Romanization of Arabic

The romanization of Arabic writes written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used in lieu of or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.

Different systems and strategies have been developed to address the inherent problems of rendering various Arabic varieties in the Latin script. Examples of such problems are the symbols for Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English or other European languages; the means of representing the Arabic definite article, which is always spelled the same way in written Arabic but has numerous pronunciations in the spoken language depending on context; and the representation of short vowels (usually i u or e o, accounting for variations such as Muslim/Moslem or Mohammed/Muhammad/Mohamed).


Romanization is often termed "transliteration", but this is not technically correct. Transliteration is the direct representation of foreign letters using Latin symbols, while most systems for romanizing Arabic are actually transcription systems, which represent the sound of the language. As an example, the above rendering munāẓaratu l-ḥurūfi l-ʻarabīyah of the Arabic: مناظرة الحروف العربية‎ is a transcription, indicating the pronunciation; an example transliteration would be mnaẓrḧ alḥrwf alʻrbyḧ.

Romanization standards and systems

Principal standards and systems are:

Mixed digraphic and diacritical

  • BGN/PCGN romanization (1956).[1]
  • UNGEGN (1972). United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, or "Variant A of the Amended Beirut System". Adopted from BGN/PCGN.[2][3]
    • IGN System 1973 or "Variant B of the Amended Beirut System", that conforms to the French orthography and is preferred to the Variant A in French-speaking countries as in Maghreb and Lebanon.[2][4]
    • ADEGN romanization (2007) is different from UNGEGN in two ways: (1) ظ is dh instead of z̧; (2) the cedilla is replaced by a sub-macron (_) in all the characters with the cedilla.[2]
  • ALA-LC (first published 1991), from the American Library Association and the Library of Congress.[5] This romanization is close to the romanization of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft and Hans Wehr, which is used internationally in scientific publications by Arabists.
    • IJMES, used by International Journal of Middle East Studies, very similar to ALA-LC.[6]
    • EI, Encyclopaedia of Islam (1st ed., 1913–1938; 2nd ed., 1960–2005).[7]

