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Belarusian Arabic alphabet

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Title: Belarusian Arabic alphabet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Arabic script, Belarusian language, Lipka Tatars, Belarusian alphabet, Arebica
Collection: Arabic Alphabets, Belarusian Language, Lipka Tatars, Tatar Language
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Belarusian Arabic alphabet

The Belarusian Arabic alphabet was based on the Arabic script and was developed in the 16th century (possibly 15th). It consisted of twenty-eight graphemes, including several additions to represent Belarusian sounds not found in Arabic.

The Belarusian Arabic alphabet was used by the Lipka Tatars, who had been invited to settle in Belarusian territory. During the 14th–16th centuries they gradually stopped using their own language and started using the Old Belarusian language rendered in the Belarusian Arabic alphabet. Books of that literary tradition are known as Kitab (Belarusian: "Кітаб"), which is the Arabic word for book.

Some Polish texts were also written in the Arabic script, dated not earlier than 17th century.[1]


  • Additional graphemes 1
  • Equivalence chart 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4
  • See also 5

Additional graphemes

Belarusian Arabic alphabet-Zh
  • For the sounds /ʒ/ (ж), /tʃ/ (ч) and /p/ (п), which are absent from the Arabic language, the following Persian graphemes were used:
پ چ ژ
  • For denoting the soft /dz/ (дз) and /ts/ (ц) sounds, the following newly constructed graphemes were used:


These graphemes were used during the 16th-20th centuries to write Belarusian and Polish.[1]

  • The sounds /w/ (ў) and /v/ (в) were both represented by the same symbol:

Equivalence chart

Vowels are not listed as they were marked with diacritical marks, as in Arabic.

Cyrillic Latin Arabic
Б, б B, b ب
Ц, ц C, c
Ч, ч Č, č چ
Х, х CH, ch خ
Д, д D, d د
ДЖ, дж DŽ, dž ج
Ф, ф F, f ف
Ґ, ґ G, g غ
Г, г H, h ه
Й, й J, j ى
К, к K, k ق
Л, л Ł, ł ل
М, м M, m م
Н, н N, n ن
П, п P, p پ
Р, р R, r ر
С, с S, s ص
Ш, ш Š, š ش
Т, т T, t ط
Ў, ў Ŭ, ŭ و
В, в V, v و
З, з Z, z ض
Ж, ж Ž, ž ژ
ЦЬ, ць Ć, ć س
ДЗЬ, дзь DŹ, dź
ЛЬ, ль L, l ل
НЬ, нь Ń, ń ن
СЬ, сь Ś, ś ث
ЗЬ, зь Ź, ź ز
ТЬ, ть TJ, tj ت
КЬ, кь KJ, kj ك
' ع
Ь, ь -

Source: Беларускі арабскі альфабэт


  1. ^ a b Ilya Yevlampiev, Karl Pentzlin and Nurlan Joomagueldinov, N4072 Revised Proposal to encode Arabic characters used for Bashkir, Belarusian, Crimean Tatar, and Tatar languages, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, 20 May 2011. [2]
  • Д-р Я. Станкевіч. Беларускія мусульмане і беларуская літаратура арабскім пісьмом. [Адбітка з гадавіка Беларускага Навуковага Таварыства, кн. I.] – Вільня : Друкарня Я. Левіна, 1933 ; Менск : Беларускае коопэрацыйна-выдавецкае таварыства ″Адраджэньне″, 1991 [факсімільн.]. – 3-е выд.

External links

  • Kitabs, the unique highlight of the Belarusian language at

See also

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