Uyghur Latin alphabet

The Uyghur Latin alphabet (Uyghur: ئۇيغۇر لاتىن يېزىقى , Uyghur Latin Yëziqi, ULY, Уйғур Латин Йезиқи) is an auxiliary alphabet for the Uyghur language based on the Latin script. Uyghur is primarily written in an Arabic alphabet and sometimes in a Cyrillic alphabet.


The ULY project was finalized at Xinjiang University, Ürümqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), People's Republic of China in July 2001, at the fifth conference of a series held there for that purpose that started in November 2000. In January 2008, the ULY project was amended and identified by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional Working Committee of Minorities' Language and Writing.[1]

The letters in the ULY are, in order:

Small Letteraebptjchxdrzzhsshghf qkgnglmnhouöüwëiy
IPAɑ, aɛ, æbptd͡ʒt͡ʃχ, xdr, ɾzʒsʃʁ, ɣf, ɸqkɡŋlmnh, ɦo, ɔu, ʊøy, ʏw, ve;  ɤi, ɪ;  ɨ, ɯj


The creators of ULY strongly emphasized that “the proposed alphabet should not replace [the Persian-Arab Uyghur alphabet] nor should its introduction represent a new reform of the writing system. It is to be used solely in computer-related fields as an ancillary writing system”.[2]

Public reception

ULY had a heavy public relations presence on both the Internet and official Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region media but despite official efforts to play down the sense of a massive reform, ULY has acquired that connotation and the public seems wary of it. The importance of having one-to-one correspondence between Latin and Arabic is noteworthy.

Comparison of orthographies

The different orthographies are compared in the following table.

Order Uyghur Arabic alphabet (UEY) Uyghur Latin alphabet (ULY) Uyghur Cyrillic alphabet (USY) Uyghur New Script (UYY) IPA
01ئاA aА аA a/ɑ/
02ئەE eӘ әƏ ə/ɛ/~/æ/
03بB bБ бB b/b/
04پP pП пP p/p/
05تT tТ тT t/t/
06جJ j[note 1]Җ җJ j/d͡ʒ/
07چCh chЧ чQ q/t͡ʃ/
08خX xХ хH h/χ/
09دD dД дD d/d/
10رR rР рR r/r/
11زZ zЗ зZ z/z/
12ژZh zh[note 2]Ж ж /ʒ/
13سS sС сS s/s/
14شSh shШ шX x/ʃ/
15غGh ghҒ ғƢ ƣ/ʁ/
16فF fФ фF f/f/
17قQ qҚ қ /q/
18كK kК кK k/k/
19گG gГ гG g/ɡ/
20ڭNg ngҢ ңNg ng/ŋ/
21لL lЛ лL l/l/
22مM mМ мM m/m/
23نN nН нN n/n/
24ھH hҺ һ /h/
25ئوO oО оO o/o/
26ئۇU uУ уU u/u/
27ئۆÖ öӨ өƟ ɵ/ø/
28ئۈÜ üҮ үÜ ü/y/
29ۋW wВ вW w/V v/w/~/v/
30ئېË ë[note 3]Е еE e/e/
31ئىI iИ иI i/i/~/ɪ/
32يY yЙ йY y/j/
  1. Before the 2008 revision, could be confounded with j used for /ʒ/, which is now only written zh.
  2. Before the 2008 revision, j could be used as well.
  3. Before the 2008 revision, É/é was used.

Text example

Below follows an example of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1) in Uyghur:

Example of writing in various Uyghur orthographies
Arabic alphabet (UEY):   ھەممە ئادەم تۇغۇلۇشىدىنلا ئەركىن، ئىززەت۔ھۆرمەت ۋە ھوقۇقتا باب۔باراۋەر بولۇپ تۇغۇلغان. ئۇلار ئەقىلگە ۋە ۋىجدانغا ئىگە ھەمدە بىر۔بىرىگە قېرىنداشلىق مۇناسىۋىتىگە خاس روھ بىلەن مۇئامىلە قىلىشى كېرەك.
Cyrillic alphabet (USY):   Һәммә адәм туғулушидинла әркин, иззәт-һөрмәт вә һоқуқта баббаравәр болуп туғулған. Улар әқилгә вә виҗданға игә һәмдә бир-биригә қериндашлиқ мунасивитигә хас роһ билән муамилә қилиши керәк.
Former Pinyin-based alphabet (UYY):   Ⱨəmmə adəm tuƣuluxidinla ərkin, izzət-ⱨɵrmət wə ⱨoⱪuⱪta babbarawər bolup tuƣulƣan. Ular əⱪilgə wə wijdanƣa igə ⱨəmdə bir-birigə ⱪerindaxliⱪ munasiwitigə has roⱨ bilən mu’amilə ⱪilixi kerək.
Newer Latin alphabet (ULY):   Hemme adem tughulushidinla erkin, izzet-hörmet we hoquqta babbarawer bolup tughulghan. Ular eqilge we wijdan'gha ige hemde bir-birige qërindashliq munasiwitige xas roh bilen muamile qilishi kërek.
Traditional Turkic:   Hemme adem tuğuluşidinla erkin, izzet-hörmet we hoquqta babbarawer bolup tuğulğan. Ular eqilge we wijdanğa ige hemde bir-birige qërindaşliq munasiwitige xas roh bilen muamile qilişi kërek.
English:   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.

See also


  1. "" (in Uyghur). Archived from the original on December 1, 2013.
  2. An Introduction to LSU, p. 5.
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