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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What was the original script of Sindhi? Sindhi lacked an authentic script/alphabet. (Searched by Jokhio Shafique Ahmed.)


What was the original script of Sindhi? Sindhi lacked an authentic script/alphabet. It was either written in more than eight different scripts:

1-Thattai. Khudabadi Luhaniki Memonki Khojiki Devnagri GurmukhiHatkai (Hatvaniki).

Even 300 years after the Arab conquest, at the time of Mahmud Ghazni, Al-Biruni, historian, found three scripts current - Ardhanagari, Saindhu and Malwari, all variations of Devnagri.

When the British arrived, they found the Pandits writing Sindhi in Devnagri. Traders --- including Khojas and Memons -

- were using a variety of "Modi" or "Vanika" scripts, without any vowels. Hindu women were using Gurmukhi and government employees, some kind of Arabic script.

British scholars found the language Sanskritic and said that the Devnagri script would be right for it. In 1849 they produced an English-Sindhi dictionary in Devnagri. A year later they translated the Bible in Sindhi, again in the Devnagri script. Government servants, many of whom were Hindus, favoured the Arabic script, since they did not know Devnagri, and had to learn it anew.

A big debate started, with Capt. Burton favouring the Arabic script and Capt. Stack favouring Devnagri. Sir Bartle Frere, the Commissioner of Sindh, referred the matter to the Court of Directors of the British East India Company, which favoured Arabic on the ground that Muslim names could not be written in Devnagri.

Sir Richard Burton, an orientalist, with the help of local scholars Munshi Thanwardas and Mirza Sadiq Ali Beg evolved a 52-letter Sindhi alphabet. Since the Arabic script could not express many Sindhi sounds, a scheme of dots was worked out for the purpose. As a result, the Sindhi script today not only has all its own sounds, but also all the four Z's of Arabic.

The present script predominantly used in Sindh as well as in many states in India and elsewhere where migrant Sindhis have settled, is Arabic in Naskh styles having fifty two alphabets. However, in some circles in India, Devanagari is used for writing Sindhi. The Government of India recognizes both scripts.

Technical Characteristics Sindhi Alphabet

The graphic representation of each alphabet has more than one form depending on its position. In general each letter has four forms: beginning, middle, final and standalone.


The phonological system of Sindhi in most respects resembles that of other Indo-Aryan languages. Sindhi has 53 distinct sound-units: 39 consonants, 3 semivowels, 10 vowels, and a unit of nasalization.

Segmental phonemes

The Sindhi consonant system consists of 25 stops (including 4 palatal-affricates), 5 nasals, 6 fricatives and 3 liquids. Consonantal sounds show five-fold contrast in the place of articulation: labial, dental, retroflex, palatal and velar.

Sindhi has the fullest stop system of any of the Indo- Aryan languages. The stop series shows contrast between voicing and unvoicing, aspiration and pressure and suction.

A series of four implosive stops – (bbe, DDe, jje, gge : in sounding them breath is drawn in instead of being expelled as in be, De, je, ge) is a striking characteristic of Sindhi phonology.

In Sindhi vao, ye, he function similarly to consonants in initial and certain medial positions. But in final postion and also medially when preceeding or following a consonant, these occur as vocalic glides; thus forming dipthongs with preceding or following vowels; these are classified as semivowels.

Sindhi has a ten-vowel system, showing three-fold contrast in the tongue-position: front, central and back; and five-fold contrast in the tongue-height: high, lower-high, lower-mid and low. Every vowel has a nasalized counterpart in the language.


Syllable division in a word is predictable in Sindhi. Word stress is also predicted on the strength of the syllable structure. Sindhi is primarily an open-syllable language, i.e. syllables mostly end with a vowel or semivowel. Words in Sindhi mostly have vocalic ending and the occurrence of consonant cluster is also sporadic in the language. Close syllables are very infrequent in the language.

A syllable in Sindhi consists of at least one vowel or at most five sound units, in which one is a vowel and others are non-vocalic sounds (consonants or semivowels preceding or following the vowel). Open syllable with a single consonant (CV) are most frequent in the language.


In Sindhi, stress has only a limited use of demarcating words and putting emphasis on a particular word in an utterance. There are three main stresses: word stress, emphatic stress and drawled stress.

