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Arebica or Arabica (آرهباىڃآ) was a Bosniak variant of the Perso-Arabic script used to write the Bosnian language (بۉسآنسقاى).[1] It was used mainly between the 15th and 19th centuries and is frequently categorized as part of Aljamiado literature. Before World War I there were unsuccessful efforts by Bosnian Muslims to adopt Arebica as the third official alphabet for Bosnian alongside Latin and Cyrillic. The last book printed in the script was in 1941.

Apart from literature, Arabica was used in religious schools and administration, though in much less use than other scripts.


Arebica was based on the Perso-Arabic script of the Ottoman Empire, with added letters for /t͡s/, /ʎ/, and /ɲ/, which are not found in Arabic, Persian, or Turkish. Full letters were eventually introduced for all vowels (as with Kurdish Arabic script), making Arebica a true alphabet, unlike its Perso-Arabic base.


The final version of Arebica was devised by Mehmed Džemaludin Čaušević at the end of the 19th century. His version is called Matufovica, Matufovača, or Mektebica.

Arebica and Latin
Arebica Latin Cyrillic Arebica Latin Cyrillic Arebica Latin Cyrillic
آ A a А а غ G g Г г ۉ O o О о
ب B b Б б ح H h Х х پ P p П п
ڄ C c Ц ц اٖى I i И и ر R r Р р
چ Č č Ч ч ي J j Ј ј س S s С с
ڃ Ć ć Ћ ћ ق K k К к ش Š š Ш ш
د D d Д д ل L l Л л ت T t Т т
ج Dž dž Џ џ ڵ Lj lj Љ љ ۆ U u У у
ݗ Đ đ Ђ ђ م M m М м و V v В в
ە E e Е е ن N n Н н ز Z z З з
ف F f Ф ф ݩ Nj nj Њ њ ژ Ž ž Ж ж

Text example[edit]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

سوا ڵۆدسقا بٖىڃا راݗايۆ سە سلۉبۉدنا وٖ يەدناقا ۆ دۉستۉيانستوۆ وٖ پراوٖىما. ۉنا سۆ ۉبدارەنا رازۆمۉم وٖ سوۀشڃۆ وٖ ترەبا دا يەدنۉ پرەما درۆغۉمە پۉستۆپايۆ ۆ دۆحۆ براتستوا.

Bosnian Latin alphabet: Sva ljudska bića rađaju se slobodna i jednaka u dostojanstvu i pravima. Ona su obdarena razumom i sviješću i treba da jedno prema drugome postupaju u duhu bratstva.

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[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Hevaji Text examples: Hevaji, Kaimija, etc.
  • [1]


  • Enciklopedija leksikografskog zavoda, entry: Arabica. Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod, Zagreb, 1966