The written alphabets of Southeast Asia originate from Indian, Arabic and Latin languages or Chinese hieroglyphic characters.
In company with Brahmanism and Buddhism, Indian languages spread into Southeast Asia from the very beginning of the Christian era. They are the basis for the Khmer, Burmese, Thai and Lao languages. all of these countries have been deeply influenced by Indian civilization. In Java and Madura in Indonesia, the oldest inscriptions are in a language that originated in southern India.
Islam arrived after the 13th century, and developed rapidly in Southeast Asia island. Malaysia and Indonesia consequently left their scripts of Indian origin and adopted the Arabic script. Since the late 19th century, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, influenced by the West, have adopted the Latin alphabet for their languages. Today, Arabic is used for the Coran and other religious texts.