Writing Systems

Sindhi-Arabic Script

Click on the above image to see the complete script.

The Sindhi-Arabic script is adapted from the Persian system of writing, which itself is an adaptation of the Arabic system. Arabic characters are written from right to left. The script comprises of fifty-two characters and seven diacritic signs.

i. Twenty-nine characters of the Arabic script.

ii. Three modified characters adopted from the Persian script:

iii. Twenty modified characters to represent Sindhi sounds:

Retroflex sounds :

Rest: Voiceless Aspirates :

Voiced Aspirates :



Sindhi-Devanagri Script

Click on the above image to see the complete script.

The Sindhi-Devanagari script is adapted from the Sanskrit system of writing. Each character in the Devanagari system represents a syllable. It consists of either a vowel or a consonant followed by the vowel. Devanagari characters are written from left to right.

Character Set Considerations


The alphabet of Sindhi is a super set of Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages, and contains 52 basic characters. Additionally there are a few diacritic marks, numerals, and punctuations.

Special characters :

Letters(and), and (in) are also used in text.

Sindhi Numerals

Click on the above image to see all the numerals.

Sindhi numerals are similar to Urdu. Numerals are written left to right. The decimal separator in Urdu numerals is called "ASHARYA" (U+066B) and is similar to "HAMZA" in shape. A dot may also be used in place of "ASHARYA".


Considering the Arabic script, as mentioned earlier, that it being used for writing Sindhi, calligraphic shapes, multiple alternate shapes are possible for a single letter. The shape is determined by the position of the character in a word and/or character next to it.

Character Cell Size

The characters cell height is fixed and can be controlled. The script is a linear script and line height of text can be fixed.

Glyphs to be supported in Sindhi Fonts:

All the basic shapes plus alternate shapes required for a character have to be provided. A single character thus would have at least four or more glyphs for it. The diacritic marks along with special symbols used are provided. The numerals, and punctuations are also provided.

Source: Sindhi Design Guide, Technology Development for Indian Languages.


  1. Muhammad Aslam Bhutto, Azad Inqlabi, Fayax Dayo and 8 others like this.
    Nisar Ahmed Naz saeen shafique jokhiya tawaan wakaee penhinjay nalay jiyaan sindhi boli laiy Shafique aahiyo, sindhi boli laiy pan patoriyo paya duniya jay her sindhi khay sujhagi jo sad diyo paya. Allah saeen twaan khay sada aabaad rakhay Aamin
    November 20, 2010 at 8:26am · Unlike · 2 people
    Jokhio Shafique Ahmed بس هر پرين توهان جهڙن پرين وانگر پنهنجو ڪري يعني ڀاء سمجهي پنهنجي امڙ جي ٻولي لولي جيجل سنڌي ٻولي لاء توهان ۽ مون وانگر ڪم ڪري اها اميد مان سڀني سنڌين مان اميد آس وانگر ٿو رکان ، نه اسان جو وجود نه رهندو
    باقي منهنجي نظر نتيجي تي ناهي رهندي جئن فقير انقلابي عبيد الله سنڌيء کان ڪنهن پڇيو هو ته جواب اهو هيو جنهن جا ٻچا ٻير تي چاڙهيا ويا جهڳو جهڻ ڪيو ويو
    جيئي منهنجي امڙ سنڌي ۽ جيئن منهنجا ڀائر سنڌي توهان جهڙا املهه ماڻڪ موتي لعل لال چنبيلي ياسمين موتيا مگرا گل گلابي نيڻ نازن وارا سلامت هجو شال پنهنجي ڪهول آڪهه ٻچڙن نياڻين پٽڙن ۽ پنهنجي وني سهڻي سسي يعيني اسان جي ڀيڻ محترمه زوجهه ساڻ سڀني دوستن يارن پاڙي وارن شهرن وارن ۽ سنڌ وارن سان
    November 20, 2010 at 8:41am · Like · 2 people