Fully diacritical


Comparison table

Letter Unicode Name IPA BGN/
ء3 0621 hamzah ʔ ʼ 4 ʾ ʼ 4 ʾ ʼ 4 ʾ ˈˌ ' 2
ا 0627 alif ā ʾ A a/e/é
ب 0628 ʼ b b
ت 062A ʼ t t
ث 062B thāʼ θ th 5 _t s/th
ج 062C jīm d͡ʒ~ɡ~ʒ j dj 5 j 6 ǧ ^g j/g/dj
ح 062D ḥāʼ ħ  7 .h 7
خ 062E khāʼ x kh 5  6 x _h kh/7'/5
د 062F dāl d d
ذ 0630 dhāl ð dh 5 _d z/dh/th
ر 0631 ʼ r r
ز 0632 zayn/zāy z z
س 0633 sīn s s
ش 0634 shīn ʃ sh 5 š ^s sh/ch
ص 0635 ṣād ş 7 .s s/9
ض 0636 ḍād  7 .d d/9'
ط 0637 ṭāʼ ţ 7 .t t/6
ظ 0638 ẓāʼ ðˤ~  7 ḏ̣/ẓ11 .z z/dh/6'
ع 0639 ʻayn ʕ ʻ 4 ʿ ʽ 4 ʿ ` 3
غ 063A ghayn ɣ gh 5  6 ġ ġ .g gh/3'
ف8 0641 ʼ f f
ق8 0642 qāf q q 2/g/q/8
ك 0643 kāf k k
ل 0644 lām l l
م 0645 mīm m m
ن 0646 nūn n n
ه 0647 ʼ h h
و 0648 wāw w, w; ū w; U w/ou/oo/u/o
ي9 064A ʼ j, y; ī y; I y/i/ee/ei/ai
آ 0622 alif maddah ʔaː ā, ʼā ʾā ʾâ 'A 2a/aa
ة 0629 ʼ marbūṭah h, t h; t —; t h; t T a/e(h); et/at
ال 06210644 alif lām (var.) al- 10 ʾal al- el/al
ى9 0649 alif maqṣūrah á ā _A a
ـَ 064E fatḥah a a a/e/é
ـِ 0650 kasrah i i i/e/é
ـُ 064F ḍammah u u ou/o/u
ـَا 064E0627 fatḥah alif ā a’ A/aa a
ـِي 0650064A kasrah yāʼ ī iy I/iy i/ee
ـُو 064F0648 ḍammah wāw ū uw U/uw ou/oo/u
ـَي 064E064A fatḥah yāʼ aj ay ay/ai/ey/ei
ـَو 064E0648 fatḥah wāw aw aw aw/aou
ـً 064B fatḥatān an aⁿ an á aN an
ـٍ 064D kasratān in iⁿ in í iN in/en
ـٌ 064C ḍammatān un uⁿ un ú uN oun/on/oon/un
  • ^1 Hans Wehr transliteration does not capitalize the first letter at the beginning of sentences nor in proper names.
  • ^2 The chat table is only a demonstration and is based on the spoken varieties which vary considerably from Literary Arabic on which the IPA table and the rest of the transliterations are based.
  • ^3 Review hamzah for its various forms.
  • ^4 Neither standard defines which code point to use for hamzah and ʻayn. Appropriate Unicode points would be modifier letter apostropheʼ〉 and modifier letter turned commaʻ〉 (for the UNGEGN and BGN/PCGN) or modifier letter reversed commaʽ〉 (for the Wehr and Survey of Egypt System (SES)), all of which Unicode defines as letters. Often right and left single quotation marks〉, 〈〉 are used instead, but Unicode defines those as punctuation marks, and they can cause compatibility issues. The glottal stop (hamzah) in these romanizations isn't written word-initially.
  • ^5 In Encyclopaedia of Islam digraphs are underlined, that is th, dj, kh, dh, sh, gh. In BGN/PCGN on the contrary the sequences ـتـهـ, ـكـهـ, ـدهـ, ـسهـ may be romanized with middle dot as t·h, k·h, d·h, s·h respectively; the letter g is not used by itself in BGN/PCGN, so no confusion between gh and g+h is possible.
  • ^6 In the original German edition of his dictionary (1952) Wehr used ǧ, ḫ, ġ for j, ḵ, ḡ respectively (that is all the letters used are equal to DMG/DIN 31635). The variant presented in the table is from the English translation of the dictionary (1961).
  • ^7 BGN/PCGN allows use of underdots instead of cedilla.
  • ^8 Fāʼ and qāf are traditionally written in Northwestern Africa as ڢ and ڧـ ـڧـ ـٯ, respectively, while the latter's dot is only added initially or medially.
  • ^9 In Egypt, Sudan, and sometimes in other regions, the standard form for final-yāʼ is only ى (without dots) in handwriting and print, for both final /-iː/ and final /-aː/. ى for the latter pronunciation, is called ألف لينة alif layyinah [ˈʔælef læjˈjenæ], 'flexible alif'.
  • ^10 The sun and moon letters and hamzat waṣl pronunciation rules apply, although it is acceptable to ignore them. The UN system and ALA-LC prefer lowercase a and hyphens: al-Baṣrah, ar-Riyāḍ; BGN/PCGN prefers uppercase A and no hyphens: Al Baṣrah, Ar Riyāḍ.[2]
  • ^11 The EALL suggests ẓ "in proper names" (volume 4, page 517).

Romanization issues

Any romanization system has to make a number of decisions which are dependent on its intended field of application.


One basic problem is that written Arabic is normally unvocalized; i.e., many of the vowels are not written out, and must be supplied by a reader familiar with the language. Hence unvocalized Arabic writing does not give a reader unfamiliar with the language sufficient information for accurate pronunciation. As a result, a pure transliteration, e.g., rendering قطر as qṭr, is meaningless to an untrained reader. For this reason, transcriptions are generally used that add vowels, e.g. qaṭar. However, unvocalized systems match exactly to written Arabic, unlike vocalized systems such as Arabic chat, which some claim detracts from one's ability to spell.[14]

