Talk:Arabic alphabet

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Talk:Arabic alphabet/from the French Wikipedia - temp page moved into talk namespace, as per policy.

Adding photos for demonstration[edit]

I need help in adjusting the photos.--Ashashyou (talk) 18:50, 26 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About Languages Written in Arabic Script[edit]

After I removed a list of languages written in Arabic script, (talk · contribs · WHOIS) wrote: "[T]here were some which aren't mentioned in the article, i.e. Crimean Tatar, Avar and so on. It will be a good idea to collect the information about another languages which used or use Arabic writing system and add them." I am writing my reply here, since this is about the article:

From your contributions, you seem to be pretty active in the area of Arabic and related scripts, so you probably know more about the subject than I do. If you - or any other of the dedicated editors here - feel I removed important information, please feel free to put it in the appropriate section. I do hope, though, that the list will not just be reinserted as it was. Lists like the one we had in this version, that stretch over 11 lines, are very hard to read, and of not much use for the reader who wants to get an overview of the topic. There are better ways to organize such information:

  1. a table. Such a table could contain a number of other pertinent information, such as influences and dates of introduction.
  2. A category. We have already category:Arabic-derived alphabets; that already provides a way to find languages using those alphabets. If that is not direct enough, it might make sense to create a category like category:Languages using Arabic-derived alphabets.
  3. combining entries using higher level terms. This would allow for a better text flow. Also, it would probably be easier to cover all. E.g. one article like Perso-Arabic script already lists two rows full of languages. — Sebastian 05:18, 13 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I don't know what the stuff removed looked like, but I came to the article looking, i.a., for a list or map of languages using the Arabic alphabet. You say that there exists a category:Arabic-derived alphabets, but 1) that's a red link, 2) I can never figure out what Wik categories are supposed to be - they always seem to be incomplete and ill-formatted, and 3) How is the normal user supposed to know that "Arabic-derived alphabets" exists as an entry or category or that it includes what the naive but basically educated English-reading user assumes to be the same alphabet (e.g., Farsi) [For the alphabet used in French, Spanish or German, I wouldn't think to look for "Latin-derived alphabets just because of n-yu, accents, esset and umlauts.]. Maybe it's because I come from the book age, but I hope to be able to go to a Wik article and find something, without stumbling around on links that crash or don't let me get back to the original article. Please, someone, put in a list or map (maybe with a code indicated what if any modifications various versions have). As it is, all I got was a by-the-way sort of comment about "Persian" [Farsi?]... and some central Asian languages. How am I supposed to know which central Asian languaes? That's the job of an encyclopedia, not the user's obligation to do a Google search. (talk) 07:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Category now seems to be Category:Arabic alphabets... -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Three comments[edit]

  • Under "modified letters", with 3alif maddah, it says it has initial and medial forms, but they look the same as isolated and final. Can 3alif maddah only by final or isolated, or is it just typed incorrectly? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jorge Morejón (talkcontribs) 21:28, 16 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Under "Modified letters" it says "The Arabic letters are made up of Avestan letters. Avestan language is the language of the ancient Iranians in 1000 B.C." These sentences seems out of place in that section.
  • Under "Ligatures" it says "Because Arabic script is used to write other texts rather than Koran only, rending lām + lām + hāʾ as the previous ligature is considered faulty:" This is followed by three bullets showing other ways of composing the word, but it isn't clear if the three approaches are considered acceptable of not. --agr (talk) 14:43, 16 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

chart maintenance[edit]

Removed an edit typo of some kind (clearly "Bold Text" was not intended), also removed the following line:

(Persian ى)

I do not know what this line was meant to display or indicate, it seems to me that variants for other languages are covered in the appropriate sections below the chart. I don't understand why this needed to be there. However, I am not a complete expert and perhaps it is meant to be so, in which case feel free to correct seemed out of place to me though. (talk) 20:30, 6 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why list contextual forms before the isolated form in chart?[edit]

