The growth of the Internet in Iran in the late 90s brought with it the beginning of a sub-script for communication on smartphones and other digital platforms. Iranian internet users utilize Roman English characters to phonetically convey messages in the Persian (Farsi) language, formally named “P-English sub-script.” Alphabet is the core element of written language and typography. It is the foundation of every civilization, so what happens when an imported technology imposes a cultural shift in written communication? This research observes the various impacts of P-English on Iranian writing and communication over the internet. Other nationalities such as Arabs, Chinese, and Korean have also developed such sub-script that emerged out of a lack of proper support for various writing systems in the early stages of the computer and internet revolution. While communicating in P-English can never be seen as a potential replacement for the Persian alphabet, it can act as an auxiliary tool to help convey Persian cultural values to the second generation of immigrants born outside of the motherland and inside Iranian families. P-English research aims to raise awareness about cultural values by showcasing its various practical shortcomings while analyzing its potential usage in street signs and bilingual design systems.
Assistant Professor - Graphic Design Program Co-Head, School of Art - Graphic Design Program, California State University Long Beach
DESIGN PRACTICE, SOCIAL COMMUNICATION, USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN, TYPOGRAPHIC LINGUISTICS