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The Uyghur Latin alphabet (Uyghur: ئۇيغۇر لاتىن يېزىقى, Uyghur Latin Yëziqi, ULY, Уйғур Латин Йезиқи) is an auxiliary alphabet for the Uyghur language based on the Latin script. Uyghur is primarily written in Uyghur Arabic alphabet and sometimes in Uyghur Cyrillic alphabet.


The ULY project was finalized at Xinjiang University, Ürümqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), People's Republic of China in July 2001, at the fifth conference of a series held there for that purpose that started in November 2000. In January 2008, the ULY project was amended and identified by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional Working Committee of Minorities' Language and Writing.[1]

The letters in the ULY are, in order:

Capital Letter A E B P T J CH X D R Z ZH S SH GH F Q K G NG L M N H O U Ö Ü W Ë I Y
Small Letter a e b p t j ch x d r z zh s sh gh f q k g ng l m n h o u ö ü w ë i y
IPA ɑ, a ɛ, æ b p t d͡ʒ t͡ʃ χ, x d r, ɾ z ʒ s ʃ ʁ, ɣ f, ɸ q k ɡ ŋ l m n h, ɦ o, ɔ u, ʊ ø y, ʏ w, v eɤ i, ɪɨ, ɯ j


The creators of ULY strongly emphasized that “the proposed alphabet should not replace [the Persian-Arab Uyghur alphabet] nor should its introduction represent a new reform of the writing system. It is to be used solely in computer-related fields as an ancillary writing system”.[2]

Public reception

ULY had a heavy public relations presence on both the Internet and official Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region media but despite official efforts to play down the sense of a massive reform, ULY has acquired that connotation and the public seems wary of it. The importance of having one-to-one correspondence between Latin and Arabic is noteworthy.

Comparison of orthographies

The different orthographies are compared in the following table.

Comparative alphabets: Arabic-Script Uyghur, Latin-Script Uyghur; Uyghur Ereb Yëziqi, Uyghur Latin Yëziqi sëlishturma ëlipbesi
Comparative alphabets: Arabic-Script Uyghur, Latin-Script Uyghur
01 ئا A a А а A a /ɑ/
02 ئە E e Ә ә Ə ə /ɛ/~/æ/
03 ب B b Б б B b /b/
04 پ P p П п P p /p/
05 ت T t Т т T t /t/
06 ج J j[note 1] Җ җ J j /d͡ʒ/
07 چ Ch ch Ч ч Q q /t͡ʃ/
08 خ X x Х х H h /χ/
09 د D d Д д D d /d/
10 ر R r Р р R r /r/
11 ز Z z З з Z z /z/
12 ژ Zh zh[note 2] Ж ж /ʒ/
13 س S s С с S s /s/
14 ش Sh sh Ш ш X x /ʃ/
15 غ Gh gh Ғ ғ Ƣ ƣ /ʁ/
16 ف F f Ф ф F f /f/
17 ق Q q Қ қ /q/
18 ك K k К к K k /k/
19 گ G g Г г G g /ɡ/
20 ڭ Ng ng Ң ң Ng ng /ŋ/
21 ل L l Л л L l /l/
22 م M m М м M m /m/
23 ن N n Н н N n /n/
24 ھ H h Һ һ /h/
25 ئو O o О о O o /o/
26 ئۇ U u У у U u /u/
27 ئۆ Ö ö Ө ө Ɵ ɵ /ø/
28 ئۈ Ü ü Ү ү Ü ü /y/
29 ۋ W w В в W w/V v /w/~/v/
30 ئې Ë ë[note 3] Е е E e /e/
31 ئى I i И и I i /i/~/ɪ/
32 ي Y y Й й Y y /j/
  1. ^ Before the 2008 revision, could be confounded with j used for /ʒ/, which is now only written zh.
  2. ^ Before the 2008 revision, j could be used as well.
  3. ^ Before the 2008 revision, É/é was used.

Text example

Below follows an example of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1) in Uyghur:

Example of writing in various Uyghur orthographies
Arabic alphabet (UEY):   ھەممە ئادەم تۇغۇلۇشىدىنلا ئەركىن، ئىززەت۔ھۆرمەت ۋە ھوقۇقتا باب۔باراۋەر بولۇپ تۇغۇلغان. ئۇلار ئەقىلگە ۋە ۋىجدانغا ئىگە ھەمدە بىر۔بىرىگە قېرىنداشلىق مۇناسىۋىتىگە خاس روھ بىلەن مۇئامىلە قىلىشى كېرەك.
Cyrillic alphabet (USY):   Һәммә адәм туғулушидинла әркин, иззәт-һөрмәт вә һоқуқта баббаравәр болуп туғулған. Улар әқилгә вә виҗданға игә һәмдә бир-биригә қериндашлиқ мунасивитигә хас роһ билән муамилә қилиши керәк.
Former Pinyin-based alphabet (UYY):   Ⱨəmmə adəm tuƣuluxidinla ərkin, izzət-ⱨɵrmət wə ⱨoⱪuⱪta babbarawər bolup tuƣulƣan. Ular əⱪilgə wə wijdanƣa igə ⱨəmdə bir-birigə ⱪerindaxliⱪ munasiwitigə has roⱨ bilən mu’amilə ⱪilixi kerək.
Newer Latin alphabet (ULY):   Hemme adem tughulushidinla erkin, izzet-hörmet we hoquqta babbarawer bolup tughulghan. Ular eqilge we wijdan'gha ige hemde bir-birige qërindashliq munasiwitige xas roh bilen muamile qilishi kërek.
English:   All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also


  1. ^ Shinjang Til-Yëziq Komitëti Tetqiqat Merkizi (2008). "Uyghur yëziqidiki herplerni Latin herpliri bilen ipadilesh layihisi" ئۇيغۇر يېزىقىدىكى ھەرپلەرنى لاتىن ھەرپلىرى بىلەن ئىپادىلەش لايىھىسى [A Blueprint for the Transliteration of Uyghur Script to Latin Script] (in Uyghur). Archived from the original on December 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Duval & Janbaz (2006), p. 5

Further reading