In this edit, the columns of the chart have been rearranged to list the contextual forms before the isolated form. For me, at least, this makes it less intuitive. (Generally, to define any entity, it usually most intuitive to use the non-contextual form.) Moreover, that the isolated form is the appropriate row head is supported by the fact that it has the link to the article. Is there any reason for this change? Are there any objections to undoing it? — Sebastian 18:12, 18 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Arabic script is written from right to left, so there is a very good reason to make readers aware of this and place the end forms left and the non-contextual forms first, as in Perso-Arabic_script#Letters. You can easily recognize links by there colour.
You might respect the different way of writing in Arabic.--Wickey-nl (talk) 15:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course Arabic is written RTL, but that has nothing to do with the reading order of the surrounding article. The table is part of an English article, its column heading are read LTR, and so are all the other columns. This is certainly not a "very good reason".
The insinuation that I'm not respecting Arabic is just silly. Articles such as ar:أبجدية_لاتينية and ar:أبجدية_إغريقية do not arrange their tables LTR, either, just because they contain LTR text. It would be absurd to conclude from that that our fellow Arabic Wikipedians disrespect LTR scripts.
Also, you're missing the meaning of "row head". My point is not whether people are able to find the link, but that the link is an indication that the cell in question was intended as the one that best expresses the essence of the row - in other words, the row head.
More importantly, "as in Perso-Arabic_script#Letters", is simply not true. That table has a different arrangement of columns, it can in a meaningful way be read both LTR and RTL. The way you sorted the table here, though, assumes the reader will read column 4 first, then read 3, 2, 1, and then 5, 6, 7. All in all, an interesting idea, but it requires convoluted thinking to make sense. — Sebastian 05:59, 20 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Arranging the forms LTR is very strange and unnatural, because it does not show how they are connected to each other. Nevertheless, you are partially right. The Perso-Arabic table is better. I propose to make the Arabic one similar.--Wickey-nl (talk) 15:16, 20 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I clearly explained why LTR is anything but "strange and unnatural", and I'm disappointed that you're flat out ignoring that. I'm very tempted to revert your change on the basis of WP:BRD. But from the lack of participation in this discussion it seems other people don't feel strongly about it one way or the other, so I'd say, go ahead and change it to the Perso-Arabic format; that's a reasonable compromise. — Sebastian 04:58, 21 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I admit, it was an incomplete edit. I believe, it was a test to see the reactions before spending more time and I went busy with other things. The reading order of the article as a whole cannot be the definitive criterium. Western text remains LTR in Arabic articles and Arabic remains RTL in Western texts. Wickey-nl — continues after insertion below
This argument is a non sequitur. It doesn't seem like you looked at the two Arabic articles I cited above; they clearly show that the reading order of the article as a whole can very well be the criterium for the arrangement of the table. However, as I said above, I can live with the Perso-Arabic layout, and I thank you for changing the table to that. As far as I'm concerned, we can close this discussion. — Sebastian 06:51, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did look to them, but they are not really comparable. If you look to the Arabic table from top to bottom it has, in fact, the western order. However, I am not so narrow minded as it may look like. There are no absolute rules. My answer of 20/04 was not quite adequate, though. I failed to re-read the original order of the contextual forms and confused it with another page where the order, stupidly, was reversed. Discussion closed.--Wickey-nl (talk) 10:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English names instead of transliterations[edit]

I also have a strong preference for English names instead of transliterations, as the latter is not intuitive and not clear for most readers. E.g., ǧīm and ṯāʾ are unreadable without insight knowledge.--Wickey-nl (talk) 14:54, 21 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By "English names", do you mean the names used by Unicode? That's a good idea to include them. You'll find a list at de:Unicode-Block Arabisch. However, I wouldn't remove the existing names; these (or similar ones) are used in real life, and it doesn't hurt to keep them; the table is big enough. We should have a source for them, though. — Sebastian 06:51, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had such names in mind, indeed, but just the common English transcription (alif, ba, ta, tha, ...). As we may assume that cryptic words like "ḏāl" say nothing to most readers, I prefer to replace them. This cannot be a problem, because the next collumn gives the pronunciation.--Wickey-nl (talk) 10:36, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, the next column does not give the pronunciation of the name; it only gives that of one letter. Also, I question both your premise and your conclusion. Pronunciations like "ḏāl" have been widely used for over 100 years and are now an international standard; there will naturally be a significant number of readers to whom they say something. Conversely, even if there were many people to whom they said nothing, that doesn't mean that they need to be purged. These pronunciations have been in the article for over eight years (originally as a table, as here), so you'd need a somewhat better argument than "we may assume ...". If we may assume anything, it's that thousand eyes looking over this in all these years did not feel it needed to be yanked. — Sebastian 16:50, 22 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All true. Your arguments are strong, but I did not argue for removing all transliterations. Moreover, a long history does not guarantee a high quality, as you can easily see in WP. I maintain that ṯāʾ, ǧīm, ḏāl and šīn are cryptic and not useful for most readers. The second column is important for the pronunciation of the sound itself, though. I still think the English transcriptions are more useful, but I am not going to extend the table with one more column.--Wickey-nl (talk) 09:47, 23 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry about misunderstanding you. I'm still not sure what you're actually proposing; do you want to just remove some, and leave others? How about if you copied the table or the article into your user space and did the change there, that would probably be easier than explaining it, and then we could simply compare them side by side. — Sebastian 20:33, 23 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just want to replace ʾalif with alif; bāʾ with ba, etc. Just remove the special characters and replace a few ambiguous letters. I could make an example table, but I want to explain my concerns about transliterations.

For example, for IPA you can savely guess the sound of "[ɡ]" to be as in "[gas]". For transliteration "ǧīm" this is not true. Can be as in "jam" (which is the case) or as in "gas" (I speak about the ignorant reader). "ḏāl" and "šīn" are even worse. That is what I mean with "intuitive" or not. Further, English transcriptions (jim) are clear for everyone, transliterations only for insiders. Moreover, transcriptions will give rendering problems in a number of webbrowsers and will be unreadable.

