The Manchu alphabet was commissioned in 1599 by the Manchu leader Nurhaci
(1559-1626), the founder of the Manchu state. The letters are based
on the Classical Mongolian
alphabet while the phonetics are based on Jurchen,
an earlier Manchu script. The alphabet was modified slightly in 1632.
In 1644 the Manchus conquered China and established the Ch'ing (Qing)
dynasty, which lasted until 1911. For the first 200 years or so of the
Ch'ing dynasty, Manchu was the main language of government in China
and served as a lingua franca. By the mid 19th century many of the Manchus
had adopted Chinese as their first language, however they continued
to produce Manchu version of Chinese documents until the end of the
dynasty and for sometime afterwards.
Type of writing system: alphabet
Direction of writing: left to right in vertical columns running from top to bottom.
Most letters have several different forms: initial, medial and final,
which are used at the beginning, middle and end of a word respectively.
The vowels also have isolated forms.
Some letters have different shapes depending on which vowel comes before
and/or after them.
Used to write
Manchu, a member of the Tungusic group of Altaic languages.
There are currently about 10 million Manchus living mainly in north-eastern China,
of whom about 100 speak Manchu and only 20 can read and write it. Most speak
A version of the Manchu script is used to write Xibe, a
Tungusic language closely related to Manchu and spoken in Xinjiang in
the north west of China by 30,000 people.
The second final form of e is used after k, g and h.
The first medial form of n is used before vowels; the second is used before consonants
The first medial form of ng is used before i, o, u and ū; the second is used before e and i
The first medial form of k is used before a, o and ū; the second is used before consonants
The first initial and medial forms of t are used before a, o and i;
the second initial and medial forms are used before e, u ū;
the third medial form is used before consonants
First initial and medial forms of d are used before a, o and i;
the second initial and medial forms are used before e, u and ū
The first initial and medial forms of f are used before a and e; the second initial and medial forms are used before i, o, u and ū
Following his advice, when the army was about to enter the town, he
abandoned the town and fled. Akim Bek volunteered to handle the
affairs, so he did the duty on behalf of the General. He had been to
the capital city to present himself before the Emperor. His estate in
the city and property in Kashgar, were used to provide the people
living in Shikago, left in the capital city, or inherited by his son.
He inherited the title of the Duke of Assisting the Nation, and was
bestowed the hereditary title of Akim Bek. His son inherited the
hereditary title of Akim Bek.