The Osmanya alphabet was created in between 1920 and 1922 by Osman Yusuf Kenadid (Cusmaan Yuusuf Keenadiid / عثمان يوسف), brother of the Sultan of Obbia. In Somali it is known as farta cismaanya / 𐒍𐒖𐒇𐒂𐒖 𐒋𐒘𐒈𐒑𐒛𐒒𐒕𐒖 (Somali writing) or Far Soomaali / 𐒍𐒖𐒇 𐒘𐒝𐒈𐒑𐒛𐒘 (Somali writing). It replaced an attempt by Sheikh Uweys to devise an Arabic-based alphabet for Somali, and has in turn been replaced by the Latin orthography devised by Shire Jama Ahmed, a Somali linguist, in 1972.
The Osmanya alphabet is also known as the Somali alphabet. It is not used much these days, although during the 1970s quite a number of people used it for personal correspondence and bookkeeping. A few books and magazines have also been published in the alphabet.
Aadanaha dhammaantiis wuxuu dhashaa isagoo xor ah kana siman xagga sharafta iyo xuquuqada Waxaa Alle (Ilaah) siiyay aqoon iyo wacyi, waana in qof la arkaa qofka kale ula dhaqmaa si walaaltinimo ah.
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 the Osmanya alphabet
Online Osmanya keyboard
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Page last modified: 27.06.23
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