Now I think I know where your misunderstanding is coming from. I was talking about the transliteration of the names, not about the second column.--Wickey-nl (talk) 11:50, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I now see where the misunderstanding was: I understood your intention correctly, but I expressed my message of 16:50, 22 April 2011 in a way that could be misunderstood; maybe I shouldn't have used words like "purge" and "yank". What I meant was that you propose to purge/yank "ʾalif" in favor of "alif", as opposed to my original suggestion of having both side by side.
However, that suggestion was only a compromise proposal. I'm still not convinced that the dumbed down version is really needed. Take your example of "ǧīm"; it is not anywhere near as foreign (or "cryptic", as you repeatedly claim), even to an English speaker who knows nothing about other languages. All you need to do is ignore the diacritic (which is what most English speakers do without any problem, as evidenced by many brand names that use them only for decoration). "gim" is close to "gem"; no problem there! Moreover, the main difference, the phonemic value of the first letter, is already explained in the next cell. Yes, it takes a little bit of thinking to look it up in the next cell, but even an ignorant reader can do that. Finally, even someone who misses that can always click on the link to that letter and get all the information he or she needs. In conclusion, I think there's nothing to be worried about.
As for your argument about web browsers, that may have been an argument 8 years ago, when this list was started. But by now, Unicode has become the internationally accepted standard. Letters such as "ǧ" have been an integral part since its first release in 1991. 20 years is a long time in computer history! I don't know all the possible configurations people might have on their computers, but I think it's highly unlikely that someone using a non-Arabic system can display Arabic script, but not such basic Latin characters. — Sebastian 20:02, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The articles on the different IPA symbols are not very user friendly, and it's a pain to click on them one by one. Where equivalent English examples exist, adding them would be helpful to our readers. Also why not include direct links to the audio examples given in the IPA symbol articles?--agr (talk) 14:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This doesn't seem to be a reply to the previous post, but a new topic: the Phonemic Value, or pronunciation of the letter itself. If that is so, can you make this a different section, please? (Please delete this small text, when done.)
I understand where you're coming from, and I wish things were that easy! Unfortunately, there isn't a straightforward solution to this because neither Arabic nor English are standardized enough to have a simple one-to-one relationship for the interesting letters.
  1. To narrow down the problem, let's first look at what's easy: The pronunciation of 12 letters is straightforward: ب‎, ت‎, د‎, ر‎, ز‎, س‎, ف‎, ك‎, ل‎, م‎, ن‎. For these, the letter in the IPA column already gives the best possible correspondence for an English speaker: → b, t, d, r, z, s, f, k, l, m, n, h, respectively.
  2. Another group of 9 letters simply has no counterpart in English: ح‎, خ‎, ص‎, ض‎, ط‎, ظ‎, ع‎, غ‎, ق. For most of these, the IPA symbol already looks like the closest English letter. For the few that don't, you really can't avoid having to read the article, if you're not familiar with the letter. You can't expect to be taught the pronunciation of a new letter in one cell of a table.
  3. Finally, there are 7 letters that fall in between these groups:
    1. ش can be given a straightforward English equivalent: "sh"
    2. For ث‎, ج‎, و‎, ي such equivalents can be found, too, but the pronunciation varies. If you want to keep it simple, you could go with th, j, w, y.
    3. ذ‎ is common in English, but is not distinguished from 'th'. Often, it is transcribed 'dh', but that obviously isn't "English".
    4. ا‎ varies, too, but what you could consider the main pronunciation, the glottal stop, while common in English, is not written there. That probably is best explained in its article, Aleph. — Sebastian

I noticed when I roll the cursor over the table of letters at the top right of the article, most of the transliterated names of the letters are actually the names of the corresponding Hebrew letters (Aleph, Bet, Taw, Gimel, Heth... not Alif, Baa, Taa, Jeem, Haa, etc.) not Arabic. Strange, but I am unsure how to change it. RandallC (talk) 12:46, 29 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Phonemic Values in table[edit]

It seems that opinions differ about the purpose of the "phonemic values" column in the table. For me, this column serves as a quick reference for people who want to know (or be reminded of) the pronunciation of a letter. Others seem to favor a complete list of dialect variants. This became apparent after I removed the addition of [gʲ] to the entry for ج. Before talking about this specific letter, I would like to first understand what goals the esteemed editors here have for that column in general. (I hope you're with me on that one, Wikey-nl; this time I'm for reducing confusion!) — Sebastian 20:33, 23 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am not sure if that addition was a serious edit (!), but if [gʲ] really exists, I have no idea what it means. I think it is useful to list dialect variants, as far as they are used by a relevant number of people. For the name column I would be more restrictive, as long as it is clear for the reader which letter is meant. Alef or alif refer to the same letter, as do jim and jeem. Names will certainly be far more diverse than sounds.--Wickey-nl (talk) 11:12, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It clearly was a serious edit. (I wasn't so sure at first, partly because it was done by an IP editor. But I realized later that has been a dedicated editor to many language related articles, so there is no doubt that he or she is serious and well-intended.) (Regarding the name column: Please let's keep that discussion in the previous section, which is precisely about that.) — Sebastian 20:11, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a good proposal to make a Dialect Table. I even tried to do something like that in the main article — Arabic language after the table of sounds — but some people think that it is an unnecessary abundance. (talk) 17:01, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to take a look at that. Would you have a diff pointing to your version? — Sebastian 20:11, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just an idea: Maybe the problem was just the location; maybe your Dialect Table would fit into the article Varieties of Arabic? — Sebastian 20:16, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was just a list of phonemes made with numbers because the normal and broaden table can cause argues! But some of dialectal additions are still in the main article (after the Consonants table). I can try to make a broaden table in Varieties of Arabic but I'm not sure that the most of people will consider it as a necessary addition. (talk) 15:02, 25 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is hard for us to comment on your table without actually seeing it. Please provide a WP:DIFF to your edit. — Sebastian 16:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When I will be able to present the full variant of the table I'll inform you. (talk) 17:43, 25 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The main article about the individual letter is the right place for the pronunciation in dialects.--Wickey-nl (talk) 11:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seriously Wikipedia?[edit]

Some asshole does nothing but remove a letter and add 'pop' to the alphabet and nobody changes it back? Wikipedia sucks.

