Pegon script

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Pegon consonants. Letters not present in the Arabic alphabet are marked with a yellow circle.
Pegon vowels

Pegon is an Arabic alphabet used to write the Javanese and Sundanese languages, as an alternative to the Latin alphabet or the Javanese script[1] and the old Sundanese script[2]. In particular, it was used for religious (Islamic) writing and poetry from the fifteenth century, particularly in writing commentaries of Quran, the word Pegon originated from a Javanese word pégo, which means "deviate", due to the practice of writing Javanese language with Arabic script, which was considered unconventional by Javanese people. Pegon includes symbols for sounds that are not present in standard Arabic.

The main difference between Jawi and Pegon is that the latter is almost always written with vocal signs, since the Javanese language contains more "aksara swara" (vowel signs) than their Malay counterpart, vocal signs must be written to avoid phonetic confusion. Aside from Malay, Cia-Cia also use a similar writing system called Gundhul.

One of the earliest dated examples of the usage of Pegon may be Masa'il al-ta'lim, a work on Islamic law written in Arabic with interlinear translation and marginal commentary in Javanese, the manuscript is dated 1623 and written on dluwang, a paper made from the bark of the mulberry tree.[3]


  1. ^ "Javanese Script",
  2. ^ "Sundanese Script",
  3. ^ "Southeast Asian manuscripts digitised through the Ginsburg Legacy", (Asian and African studies blog), 13 February 2015