The Batak alphabet, or surat batak, is descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts.
The Batak languages of northern Sumatra - Karo Batak, Toba Batak, Dairi Batak, Simalungun/Timur, Angkola and Mandailing Batak, and occasionally Malay. In most Batak communities, only the datu (priests) are able to read and write the Batak alphabet and they use it mainly for calendars and magical texts.
There are slight variations in the letters and vowel diacritics used to write each language.
Karo Batak is an Austronesian language with about 600,000 speaks in the central and northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Dairi Batak, which is also known as Batak Toba and Batta, is an Austronesian language spoken by about 2 million people in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Dairi Batak, which is also known as Dairi, Pakpak and Pakpak Dairi, is an Austronesian language with about 1.2 million speakers in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Simalungun or Batak Simalung is an Austronesian language spoken by about 1.2 million people in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Mandaling Batak or Batta is an Austronesian language with about 400,000 speakers in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
The fonts used on this page were created by Dr Uli Kozok of The University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Further information about Batak (includes free Batak fonts)
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