We rely on lots of eyes watching the articles, but sometimes things get missed. Thanks for calling attention to this issue. I restored the alphabet in question to an earlier version. --agr (talk) 17:26, 30 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other ligatures, e.g. ba + ya?[edit]

Why no mention of ligatures like ba+ya, such as seen here: --Sonjaaa (talk) 13:19, 18 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many ligatures such as the one you're mentioning exist in Arabic. There's even a whole list of ligatures encoded in Unicode. However, most of these are only a matter of style and calligraphy, and they certainly aren't mandatory to write proper Arabic. Lam+alif is mentioned in this article because it is a mandatory ligature. — Abjiklam (talkstalk) 15:55, 18 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My problem with the ligature section is that it is all about Unicode, talking about ranges and workarounds for text processors and browsers and font configuration and zero width joiners. This page should be about the alphabet, not encoding the alphabet. When are the ligatures used? What are some of the general forms they take? (I was trying to figure out a text when I came here, and look as I might, I didn't find some of the 'letters' I was seeing in the text. I twigged to the fa-ya ligature pretty quickly, but it took me forever to figure out a nun-jim ligature that looked like an initial kaf with some diacritics.) Such information useful to understanding the application of ligatures to the Arabic alphabet, but the section contains nothing but Unicode trivia - the Allah page has more useful content on the Allah ligature in one figure than all this article's talk of whether DejaVu Sans or any other font does or does not show a superscripted alif. I still don't know when ـلا is used instead of لا, but I now have the critical information that my computer will encode it using something in the Presentation Form B U+FExx range, whatever the heck that is. Agricolae (talk) 01:23, 22 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had hoped that someone more knowledgeable might attack this, but as it hasn't happened, I have taken the first step by moving the detailed UNICODE and font discussion to the section on Computers and the Arabic alphabet. That leaves almost nothing behind. I think the section could benefit from several more examples, both some that are somewhat obvious and some that are not immediately evident (the fa-ya and nun-jim ones I mention above would be good, and perhaps a couple of others). Some historical or usage context for the Allah ligature would also be beneficial, but I am not the person to do it. Agricolae (talk) 03:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ǧ considered harmful[edit]

The transcription ǧ comes from a German library-cataloging standard (since the "j" or [dʒ] affricate sound is written with a four-letter sequence Dsch in German orthography), and really doesn't have much legitimate use in English-language transcriptions of Arabic (since the "j" or [dʒ] affricate sound is written simply with the single letter J in English orthography). "J" is in fact used far more often than "ǧ" in English-language transcriptions of Arabic, and is really vastly preferable in almost all cases (unless there is a specific reference to German library-cataloging standards, or possibly for transcription of Egyptian dialect forms only). "J" is also consistent with the past efforts towards transcription standardization at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Arabic... -- AnonMoos (talk) 05:16, 21 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AnonMoos Why Egyptian? Irtapil (talk) 15:58, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because the letter ج is pronounced as [ɡ] in Egyptian Arabic. AnonMoos (talk) 01:10, 4 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks @AnonMoos:.
That raises a new question though, wouldn't that be just English g in Egyptian, not Turkish ğ like you were talking about above? (though i'm not very clear on what the difference is, or what the usage is in Turkish, i just used the Turkish keyboard to type it.)
Also, re-reading the original post, "harmful" sounds very strong? what did you mean by that? did you just mean that it would perpetuate misunderstandings or inaccurate ideas? or is there some significance i'm missing?
G makes sense in German, since ي as a consonant would be spelled as J and German J is nothing like G... but in English we don't do that with J, so yeah it makes less sense to use G instead in English if J is a closer match.
Are differing dialects part of why English spellings of Arabic words are so variable?
(I hope i'm not too annoying, i think i never quite grew out of the curious 5 year old stage.)
Irtapil (talk) 12:14, 9 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry I missed seeing your comment until now. "Considered Harmful" is a kind of meme (originally from computer science) which has its own article: Considered harmful -- AnonMoos (talk) 08:05, 13 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

further complication[edit]

With the most recent change, some of the digraphs ("gh", "kh", "sh" etc.) are displaying backwards in the "Alphabetical order" section... AnonMoos (talk) 22:54, 21 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Problem solved! -- Abjiklam (talk o stalk) 03:19, 6 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Typo: "Alif maqsurah" instead of "Ya"[edit]

In the alternative hija'i order (in the Alphabetical Order section) I believe ى is being used instead of ي, however I'd prefer if someone who actually knows Arabic would take a look. Additionally the prefacing sentence says: 'until it was replaced by the Mashriki order', however I don't find that order defined, does that refer to the first hijai order given or the current order based on shape. Menachemsdavis (talk) 10:05, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Traditionally Mashriq is the opposite of Maghrib (though in modern political usage a number of Arab countries don't fit neatly into either category), so yes it means the immediately preceding order... AnonMoos (talk) 20:12, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Menachemsdavis it's probably Farsi ye یـ ـیـ ـی lacks dots but only in the final position, used in formal Persian and Urdu, but also in Egyptian Arabic least least if their wiki name مصری is any indication? I think that's a ye in standard Arabic, rhymes with عربي Arabic. Probably valid for dialects that use that form, but needs a footnote? Irtapil (talk) 16:05, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Order of columns in Consonants table[edit]

I realise that Arabic is written from right to left, but I find tables ordered from right to left confusing in an article that is written in English. The columns should be ordered according to the language of the text, not according to the subject matter. FilipeS (talk) 18:17, 26 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arabic script needed for animal article[edit]

Hi. I'm currently re-writing the spotted hyena article on my userpage. Part of the article lists local names for the species, including ones in several different Arabic/Somali dialects. At the moment, they are transcribed in Roman script. I would appreciate it if someone here could transcribe them in Arabic script. Thanks in advance.Mariomassone (talk) 21:42, 11 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Written vs Printed/Typed[edit]

The article seems to show the letters of the Arabic printed or typed language and not the Arabic handwritten language. The letters can be written somewhat differently than printed or typed. For example the sīn, among other letters, is often written without the small 'teeth', instead, you have a straight line when written by hand.

