The modified Roman Script (MRS) is used to write in Apatani. While most letters are used as in English, some have been modified for use to represent some Apatani-specific sounds. Two additional special characters are added to ensure writing of Apatani as accurately as possible. The followings are the various categories of letters in Apatani Alphabet.

A. Vowels

The following vowels from English alphabet are adapted and used as in English usage:

Apatani Letters Devanagari Equivalents Examples
A a अा Akì (Dog)
Paro’ (Poultry)
E e Emo (Pady)
Leñbo (Road)
I i Imi (Sleep)
Adiñ (Head)
O o अो O (Local Beer)
Hogya (Leopard)
U u Uì (Spirit)
Pulu (White)

The following symbols are used as additional vowels with modified usage in Apatani alphabet:

Apatani Letters Examples
W w Twrw (Forehead)
V v Takvr (Star)

B. Consonants

The following consonants from English alphabet are adapted and used as in English usage:

Apatani Letters Devanagari Equivalents Examples
B b Balu (Garden)
Tabu (Snake)
D d Dipe (Spade)
Sadi (Plantation)
G g Goñci (Dragonfly)
Tagi (Sickle)
H h Hamañ (Vegetable)
La’hiñ (Nail)
J j Jomw (Cloud)
Ajú (Weak)
K k Kwle (River)
Tako’ (Dirt)
L l La’ko (Button)
Alo (Salt)
M m Miyu (Man)
Yamu (Fire)
N n Nesu (Granary)
Tanò (Thread)
P p Papù (Egg)
Yapiñ (Nose)
R r Rupiñ (Ear ring)
Tarù (Rope)
S s Subú (Mithun)
Haasó (Slow)
T t Tabú (Snake)
Patw (Tiger)
Y y Yamù (Fire)
Tayú (Bee)

The following letters are used with modifications as indicated to represent the sound identified in Apatani but not present in English:

Apatani Letters Devanagari Equivalents Examples
C c Ciru’ (Pocket)
Pacu (Chick)
F f ल्य Firotoko (Uvula)
Afo (Tongue)
Q q Qwi (Fish)
Pequ (Barbet)
X x Xui’ (Sour)
Taxw (Squirrel)
Z z Zatu (Knife)
Azañ (Year)

C. Special Characters

The following symbol are used as a special character to meet accurate writing of Apatani language:

Apatani Letters Description Examples Remarks
अं Yasañ (Firewood)
Laliñ (Footprint)
Aluñ (Shock)
Nasalizes the preceding vowel
Glottal stop La’ta’ (Stick)
Taku’ (Cucumber)

Hence, there are seven vowels, twenty consonants and one special character in Apatani Alphabet. They are named as in Devanagari script and arranged as in English Alphabet followed by the two special characters.

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g
Aa Ba Cha Da E Ly Ga
H h I i J j K k L l M m N n
Ha I Ja Ka La Ma Na
O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u
O Pa Nga Ra Sa Ta U
V v W w X x Y y Z z
    अः अं
V W Xa Ya Nya Oh Ang
Alphabets Names IPA Equivalent
a aa अा a
b ba ब b
c cha च c
d da द d
e ee ए e
f lya ल्य ʎ
g ga ग g
h ha ह h
i   i
j ja ज ɟ
k ka क k
l la ल l
m ma म m
n na न n
o o अो o
p pa प p
q nga ङ ŋ
r ra र r
s sa स s
t ta त t
u u उ u
v   ə
w   ɨ
x kha ख x
y ya य y
z nya ञ ɲ
ah अ: ʔ
ñ ang अं ã

Vowel Lengths

There are long vowels in many Apatani words. Single letters denote short vowels whereas long vowels are denoted by double letters. The following are the examples:

Short: tamì (weed), peca (wild pear)
Long : saati (pine sap), peenw (procession)

Consonant Lengths

There are words with short and long consonants as well in Apatani. They are also denoted by single and double letters for short and long respectively. Examples are:

Short consonant: alo (day)
Long consonant: alló (bone)


Apatani is a tonal language. The tone associated with a word makes all the difference in giving a meaning to a word. The three main tones are rising, level and falling. The rising tone is denoted by a rising diacritic on the concerned vowel and falling tone with a falling diacritic. The level tone is left unmarked. Examples are:

Rising tone: alló (bone)
Level tone: alo (day)
Falling tone: álò (to dry)