  2. Abdullah Samo Saen Nisar Sahab, moon jadanh khan face book ty account kholyo ta janh laiq ihtiram insan moonkhy mutasir kayo uho muhtaram Saen Shafique Ahmed Jokhiyo sahab e ahin, hinan ji har tahreer har kawish men hik mukamal Sindhi nazar achy tho jeko asli sindhi ho,baa kirdar ghairatmand, nekokar,mehman nawaz, saam rakhan waro sahib e eeman, matlab ta unhan sabhni khoobiyun san bharyal jeko sindhyat jo uhjaan ahin, aen munhji dili tamana ahay ta kash har sindhi unhee raah ty haly jeka saen jokhiyo sahab ji ahay, sach tho chawan ta sindh jo ajpo aen chhtkaro siraf aen siraf un tarz e fikr ikhtiyar karan san milando jeka jokhiyo sahab jo ahy ya iyen chaoon ta asan jy buzrigan jo rahyo ahay.
    November 20, 2010 at 11:11am · Like · 2 people
    Jokhio Shafique Ahmed ۱
    تون سَمو سردار، آءٌ ميئي مھاڻي آھيان؛
    تنھنجيءَ شفقت مِھر جو، آھي ڪو نه شُمارُ؛
    گنديءَ گاندَر گھر کان، ڪيو ساري عالم عارُ؛
    مٿي تَنھن مَدارُ، تو ساريءَ ڪينجھر رکي.
    تون سَمو سائين، آءٌ ميئي مُھاڻِي آھيان؛
    مون لَڄ رھائين، جو پَلءِ لڳيس تانھنجي.
    آءٌ ميئي مُھاڻِي، تون سَمو ساري سَر جو؛
    قرب منھنجو ڪھڙو، ڄاڻيو ٿو ڄاڻِي؛
    کارِي سرِ کنيم ٿي، ڇِڇيءَ، کِکِيءَ ھاڻِي؛
    راجا تنھنجي راضَ سان، ٿيس راڻِنِ جي راڻِي؛
    تو سَما سِيباڻِي، نه ته ھيس بيھودي بڇڙي.
    November 20, 2010 at 5:00pm · Like · 2 people
    Dilshad Bhutto Senior important issue it need a detailed discussion Saeen jokhio sahib good efforts
    November 20, 2010 at 7:44pm · Unlike · 1 person

  3. Abdullah Samo munhji saen Jokhio Sahab khy hik nimani arzdasht ahay ta jekadanh hin khy sindhi men tarjumo karan farmaen ta jekar har hik qari samooro mazmoon tawajuh san parhi aen asani san samjhi saghando,
    November 20, 2010 at 8:09pm · Unlike · 1 person
    Rasheed Samo sir behtreen article aahe.... mathe Sindhi-Arabic Script me akhr ghe jo talafz ghaf likhyal aahe... cha ajj b asan ghaf parhanda aahyo...?
    November 20, 2010 at 8:23pm · Like
    Jokhio Shafique Ahmed اهو انڊين سائيٽ تان ورتل آهي هاڻ تصحيح ڪنهن اهڙي دوست وسيلي ڪرائيجي جيڪو انهن تائين رسي سگهي ؟
    November 20, 2010 at 8:29pm · Like
    Indus Asia Outside Sindh, there are approximately 50 lacs (5 millions) in India and approximately 4 million more in other parts of the world. They could understand each other after the gap of 64 years partition from main land Sindh but when it comes to written script it is different to each other. ...
    November 20, 2010 at 8:34pm · Unlike · 1 person
    Indus Asia ‎... in Sindh, Sindhis write in Persu-Arabic Sindhi script and in India Sindhis are familiar with Devenagiri (Hindi) script. And in other parts of the world Sindhis use Roman Sindhi. We need to discuss because time is running out and for unity we should put our work in order. ...
    November 20, 2010 at 8:39pm · Unlike · 1 person
    Indus Asia Japanese use 3 scripts for writing & they taught 3 scripts to their children in primary education. Konkani language in India is written in four scripts. Why not Sindhi in 3 scripts (1.Perseuo-Arabic script 2.Devenagri (Hindi) script 3.Roman Sindhi script. ...
    November 20, 2010 at 8:45pm · Unlike · 1 person

