How Many Letters Are in the Alphabet

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The answer to this question depends largely on where you live. The English alphabet is 26 letters long and is considered an average sized alphabet. The largest alphabet of active languages is the Cambodian, Khmer alphabet which contains 74 letters. The shortest alphabet belongs to the people of the Bougainville Province of Papua New Guinea. Their alphabet consists of only 12 letters and is referred to as the Rotakas alphabet. (only 4300 people use and speak this language)

What Is an Alphabet?

Each letter has an assigned sound representing a particular language’s phonemes (sounds in words). For example, different alphabets are called abjads, abugidas, or alphasyllabaries, depending on whether vowels are indicated.

Greek Alphabets

How many letters are in the Greek alphabet? There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. These include Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta Omicron, Pi, Rho, Sigma, and Tau. They have their equivalent values in the Latin alphabet system (A=1; B=2; C=3; D=4…). The number of letters and symbols in an alphabet is called its order or cardinality or size (24 is 2 to power 4 = binary = 2 ^ 4 = 16). However, we do not consider Psi (or Fi) a letter but an abbreviation.


Well, I’ve got news for you—the alphabet doesn’t have an absolute number of letters! Several alphabets are out there; some are based on 26 characters, while others use different numbers. Take Chinese, for example, and it has more than 50,000 characters combined to create millions upon millions of words! Here is the synopsis of alphabets around the world.

  • English – 26 Letters in the Englsh alphabet
  • Spanish – 27 Letters in the Spanish alphabet
  • French – 26 Letters in the French alphabet
  • German – 26 Letters in the German alphabet
  • Russian – 33 Letters in the Russian alphabet
  • Polish – 32 Letters in the Polish alphabet
  • Hindi – 46 letters in the Hindi alphabet
  • Arabic – 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet
  • Czech – 42 letters in the Czech alphabet
  • Mandarin – 50,000 Characters

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Source: ABC

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