It might also be a good idea to include two parallel notebook solid lines with a middle dashed line and the letters written inbetween the solid lines to show how each letter and how each component of each letter is positioned relative to notebook lines (like with English, some parts maybe positioned below the bottom solid line, some components inbetween the bottom solid and middle dashed line, etc...). Or at least include a source that has this information if it'll make the article too long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No it is not different. What you are talking about is Riq'a. A style of writing developed for speed in writing.--BelalSaid (talk) 22:54, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply] -- In handwriting, there's traditional ink-pen calligraphy (with strokes that narrow and widen) and modern "ballpoint-pen" type handwriting. I think that the "ballpoint-pen" handwriting is widely considered an ugly purely utilitarian makeshift expedient, and it doesn't exert much influence on the letter-shapes used in books, newspapers, or most computer fonts so I'm not sure that we need to focus on it in this article... AnonMoos (talk) 02:37, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alphanumeric code/cipher of Arabic Letters/Abjad Numerals, Hebrew Gematria, Greek Isopsephy[edit]

I tweaked... In this order, letters are also used as numbers. This is called Abjad numerals and it posses the same alphanumeric code/cipher as Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy. - Benjamin Franklin (talk) 13:26, 10 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Non-horizontal line[edit]

I don't know much about Arabic, only a little. In handwritten manuscripts, the language is not written always in a straight line as we do with the Latin alphabet. "Muhammad", and forgive me if I've anglicized that wrong, would have the m above the h above the m, and then the d following on the same line as the second m. Aren't there a lot of words like this? Is this discussed somewhere? How is this handled by typesetting or word processing systems in Arabic? -- 14:19, 17 September 2014 User:Deisenbe

There are two topics -- the ligatures of specific characters (which were quite common in traditional ink-pen handwriting, but are somewhat optional in modern typography, except for lam-alif), and writing styles which are not not based on a horizontal line (such as Urdu's Nastaliq)... -- AnonMoos (talk) 03:38, 21 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Direction of alphabetic order table[edit]

The "Alphabetical order" order tables show the letters right to left. This is the English Wikipedia, so it should be left to right. Does anybody disagree? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:05, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it should be right to left because, it matches the letters. They're numbered so it's not ambiguous. We could make them vertical? But that would necessitate rearrange everything? They probably need to be put together in a big table. The current layout works well, so i think they should stay right to left. Irtapil (talk) 16:12, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The numbers are not on all of the tables, nor is it entirely clear what those numbers are given that they're not just a straight up consecutive sequence. The formatting here is really confusing and at the very least if we want the table to be right-to-left we have to explain that it is. I don't think it's the right stylistic choice at all, it's very confusing. ManishEarthTalk o Stalk 11:01, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've made the fix. Happy to discuss further but I really don't see a good case for having a right-to-left table on English Wikipedia in contexts that are not explicitly examples of right-to-left text. -- 11:55, 12 December 2022 Manishearth

Inclusion of a Persian letter in the alphabetical order table[edit]

The Persian letter Gaf (گ) is included in on of the alphabetical order tables. Should it be there? I think that it should only include the core Arabic letters, and the alphabetical order for other languages should be discussed in their respective articles. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Amire80: You're right and I removed Gaf from the table. Abjiklɐm (tɐlk) 13:42, 8 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How is it written (formed)?[edit]

Are there prescribed ways to form the letters (e.g., when are the dots added, are they added in a certain order)? (talk) 12:26, 31 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I assume they would be commonly added right-to-left. There were various conventions governing traditional ink-pen calligraphy, but probably nothing very directly parallel to East Asian character stroke-order conventions... AnonMoos (talk) 01:41, 3 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's a few curses on Memrise that describe a recommended stroke order. Irtapil (talk) 16:13, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What do the dots under some transliterated letters indicate? How is the dotted circle written by hand? (talk) 10:45, 8 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The underdotted Latin letters ṭ, ṣ, ḍ etc. are conventional Semitological symbols for so-called "emphatic" sounds. In Arabic, "emphatic" sounds are usually velarized. Also, ḥ is a conventional Semitological symbol for the voiceless pharyngeal sound... AnonMoos (talk) 03:06, 10 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Simplified Arabic alphabet[edit]

Where should simplified Arabic alphabet go ?

Mutamathil Type Style designed by Saad Abulhab [1], [2], [3]
An Arabic alphabet that replicated some of the simpler principles of written English. The designed letters that took one form wherever they appeared in a word, could be printed in block style, and could appear as separate letters instead of connected in cursive form. The alphabet could then be written from left to right for those more comfortable with the pattern of English, or from right to left in the traditional Arabic manner.

