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East Asia Department


The modified Arab alphabet as used today for the Uyghur language in the Peoples’ Republic of China is romanized as shown in the following table:

The order of the alphabet follows: An Uyghur-English Dictionary, by Henry G. Schwarz, Bellingham, Washington, 1992 (East Asian Research Aids and Translations, 3). The letter v is used for the so-called hamza which appears both initially and internally before vowels (vuyqhur “Uyghur”, chaetvael “foreign country”) on top of what looks like an undotted i in the Uyghur script. An apostrophe is applied in order to distinguish the single letter ng from a sequence of n plus g if necessary (n’g). The Turkish umlauts are always romanized as ae oe ue (not ä ö ü). There is some variation in the orthographies which were introduced in recent decades. While the capital of Shinjang (Xinjiang) is nowadays spelled vueruemchi (Hanyu Pinyin: Wulumuqi / Urumqi) throughout, earlier publications (up to the middle of the eighties) show no clear marking of the umlautung by writing the city merely as vurumchi. Please note that the twenty-ninth letter of the Uyghur alphabet is romanized qh (not gh).