Transliteration vs. transcription

Most uses of romanization call for transcription rather than transliteration: Instead of transliterating each written letter, they try to reproduce the sound of the words according to the orthography rules of the target language: Qaṭar. This applies equally to scientific and popular applications. A pure transliteration would need to omit vowels (e.g. qṭr ), making the result difficult to interpret except for a subset of trained readers fluent in Arabic. Even if vowels are added, a transliteration system would still need to distinguish between multiple ways of spelling the same sound in the Arabic script, e.g. alif  ا vs. alif maqṣūrah ى for the sound /aː/ ā, and the six different ways (ء إ أ آ ؤ ئ) of writing the glottal stop (hamza, usually transcribed ʼ ). This sort of detail is needlessly confusing, except in a very few situations (e.g., typesetting text in the Arabic script).

Most issues related to the romanization of Arabic are about transliterating vs. transcribing; others, about what should be romanized:

  • Some transliterations ignore assimilation of the definite article al- before the "sun letters", and may be easily misread by non-Arabic speakers. For instance, "the light" النور an-nūr would be more literally transliterated along the lines of alnūr. In the transcription an-nūr, a hyphen is added and the unpronounced /l/ removed for the convenience of the uninformed non-Arabic speaker, who would otherwise pronounce an /l/, perhaps not understanding that /n/ in nūr is geminated. Alternatively, if the shaddah is not transliterated (since it is strictly not a letter), a strictly literal transliteration would be alnūr, which presents similar problems for the uninformed non-Arabic speaker.
  • A transliteration should render the "closed tāʼ " (tāʼ marbūṭah, ة) faithfully. Many transcriptions render the sound /a/ as a or ah and t when it denotes /at/.
  • "Restricted alif" (alif maqṣūrah, ى) should be transliterated with an acute accent, á, differentiating it from regular alif ا, but it is transcribed in many schemes like alif, ā, because it stands for /aː/.
  • Nunation: what is true elsewhere is also true for nunation: transliteration renders what is seen, transcription what is heard, when in the Arabic script, it is written with diacritics, not by letters, or omitted.

A transcription may reflect the language as spoken, typically rendering names, for example, by the people of Baghdad (Baghdad Arabic), or the official standard (Literary Arabic) as spoken by a preacher in the mosque or a TV newsreader. A transcription is free to add phonological (such as vowels) or morphological (such as word boundaries) information. Transcriptions will also vary depending on the writing conventions of the target language; compare English Omar Khayyam with German Omar Chajjam, both for عمر خيام /ʕumar xajjaːm/, [ˈʕomɑr xæjˈjæːm] (unvocalized ʿmr ḫyām, vocalized ʻUmar Khayyām).

A transliteration is ideally fully reversible: a machine should be able to transliterate it back into Arabic. A transliteration can be considered as flawed for any one of the following reasons:

  • A "loose" transliteration is ambiguous, rendering several Arabic phonemes with an identical transliteration, or such that digraphs for a single phoneme (such as dh gh kh sh th rather than ḏ ġ ḫ š ṯ ) may be confused with two adjacent consonants—but this problem is resolved in the ALA-LC romanization system, where the prime symbol ʹ is used to separate two consonants when they do not form a digraph;[15] for example: أَكْرَمَتْها akramatʹhā ('she honored her'), in which the t and h are two distinct consonantal sounds.
  • Symbols representing phonemes may be considered too similar (e.g., ` and ' or ʿ and ʾ for ع ʻayn and hamzah);
  • ASCII transliterations using capital letters to disambiguate phonemes are easy to type, but may be considered unaesthetic.

A fully accurate transcription may not be necessary for native Arabic speakers, as they would be able to pronounce names and sentences correctly anyway, but it can be very useful for those not fully familiar with spoken Arabic and who are familiar with the Roman alphabet. An accurate transliteration serves as a valuable stepping stone for learning, pronouncing correctly, and distinguishing phonemes. It is a useful tool for anyone who is familiar with the sounds of Arabic but not fully conversant in the language.

One criticism is that a fully accurate system would require special learning that most do not have to actually pronounce names correctly, and that with a lack of a universal romanization system they will not be pronounced correctly by non-native speakers anyway. The precision will be lost if special characters are not replicated and if a reader is not familiar with Arabic pronunciation.


