Tuesday, October 15, 2013

36. Tifinagh



The Tifinagh alphabet is thought to have derived from the ancient Berber script. The name Tifinagh possibly means 'the Phoenician letters', or possibly from the phrase tifin negh, which means 'our invention'.
Since September 2003, the Tifinagh alphabet children in Moroccan primary schools have been taught to write Tamazight with the Tifinagh alphabet. It is also used by the Tuareg, particularly the women, for private notes, love letters and in decoration. For public purposes, the Arabic alphabet is normally used.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: alphabet.
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.

Used to write

Tamazight (Tamaziɣt / ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ), a family of Berber languages spoken by between 16 and 30 million people mainly in Morocco and Algeria, and also in Libya, Mali, Niger, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Egypt and Mauritania.

Neo-Tifinagh alphabet as used in Morocco

Neo-Tifinagh alphabet as used in Morocco

Sample text in Tamazight

Sample text in Tamazight in the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet


Imdanen, akken ma llan ttlalen d ilelliyen msawan di lḥweṛma d yizerfan-ghur sen tamsakwit d lâquel u yessefk ad-tili tegmatt gar asen.


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.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Sample text in Tamasheq (Tower of Babel)
books   Language courses for Tuareg and other African languages (en français)


L'école d'amazigh - online lessons in Amazigh and the Tifinagh alphabet
Lengua y Cultura Tamazight - course in Tamazight (in Spanish)
Free Tifinagh fonts
Tifinagh transliteration
Tawalt - a Libyan Berber site in the Tifinagh and Arabic scripts
Berber Language Page
Monde Berbere (Berber World) - information on the Berber people of Morocco in Berber, French and English: http://www.mondeberbere.com
Amazigh World - information about Berber language and culture (in Berber and French)
Kra isallen - Le magazine en ligne de l'association Tamazgha
TIFIN' ART - Calligraphies et peintures (Tifinagh calligraphy)


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