Zaghawa (Beria / Beriaa) Beria Giray Erfe (Beria Branding Script)

Zaghawa is a member of the Eastern Saharan branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. It is spoken in eastern central Chad, and in Darfur in the northwest of Sudan. Estimates for the numbers of speakers of Zaghawa vary significantly in different sources: Wikipedia gives 75,000 to 350,000, Ethnologue gives 274,000 (in 2006), and the Zaghawa Community Association UK gives 500,000.

An alphabet for Zaghawa was developed in the 1950s by Adam Tajir, a school teacher. He based it on the brands used on camels and other livestock by the Zaghawa people. It is known as the Zaghawa Beria Alphabet or Beria Giray Erfe ('Beria Writing Marks' / 'Beria Branding Script')

A way to write Zaghawa using the Arabic script is also being developed. It can also be written with the Latin alphabet.

Latin alphabet for Zaghawa

Latin alphabet for Zaghawa

Download an alphabet chart for Zaghawa (Excel)

Sample video in Zaghawa

Information about Zaghawa | Zaghawa Beria Alphabet | Numbers


Information about the Zaghawa language

Beria - English dictionary

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Ateso, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Gumuz, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lango, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Mandari, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Turkana, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 16.10.23


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