Kurdish alphabet

Kurdish alphabet

The Kurdish alphabet is a writing system for the Kurdish language. Three systems currently exist. The form used in Turkey was derived from the Latin alphabet by Jaladat Ali Badirkhan in 1932, and thus is also called the Bedirxan script or more properly Hawar. It is used by Kurds in Turkey and Syria.The Sorani alphabet is used by Kurds in Iraq and Iran, and recent alphabet called Yekgirtú, unified. This alphabet is starting to be used more as the Arabic script is much harder to learn.

Hawar Alphabet

The Kurmanji Kurdish dialect contains 31 letters:

A, B, C, Ç, D, E, Ê, F, G, H, I, Î, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, Ş, T, U, Û, V, W, X, Y, Z

There are seven vowels in this alphabet, four short and three long. The long vowels are represented using a circumflex. The short vowels are (E, I, U) and the long ones are (A, Ê, Î, O, Û). The Turkish state does not recognise the alphabet, and use of the letters "X", "W", "Q" which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet have led to persecution in 2000 and 2003 (see [http://www.ihf-hr.org/viewbinary/viewdocument.php?download=1&doc_id=6391] , p.8, and [http://www.rsf.org/rsf/uk/html/mo/cplp/cp/000300.html] ). Since September 2003, many Kurds have applied to the courts seeking to change their names to Kurdish ones written with the letters "Q", "W", and "X" but eventually failed.cite web | url = http://www.unhchr.ch/minorities/statements10/CLA3a.doc | title = Submission to the Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Working Group of Minorities; Tenth Session, Agenda Item 3 (a) | first = Saniye | last = Karakaş | coauthors = Diyarbakır Branch of the Contemporary Lawyers Association | publisher = United Nations Commission on Human Rights | year=2004 | month= March | accessdate = 2006-11-07 | format = MS Word|quote = Kurds have been officially allowed since September 2003 to take Kurdish names, but cannot use the letters "x,w or q", which are common in Kurdish but do not exist in Turkey's version of the Latin alphabet. [...] Those letters, however, are used in Turkey in the names of companies, TV and radio channels, and trademarks. For example Turkish Army has company under the name of AXA OYAK and there is SHOW TV television channel in Turkey.]

orani Alphabet

The Sorani Kurdish dialect is mainly written using a modified Arabic-based alphabet with 33 letters. Unlike the regular Arabic alphabet, which is an abjad, Sorani is an alphabet in which vowels are mandatory, making the script easy to read. This idea has stemmed from the Persian alphabet.

ى, ێ, ﮪ , ﻭﻭ, ﻭ , ﯙ , ﻥ , ﻡ , ﻝ, ڵ, ﮒ, ﮎ, ﻕ, ڤ, ﻑ, ﻍ, ﻉ, ﺵ, ﺱ, ﮊ, ﺯ, ڕ, ﺭ, ﺩ, ﺥ, ﺡ, ﭺ, ﺝ, ﺕ, ﭖ, ﺏ, ﺋ, ﺍ Kurds in Iraq and Iran mainly use this alphabet, though the Kurmanji alphabet is also in use.

Cyrillic Alphabet

A third system, used for the few (Kurmanji-speaking) Kurds in the former Soviet Union, uses a modified Cyrillic alphabet, consisting of 32 letters:

А, Б, В, Г, Г', Д, Е, Ә, Ә́, Ж, З, И, Й, К, К', Л, М, Н, О, Ö, П, П', Р, Р', С, Т, Т', У, Ф, Х, Һ, Һ', Ч, Ч', Ш, Щ, Ь, Э, Q, W

Armenian alphabet

From 1921 to 1929 the Armenian alphabet was used for Kurdish languages in the Soviet Armenia. [ru icon [http://www.krugosvet.ru/articles/81/1008155/1008155a1.htm Курдский язык ("Kurdish language")] , Кругосвет ("Krugosvet")]

Then it was replaced to Janalif-like Latin alphabet during Latinisation campaign.

Uniform Turkic Alphabet adaptation for Kurdish

In 1928 Kurdish language in all USSR, including Armenian SSR, was switched to Latin alphabet, containing some additional Cyrillic characters: a, b, c, ç, d, e, ә, f, g, г, h, i, ь, j, k, Unicode|ʀ, l, m, Unicode|ɴ, o, ө, w, p, n, q, ч, s, ш, ц, t, u, y, v, x, z, Unicode|ƶ. In 1929 it was reformed and was replaced by [ru-icon Культура и письменность Востока. 1928, №2.] :


External links

* [http://kurdishacademy.org/?q=node/145 A table of the various Kurdish alphabets]
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/kurdish.htm Kurdish language, alphabet and pronunciation]
* [http://www.kurditgroup.org/downloads.php?cid=2 Kurdish Unicode Fonts]

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