I used to agree with what Tambur said about there not being an "official" way to write the letters, but I'm not entirely convinced anymore. Of course, back in the day when the alphabet looked more like the Phoenician alphabet (i.e., not cursive/connected), there probably weren't any rules and people wrote as they pleased. As the script evolved and became cursive (connected), though, I think certain patterns emerged to make writing faster and neater:
1) If you imagine every letter inside of a "box," the first stroke of every letter begins in the bottom-right corner. No exceptions.
2) Try to make the strokes in a right-to-left direction (i.e., the direction you read in), and try to end the letter with a horizontal stroke that sits on the line and ends in the bottom-left corner of the "box." There are exceptions to this rule: the letters that don't end in that way are alaph, dalath, he, waw, zayn, cadhe, resh,
. In the Estrangela
version of the alphabet, none of those letters that break the rule have a horizontal line that ends at the bottom-left.
3) The point where the letter ends at the bottom-left of the box is the exact point where the next letter begins: the bottom-right corner of its own box. IMO, this is very important for making your connecting lines "flow," otherwise they'll look choppy and you'll easily see the breaks between the letters. The letters that are exceptions to rule 2 above (i.e., don't end in the bottom-left corner) don't
join to the next letter, which makes sense because they don't end in a horizontal line that leads into the next letter's bottom-right corner. Instead, you'd write the letter that comes after it as if you were starting the letter at the beginning of a word.
There are a lot
of people who don't know how to join the letters correctly, and I think it stems from not knowing how to write the letters.
Nothing against the owner of learnassyrian.com, but it's far from the best site to learn how to write. There used to be an excellent site called http://www.assyrianlanguage.com
that taught in-depth grammar of the classical language (lishana `ateeqa
), but it hasn't been working in a few years. Fortunately, you can see the archived site at http://web.archive.org/web/20070611235024/www.assyrianlanguage.com/.
The archives are buggy and slow and the pictures/audio files don't all work, but it's a lot better than nothing. In Level One of that site, it has most of the letters written according to my rules above (except for gamal, Teth,
, which are a little backward).
You can also try this thread: http://www.assyrianvoice.net/forum/index.php?topic=25453.msg563144#msg563144.