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Vepsian language alphabet

Vepsian language did not have a script until the early 1910's. The first attempts to create a Vepsian script were made using the Russian alphabet (Cyrillic).

In the early 1930's, in accordance with the broad latinisation campaign in the USSR (the policy of creation Latin-script based systems for native peoples which did not have a writing system), was created also a Vepsian script based on Latin alphabet.

A a Ä ä B b C c Ç ç D d E e F f G g H h
I i J j K k L l M m N n O o Ö ö P p R r
S s Ş ş T t U u V v Y y Z z Ƶ ƶ ı

At the November 1932 a first Vepsian book – Ezmäne vepsiden azbuk i lugendknig – was published. In total more than 30 books (mostly the elementary school books) were published by Vepsian language until the 1937.

In the late 1930's in the USSR was started the cyrillisation campaign (the policy of convertation of native people's languages to Russian-script based writing systems). In the first half of 1937 a Vepsian language was also converted to Cyrillic using a Russian alphabet without any changes. However, in January 1938, in accordance with the proceeding of the language policy in the USSR, the book publishing by Vepsian language was completely discontinued and earlier published books was destroyed.

At May 1988 only a Vepsian script based on Russian alphabet was accepted by the RSFSR Ministry of education. Nevertheless at the same time was raised the question of the creation of Vepsian script based on Latin alphabet. As result, in April 20, 1989 the council of ministers of the Karelian ASSR officially approved both versions of a Vepsian script – based on Cyrillic and based on Latin.

А а Ӓ ӓ Б б В в Г г Д д E e Ё ё Ж ж З з
И и Й й К к Л л М м Н н О о Ӧ ӧ П п Р р
С с Т т У у Ў ў Ӱ ӱ Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш
Щ щ ъ ы ь Э э Ю ю Я я

The first modern Vepsian ABC-book was published in 1991 using a Latin based alphabet. Cyrillic ABC-book was published in the next 1992. It was almost the only book wich use a Vepsian script based on Cyrillic. All textbooks, fiction and periodicals published using a Latin based Vepsian alphabet.

A a B b C c Č č D d E e F f G g H h I i
J j K k L l M m N n O o P p R r S s Š š
Z z Ž ž T t U u V v Ü ü Ä ä Ö ö

Experience has proven that a Vepsian Cyrillic based alphabet remains unclaimed. In March 16, 2007 the government of the Republic of Karelia officially approved for Vepsian language a Latin based Vepsian alphabet of 1989.

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