Examples in Literary Arabic:

Arabic أمجد كان له قصر إلى المملكة المغربية
Arabic with diacritics
(normally omitted)
أَمْجَدُ كَانَ لَهُ قَصْر إِلَى الْمَمْلَكَةِ الْمَغْرِبِيَّة
IPA /ʔamdʒadu kaːna lahuː qasˤr/ /ʔila‿l.mamlakati‿l.maɣribij.ja/
ALA-LC Amjadu kāna lahu qaṣr Ilá al-mamlakah al-Maghribīyah
Hans Wehr amjadu kāna lahū qaṣr ilā l-mamlaka al-maḡribīya
DIN 31635 ʾAmǧadu kāna lahu qaṣr ʾIlā l-mamlakah al-Maġribiyyah
UNGEGN Amjadu kāna lahu qaşr Ilá al-mamlakah al-maghribiyyah
ISO 233 ʾˈamǧadu kāna lahu qaṣr ʾˈilaỳ ʾˈalmamlakaẗ ʾˈalmaġribiȳaẗ
ArabTeX am^gadu kAna lahu il_A almamlakaT alma.gribiyyaT
English Amjad had a palace To the Moroccan Kingdom

Arabic alphabet and nationalism

There have been many instances of national movements to convert Arabic script into Latin script or to romanize the language.


A Beirut newspaper La Syrie pushed for the change from Arabic script to Latin script in 1922. The major head of this movement was Louis Massignon, a French Orientalist, who brought his concern before the Arabic Language Academy in Damascus in 1928. Massignon’s attempt at romanization failed as the Academy and population viewed the proposal as an attempt from the Western world to take over their country. Sa’id Afghani, a member of the Academy, asserted that the movement to romanize the script was a Zionist plan to dominate Lebanon.[16][17]


After the period of colonialism in Egypt, Egyptians were looking for a way to reclaim and reemphasize Egyptian culture. As a result, some Egyptians pushed for an Egyptianization of the Arabic language in which the formal Arabic and the colloquial Arabic would be combined into one language and the Latin alphabet would be used.[16][17] There was also the idea of finding a way to use hieroglyphics instead of the Latin alphabet.[16][17] A scholar, Salama Musa, agreed with the idea of applying a Latin alphabet to Egyptian Arabic, as he believed that would allow Egypt to have a closer relationship with the West. He also believed that Latin script was key to the success of Egypt as it would allow for more advances in science and technology. This change in script, he believed, would solve the problems inherent with Arabic, such as a lack of written vowels and difficulties writing foreign words.[16][17][18] Ahmad Lutfi As Sayid and Muhammad Azmi, two Egyptian intellectuals, agreed with Musa and supported the push for romanization.[16][17] The idea that romanization was necessary for modernization and growth in Egypt continued with Abd Al Aziz Fahmi in 1944. He was the chairman for the Writing and Grammar Committee for the Arabic Language Academy of Cairo.[16][17] He believed and desired to implement romanization in a way that allowed words and spellings to remain somewhat familiar to the Egyptian people. However, this effort failed as the Egyptian people felt a strong cultural tie to the Arabic alphabet, particularly the older generation.[16][17]

