Soyombo script

U 11100 - U 1113 F

The Sojombo font (Mongolian Соёмбо бичг, sojombo bitschg ) is a syllabary ( abugida ), which was developed in 1686 by the Mongolian monk and scholar Dsanabadsar to write Mongolian. However, it can also be used for Tibetan and Sanskrit.

A special character of the font, the Sojombo icon, has become a national symbol of Mongolia, which is included since 1921 in the state flag and state emblem since 1992.


According to a legend, one night Dsanabadsar should have seen letter-like signs in the heavens, from which he developed his new font. The name of the font refers to this story. It is a variation of the Sanskrit word Svayambhu which " arose out of itself " is.

In reality, the syllable system is based on the alphabet of the Devanagari script and the basic shape of the character is modeled on the Indian Lantsa font ( Ranjana ). Details of the individual characters are reminiscent of the Mongolian script and the Orkhon runes. It is unclear whether the Dsanabadsar Sojombo icon himself designed, or whether it existed before.


Dsanabadsar had created the font for the translation of Buddhist texts from Sanskrit or Tibetan, and with his disciples also used extensively so. This task due to the complexity of the font, which allows other scripts and languages ​​was accurately reproduce. To assert yourself as an everyday writing, but it was too complicated to write. In addition, the accuracy of the Sojombo font meant that the Mongolian dialects were written differently with her, which led to communication problems. Here the classical Mongolian script had the advantage.

The Sojombo font was used in the Eastern Mongols primarily for ceremonial purposes as superb writing. Today, the font is no longer actively used. They can be found ( in addition to historical texts) mainly still in the temple inscriptions and prayer wheels. She has significance for linguistics, as some developments in the Mongolian language can be read to you, such as the emergence of the long vowels.


The Sojombo font was the first Mongolian script, which was written horizontally from left to right, as opposed to vertical writing, earlier writings. As with many Tibetan and Indian texts, the sign hanging under a horizontal element that visually holds the line.

The two variants of the Sojombo symbol serve as a special character to mark the beginning and end of a text. Two of its elements ( the upper triangle and the right vertical bars) serve as an angled backbone for the other characters.

The syllables are put together within this framework by one to three elements. The first consonant is shown above within the angle. The vowel is expressed by a mark on the character, with the exception of u and u, which are marked in the bottom center. A second consonant is appended in smaller form below within the angle of the beam, and possibly pushing the marker for u or ü slightly to the left. For the marking of long vowels a short oblique rope is attached at the bottom of the vertical bar. For the two diphthongs, there is a curved, respectively. jagged mark to the right of the vertical bar.


The first character of the alphabet represents a stand-alone short a; For the other single vowels in the same token is used together with a vowel mark. All other main characters are consonants. If a consonant has no vowel mark, then the syllable is implicitly completed with an a.

With 20 consonants and 14 vowels theoretically almost 4000 combinations are possible, but not all of which are used. For the writing of Tibetan or Sanskrit additional signs and markings are added.

As a punctuation mark, there are next to the icon Sojombo a point, which is shown as a vertical bar. In inscriptions one often sees a superscript dot ( at the height of the upper triangle ) as a word separator.


The Sojombo font will be included only in version 7.0 of the Unicode standard. There, for the range 11100 - 1113F level 1 is provided.