Saad Abulhab on Microsoft Windows Font "Simplified Arabic"

Q: Source of "Simplified Arabic" font which came with Ms windows since the first version
Saad Abulhab: "simplified" Arabic was developed early 80s for Microsoft by a Boston based firm: "Glyph Systems"
Q: Who is its designer? In Simplified Arabic font information we can read:"Portions (C) 1990 Compugraphic Corporation. Typeface Portions (C) The :Monotype Corporation plc. Data Portions (C) The Monotype Corporation plc./Type Solutions Inc. 1990-1992. All Rights Reserved."
Saad Abulhab: I think it was a digital scan of an the earlier print typeface done by Linotype in the 1950s?? (talk) 10:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply] -- These efforts have never gained significant acceptance in the past, and since such proposals were partly motivated by difficulties with metal type printing and typewriters, I doubt that they will gain more acceptance now that there is widespread use of computers. I really don't think that this is an important enough topic to be included on this article, but if there were a separate article devoted to the topic (such as Initial Teaching Alphabet for English), then this article to could link to that one. AnonMoos (talk) 12:00, 10 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why don't you just give the frickin alphabet first!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:540:C001:7708:9992:BCA6:3D2A:881C (talk) 00:03, 20 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Arabic alphabet. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 20:12, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On table of basic letters[edit]

It seems a bit ago someone un-IPA-ified the table of basic letters. Following that, a bot added a message to the letter table, inline. It appears the last "good" revision is and I was wondering how one could revert to that without the bot trampling there again. -- (talk) 21:20, 12 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Weird vowels[edit]

/œ/, /ɯ̽/, and /ɨ/ are in the table. I have never seen these vowels in any description of Arabic except IIRC [ɨ] as an allophone of /i/. Can someone who knows more than me review this? brine_for_the_brine_god (talk) 22:43, 19 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed this seems wrong, especially in a phonemic transcription. --Macrakis (talk) 01:35, 20 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not an "alphabet", but an "abjad"[edit]

