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Pegon script

Pegon script
أَبْجَدْ ڤَيڬَونْ
Time period
c. 1300 CE to the present
Parent systems
Pegon consonants. Letters not present in the Arabic alphabet are marked with a yellow circle.
Pegon vowels

Pegon (Javanese: أَبْجَدْ ڤَيڬَونْ, romanized: abjad Pégon)[1] is an Arabic script used to write the Javanese, Madurese and Sundanese languages, as an alternative to the Latin script or the Javanese script[2] and the old Sundanese script.[3] In particular, it was used for religious (Islamic) writing and poetry from the fifteenth century, particularly in writing commentaries of the Qur'an. Pegon includes symbols for sounds that are not present in Modern Standard Arabic. Pegon has been studied far less than its Jawi counterpart for Malay, Acehnese and Minangkabau.[4]


The word Pegon originated from a Javanese word pégo, which means "deviate", due to the practice of writing the Javanese language with Arabic script, which was considered unconventional by Javanese people.[1]


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.[5]

Comparison of Jawi and Pegon

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 confusion. Aside from Malay, Javanese language also use a similar writing system without vocal signs called Gundhul.[citation needed]


The United States Library of Congress published a Romanisation standard of Jawi and Pegon in 2012.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b Poerwadarminta 1939, pp. 481.
  2. ^ Javanese script (Akṣara Carakan) on Omniglot. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ Sundanese script (Akṣara Sunda) on Omniglot. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  4. ^ van der Meij, D. (2017). Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok (p. 6). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
  5. ^ "Southeast Asian manuscripts digitised through the Ginsburg Legacy - Asian and African studies blog". Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  6. ^ The Library of Congress. (2012). ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Jawi-Pegon. Retrieved 9 April 2019.