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.
Download an alphabet chart for Zaghawa (Excel)
Information about the Zaghawa language
Zaghawa Beria Font
Beria - English dictionary
Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Ateso, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lango, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Mandari, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Turkana, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma
A-chik Tokbirim, Adinkra, ADLaM, Armenian, Avestan, Avoiuli, Bassa (Vah), Beitha Kukju, Borama / Gadabuursi, Carian, Carpathian Basin Rovas, Chinuk pipa, Chisoi, Coorgi-Cox, Coptic, Cyrillic, Dalecarlian runes, Elbasan, Etruscan, Faliscan, 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, Pau Cin Hau, Phrygian, Pollard script, Runic, Székely-Hungarian Rovás (Hungarian Runes), Somali (Osmanya), South Picene, Sutton SignWriting, Sunuwar, Tai Viet, Tangsa, Todhri, Toto, Umbrian, (Old) Uyghur, Wancho, Yezidi, Zaghawa, Zoulai
Page last modified: 15.03.23
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