Arabic is not written with an alphabet, but with an abjad. If we want to use just a nontechnical term, then this article should be "Arabic script". --Taivo (talk) 09:35, 26 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As has been discussed before, all this "abugida" etc. terminology neologism stuff only started to come in during the late 1980s or early 1990s, and I very much doubt whether it's obligatory in most areas of scholarship today. For many centuries before those neologisms were introduced, scholars called the Hebrew, Arabic etc. writing systems alphabets -- and if any greater degree of precision was felt to be necessary, they called them "consonantal alphabets". By the way, to see what the main meaning of "abjad" used to be in English before the rise of the neologisms, see Abjad numerals... AnonMoos (talk) 00:57, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cars used to be called "horseless carriages". That's your argument. It's a bad argument. Modern linguistic terminology, the only terminology that matters here since it is the scientific discipline that subsumes the study of writing systems, is to use "alphabet", "abjad", "abugida", etc. in precise, linguistically defined, terms. Catch up to us here, it's the 21st century. Because if we follow your reasoning, then cars must be renamed just because "car" is a new-fangled term. --Taivo (talk) 01:07, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry, but that's unfortunately not the case (unless things have changed radically in just the last few years). You may learn the "abugida" neologisms in your undergraduate linguistics class, but that doesn't mean that scholars across a broad range of related fields (such as Arabic language and linguistics) have rushed to adopt them with uniformity... AnonMoos (talk) 02:02, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you mean the undergraduate linguistics classes that I teach? Of course I use modern, accurate linguistic terminology to refer to the majority of Semitic writing systems, specifically including Arabic and Hebrew, as "abjads". This follows the usage in many standard works on Semitic and the history of writing: Patrick R. Bennett (1998) Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual (Eisenbrauns); Peter T. Daniels (1997) "Scripts of Semitic Languages," The Semitic Languages (Routledge, pages 16-45); Henry Rogers (2005) Writing Systems: A Linguistic Approach (Blackwell); for example. In Peter T. Daniels and William Bright, ed. (1996) The World's Writing Systems (Oxford), the chapters on Arabic writing label it a "script" without using either "abjad" or "alphabet" to define it; in only one location a chapter author refers to "the Arabic abjad or alphabet" without committing to either term. Throughout the work, however, the "Semitic abjad" and "Semitic abjads" are consistently the terms used to describe Semitic writing systems (exclusive of Ethiopic, of course). The term "alphabet" is never used of these Semitic orthographies. So your assertion that "abjad" is somehow a lesser term is false. Yes, things have changed radically over the last two decades in describing the Arabic script. But even before the use of "abjad", the term "consonantal alphabetic" was already being used to distinguish the consonantal scripts of Semitic languages like Arabic and true "alphabetic" scripts like Greek, Roman, and Cyrillic. "Abjad" simply give a properly technical term to replace "consonantal alphabetic". But I would be willing to adopt the Daniels and Bright compromise in calling this article the "Arabic script" since that can ambiguously subsume both the outdated and inaccurate label "Arabic alphabet" and the linguistically accurate label "Arabic abjad". --Taivo (talk) 05:04, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's nice. I have here The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages ISBN 0-521-56256-2, which is 1162 pages of relatively recent writing by working scholars of specific ancient/literary languages (as opposed to abstract general theorizers), and as far as I can tell, the words "abjad" and "abugida" don't occur anywhere in the book. In fact, the Ugaritic writing system is specifically described as a "consonantal alphabet".
And of course, any works by Peter T. Daniels have absolutely 0% relevance in this context, since he's the neologism coiner. How frequently Peter T. Daniels uses his own neologisms isn't any kind of evidence for anything, and of no particular interest here. AnonMoos (talk) 14:33, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course "consonantal alphabet" is nothing more than the "horseless carriage" version of "abjad". And it doesn't matter who first used the term, the term is widely accepted as the current term of art for a script (not an "alphabet") that is based on consonant symbols. And Daniels is not my only reference so your apparent personal animus toward his work can be ignored. I have already proposed a compromise term, "script", because Arabic is not an alphabet, it is a "consonantal alphabet" or "abjad". There is, of course, ample scholarly precedent for substituting "script" for the inaccurate "alphabet" such as the previously mentioned Daniels-Bright volume in both chapters that discuss the Arabic abjad (neither of which were written by Daniels); Robert Hetzron (1987) "Semitic Languages," The World's Major Languages (Oxford, pages 654-663), who uses "consonantal script"; and Alan S. Kaye, (1987) "Arabic," The World's Major Languages (Oxford, pages 664-685), for example. And, in fact, handbooks on Arabic already use "script" and "alphabet" almost interchangeably. Kees Versteegh (2014) The Arabic Language, 2nd edition (Edinburgh), for example, usually employs "script" as the first description of Arabic orthography and only occasionally employs "alphabet" in subsequent sentences. Indeed, "script" is found in the index and "alphabet" is not. --Taivo (talk) 17:12, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Arabic script" is certainly a fully acceptable expression, but unless perhaps mainly in a few recent cases, it has NOT generally been used in order to avoid saying the more specific term "Arabic alphabet" -- which would make its use for that purpose in the article title seem slightly dishonest. Also (which I should have mentioned before), Wikipedia articles usually go by WP:COMMONNAME, and not always by what is theoretically most "correct" (and recent neologisms are a weaker form of "correctness" than most)... AnonMoos (talk) 06:15, 31 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just a practical note: if this article is moved, other articles should be. See articles with abjad in their titles, which includes a bunch of "alphabet" articles with redirects from "abjad" titles (Hebrew abjadHebrew alphabet, Phoenician abjadPhoenician alphabet, ...). So probably this topic should be raised in a more central location, like Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Writing systems. (I'm not volunteering though.) — Eru·tuon 07:22, 31 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that Arabic script has quite a different meaning from the Arabic alphabet, and the difference between Arabic script and the Arabic alphabet is akin to the difference between Latin script and the Latin alphabet (on the other hand, there is no "Cyrillic language", so we can safely use both the terms "script" and "alphabet", the latter being a redirect; however, one may argue that the particular 33-letter version of it, that comes from the Russian alphabet but not used for Russian, may be called "Russian script", and this is used by a number of languages, including namely Moksha, Erzya, Crimean Tatar, and a few others).
Considering Arabic, there is a very important comprehensive 3000-page work the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (EALL), in its volume 1 (pp. 133-166) there are two articles "Arabic Alphabet for Other Languages" (by Alan S. Kaye) and "Arabic Alphabet: Origin" (by Beatrice Gruendler). The latter has fewer than ten instances of abjad, however, it must be noted that all the time it is used in italic and with a leading glottal stop sign ⟨ʾ⟩, that means this word is treated as a particular Arabic word rather than an English term, and in two cases (pp. 148, 153) this is directly glossed as 'consonantary'. There are a few other cases in other places, namely
1) a purely Arabic derivation ʾabjadiyya;
2) an Arabic word ʾabjad 'alphabet';
3) in phrases such as "the old Semitic ʾabjada [sic!] ordering", "the so-called Abjad order of the letters", "mnemotechnical arrangement (ʾabjad)", "the arrangement of the ʾabjad".
Apart from the two above-mentioned articles, the instances of the "Arabic alphabet" in other articles is a couple of dozens.
Another thematic encyclopedia Arabic Manuscripts: a Vademecum for Readers (by Adam Gacek). The article is called "Arabic alphabet" and "Abjad (abjadīyah)" is redirected to "Arabic alpha-numerical notation". The words abjad and abjadīyah are treated the very same as in the EALL, as Arabic words written respectively in italic.
Another notable work is A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (by Karin C. Ryding). It mentions this word only two times in the text, first in "That order is called the ʾabjad" and in "ʾabjadiyy or 'alphabetical'", and once in the glossary of Arabic terms. That is, again, as an Arabic word/term. While the word (phrase) "(Arabic) alphabet" is used quite routinely.
So at least these three modern sources I have immediately at hand make it clear that the alleged accepted widespread usage of this word in English is not conclusive, and this word is rather thought as an Arabic word not yet adopted into English.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 17:34, 31 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Don't the vowel properties of و ي mean it's not quite an abjad either? So given it's not quite either, use the word that is consistent for other language articles. "Script" would refer to things like Nastaliq? Irtapil (talk) 16:24, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those are "Matres lectionis", not true vowel letters. AnonMoos (talk) 01:12, 4 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AnonMoos you mean Matres lectionis don't count just because they are also often used as consonants? which i guess is the same reason English Y usually gets excluded from the simplified "a e i o u" list of English vowels? Irtapil (talk) 12:33, 9 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
does English Y count as Matres lectionis? Irtapil (talk) 13:00, 9 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Identification of calligraphies[edit]

In the Calligraphy sidebar, is it really intended that the examples of "Georgian" and "Western" calligraphy are identical? Mdmi (talk) 03:54, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should discuss on Template_talk:Calligraphy or similar appropriate page... AnonMoos (talk) 22:43, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

the vowel table looks wrong[edit]