See also


  1. ^ "Romanization system for Arabic. BGN/PCGN 1956 System" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b c d "Arabic" (PDF). UNGEGN.
  3. ^ Technical reference manual for the standardization of geographical names (PDF). UNGEGN. 2007. p. 12 [22].
  4. ^ "Systèmes français de romanisation" (PDF). UNGEGN. 2009.
  5. ^ "Arabic romanization table" (PDF). The Library of Congress.
  6. ^ "IJMES Translation & Transliteration Guide". International Journal of Middle East Studies.
  7. ^ "Encyclopaedia of Islam Romanization vs ALA Romanization for Arabic". University of Washington Libraries.
  8. ^ Brockelmann, Carl; Ronkel, Philippus Samuel van (1935). Die Transliteration der arabischen Schrift... (PDF). Leipzig.
  9. ^ a b Reichmuth, Philipp (2009). "Transcription". In Versteegh, Kees (ed.). Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. 4. Brill. pp. 515–20.
  10. ^ Millar, M. Angélica; Salgado, Rosa; Zedán, Marcela (2005). Gramatica de la lengua arabe para hispanohablantes. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Universitaria. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-956-11-1799-0.
  11. ^ "Standards, Training, Testing, Assessment and Certification". BSI Group. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  12. ^ "Buckwalter Arabic Transliteration". QAMUS LLC.
  13. ^ "Arabic Morphological Analyzer/The Buckwalter Transliteration". Xerox. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  14. ^ "Arabizi sparks concern among educators". 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  15. ^ "Arabic" (PDF). ALA-LC Romanization Tables. Library of Congress. p. 9. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 21. The prime (ʹ) is used: (a) To separate two letters representing two distinct consonantal sounds, when the combination might otherwise be read as a digraph.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Shrivtiel, Shraybom (1998). The Question of Romanisation of the Script and The Emergence of Nationalism in the Middle East. Mediterranean Language Review. pp. 179–196.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g History of Arabic Writing
  18. ^ Shrivtiel, p. 188

External links

ALA-LC romanization

ALA-LC (American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other writing systems using the Latin script.

Arabic chat alphabet

The Arabic chat alphabet, also known as Arabish, Araby (Arabic: عربي‎, Arabī), Arabizi (عربيزي, Arabīzī), Mu'arrab (معرب), and Franco-Arabic (عرنسية), is an alphabet used to communicate in Arabic over the Internet or for sending messages via cellular phones. It is a character encoding of Arabic to the Latin script and the Western Arabic numerals. It differs from more formal and academic Arabic transliteration systems, as it avoids diacritics by freely using digits and multigraphs for letters that do not exist in the basic Latin script (ASCII).The Arabic chat alphabet is used to communicate in Arabic over the Internet or for sending messages via cellular phones when the Arabic alphabet is unavailable or difficult to use for technical reasons. Arabish is most commonly used by youth in the Arab world in very informal settings, such as when communicating with friends or other young people.Because of its widespread use, including in public advertisements by large multinational companies, large players in the online industry like Google and Microsoft have introduced tools that convert text written in Arabish to Arabic (Google Translate and Microsoft Translator). Add-ons for Mozilla Firefox and Chrome also exist (Panlatin and ARABEASY Keyboard ). The Arabic chat alphabet is never used in formal settings and is rarely, if ever, used for long communications.

Bahá'í orthography

Bahá'í orthography refers to the standardized system of Romanization of the Persian or Arabic words and names contained in the literature of the Bahá'í Faith. The set of guidelines uses certain accents and dots when transliterating the Arabic script that allows for a near-accurate representation of the original nouns.

Bahá'ís use a particular and fairly precise system standardized by Shoghi Effendi, which he initiated in a general letter on March 20, 1925. The Bahá'í transliteration scheme was based on a standard adopted by the Tenth International Congress of Orientalists which took place in Geneva in September 1894. Shoghi Effendi changed some details of the Congress's system, most notably in the use of digraphs in certain cases (e.g. sh instead of š), and in incorporating the solar letters when writing the definite article al- (Arabic: ال‎) according to pronunciation (e.g. ar-Raḥím, aṣ-Ṣaddíq, instead of al-Raḥím, al-Ṣaddíq).

Bikdash Arabic Transliteration Rules

A set of rules for the romanization of Arabic that is highly phonetic, almost one-to-one, and uses only two special characters, namely the hyphen and the apostrophe as modifiers. This standard also includes rules for diacritization, including tanwiin.

This transliteration scheme can be thought of as a compromise between the Qalam transliteration and the Buckwalter Transliteration. It represents consonants with one letter and possibly the apostrophe (or single quotation mark) as a modifier, and uses one or several Latin vowels to represent short and long Arabic vowels. It strives for minimality as well as phonetic expressiveness. It does not distinguish between the different shapes of the hamza since it assumes that a software implementation can resolve the differences through the standard rules of spelling in Arabic ar:إملاء.

Note: The Arabic words in this article are written using the Bikdash Arabic Transliteration Rules.

