Phoenician based alphabets

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The following alphabets are derived from the ancient Phoenician abjad writing system.[1] The Phoenician letters were acrophones based on Egyptian hieroglyphs, e.g., the first letter 𐤀 or ‎ʔalp was the word for ox and the letter form was based on the hieroglyph for ox. The Georgian alphabet is of unknown origins, but is thought to be based on Semitic scripts such as Aramaic and others, which were derived from Phoenician.

Phoenician letter Name Possible meaning Phonetic value Origin Hebrew Arabic Ethiopian Ge'ez Greek Egyptian Coptic Old Italic Germanic Runes Latin Slavic Cyrillic Georgian Armenian
𐤀‎ ʾalp ox ʾ   [ʔ] 𓃾 א Αα Ⲁⲁ 𐌀 Aa Аа ა/ⴀ/Ⴀ Ա/ա
𐤁‎ bēt house, cow b   [b] 𓉐 ב Ββ Ⲃⲃ 𐌁 Bb Бб, Вв ბ/ⴁ/Ⴁ Բ/բ
𐤂‎ gimel throwing stick, camel, calf, drink g   [ɡ] 𓌙 ג Γγ Ⲅⲅ 𐌂 ᚷ, ᛃ Cc, Gg Гг, Ґґ გ/ⴂ/Ⴂ Գ/գ
𐤃‎ dalt door, udder, bucket d   [d] 𓇯 ד د, ذ Δδ Ⲇⲇ 𐌃 Dd Дд დ/ⴃ/Ⴃ Դ/դ
𐤄‎ window, feather, pen h   [h] 𓀠 ה ه Εε Ⲉⲉ 𐌄 Ee Ее, Єє, Ээ ე/ⴄ/Ⴄ Ե/ե, Է/է, Ը/ը
𐤅‎ wāw hook, hoe w   [w] 𓏲 ו ( Ϝϝ), Υυ Ⲩⲩ 𐌅, 𐌖 Ff, Uu, Vv, Yy, Ww ( Ѵѵ), Уу, Ўў ვ/ⴅ/Ⴅ Վ/վ
𐤆‎ zēn weapon, plough, grain-wagon z   [d͡z] 𓏭 ז Ζζ Ⲍⲍ 𐌆 Zz Зз ზ/ⴆ/Ⴆ Զ/զ
𐤇‎ ḥēt wall, courtyard ḥ   [x] 𓉗 or 𓈈 ח ح, خ ሐ, ኀ Ηη Ⲏⲏ 𐌇 ᚺ/ᚻ Hh Ии, Йй ი/ⴈ/Ⴈ Ի/ի, Խ/խ
𐤈‎ ṭēt wheel ṭ   [t] 𓄤 ט ط, ظ Θθ Ⲑⲑ 𐌈 Þþ ( Ѳѳ) თ/ⴇ/Ⴇ Թ/թ
𐤉‎ yad hand, shovel, handle y   [j] 𓂝 י ي Ιι Ⲓⲓ 𐌉 Ii, Jj Іі, Її, Јј Յ/յ
𐤊‎ kap palm of a hand, dustpan k   [k] 𓂧 כך Κκ Ⲕⲕ 𐌊 Kk Кк კ/ⴉ/Ⴉ Կ/կ
𐤋‎ lamed goad l   [l] 𓌅 ל Λλ Ⲗⲗ 𐌋 Ll Лл ლ/ⴊ/Ⴊ Լ/լ
𐤌‎ mēm water m   [m] 𓈖 מם Μμ Ⲙⲙ 𐌌 Mm Мм მ/ⴋ/Ⴋ Մ/մ
𐤍‎ nūn fish, serpent n   [n] 𓆓 נן Νν Ⲛⲛ 𐌍 Nn Нн ნ/ⴌ/Ⴌ Ն/ն
𐤎‎ sāmek fishbone, fish, djed s   [s] 𓊽 ס س Ξξ, Χχ Ⲝⲝ, Ⲭⲭ 𐌎, 𐌗 ᛊ,ᛋ Xx ( Ѯѯ), Хх ს/ⴑ/Ⴑ Ս/ս
𐤏‎ ʿēn eye, water-spring ʿ   [ʕ] 𓁹 ע ع, غ Οο, Ωω Ⲟⲟ, Ⲱⲱ 𐌏 Oo Оо ო/ⴍ/Ⴍ Օ/օ
𐤐‎ mouth, well p   [p] 𓂋 פף ف ፐ, ፈ Ππ Ⲡⲡ 𐌐 Pp Пп პ/ⴎ/Ⴎ Պ/պ
𐤑‎ ṣade plant/sapling, fishnet, fishing hook ṣ   [t͡s] 𓇑 צץ ص, ض ጸ, ጰ, ፀ ( Ϻϻ) 𐌑 Цц, Чч, Џџ ც/ⴚ/Ⴚ Ց/ց
𐤒‎ qūp needle eye q   [q] 𓃻 ק ( Ϙϙ), Φφ, Ψψ Ϥϥ, Ⲫⲫ, Ⲯⲯ 𐌒, 𐌘, 𐌙 Qq ( Ҁҁ, Фф) ქ/ⴕ/Ⴕ Ք/ք, Փ/փ, Ֆ/ֆ
𐤓‎ rūš head, harpoon r   [r] 𓁶 ר Ρρ Ⲣⲣ 𐌓 Rr Рр რ/ⴐ/Ⴐ Ր/ր
𐤔‎ šīn tooth, toothed knife š   [ʃ] 𓌓 ש ش, س Σσς Ⲋⲋ, Ⲥⲥ, Ϣϣ 𐌔 ᛊ/ᛋ Ss Сс, Шш, Щщ შ/ⴘ/Ⴘ Շ/շ
𐤕‎ tāw mark t   [θ] 𓏴 ת ت, ث Ττ Ⲋⲋ, Ⲧⲧ 𐌕 Tt Тт ტ/ⴒ/ Տ/տ

In addition, Coptic derived the following letters from Demotic script. These letters had somewhat different names and pronunciations in different dialects of Coptic.

Demotic Coptic Phonetic value
Demotique sh.png Ϣ š [ʃ]
Demotique f.png Ϥ [f]
Demotique kh.png Ϧ [x]
Demotique h.png Ϩ [h]
Demotique j.png Ϫ j [ʤ]
Demotique tsh.png Ϭ c [kʲ], [cʰ], [ʃ], [tʃ, e̞tʃ]
Demotique ti.png Ϯ [di], [ti]

See also

Writing systems


  1. This chart was adapted from