Tatar (tatarça / татарча / تاتارچا)

Tatar is a Turkic language with about 5.2 million speakers mainly in the Russian Federation, particularly in the Republic of Tatarstan, and also in the Republic of Bashkortostan and other parts of Russia. Tatar is official recognised as a provincial language in Tatarstan, and is recognised as a minority language in Poland.

There are also Tatar speakers in a number of other countries, including Uzbekistan (702,000), Kazakhstan (104,000) and Turkmenistan (51,800) [source]

Written Tatar

Tatar has been written with a number of different alphabets: before the 9th century AD it was written with the Orkhon alphabet; then with a version of the Arabic alphabet until 1920. A modified version of the Arabic alphabet known as Yaña imlâ or new orthography was used between 1920 and 1927. Since then it has been written with the Cyrillic alphabet and a number of versions of the Latin alphabet.

Arabic alphabet for Tatar

Tatar was written using the variant of the Arabic alphabet shown below from the 9th century until 1928.

Latin alphabet for Tatar (Jaŋalif)

Between 1928 and 1939 Tatar was written with the version of the Latin alphabet shown below.

1929 Latin alphabet for Tatar

Cyrillic alphabet for Tatar (татар әлифбасы)

In 1939 the Cyrillic alphabet was imposed by Stalin for Tatar and other Turkic languages spoken in the Soviet Union.

Cyrillic alphabet for Tatar


Notes and some corrections provided by 이윤호

2001 Latin alphabet for Tatar (tatar әlifbası)

In 1999 the Republic of Tatarstan established an official Latin alphabet for Tatar, which was implemented in 2001. The Russian Federation overruled this and Cyrillic became the sole official script for Tatar in 2002. In 2012 the government of Tatarstan adopted a new Latin alphabet for Tatar, which is used mainly for Romanization.

Latin alphabet for Tatar

Download alphabet charts for Tatar (Excel)

Sample text in Tatar in the Cyrillic alphabet

Барлык кешеләр дә азат һәм үз абруйлары һәм хокуклары ягыннан тиң бупып туапар. Аларга акыл һәм вөҗдан бирелгән һәм бәр-бәрсенә карата туганнарча мөнасәбәттә булырга тиешләр.

Sample Tatar text in the Latin alphabet (Zamanälif)

Barlıq keşelär dä azat häm üz abruyları häm xoquqları yağınnan tiñ bulıp tualar. Alarğa aqıl häm wöcdan birelgän häm ber-bersenä qarata tuğannarça mönasäbättä bulırğa tieşlär


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)

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