In the table "Long vowels (fully vocalized text)" the unicode IDs were overlapping the characters, i put them in separate cells, but the characters underneath seem to be a mess? Some have multiple diacritics on the same base letter and i'm not sure which are supposed to be there. Irtapil (talk) 16:20, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Does anyone know anything about the Arabic character set in Tahoma font? Irtapil (talk) 16:16, 1 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

link to add[edit]

i was about to add this to the links section:
but a notice said i should mention on the talk page first.
"…Wikipedia is not a collection of links nor should it be used for advertising. Excessive or inappropriate links WILL BE DELETED. If there are already plentiful links, please propose additions or replacements on this article's discussion page…"
So posting here as a suggestion.
Irtapil (talk) 12:27, 9 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not advertising anything as far as i can tell, but if only two links are good enough to be on the link list, maybe this one is not important enough to rate a mention?
Irtapil (talk) 12:37, 9 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contemporary alternative Arabic transliteration[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:21, 20 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

spellings in introduction[edit]

-- 15:41, 25 September 2020 Irtapil

Previous table mentioned but it's not there[edit]

«The colours indicate which letters have different positions from the previous table»

Link to the section in the current version of the page:

--Tuxayo (talk) 04:02, 19 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What is the proof that Phoenician developed from Egyptian, rather than Babylonian? I have not been able to find it. Athanasius V (talk) 14:57, 23 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I found a source! It says that Egyptian was very similar to Phonecian. [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cranloa12n (talkcontribs) 13:49, 28 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have articles on the early history of the alphabet, and the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet. The early alphabet was created from Egyptian hieroglyphs by Semitic speakers, using the Acrophonic Principle. That is, the Semitic-speakers took the Egyptian hieroglyph which was a little drawing of a house, and completely ignored the sounds written by this sign in Egyptian. Instead, because the Semitic language word for "house", [baytu], began with a [b] consonant, therefore the house sign was appropriated to write [b] in the early Semitic consonantal alphabet. AnonMoos (talk) 21:43, 12 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


ta marbutah[edit]

There's a discussion that I made on Talk:Taw, but no one has voiced their opinion. So, because this article is visited more, I'll post it here. Cool guy (talkcontribs) • he/they 14:43, 28 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'The Maghrebian ʾabjadī sequence is probably older?'[edit]

That seems implausible, because it is more different from the Phoenician order than the common ʾabjadī sequence. The source given seems to be some kind of forum and I have to wonder how reliable it is, given the strangeness of the claim.-- (talk) 22:32, 9 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, س = ש is the correspondence found in words borrowed from Aramaic into Arabic at an early period, while ش = ש is only found in much later borrowings. The fact that the Nabatean letter ס was not borrowed into the early Arabic alphabet at all, while the Nabatean letter ש is the source of both Arabic س and ش points in the same direction... AnonMoos (talk) 21:37, 12 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine, but even if we assume that Arabic "Sin" is the proper counterpart of Phoenician-Hebrew "Shin", the Maghrebian order also deviates by having its "Tsade" in the place of Phoenician-Hebrew "Samekh". It's true that an early Semitic affricate pronunciation for Samekh has also been posited (just as an [s] pronunciation for Shin has), but still the Arabic name of the letter in question clearly shows continuity with Tsade, not with Samekh.-- (talk) 07:05, 30 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Neither of the two orderings is the result of any long continuation of the 22-letter Northwest Semitic or Levantine alphabetic order within pre-Muhammad Arabic. (Arabic had 21 letters before diacritic dotting and 28 after diacritic dotting.) Both were derived by starting with the Northwest Semitic alphabet as an external comparison, and first trying to find which of the Arabic letters most closely corresponded in sound to each of the 22 Northwest Semitic letters, and then adding the six left-over dotted Arabic letters at the end. This process did NOT guarantee that any Northwest Semitic letter would be matched with the Arabic letter historically corresponding to it according to the letter shapes of centuries before (though of course many were). The Northwest Semitic letter samekh/semkat could not be matched with any Arabic letter according to letter-shape history, since samekh/semkat was not the historical basis of any Arabic letter. The Maghrebi order reflects the sound-correspondences of an earlier era, and so must be earlier... AnonMoos (talk) 21:48, 30 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to be clear what we're talking about, the Phoenician-Hebrew order is:

Nun - Samekh - Ayin - Pe - Tsade - Qoph - Resh - Shin - Taw.

The Arabic common order appears to have:

"Nun" – "Samekh" – "Ayin" – "Pe" - "Tsade" – "Qoph" – "Resh" – "Shin" - "Taw",

while the Maghrebian one appears to have:

"Nun" – "Tsade" – "Ayin" – "Pe" – "Qoph" – "Resh" – "Samekh" – "Taw" - "Shin".

Even when we accept your reasoning that what I called the "Samekh" is the original correspondence of "Shin", we still get an Arabic common order:

"Nun" – "Shin" – "Ayin" – "Pe" - "Tsade" – "Qoph" – "Resh" - "modified Shin" - "Taw"

vs a Magrebian order:

"Nun" – "Tsade" – "Ayin" – "Pe" – "Qoph" – "Resh" – "Shin" – "Taw" - "modified Shin".

ghayn sound in English word: "gargantuan"[edit]

I think that the word gargantuan complies with the sound of ghayn, but I'd like to know if anyone has anything against incorporating it into the article. (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A voiced velar fricative is not a phoneme of standard English. A voiceless velar fricative appears in some people's pronunciations of a few words such as "loch" and "Bach", but is not really a standard English phoneme either... AnonMoos (talk) 03:02, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There really is nothing quite like a ghayn in English. Iskandar323 (talk) 06:38, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]