The Fraser alphabet or Old Lisu Alphabet was invented in about
1915 by Sara Ba Thaw, a Karen preacher from Myanmar, and improved
by the missionary James O. Fraser, a missionary who lived and worked
with the Lisu people in China from 1910 to 1949. During his time in China,
Fraser learnt to speak Chinese and Lisu and produced a Lisu translation
of the New Testament using his alphabet. He also devised a system
of muscial notation for the Lisu to use.
In 1992 the Chinese government recognised the Fraser alphabet as
the official script for the Lisu language and has encouraged its
use since then.
- Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet / alphasyllabary
- Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
- The Fraser alphabet consists of uppercase Latin letters,
some of which are rotated or inverted.
- Tones are indicated with punctuation marks.
- Each consonant has an inherent a. Other vowels are written with separate letters
Used to write
Lisu (LI-SU) a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about
657,000 people in Burma, India, Thailand and in the Chinese provinces
of Yunnan and Sichuan.
Sample text in the Fraser alphabet
So when you pray, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, we
pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom
will come, and that the things you want will be done here on earth, the
same as in heaven. Give us the food we need for each day. Forgive the sins
we have done, the same as we have forgiven the people that did wrong to
us. Don't let us be tempted, but save us from the Evil One. Yes, if you
forgive other people for the things they do wrong, then your Father in
heaven will also forgive you for the things you do wrong.
Tower of Babel in Lisu in the Fraser alphabet
Information about the Fraser alphabet
Information about the Lisu language
Information about J. O. Fraser
Nepal Bhasa / Newari,
Mongolian Horizontal Square Script,
New Tai Lue,