Azerbaijani alphabet

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The Azerbaijani alphabet of the Republic of Azerbaijan is a Latin alphabet used for writing the Azerbaijani language. This superseded previous versions based on Cyrillic and Arabic scripts.

In Iran, the Perso-Arabic script is used to write the Azeri language. While there have been a few standardization efforts, the orthography and the set of letters used differs widely among Iranian Azeri writers, with at least two major branches, the orthography used by Behzad Behzadi and the Azari magazine, and the orthography used by the Varliq magazine (both are quarterlies published in Tehran).

In Russia, the Cyrillic alphabet is still used.[1]

History and development[edit]

From the nineteenth century there were efforts by some intellectuals like Mirza Fatali Akhundov and Mammad agha Shahtakhtinski to replace the Arabic script and create a Latin alphabet for Azeri. In 1929, a Latin alphabet was created by Soviet Union sponsored Yeni türk əlifba komitəsi (New Turkish Alphabet Committee; Јени түрк əлифба комитəси) in Baku which hoped that the new alphabet would divide the Azerbaijanis in the USSR from those living in Iran.[2] An additional reason for the soviet regime's encouragement of a non-Arabic script was that they hoped the transition would work towards secularizing Azerbaijan's Muslim culture and since language script reform, proposed as early as the 19th century by Azeri intellectuals (e.g. Mirza Fatali Akhundov), had previously been rejected by the Azeri religious establishment on the grounds that Arabic script, the language of the Koran, was "holy and should not be tampered with"[3] there was some historical basis for the reform which received overwhelming support at the First Turcological Congress in Baku during 1926 where the reform was voted for 101 to 7. The Azeri poet Samad Vurgun declared "Azerbaijani people are proud of being the first among Oriental nations that buried the Arabic alphabet and adopted the Latin alphabet. This event is written in golden letters of our history"[4] As a result, in the Soviet Union in 1926 the Uniform Turkic Alphabet was introduced to replace the varieties of the Arabic script in use at the time.[5] In 1939, during the Red terror campaign, Joseph Stalin ordered that the Azeri script used in the USSR again be changed, this time to the Cyrillic script in order to sever the soviet Azerbaijanis ties with the people in the Republic of Turkey.[6]

At the same time that the leaders of the Soviet Union were attempting to isolate the Soviet population of Azeri speakers from the neighboring populations in Persia and Turkey, the Persian government of the Azeri speaking Qajar dynasty was overthrown by Reza Shah (1925–41) who quickly established the Pahlavi dynasty and banned the publication of texts in Azeri.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Azerbaijan gained its independence, one of the first laws passed in the new Parliament was the adoption of a new Latin alphabet.

  • From 1929 until 1939 (old alphabet defined using the Latin script):
    Aa, Bʙ, Cc, Çç, Dd, Ee, Əə, Ff, Gg, Ƣƣ, Hh, Ii, Ьь, Jj, Kk, Qq, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Ɵɵ, Pp, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Vv, Xx, Yy, Zz, Ƶƶ
  • From 1939 until 1958 (first version of the alphabet defined using the Cyrillic script):
    Аа, Бб, Вв, Гг, Ғғ, Дд, Ее, Әә, Жж, Зз, Ии, Йй, Кк, Ҝҝ, Лл, Мм, Нн, Оо, Өө, Пп, Рр, Сс, Тт, Уу, Үү, Фф, Хх, Һһ, Цц, Чч, Ҹҹ, Шш, Ыы, Ээ, Юю, Яя, ʼ (apostrophe)
  • From 1958 until 1991 (simplified version of the alphabet defined using the Cyrillic script and the letter Јј borrowed from Latin):
    Аа, Бб, Вв, Гг, Ғғ, Дд, Ее, Әә, Жж, Зз, Ии, Ыы, Јј, Кк, Ҝҝ, Лл, Мм, Нн, Оо, Өө, Пп, Рр, Сс, Тт, Уу, Үү, Фф, Хх, Һһ, Чч, Ҹҹ, Шш, ʼ (apostrophe)
  • From 1991 until 1992 (first version of the modern alphabet defined using the Latin script):
    Aa, Ää, Bb, Cc, Çç, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Ğğ, Hh, Xx, Iı, İi, Jj, Kk, Qq, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Öö, Pp, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Üü, Vv, Yy, Zz
  • Since 1992 (current version of the modern alphabet defined using the Latin script, replacing Ää with the historic Əə for better sorting):
    Aa, Bb, Cc, Çç, Dd, Ee, Əə, Ff, Gg, Ğğ, Hh, Xx, Iı, İi, Jj, Kk, Qq, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Öö, Pp, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Üü, Vv, Yy, Zz

The Azerbaijani alphabet is the same as the Turkish alphabet, except for Әə, Xx, and Qq, the letters for sounds which do not exist as separate phonemes in Turkish. When compared to the historic Latin alphabet: Ğğ has replaced the historic Ƣƣ (which was represented in Cyrillic by the stroked Ғғ); the undotted (also used in Turkish) has replaced the historic soft sign; the dotted İi (also used in Turkish) has replaced the historic soft-dotted Ii; Jj has replaced the historic Ƶƶ; Öö has replaced the historic Ɵɵ; Üü has replaced the historic Yy; and Yy has replaced the historic Jj.

