Introduction to the official written language of the Manchu Empire (early 17th to early 20th century). The affiliation of this language, its place in the Tungusic family. From Jurchin to Shibe (Xibuo). History of research, bibliography. The tools: grammars and monolingual, bilingual and polyglot dictionaries. The scope of the Manchu written sources, their value for historical, literary and linguistic research. The Manchu alphabet, its origin, and its older and newer variants: the scripts with and without dots and circles; ornamental forms. Phonetics, morphology, and syntax. History of Manchu vocabulary. Its Tungusic, Mongolian, Chinese and other elements. Reading texts in Latin transcription and in Manchu script. Translation strategies.