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Kabyle (Taqbaylit)

Kabyle is a Berber language with about 7-8 million speakers, most of whom live in Algeria, mainly in Kabylie in the north of the country. There are also some Kabyle speakers in French, Belgium, the USA and a number of other countries.

Kabyle was written with the Tifinagh alphabet until the 7th century. After that it was written with a version of the Arabic script. In the 18th century, a French ethnologist devised a way of writing the language with the Latin alphabet, based on French spelling. He published the first French-Kabyle dictionary.

After 1962, when Algeria became independent, some Kabyle activists tried to bring the Tifinagh script back into use for Kabyle. They modernised the script by changing some of the letters and adding vowels. They met with little success, and Tifinagh is used mainly f or decorative purposes in Algeria.

A new Latin orthography for Kabyle, not based on the French spelling system, was devised by Mouloud Mammeri in the late 20th century.

Kabyle has no official status in Algeria, but there some radio and TV programmes in the language, and it is taught in schools in Kabyle speaking areas.

Kabyle alphabets and pronunciation

Arabic (اڨَمّاي ثاقبايليث)

Arabic alphabet for Kabyle

Latin (Agemmay Taqbaylit)

Latin alphabet for Kabyle

Tifinagh (ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ)

Tifinagh alphabet for Kabyle

Download an alphabet chart for Kabyle (Excel)

Sample text in Kabyle

ⵉⵎⴷⴰⵏⴻⵏ, ⴰⴽⴽⴻⵏ ⵎⴰ ⵍⵍⴰⵏ ⵜⵜⵍⴰⵍⴻⵏ ⴷ ⵉⵍⴻⵍⵍⵉⵢⴻⵏ ⵎⵙⴰⵡⴰⵏ ⴷⵉ ⵍhⵡⴻⵔⵎⴰ ⴷ ⵢⵉzⴻⵔⴼⴰⵏ- ⵖⵓⵔ ⵙⴻⵏ ⵜⴰⵎⵙⴰⴽⵡⵉⵜ ⴷ ⵍⵄⵇⵓⴻⵍ ⵓ ⵢⴻⵙⵙⴻⴼⴽ ⴰⴷ-ⵜⵉⵍⵉ ⵜⴻⴳⵎⴰⵜⵜ ⴳⴰⵔ ⴰⵙⴻⵏ.

Imdanen, akken ma llan ttlalen d ilelliyen msawan di lhwerma d yizerfan- ghur sen tamsakwit d lâquel u yessefk ad-tili tegmatt gar asen.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Links

Information about the Kabyle language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabyle_language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berber_Latin_alphabet
http://www.rosettaproject.org/archive/kab/

Berber languages

Ancient Berber, Guanche, Kabyle, Tamazight, Tuareg

Other languages written with the Arabic or Latin alphabets


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