Tuesday, October 15, 2013

74. Cham alphabet

 Cham alphabet


The Cham alphabet developed from India's early Brahmi script. The earliest known inscriptions in the Cham alphabet date from the first millennium AD.

Notable features

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

Used to write:

Cham, an Austronesian language spoken by about 230,000 people in Cambodia and Vietnam. There are two main varieties of Cham - Western Cham, spoken in Cambodia, and Eastern Cham, spoken in Vietnam. Speakers of the former tend to use the Arabic alphabet, while some speakers of the latter still use the Cham alphabet. During the French colonial period, both Cham communities had to use the Latin alphabet.

Eastern (Vietnamese) Cham

Vowel and vowel diacritics
Vietnamese Cham vowels and vowel diacritics
Vietnamese Cham consonants
Vietnamese Cham numerals

Western (Cambodian) Cham

Vowel and vowel diacritics
Cambodian Cham vowels and vowel diacritics
Cambodian Cham consonants
Cambodian Cham numerals
The Cham fonts used on this page were created by Jason Glavy

Sample text in Eastern Cham

Sample text in Cham


Dahlau di bih rai, Pô Lingik pajưng lingik thŏng boh tanưh. Pô Lingik pajưng boh tanưh thŏng ia, min ôh hu chôk, ôh hu patau, ô hu kayau, dok lin-tapin, sup-palup. Bloh bingŭk-yawa Pô Lingik nao ngŏk dalah ia. Pô Lingkk dôm lach: "Ita pajưng hadah-dai". Bloh hu hadah. Pô Lingik b̶ôh brŭk hadah năn siam. Pô nưh hadah tabiăk truh di sup, jưng hu tŭk hadah thŏng tŭk sup. Pô Lingik pangăn hadah năn hray tha.


In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The spirit of God was hovering over the water. Then God said, "Let there be light!" So there was light. God saw the light was good. So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light "day", and the darkness he named "night". There was evening, then morning, the first day.
(Genesis 1: 1-5)

Source: http://www.language-museum.com


Further details of the Cham alphabet (in Spanish)


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