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The Adlam script is a recently invented script used to write Fulani. The name adlam is an acronym derived from the first four letters of the alphabet (A, D, L, M), standing for Alkule Dandayษ—e Leรฑol Mulugol "the alphabet that protects the peoples from vanishing".

Adlam pular
๐žค€๐žคฃ๐žคค๐žคข๐žคฅ ๐žค†๐žคต๐žคค๐žคข๐žคช
Time period
Invented 1980s
ISO 15924Adlm, 166
Unicode alias

During the late 1980s, this alphabetic script was devised by the teenaged brothers Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry to transcribe the Fulani language.[1][2] After several years of development it started to be widely adopted among Fulani communities, and is currently taught in Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and other[which?] nearby countries.

ADLaM is supported in Google's Android and Chrome operating systems. There are also Android apps to send SMS in adlam and to learn the alphabet.[3] On computers running Microsoft Windows, the adlam script is natively supported as part of the upcoming feature update of Windows 10 version 1903 (codenamed 19H1) build 18252.[4]



Adlam has case. Supplemental letters are used for other languages or for loanwords. See Omniglot in the external links for the pronunciation of the basic letters

Capital Miniscule Latin
๐žค€ ๐žคข a
๐žค ๐žคฃ d
๐žค‚ ๐žคค l
๐žคƒ ๐žคฅ m
๐žค„ ๐žคฆ b
๐žค… ๐žคง s
๐žค† ๐žคจ p
๐žค‡ ๐žคฉ ษ“ (bh)
๐žคˆ ๐žคช r
๐žค‰ ๐žคซ e
๐žคŠ ๐žคฌ f
๐žค‹ ๐žคญ i
๐žคŒ ๐žคฎ o
๐žค ๐žคฏ ษ— (dh)
๐žคŽ ๐žคฐ ฦด (yh)
๐žค ๐žคฑ w
๐žค ๐žคฒ n, any syllable-final nasal
๐žค‘ ๐žคณ k
๐žค’ ๐žคด y
๐žค“ ๐žคต u
๐žค” ๐žคถ j
๐žค• ๐žคท c
๐žค– ๐žคธ h
๐žค— ๐žคน ษ  (q)
๐žค˜ ๐žคบ g
๐žค™ ๐žคป รฑ (ny)
๐žคš ๐žคผ t
๐žค› ๐žคฝ ล‹ (nh)
๐žคœ ๐žคพ v
๐žค ๐žคฟ x (kh)
๐žคž ๐žฅ€ gb
๐žคŸ ๐žฅ z
๐žค  ๐žฅ‚ kp
๐žคก ๐žฅƒ sh


Adlam has a number of diacritics. The 'consonant' modifier is used to derive additional consonants, mostly from Arabic, similar to e.g. s > ลก in Latin script.

Diacritic Description
โ—Œ๐žฅ„ long 'ฤ' (on vowel 'a' or on a consonant)[5]
โ—Œ๐žฅ… long vowel (other vowels)
โ—Œ๐žฅ† long consonant (gemination)
โ—Œ๐žฅ‡ glottal stop (between the consonant it is placed over and the following vowel)
โ—Œ๐žฅˆ consonant modifier*
โ—Œ๐žฅ‰ long modified consonant
โ—Œ๐žฅŠ dot*
๐žฅ‹ Used between n and another consonant to indicate that they constitute a prenasalized consonant

* The haฤek-shaped consonant modifier is added to the Adlam letters a ('alif'), g, h for Arabic ain [ส•], gh [ษฃ], h (plain Adlam h is used for Arabic แธฅ), and to s, t, d, j for the emphatic consonants แนฃ, แนญ, แธ, แบ“. To indicate the consonant is long, the combined long-modified diacritic is used. The dot diacritic is placed above the s and j to derive Arabic th and z, and above e and o to indicate a higher/closer vowel quality ([e, o] rather than normal [ษ›, ษ”]). When those are lengthened, the normal length diacritic (macron) is used, and the dot is placed under the letter.


Unlike in Arabic script, Adlam digits go in the same direction (right to left) as letters.

Adlam Hindu-Arabic
๐žฅ 0
๐žฅ‘ 1
๐žฅ’ 2
๐žฅ“ 3
๐žฅ” 4
๐žฅ• 5
๐žฅ– 6
๐žฅ— 7
๐žฅ˜ 8
๐žฅ™ 9


Adlam punctuation is like Spanish in that there are initial and final forms of the question mark and exclamation point, which are placed before and after the questioned or exclaimed clause or phrase.

Adlam Latin
. .
โน ,
: :
โ ;
๐žฅŸ โ€ฆ ุŸ ยฟ โ€ฆย ?
! โ€ฆ ๐žฅž ยก โ€ฆย !

The hyphen is used for word breaks, and there are both parentheses and double parentheses.


The Adlam alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2016 with the release of version 9.0. The Unicode block for Adlam is U+1E900โ€“U+1E95F:

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
ย  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1E90x ๐žค€ ๐žค ๐žค‚ ๐žคƒ ๐žค„ ๐žค… ๐žค† ๐žค‡ ๐žคˆ ๐žค‰ ๐žคŠ ๐žค‹ ๐žคŒ ๐žค ๐žคŽ ๐žค
U+1E91x ๐žค ๐žค‘ ๐žค’ ๐žค“ ๐žค” ๐žค• ๐žค– ๐žค— ๐žค˜ ๐žค™ ๐žคš ๐žค› ๐žคœ ๐žค ๐žคž ๐žคŸ
U+1E92x ๐žค  ๐žคก ๐žคข ๐žคฃ ๐žคค ๐žคฅ ๐žคฆ ๐žคง ๐žคจ ๐žคฉ ๐žคช ๐žคซ ๐žคฌ ๐žคญ ๐žคฎ ๐žคฏ
U+1E93x ๐žคฐ ๐žคฑ ๐žคฒ ๐žคณ ๐žคด ๐žคต ๐žคถ ๐žคท ๐žคธ ๐žคน ๐žคบ ๐žคป ๐žคผ ๐žคฝ ๐žคพ ๐žคฟ
U+1E94x ๐žฅ€ ๐žฅ ๐žฅ‚ ๐žฅƒ ๐žฅ„ ๐žฅ… ๐žฅ† ๐žฅ‡ ๐žฅˆ ๐žฅ‰ ๐žฅŠ ๐žฅ‹
U+1E95x ๐žฅ ๐žฅ‘ ๐žฅ’ ๐žฅ“ ๐žฅ” ๐žฅ• ๐žฅ– ๐žฅ— ๐žฅ˜ ๐žฅ™ ๐žฅž ๐žฅŸ
1.^ As of Unicode version 12.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. ^ Everson, Michael (2014-10-28). "N4628R: Revised proposal for encoding the Adlam script in the SMP of the UCS" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  2. ^ The Alphabet That Will Save a People From Disappearing, Kaveh Waddell, Nov 16, 2016, The Atlantic
  3. ^ Winden Jangen ADLaM: Cellphone Applications
  4. ^ Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18252
  5. ^ There are two competing conventions: the long-a diacritic may be placed over the letter 'a', in which case 'ฤ' simply takes a different diacritic than other vowels do, or it may be placed over a consonant, in which case the vowel is not written at all.

External linksEdit