Balinese alphabet, language and pronunciation

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Balinese (Basa Bali) Balinese (Basa Bali)

Balinese is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 3.3 million people mainly in Bali in Indonesian, and also in nothern Nusa Penida, western Lombok and eastern Java. According to the Bali Cultural Agency a million or so people use Baliense in their every day lives, and in urban areas Balinese-speaking parents speak Indonesian to their children.

Balinese alphabet (Aksara Bali) Balinese alphabet (Aksara Bali)

The Balinese alphabet or Aksara Bali descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. The oldest known inscriptions in the Balinese alphabet date from the 11th century AD, but they are thought to be reproductions of texts originally written on palm leaves at an earlier date.

The Balinese alphabet is still used to this day, although very few people are familiar with it and it is mainly used for religious works. Generally a version of the Latin alphabet is used instead, although what little Balinese printed material exists in the Latin alphabet consists mainly of school books, religious works and a few books of stories. Balinese children are taught to read and write Balinese in the Latin alphabet at primary school, though few read or write it in later life.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet / abugida.
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
  • Each consonant has an inherent vowel. Other vowels can be indicated using diacritics which appear above, below, in front of or after the consonant. If the vowels appear in the middle of a word, the vowel signs are attached to the syllable ha. Independent vowel letters are used when a word begins with a vowel.
  • Each consonant has an appended form (Pangangge Akśara) which is used when one consonant follows another without a vowel in between.
  • There are no spaces between words.

Balinese consonants (Akśara Wreşāstra)

Balinese consonants

The appended forms (Pangangge Akśara) are shown in red.

Additional Balinese consonants (Akśara Şwalalita)

There consonants are used for writing words from the Kawi (Old Javanese) language.

Balinese Kawi consonants

The final consonants are shown in red.

Balinese vowels (Akśara Suara)

Balinese independent vowels

Balinese vowel diacrtics

Balinese vowel diacrtics

Balinese semi vowels

Balinese semi vowels

Balinese sound killers (Pangangge Tengenan)

These symbols are used at the ends of syllables to add a consonant sound or to mute the inherent vowel.

Balinese sound killers (Pangangge Tengenan)

Balinese numerals

Balinse numerals

Miscellaneous Balinese symbols

Miscellaneous Balinese symbols

Balinese punctuation

Balinese punctuation

The Balinese font used on this page was created by Jason Glavy

Balinese sample text (Balinese alphabet)

Article 1 of the UDHR in the Balinese alphabet

Transliteration

Makasami manusane kaembasin mahardika lan pateh. sajeroning kahanan lan kuasa. ipun kanugrahin wiweka lan budi. pantaraning manusa mangdane paras-paros masemetonan.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Translation by Tri Ediwan

Another version of this text

Sami manusane sane nyruwadi wantah merdeka tur maduwe kautamaan lan hak-hak sane pateh. Sami kalugrain papineh lan idep tur mangdane pada masawitra melarapan semangat pakulawargaan.

Listen to a recording of this text by Ali Aulia Ghozali

Translation

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)

Information about Balinese | Tower of Babel in Balinese | Balinese books

Links

Information about the Balinese language and alphabet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balinese_language
http://www.balitouring.com/bali_articles/balinesean.htm
http://www.coralreeffish.com/balinese.htm
http://www.babadbali.com/aksarabali/alphabet-c.htm
http://www.babadbali.com/aksarabali/utama.htm

Balinese lessons (in Japanese)
http://web.archive.org/web/20080404024205/http://www.aa.tufs.ac.jp/~asako/textbook/index2.htm
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~bw5y-nsmr/basabali/preview.html

Balinese phrases
http://wikitravel.org/en/Balinese_phrasebook
http://30daysofadventure.com/balinese-words-tourist-travelers-learn/

Balinese dictionaries
http://kamus.baliwae.com
http://www.ling.hawaii.edu/ldtc/languages/bali/texfile-1.html

Free Balinese fonts
http://www.babadbali.com/aksarabali/balisimbar.htm

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Acehnese, Ajië, Aklan, Anutan, Balinese, Batak, Bikol, Bugis, Buhid, Bushi, Cebuano, Cham, Chamorro, Chuukese, Cia-Cia, Cuyonon, Dawan, Drehu, Fijian, Filipino, Futunan, Hanuno'o, Hawaiian, Hiligaynon, Iban, Iloko, Indonesian, Javanese, Kadazandusun, Kapampangan, Kiribati, Madurese, Makasarese, Malagasy, Malay, Mandar, Maori, Maranao, Marshallese, Minangkabau, Moriori, Nauruan, Ndrumbea, Nias, Paamese, Paicî, Palauan, Pangasinan, Pohnpeian, Raga, Rapa Nui, Rarotongan, Rejang, Rotuman, Sakao, Samoan, Central Sinama, Sundanese, Tagabawà, Tagalog, Tagbanwa, Tahitian, Tausūg, Tetum, Tokelauan, Tongan, Toraja-Sa'dan, Tuvaluan, Waray-Waray, Xârâcùù, Yapese,

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas

Ahom, Badaga, Balinese, Batak, Baybayin (Tagalog), Bengali, Brahmi, Buhid, Burmese, Chakma, Cham, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dives Akuru, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gondi, Grantha, Gujarati, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Hanuno'o, Javanese, Jenticha, Kaithi, Kannada, Kharosthi, Khmer, Khojki, Kulitan, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Malayalam, Manpuri, Modi, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Mro, New Tai Lue, Oriya, Pahawh Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Ranjana, Redjang, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sindhi, Sinhala, Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigalari (Tulu), Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Varang Kshiti


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