Manchu, the language of the ruling emperor of China’s Qing dynasty, is nearly extinct. While efforts are under way to revive the language, it is a far cry from the time that official documents were written in the Manchu script rather than in Chinese characters. Manchu uses a phonetic alphabet that bears many resemblances to Syriac, or Kufic-style Arabic, script, but which is written vertically down the page. In type format the appearance is closer to Arabic, but when written with a brush, the calligrapher can follow much of the aesthetic of Chinese calligraphy | For more read the article on the state of the language today.
In the archive document below, the script on the left is Chinese characters; on the right is the Manchu script, written out in calligraphic style.