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The handbook, Bosnian Book of the Science of Conduct published in 1831 by the Bosnian author and poet Seid Abdulvehab Ilhamija, is printed in Arebica.

Arebica or Arabica (عَرَبٖىڄا) was a Bosniak variant of the Perso-Arabic script used to write the Bosnian language (بۉسانسقٖى يەزٖىق).[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.

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.

Current status[edit]

First literary work published in Arebica after 64 years (since 1941) was a comic book "Hadži Šefko i hadži Mefko" in 2005 (authors Amir Al-Zubi and Meliha Čičak-Al-Zubi). The authors modified Arebica a bit.

The first book published in Arebica, with an ISBN, was "Epohe fonetske misli kod Arapa i arebica" ("The Age of Phonetic Thought of Arabs and Arebica")[2] in April 2013 in Belgrade by mr. Aldin ef. Mustafić. This book represents the completion of the standardization of Čaušević's version, and is also a textbook for higher education.


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.

Latin Cyrillic Arebica
Contextual forms Isolated
Final Medial Initial
A a А а ـآ آ
B b Б б ـب ـبـ بـ ب
C c Ц ц ـڄ ـڄـ ڄـ ڄ
Č č Ч ч ـچ ـچـ چـ چ
Ć ć Ћ ћ ـڃ ـڃـ ڃـ ڃ
D d Д д ـد د
Dž dž Џ џ ـج ـجـ جـ ج
Đ đ Ђ ђ ـݗ ـݗـ ݗـ ݗ
E e Е е ـە ە
F f Ф ф ـف ـفـ فـ ف
G g Г г ـغ ـغـ غـ غ
H h Х х ـح ـحـ حـ ح
I i И и ـاٖى
اٖىـ اٖى [a]
J j Ј ј ـي ـيـ يـ ي
K k К к ـق ـقـ قـ ق
L l Л л ـل ـلـ لـ ل
Lj lj Љ љ ـڵ ـڵـ ڵـ ڵ
M m М м ـم ـمـ مـ م
N n Н н ـن ـنـ نـ ن
Nj nj Њ њ ـݩ ـݩـ ݩـ ݩ
O o О о ـۉ ۉ
P p П п ـپ ـپـ پـ پ
R r Р р ـر ر
S s С с ـس ـسـ سـ س
Š š Ш ш ـش ـشـ شـ ش
T t Т т ـت ـتـ تـ ت
U u У у ـۆ ۆ
V v В в ـو و
Z z З з ـز ز
Ž ž Ж ж ـژ ژ


  • ^a The diacritic beneath the ا appears on the letter preceding the ى.


Like the standard Arabic alphabet, when ا connects to either ل or ڵ a special ligature is used instead.

Latin Cyrillic Arebica
Contextual forms Isolated
Final Medial Initial
la ла ـلا لا
lja ља ـڵا ڵا

Text examples[edit]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1[edit]

Bosnian (Arebica): 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 (Latinica): 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.


Bosnian (Arebica): تَهْرَان يە غلاونٖى وٖ نايوەڃٖى غراد إِيرَانا، سەدٖىشتە تَهْرَانسقە پۉقرايٖىنە وٖ يەدان ۉد نايوەڃٖىح غرادۉوا سوەتا.
Bosnian (Latinica): Teheran je glavni i najveći grad Irana, sjedište Teheranske pokrajine i jedan od najvećih gradova svijeta.
English: Tehran is the capital and largest city of Iran, capital of Tehran Province and one of the largest cities in the world.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hindi (2005). Keith Brown, ed. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2 ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044299-4. 
  2. ^ Foreword to the "The Age of Phonetic Thought of Arabs and Arebica" by Aldin Mustafić
  • Enciklopedija leksikografskog zavoda, entry: Arabica. Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod, Zagreb, 1966