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Umê script

Tibetan consonants in Ume script; note those with vertical tseg marks

Umê (Tibetan: དབུ་མེད་Wylie: dbu-med, IPA: [umɛ̂]; variant spellings include ume, u-me) is a semi-formal form of the Tibetan alphabet. Other Tibetan scripts include the upright book form, uchen (Tibetan: དབུ་ཅན་Wylie: dbu-can; IPA: [utɕɛ̃]) and the everyday, handwritten cursive, gyug yig (Tibetan: རྒྱུག་ཡིག་Wylie: gyug-yig). The name ume means "headless," and is a style of the script used for both calligraphy and shorthand. A distinctive feature of umê compared to uchen is the absence of the horizontal guide line across the top of the letters. Between syllables, the tseg mark () often appears as a vertical stroke. There are two main kinds of umê writing:

  • Zhuza (Tibetan: འབྲུ་ཙ་Wylie: 'bru-tsa), used for writing documents.
  • Bêcug (Tibetan: དཔེ་ཚུགས་Wylie: dpe-tshugs), used for writing scriptures.

There is also a block form of the Tibetan alphabet, containing a horizontal line, referred to as uchen (Tibetan: དབུ་ཅན་Wylie: dbu-can, "with a head").

See also