  4. Rasheed Samo اهڙي ٻولي جيڪا اڳ ئي زوال پذير هجي... ڇا ان جا وري به هڪ کان وڌيڪ سڪرپٽ هجڻ گهرجن... اسان جو عربي کان سان ملندڙ خوبصورت سڪرپٽ آهي جنهن کي مڪمل يونيڪوڊ سپورٽ پڻ آهي... هن سڪرپٽ تي بي انتها مواد پڻ پبلش ٿي چڪو آهي... ان ڪري اسان کي گهرجي ته انڊين سنڌين کي هن اسڪرپٽ تي مائل ڪيون...
    November 20, 2010 at 8:47pm · Unlike · 1 person
    Jokhio Shafique Ahmed پياري رشيد سائين واري راء سان اتفاق ٿو ڪجي سنڌي ٻوليء جو مواد جيڪو تاريخي ادبي علم هر ميدان م لکيو ويو آهي تنهنکان علاوه ترجمون ڪيو ويو آهي اهو سڀ ڪئن سهيڙيون ويندو سانڍ تمام ڏکيو ڪم آهي
    جيئن ڪو انجنئر ڪا پروجيڪٽ جوڙي مڪمل ڪري ۽ اهو مالڪن ح...See More
    November 20, 2010 at 9:10pm · Like · 2 people
    Imdad Sahito سائين اوهان پنهنجي ٻوليءَ لاءِ جيڪو ٻيڙو ڪاهيو آهي... الله سائين اوهان کي ڪاميابي سان همڪنار ڪندو.. آمين..
    November 20, 2010 at 10:57pm · Unlike · 2 people
    Ghulam Nabi Nizamani سائين محترم شفيق صاحب،

    عرض تـ هٽ واڻڪي دراصل گۡر مۡکي واري لِپي آهي. اها سنڌ ۾ رائج ٿي سگهي ٿي پر اصل سنڌي لِپي نٿي چئي سگهجي. ٻيو تـ هٽ واڻڪي ڪا مڪمل لکڻي نا هي. هٽ واڻڪي ۾ واول نـ هوندا آهن.

    اصل سنڌي لِپي تـ موهن جي دڙي واري آهي جيڪا ڪنهن کي بـ پڙهڻ ۾ نٿي اچي. آئون هتي هڪ ننڍڙو مثال ڏيندس. اسان سنڌي ۾ هڪ لفظ پۡٽ عربي جو پيش ڏيئي اۡچاريون ٿا پر ساڳئي وقت پٽ (ڌاڳو(

    هتي ٽ کي ٽ نـ پر ٽ ر ۽ هـ جو گڏيل اۡچار نڪري ٿو جنهن کي رومن انگريزي ۾ هيئن لِکبو
    puttt پۡٽ pattt پٽ

    انهي کي اسين put يا pat

    نـ پڙهنداسين
    November 20, 2010 at 11:06pm · Unlike · 1 person

  5. Jokhio Shafique Ahmed اهو ته رب جي منشا مشيت پر هي جيڪو لپي اسڪرپٽ جو نئون بحث ڇڙيو آهي ان بابت توهان پنهنجي قيمتي راء سان عنايت نواز ڪندا ته جڏهن سنڌين جو سڄي دنيا م وجود خطره م آهي منهن اندازي مطابق جزيرة العرب م منهنجي دوستن جي سروي مطابق 70 لک سنڌي عرب ٿي وي...See More
    November 20, 2010 at 11:15pm · Like · 2 people
    Ghulam Nabi Nizamani سائين اوهان سان متفق آهيان
    November 20, 2010 at 11:23pm · Unlike · 3 people
    Jokhio Shafique Ahmed
    November 20, 2010 at 11:54pm · Like · 1 person
    Jokhio Shafique Ahmed پيارا رشيد سائين منهنجو سنڌ سلامت تي لاگن جو مسئلو ائين هلي پيو سنڌ سلامت رهي پر مونکي فورم تي سائيٽ تي اچڻ نه ٿي ڏئي توهان وري نيئي سر لاگ ان جو طريقو مسج ان باڪس ڪريو توهان جي اڳيان شرمندو ٿيندو آهي جو توهان سمجهندا هوندا ته جوکيو پسند نه ٿو ڪري سنڌ سلامت کي مهرباني لک احسان
    جوکيو شفيق
    November 21, 2010 at 12:38pm · Like · 2 people