Tibetan Alphabet


The Tibetan alphabet was created based on the Indian script known as  Siddhamatrika 11580–115C9 in the 7th century. It is classified as an abugida. Each character represents a syllable, consisting of a corresponding consonant and the sound “a.” Other vowels are indicated using diacritical marks above or below the letter, and syllables are separated by dots.

The creation of the Tibetan alphabet is attributed to Thonmi Sambhota. In the mid-7th century, he traveled to India to study the art of writing and, upon his return, presented the alphabet. In the early 9th century, to facilitate the translation of Buddhist scriptures, spelling was standardized. Since then, it has changed very little, while the spoken language has evolved. As a result, the written form has diverged significantly from pronunciation.

For additional Tibetan characters and symbols such as and , check the Unicode section Tibetan0F00–0FFF .