Schwa (Ә)[edit]

When the new Latin script was introduced on December 25, 1991, A-umlaut was selected to represent the sound /æ/. However, on May 16, 1992, it was replaced by the historic schwa (Ə ə). Although use of Ä ä (also used in Tatar, Turkmen, and Gagauz) seems to be a simpler alternative as the schwa is absent in most character sets, particularly Turkish encoding, it was reintroduced; the schwa had existed continuously from 1929 to 1991 to represent Azeri's most common vowel, in both post-Arabic alphabets (Latin and Cyrillic) of Azerbaijan.

Comparison[edit]

This section contains the national anthem of Azerbaijan, in the current Latin, Cyrillic, Jaꞑalif, and Perso-Arabic alphabets.

1991– 1958–1991 (used in Dagestan) 1933–1939 –1922 (used in South Azerbaijan)
Azərbaycan! Azərbaycan!
Ey qəhrəman övladın şanlı Vətəni!
Səndən ötrü can verməyə cümlə hazırız!
Səndən ötrü qan tökməyə cümlə qadiriz!
Üçrəngli bayrağınla məsud yaşa!
Üçrəngli bayrağınla məsud yaşa!
Minlərlə can qurban oldu,
Sinən hərbə meydan oldu!
Hüququndan keçən əsgər,
Hərə bir qəhrəman oldu!
Sən olasan gülüstan,
Sənə hər an can qurban!
Sənə min bir məhəbbət
Sinəmdə tutmuş məkan!
Namusunu hifz etməyə,
Bayrağını yüksəltməyə
Namusunu hifz etməyə,
Cümlə gənclər müştaqdır!
Şanlı Vətən! Şanlı Vətən!
Azərbaycan! Azərbaycan!
Azərbaycan! Azərbaycan!
Азәрбајҹан! Азәрбајҹан!
Еј гәһрәман өвладын шанлы Вәтәни!
Сәндән өтрү ҹан вермәјә ҹүмлә һазырыз!
Сәндән өтрү ган төкмәјә ҹүмлә гадириз!
Үчрәнҝли бајрағынла мәсуд јаша!
Үчрәнҝли бајрағынла мәсуд јаша!
Минләрлә ҹан гурбан олду,
Синән һәрбә мејдан олду!
Һүгугундан кечән әсҝәр,
Һәрә бир гәһрәман олду!
Сән оласан ҝүлүстан,
Сәнә һәр ан ҹан гурбан!
Сәнә мин бир мәһәббәт
Синәмдә тутмуш мәкан!
Намусуну һифз етмәјә,
Бајрағыны јүксәлтмәјә
Намусуну һифз етмәјә,
Ҹүмлә ҝәнҹләр мүштагдыр!
Шанлы Вәтән! Шанлы Вәтән!
Азәрбајҹан! Азәрбајҹан!
Азәрбајҹан! Азәрбајҹан!
Azərʙajçan! Azərʙajçan!
Ej qəhrəman ɵvladьn şanlь Vətəni!
Səndən ɵtry çan verməjə çymlə hazьrьz!
Səndən ɵtry qan tɵkməjə çymlə qadiriz!
Ycrəngli ʙajraƣьnla məsud jaşa!
Ycrəngli ʙajraƣьnla məsud jaşa!
Minlərlə çan qurʙan oldu,
Sinən hərʙə mejdan oldu!
Hyququndan kecən əsgər,
Hərə ʙir qəhrəman oldu!
Sən olasan gylystan,
Sənə hər an çan qurʙan!
Sənə min ʙir məhəʙʙət
Sinəmdə tutmuş məkan!
Namusunu hifz etməjə,
Bajraƣьnь jyksəltməjə
Namusunu hifz etməjə,
Çymlə gənçlər myştaqdьr!
Şanlь Vətən! Şanlь Vətən!
Azərʙajçan! Azərʙajçan!
Azərʙajçan! Azərʙajçan!
!آذربایجان! آذربایجان
ای قهرمان اولادین شانلی وطنی
سندن اوترو جان ورمه‌یه جومله حاضریز
سندن اوتروقان توکمه‌یه جومله قادیریز
!اوچ رنگلی بایراقین‌لا مسعود یاشا
!اوچ رنگلی بایراقین‌لا مسعود یاشا
مینلرله جان قوربان اولدو
!سینن حربه میدان اولدو
حقوقوندان کچن عسکر
!هره بیر قهرمان اولدو
!سن اولاسان گولوستان
!سنه هرآن جان قوربان
سنه مین بیر محبت
!سینه‌مده توتموش مکان
ناموسونو حیفظ اتمه‌یه
بایراقینی یوکسلتمه‌یه
ناموسونو حیفظ اتمه‌یه
جومله گنجلر موشتاقدیر
!شانلی وطن! شانلی وطن
!آذربایجان! آذربایجان
!آذربایجان! آذربایجان

