Manchu (ᠮᠠᠨᠵᡠᡤᡳᠰᡠᠨ / manju gisun)Manchu alphabet

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.

Notable features

Used to write

Manchu (ᠮᠠᠨᠵᡠ
/ manju gisun), a Southern Tungusic language. 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 only Mandarin.

A version of the Manchu script is used to write Xibe, a Southern Tungusic language closely related to Manchu and spoken in Xinjiang in the north west of China by 30,000 people.

Manchu alphabet


Manchu Vowels



Manchu consonants



Manchu numerals and numbers


Manchu syllables

How to write and pronounce Manchu letters:

Sample text

Manchu text sample


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.


Videos in and about Manchu

Information about Manchu | Numbers


Information about Manchu满文

Some Manchu words and phrases and part of a story (with audio)

Manchu fonts

满文输入工具 (Manchu Script Creator)

Manchu in Unicode

Tungusic languages

Even, Evenki, Jurchen, Kili, Manchu, Nanai, Negidal, Oroch, Orok / Uilta, Oroqen, Udege Ulch, Xibe

Languages written with the Manchu alphabet

Daur, Manchu, Xibe


A-chik Tokbirim, Adinkra, ADLaM, Armenian, Avestan, Avoiuli, Bactrian, Bassa (Vah), Beitha Kukju, Beria (Zaghawa), Borama / Gadabuursi, Carian, Carpathian Basin Rovas, Chinuk pipa, Chisoi, Coorgi-Cox, Coptic, Cyrillic, Dalecarlian runes, Elbasan, Etruscan, Faliscan, Fox, Galik, Georgian (Asomtavruli), Georgian (Nuskhuri), Georgian (Mkhedruli), Glagolitic, Global Alphabet, Gothic, Greek, Irish (Uncial), Kaddare, Kayah Li, Khatt-i-Badí’, Khazarian Rovas, Koch, Korean, Latin, Lepontic, Luo Lakeside Script, Lycian, Lydian, Manchu, Mandaic, Mandombe, Marsiliana, Medefaidrin, Messapic, Mongolian, Mro, Mundari Bani, Naasioi Otomaung, N'Ko, North Picene, Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, Odùduwà, Ogham, Old Church Slavonic, Oirat Clear Script, Ol Chiki (Ol Cemet' / Santali), Old Italic, Old Nubian, Old Permic, Ol Onal, Orkhon, Osage, Oscan, Osmanya (Somali), Pau Cin Hau, Phrygian, Pollard script, Runic, Székely-Hungarian Rovás (Hungarian Runes), South Picene, Sutton SignWriting, Sunuwar, Tai Viet, Tangsa, Todhri, Toto, Umbrian, (Old) Uyghur, Wancho, Yezidi, Zoulai

Other writing systems

Page last modified: 27.11.23


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