Saraiki alphabet

There are three writing systems for Saraiki, but very few of the language's speakers, even those who are literate in other languages, are able to read or write Saraiki in any writing system.[citation needed]

Multani script[edit]

Multani is a Brahmic script originating in the Multan region of Punjab. The script was used for routine writing and commercial activities. Multani is one of four Landa scripts whose usage was extended beyond the mercantile domain and formalized for literary activity and printing; the others being Gurmukhi (Punjabi), Khojki (Marwari) and Khudawadi (Sindhi). Although Multani is now obsolete, it is a historical script in which written and printed records exist. Traders or bookkeepers wrote in a script known as Langdi, although use of this script has been significantly reduced in recent times. Preliminary Proposal to Encode the Multani Script in ISO/IEC 10646 is submitted by Anshuman Pandey, on 26-04-2011.[1] Saraiki Unicode has been approved in 2005.[2]

Arabic script[edit]

The most common Saraiki writing system today is the Perso-Arabic script. Saraiki has a 45-letter alphabet including 39 of the Urdu alphabet and six letters unique to Saraiki. The additional letters include:[3]

Letter Romanization IPA
⟨ٻ⟩ bb /ɓ/
⟨ڄ⟩ jj /ʄ/
⟨ڋ/ݙ⟩ dd /ɗ/
⟨ڰ/ڳ⟩ gg /ɠ/
⟨ݨ⟩ /ɳ/

The Devanagari and Gurmukhi scripts, written from left to right, were used by Sikhs and Hindus. Though not used in present-day Pakistan, there are still emigrant speakers in India who know the Devanagari or Gurmukhi scripts for Saraiki.[4]


  • (ئ ؤ and stand alone ء) hamza: indicates a glottal stop.
  • ḥarakāt (In Arabic: حركات also called تشكيل tashkīl):
    • (ــَـ) fatḥa (a)
    • (ــِـ) kasra (i)
    • (ــُـ) ḍamma (u)
    • (ــْـ) sukūn (no vowel)
  • (ــٰـ) superscript alif (also "short" or "dagger alif": A replacement for an original alif that is dropped in the writing out of some rare words, e.g. لاكن is not written out with the original alif found in the word pronunciation, instead it is written out as لٰكن.
  • (ــّـ) shadda: Gemination (doubling) of consonants.
  • (--ٖ--) Arabic subscript alef (U+0656), KhaRRi Zeer
  • (___ٗ__) Inverted Zamma , Ulti Pesh , Such as in : کٗرتا، مٗردا
  • (___٘__) Ghunna, over the noon
  • Tanween
ـٌ  ـٍ  ـً
    • (__ً_) ݙو زبر
    • (ٍ--) ݙو زیر
    • (____) ݙو پیش


Saraiki uses the Eastern Arabic numerals:

Hindu–Arabic 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Saraiki ٠ ١ ٢ ٣ ٤ ٥ ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩


Romanization is often termed "transliteration" but that is not strictly correct,[citation needed] as transliteration is the direct representation of letters by using foreign symbols, but most systems for romanizing Arabic are actually transcription systems that represent the sound of the language. For example, the above rendering munāẓaratu l-ḥurūfi l-ʻarabīyah of the Arabic: مناظرة الحروف العربية‎ is a transcription, indicating the pronunciation; an example of transliteration would be mnaẓrḧ alḥrwf alʻrbyḧ.

For Saraiki, all letters and symbols are used in Saraiki in Latin script.[5]


External links[edit]