Transliteration[edit]

The Arabic, Latin, and Cyrillic alphabets each have a different sequence of letters. The table below is ordered according to the latest Latin alphabet:

Azerbaijani alphabet transliteration table
Arabic Cyrillic Latin IPA
–1922 1939–1958 1958–1991 1922–1933 1933–1939 1991–1992 1992–
ا А а A a [ɑ]
ب Б б B b B ʙ B b [b]
ج Ҹ ҹ C c Ç ç C c [dʒ]
چ Ч ч Ç ç C c Ç ç [tʃ]
د Д д D d [d]
ێ Е е E e [e]
ع Ә ә Ə ə Ä ä Ə ə [æ]
ف Ф ф F f [f]
گ Ҝ ҝ Ƣ ƣ G g [ɟ]
غ Ғ ғ G g Ƣ ƣ Ğ ğ [ɣ]
ح,‎ ه Һ һ H h [h]
خ Х х X x [x]
ی Ы ы I̡ ı̡ Ь ь I ı [ɯ]
ی И и I i İ i [ɪ]
ژ Ж ж Ƶ ƶ J j [ʒ]
ک К к Q q K k [c], [ç], [k]
ق Г г K k Q q [ɡ]
ل Л л L l [l]
م М м M m [m]
ن Н н N n [n]
ۆ О о O o [ɔ]
و Ө ө Ɵ ɵ Ö ö [œ]
پ П п P p [p]
ر Р р R r [r]
ث,‎ س,‎ ص С с S s [s]
ش Ш ш З з Ş ş [ʃ]
ت,‎ ط Т т T t [t]
و У у Y y U u [u]
و Ү ү U u Y y Ü ü [y]
ڤ,‎ ۋ В в V v [v]
ی Й й Ј ј J j Y y [j]
یَ Я я ЈА jа ЈА ја YA ya [jɑ]
یێ Е е1 ЈЕ је ЈE јe YE ye [je]
یع Э э1 Е е E e [e]
یۆ Йо йо ЈО јо ЈO јo YO yo [jɔ]
یُ Ю ю ЈУ ју JY jy ЈU јu YU yu [ju]
ذ,‎ ز,‎ ض,‎ ظ З з Z z [z]

1 – in the beginning of a word and after vowels

The Azeri Perso-Arabic alphabet also contains the letter ڭ. Originally ڭ stood for the sound [ŋ], which then merged with [n]. Initial versions of the Azeri Latin alphabet contained the letter Ꞑꞑ, which was dropped in 1938.

The letter Цц, intended for the sound [ts] in loanwords, was used in Azerbaijani Cyrillic until 1951. In Azerbaijani, the sound [ts] generally becomes [s].

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://derbend.etnosmi.ru/vip_files/51bebadda448c.pdf
  2. ^ Script change in Azerbaijan: acts of identity, Lynley Hatcher, International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2008, Issue 192, Pages 105–116, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2008.038, July 2008, page 106, http://www.degruyter.com/dg/viewarticle.fullcontentlink:pdfeventlink/$002fj$002fijsl.2008.2008.issue-192$002fijsl.2008.038$002fijsl.2008.038.pdf?t:ac=j$002fijsl.2008.2008.issue-192$002fijsl.2008.038$002fijsl.2008.038.xml
  3. ^ Alakbarov, Farid (2000). Mirza Fatali Akhundov: alphabet reformer before his time. Azer-baijan International, 8(1), 53
  4. ^ Wright, Sue (2004), Language Policy and Language Planning, Basingstokes: Palgrave MacMillan.
  5. ^ Clement, Victoria (2005). The politics of script reform in Soviet Turkmenistan: alphabet and national identity formation. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Ohio State University, cited in "Script change in Azerbaijan: acts of identity", Lynley Hatcher, International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2008, Issue 192, Pages 105–116, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2008.038, July 2008, page 106, http://www.degruyter.com/dg/viewarticle.fullcontentlink:pdfeventlink/$002fj$002fijsl.2008.2008.issue-192$002fijsl.2008.038$002fijsl.2008.038.pdf?t:ac=j$002fijsl.2008.2008.issue-192$002fijsl.2008.038$002fijsl.2008.038.xml
  6. ^ Script change in Azerbaijan: acts of identity, Lynley Hatcher, International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2008, Issue 192, Pages 105–116, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2008.038, July 2008, page 106, http://www.degruyter.com/dg/viewarticle.fullcontentlink:pdfeventlink/$002fj$002fijsl.2008.2008.issue-192$002fijsl.2008.038$002fijsl.2008.038.pdf?t:ac=j$002fijsl.2008.2008.issue-192$002fijsl.2008.038$002fijsl.2008.038.xml

External links[edit]