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Zaghawa (Beria / Beriaa) Beria Giray Erfe (Beria Branding Script)

Zaghawa is a member of the Eastern Saharan branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. It is spoken in eastern central Chad, and in Darfur in the northwest of Sudan. Estimates for the numbers of speakers of Zaghawa vary significantly in different sources: Wikipedia gives 75,000 to 350,000, Ethnologue gives 274,000 (in 2006), and the Zaghawa Community Association UK gives 500,000.

An alphabet for Zaghawa was developed in the 1950s by Adam Tajir, a school teacher. He based it on the brands used on camels and other livestock by the Zaghawa people. This alphabet was improved in 2000 by a vet called Siddick Adam Issa, who called the new version Beria Giray Erfe ('Beria Writing Marks' or 'Beria Branding Script'). A font was created by Seonil Yun, in cooperation with SIL International and the Mission Protestante Franco-Suisse au Tchad.

A way to write Zaghawa using the Arabic script is also being developed.

Zaghawa alphabet and pronunciation

Zaghawa alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Zaghawa (Excel)

Sample text in Zaghawa

Sample text in Zaghawa

Source: http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/render_download.php?format=file&media_id=ZaghawaBeria_pdfsample&filename=ZaghawaBeria_pdfsample.pdf

Sample videos in Zaghawa


Information about the Zaghawa language

Zaghawa Beria Font

Beria - English dictionary

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma


Other writing systems

If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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