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Re: Arabic transliteration

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, November 14, 2002, 11:19
En réponse à "Isaac A. Penzev" <isaacp@...>:

> > Ha! That's the question! I need BOTH transliteration scheme and > transcription! The project's phonology is quite simple. So I can > transcribe > it in SAMPA or even so-to-say "Common Sense Latin" à la Swahili. But > since > it's a NON-AFRASIAN lang written with Arabic script, there is a great > distance between spelling and pronunciation! I want to show spelling > too! >
Well, here's a possible transliteration of the Arabic script, derived from what I remember of my Teach Yourself Arabic ;))) , and adapted to ASCII: Alif: @ (the book gave â, and only after a, but I said I'd stick to SAMPA :)) ) Baa: b Taa: t Thaa: th (in the case you'd need the actual taa+haa combination, just write t'h) Jiim: j h'aa: h. (the book had a dot under) khaa: kh (see Thaa) daal: d dhaal: dh (see Thaa) raa: r zaay: z siin: s shiin: sh (see Thaa) s'aad: s. d'aad: d. t'aa: t. dh'aa: dh. (just write daal+h'aa as d'h.) 'ayn: ` ghayn: gh (see Thaa) faa: f qaaf: q kaaf: k laam: l miim: m nuun: n haa: h waaw: w yaa: y hamza: ' fatha (a): a kasra (i): i dhamma (u): u tanwin an: an tanwin in: in tanwin un: un shadda: double the corresponding consonant (you may double only the first letter in the digraphs th, dh, kh, etc..., to save space and aesthetics ;)) ) This transliteration must always be fully vowelled (or else the convention t'h for taa+haa wouldn't be unambiguous). But the unvowelled form is easy to guess from the fully vowelled one. It doesn't give a specific transliteration to the wasla, nor any transliteration for the sukun, and is rather interested in how words are pronounced rather than written (although it transliterates long vowels as |a@|, |iy| and |uw| corresponding closely to their written form). The book used a circumflex above the consonant where I used digraphs with h. My choice was purely aesthetic (t^? Beurk!). But you can use the version with circumflex if you want (that will get rid of the special convention). You still have room for enhancement (like using the dot after other consonants than the ones written here) to transcribe derived letters, special forms of letters (like the alif maqsura or the taa marbuuta), and if you really want to transcribe the wasla and the sukun. The tanwins are not unambiguous in transliteration (one could think the n is an actual nuun), but this transliteration is based on pronunciation. If you prefer, you can transliterate them as |aa|, |ii| and |uu|, which is unambiguous since long vowels are transliterated differently (but can be misleading). In my adaptation, I tried to avoid ugliness. That's why I didn't use |3| for 'ayn nor a mix of small and capital characters (nor the circumflex :)) ). Feel free to change that if you prefer those, or if the transliteration wouldn't fit your language. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.