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Garshuni or Karshuni are Arabic language writings that use the Syriac alphabet.

Garshuni originated in the seventh century AD, when Arabic was becoming the dominant spoken language in the Fertile Crescent, but Arabic script was not yet fully developed and widely read. There is evidence that writing Arabic in Garshuni influenced the style of modern Arabic script. After this initial period, Garshuni writing has continued to the present day among some Syriac Christian communities in the Arabic-speaking regions of the Levant and Mesopotamia.

The Syriac alphabet has three principal varieties:

The Syriac alphabet is extended by use of diacritics to write Arabic Garshuni.

Occasionally, other languages such as Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, Sogdian and Malayalam were written in the Syriac alphabet, and these are sometimes also referred to as Garshunis.

For the analogous Jewish practice of writing Arabic in Hebrew letters, see Judaeo-Arabic languages.

Today, Assyrians use the word 'garshuni' when referring to a spoken language written using something other than its corresponding script, i.e. spoken Assyrian written using Latin script. "Garshuni" comes from the word "grasha" which literally translates to "pulling".

See also

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