The Soyombo Alphabet and the Soyombo Symbol
The Soyombo alphabet was created in 1686 by the famous
Mongolian monk and scholar Zanabazar. Modelled after the
Lantsa-Dewanagari script, it is capable of representing
Mongolian as well as Tibetan and Sanskrit.
Though the script has a unique appearance it failed to
established itself as a script for everyday use; today
it survives in the form of inscriptions on prayer mills
A variant of the opening symbol of the Soyombo script
(a symbol which
appears before the letter A) however is in wide use today.
It became the national symbol of Mongolia and as such it
can be found on money, official documents, official stamps,
and the like. It is literally omnipresent and is proudly
displayed e.g. at the
Süxbaatar Square in central
The exact proportions of the Soyombo symbol were defined
in the Constitution of 1992; the Soyombo symbol in the
title of this page was constructed according to these
Soyombo for TeX/LaTeX
The Soyombo script and the Soyombo symbol are available as
metafont sources for TeX and LaTeX users. They can be used
in any document. A detailed introduction and installation
guide is contained in the file
soyo4tex.tex. This document
features an example of Soyombo text (both original and in a
decomposed manner) as well as an encoding table.
In order to make Soyombo work on your system, you need the
following five files:
The Soyombo symbol was not included in the Soyombo alphabet
font for some reasons. There are certainly many more users
who just wish to use the Soyombo symbol but who do not intend to
use the Soyombo script. For them, loading and compilation time
of the fonts can be reduced significantly since the
soyombot.mf contains but one symbol.
: A package for using the Soyombo Script
and the Soyombo Symbol in LaTeX2e documents. Place this file
into a directory where your LaTeX installation can find
it. In an emtex installation, a suggested path is
\emtex\texinput\mls\soyombo.sty provided you
have a subdirectory named mls containing
Mongolian Language Support (MLS) Software.
: Metafont source for the Soyombo Script.
: Metafont source for the Soyombo Symbol. Place the previous
and this file into a directory where your Metafont
installation can find them; this could be \emtex\mfinput\mls\ on a system with Mongolian Language Support.
: Font Metrics for the Soyombo Script.
: Font Metrics for the Soyombo Symbol. Place the previous
and this file into a directory where your TeX installation
can find them; this could be \emtex\tfm\mls\ on
an emtex installation prepared for processing Mongolian.
: Zip archive containing all above-mentioned files.
In addition, the Soyombo symbol as it appears on the National
Flag etc. has a precisely defined height and width ratio which
is different from the width ratio in the Soyombo script. It
is just natural to separate those into two distinct files.
Last but not least, the Soyombo symbol and the Soyombo initial
of the alphabet show different flames, different suns and
other subtle differences.
A preprocessor for converting Mongolian (transliterated)
into Soyombo encoding is planned but could not be realized
There is one tiny caveat: The author could not test the
fonts for other than a few standard devices such as
300dpi and 600dpi laser printers and 360dpi BubbleJet
printers. It may be possible that the fonts do not
digitize well at lower resolutions. Please complain
loudly if you encounter such a problem.
The usual legal restrictions known from the MLS package
apply; you may freely use this software for academic and
non-commercial purposes. Commercial use requires the
negotiation of a license.
You are welcome and encouraged to redistribute this
software to others. You must not however derive a profit
from redistributing this software.
You are not allowed to alter or modify the software. If
you want to modify or improve the software, please contact
the author, O. Corff. You can reach him at