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Lontara   Lontara

The Lontara script is descended from the Brahmi script of ancient India. The name lontara derives from the Malay word for the palmyra palm, lontar, the leaves of which are the traditional material for manuscripts in India, South East Asia and Indonesia.

Notable features

Used to write:

Bugis or Buginese (Basa Ugi / ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ), Makassarese (ᨅᨔ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ) and Mandar, Austronesian languages spoken on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

This script was once used to write laws, treaties, maps, etc in Bugis, but is now only used for marriage ceremonies. Makassarese (ᨅᨔ ᨆᨀᨔᨑ / Basa Mangkasara'), is still written with this script, although the Latin alphabet is officially favoured.

Lontara script for Bugis

Bugis consonants

The pallawa is used to separate rhythmico-intonational groups, and has a similar function to the fullstop and comma. It can also be used to denote the doubling of a word or its root.

Download an alphabet chart for Bugis (Excel)

Sample text in the Lontara script in Bugis

Sample text in the Lontara alphabet in Bugis


nako əŋka taupasala. aja mupatalalowi pacalamu ritopasalae. pasitujuwimutowisa asalana pacalamu. apa ikonatu nagili dewatea. nako baicumupi asalana tauwe. muperajaisa. padatowi. nako pasalai tauwe. aja timucalai risitinajanaetosa asalana.


If you deal with a person guilty of something, do not punish him too harshly. Always make the punishment commensurable with the guilt, since God will be angry with you if the person's guilt is not great and you are exaggerating it. Equally, if a person is guilty, do not let him go without a punishment in accordance with his guilt.


Information about Bugis | Bilang-bilang script | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Lontara, Buginese and Makassarese

Free Lontara font

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Languages written with the Lontara script

Bugis, Makasarese, Mandar

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas

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