Turkmen alphabet

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The current official Turkmen alphabet as used in Turkmenistan is a Latin alphabet based on the Turkish alphabet, but with notable differences: J is used instead of the Turkish C; W is used instead of the Turkish V; Ž is used instead of the Turkish J; Y is used instead of the dotless i (I/ı); Ý is used instead of the Turkish consonantal Y; and the letters Ä and Ň have been added to represent the phonetic values [æ] and [ŋ], respectively. At the start of the 20th century, when Turkmen first started to be written, it used the Arabic script, but in 1928 the Latin script was adopted. In 1940, the Russian influence in Soviet Turkmenistan prompted a switch to a Cyrillic alphabet, and a Turkmen Cyrillic alphabet (shown below in the table alongside the Latin) was created. When Turkmenistan became independent in 1991, president Saparmurat Niyazov immediately instigated a return to the Latin script. When it was first reintroduced it was supposed to contain some rather unusual letters, such as the pound (£), dollar ($), yen (¥), and cent signs (¢), but these were later replaced by more orthodox letter symbols. The political and social forces that have combined to bring about these changes of script, then modifications of the Latin script, have been documented by Clement (2008).

Turkmen is still often written with an Arabic alphabet in other countries where the language is spoken and where the Arabic script is dominant (such as Iran and Afghanistan).

Alphabetic order

UTA Latin alphabet

Aa, Bʙ, Cc, Çç, Dd, Ee, Әә, Ff, Gg, Hh, Xx, Ii, Jj, Kk, Qq, Ll, Mm, Nn, N̡ᶇ, Oo, Өө, Pp, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Vv, Yy, Zz, Ƶƶ, Ьь

Cyrillic alphabet

Аа, Бб, Вв, Гг, Дд, Ее, Ёё, Жж, Җҗ, Зз, Ии, Йй, Кк, Лл, Мм, Нн, Ңң, Оо, Өө, Пп, Рр, Сс, Тт, Уу, Үү, Фф, Хх, (Цц), Чч, Шш, (Щщ), (Ъъ), Ыы, (Ьь), Ээ, Әә, Юю, Яя

Latin alphabet

Aa, Bb, Çç, Dd, Ee, Ää, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Žž, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ňň, Oo, Öö, Pp, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Üü, Ww, Yy, Ýý, Zz

Correspondence chart

English Approximation
A a А а ا [a, aː] Father
B b Б б ب [b] Ball
Ç ç Ч ч چ [t͡ʃ] Cheek
D d Д д د [d] Dean
E e Е е اِ– ه [je], [e] Yes, Egg
Ä ä Ә ә أ [æ, æː] Hat, Had
F f Ф ф ف [ɸ]
G g Г г غ - گ - ق [ɡ~ʁ] Get
H h Х х ح - خ - هـ [h~x] Hat, Loch
I i И и ای [i, iː] Mini
J j Җ җ ج [d͡ʒ] Joke
Ž ž Ж ж ژ [ʒ] Treasure
K k К к ق - ك [k~q] Look
L l Л л ل [l] Lake
M m М м م [m] Mole
N n Н н ن [n] Nest
Ň ň Ң ң نگ [ŋ] Sing
O o О о اوْ [o, oː] Horse
Ö ö Ө ө اؤ [ø, øː] Measure
P p П п پ [p] Loop
R r Р р ر [r] Rim
S s С с ث - س - ص [θ, s] Thick, Sick
Ş ş Ш ш ش [ʃ] Shimmer
T t Т т ت - ط [t] Austin
U u У у اوُ [u, uː] Fluent
Ü ü Ү ү اۆ [y, yː]
W w В в و [β]
Y y Ы ы ایٛ [ɯ, ɯː] Roses
Ý ý Й й ی [j] Yacht
Z z З з ز - ذ - ض - ظ [ð, z] There, Zoo

Letter names and pronunciation

Pronunciation of the Latin alphabet

Türkmen elipbiýi

Letter Name IPA Letter Name IPA
A, a a /a, aː/ N, n en /n/
B, b be /b/ Ň, ň /ŋ/
Ç, ç çe /tʃ/ O, o o /o, oː/
D, d de /d/ Ö, ö ö /ø, øː/
E, e e /e/ P, p pe /p/
Ä, ä ä /æ, æː/ R, r er /r/
F, f fe /ɸ/ S, s es /θ, s/
G, g ge /ɡ~ʁ/ Ş, ş şe /ʃ/
H, h he /h~x/ T, t te /t/
I, i i /i, iː/ U, u u /u, uː/
J, j je /dʒ/ Ü, ü ü /y, yː/
Ž, ž že /ʒ/ W, w we /β/
K, k ka /k~q/ Y, y y /ɯ, ɯː/
L, l el /l/ Ý, ý ýe /j/
M, m em /m/ Z, z ze /ð, z/


түркмен элипбийи


توركمن الیپبایی

Common in Iran and Afghanistan



Letter IPA Latin equivalent
آ /a, aː/ a
أ /æ, æː/ ä
اِ /e/ e
اوْ /o, oː/ o
اؤ /ø, øː/ ö
اوُ /u, uː/ u
اۆ /y, yː/ ü
ای /i, iː/ i
ایٛ /ɯ, ɯː/ y


Letter IPA Latin equivalent Letter IPA Latin equivalent
ب /b/ b ض /z/ z
پ /p/ p ط /t/ t
ت /t/ t ظ /z/ z
ث /s/ s ع /ʔ/
ج /dʒ/ j غ /ɡ~ʁ/ g
چ /t͡ʃ/ ç ف /f/ f
ح /h/ h ق /ɡ~ʁ/ g-k
خ /x/ h ك /k/ k
د /d/ d گ /g/ g
ذ /z/ z ل /l/ l
ر /r/ r م /m/ m
ز /z/ z ن /n/ n
ژ /ʒ/ ž نگ /ŋ/ ň
س /s/ s و /β/ w
ش /ʃ/ ş هـ /h/ h
ص /s/ s ی /j/ ý

See also


  • Clement, Victoria. 2008. Emblems of independence: script choice in post-Soviet Turkmenistan in the 1990s. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 192: 171-185

External links