Xiao'erjing is a way to write Mandarin Chinese and Dungan with the Perso-Arabic script sometimes used by Muslims in China. It was also used by speakers of Dungan, a variety of Chinese spoken in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which is now written with the Cyrillic alphabet. In China it is used mainly by the Hui people, and also by the Dongxiang and Salar people, particularly in the northwest of China.
Xiao'erjing (小儿锦) is also known as Xiao'erjin, Xiaor jin or Xiaojing, and means "children's script" or "minor script".
The oldest known example of writing in Xiao'erjing dates from about 1339 and was found on a stele in Xi'an in Shaanxi province of China.
There are two versions of Xiao'erjing: the Mosque system is used in mosques by imans and students, contains words borrowed from Arabic and Persian, and does not use Chinese characters, and is relatively standarized. The Daily system is used in letters by other people, who may be less educated and write according to their own pronunciation. It has fewer words from Arabic and Persian, is less standardized and includes some Chinese characters.
The letters ك, ي, ض, غ, ز are used in loanwords from Arabic
Download an alphabet chart for Xiao'erjing (Excel)
Rénrén shēng ér zìyóu, zài zūnyán hé quánlì shàng yílǜ píngděng. Tāmen fùyǒu lǐxìng hé liángxīn, bìng yīng yǐ xiōngdi guānxì de jīngshén hùxiāng duìdài.
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)
Details provided by Muhammad Shakeel
Information about Xiao'erjing
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Page created 07.09.21. Last modified: 07.09.21
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