was remote communication possible but also the build-up of historical consciousness by establishing the prospect of social consensus.
The rise and fall of letters were indicators of power in ancient societies. The Scythia did not leave behind any documents or records because they did not have a writing system. As can be seen from this case, nations that did not have a writing system were quickly forgotten. However, with letters, even minority ethnic groups can be remembered through their great written works.
Language is like music while letters are like pictures. Language is like time while the letter is like space. If music and pictures, time and space come together, writing becomes humanity’s culture itself. Through freedom of expression, language and letters create a consensus in society and an identity for that society. Moreover, they are important elements for peaceful coexistence. Letters were invented to preserve and pass on speech. Letters are the site where the humanity’s soul and knowledge are accumulated.” (pp. 12-13)
Originally published in Korean in 2013 as a product of collaboration with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea, the Korean edition has been widely recognized by Korean readers. Encouraged by the ever increasing global demand to learn about Asian culture and languages, Hollym and APCEIU released this book to hope that the book will stimulate more interest towards cultural diversity and global citizenship which become the basis of mutual respect.