Leke script

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LanguagesEastern Pwo
ISO 15924Leke, 364

The Leke script, previously known as Karen Chicken Scratch script, is an abugida used to write the Pwo Karen language and Sgaw language in Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. It has 25 consonants, 17 vowels and 3 tones. The script also has a unique set of numerals and punctuation, such as a full stop (period) and a comma.

In the traditional reading style most of the words the pronunciation came first then spelling came later. For example: (pronoun first School the “s.c.h.o.o.l” then repeat the same pronoun school again). In the modern Leke script, consonants come first, then the vowels follow. In writing system consonant always came first then following by vowels and tones. But just only two vowels have to apply first then consonant have to write down latter (just only for if you writing with hand). In the case of Leke script consonants are written horizontally from left to right, with vowels arranged below, above, to the left or to the right or combination of two vowels positions below of the consonants.


According to traditional Karen history, the Leke script was known as the Karen Chicken Scratch script. Why the earlier older Karen people was named this script as Chicken Scratch is because the story was told from generation to generation. It's said the first human lived in this planet is God's Ariya and his Seven sons in this world.


The Leke script was developed between 1830 and 1860 and is used by members of the millenarian Leke sect of Buddhism. It is believed to have borrowed from ancient Mon, based on the shapes and functions of older versions of the Burmese script.[1] The script is also used by other Buddhists, Christians, and members of the unique Ariya religion. According to the chief Leke priest, there are over 3,200 trained teachers of the alphabet.

Other scripts are also used by the Leke, including varieties of the Mon and Burmese alphabets, and refugees in Thailand have created a Thai alphabet, which is in limited use.[2]


  1. ^ "N4438: Revised proposal to add the Leke Script in the SMP of the UCS" (PDF). Working Group Document, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 and UTC. 2013-04-26.
  2. ^ http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docskaren/Karen%20Heritage%20Web/pdf/Lehkai.pdf