Buckwalter transliteration

The Buckwalter Arabic transliteration was developed at Xerox by Tim Buckwalter in the 1990s. It is an ASCII only transliteration scheme, representing Arabic orthography strictly one-to-one, unlike the more common romanization schemes that add morphological information not expressed in Arabic script. Thus, for example, a wāw will be transliterated as w regardless of whether it is realized as a vowel /uː/ or a consonant /w/. Only when the wāw is modified by a hamzah (ؤ) does the transliteration change to &. The unmodified letters are straightforward to read (except for *=dhaal and E=ayin, v=thaa), but the transliterations of letters with diacritics and the harakat take some time to get used to, for example the nunated -un, -an, -in appear as N, F, K, and the sukūn ("no vowel") as o. Taʾ marbūṭah ة is p.

Since the original Buckwalter scheme was developed, several other variants have emerged, although they are not all standardized. Buckwalter transliteration is not compatible with XML, so "XML safe" versions often modify the following characters: < > & (أ إ and ؤ respectively; Buckwalter suggests transliterating them as I O W, respectively). Completely "safe" transliteration schemes replace all non-alphanumeric characters (such as $';*) with alphanumeric characters. For a complete description of different Buckwalter schemes as well as a more detailed discussion of the trade-offs between different schemes, see.When transliterating Arabic text, several other issues may arise. First, some Arabic characters are not specified in the transliteration table, including non-alphabetic characters such as ۞ and ۝, punctuation such as ؛ ؟, and "Hindi" or "Eastern Arabic" numerals. Similarly, sometimes Arabic sentences will borrow non-Arabic letters from Persian, some of which are defined in the full Buckwalter table. Symbols that are not defined in the transliteration table may be deleted, kept as non-Latin symbols embedded in transliterated text, or transliterated into different (non-conflicting) Latin symbols. (For instance, it is straightforward to convert from Hindi numerals to Arabic numerals.) Another issue that arises is how to handle transliterating Arabic text with embedded ASCII text; for instance, an Arabic sentence that refers to "IBM" or an Arabic sentence that includes a quote in English. If the Latin text is not explicitly marked, it is a challenge to distinguish transliterated Arabic from Latin. If transliterated text with embedded Latin is later transliterated back to Arabic, the Latin text will be transliterated into garbage Arabic. Finally, another important decision to make is how much normalization of the Arabic text should be done during transliteration. This may include removing ـ kashida, removing short vowels and/or other diacritics, and/or normalizing spelling.

DIN 31635

DIN 31635 is a Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) standard for the transliteration of the Arabic alphabet adopted in 1982. It is based on the rules of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (DMG) as modified by the International Orientalist Congress 1935 in Rome. The most important differences from English-based systems were doing away with j, because it stood for /dʒ/ in the English-speaking world and for /j/ in the German-speaking world and the entire absence of digraphs like th, dh, kh, gh, sh. Its acceptance relies less on its official status than on its elegance (one sign for each Arabic letter) and the Geschichte der arabischen Literatur manuscript catalogue of Carl Brockelmann and the dictionary of Hans Wehr. Today it is used in most German-language publications of Arabic and Islamic studies.

Hans Wehr transliteration

The Hans Wehr transliteration system is a system for transliteration of the Arabic alphabet into the Latin alphabet used in the Hans Wehr dictionary (1952; in English 1961). The system was modified somewhat in the English editions. It is printed in lowercase italics. It marks some consonants using diacritics (underdot, macron below, and caron) rather than digraphs, and writes long vowels with macrons.

The transliteration of the Arabic alphabet:

Hamza (ء) is represented as ʼ in the middle and at the end of a word. At the beginning of a word, it is not represented.

The tāʼ marbūṭa (ة) is normally not represented, and words ending in it simply have a final -a. It is, however, represented with a t when it is the ending of the first noun of an iḍāfa and with an h when it appears after a long ā.

Native Arabic long vowels: ā ī ū

Long vowels in borrowed words: ē ō

Short vowels: fatḥa is represented as a, kasra as i and ḍamma as u. (see short vowel marks)

Wāw and yāʼ are represented as u and i after fatḥa: ʻain "eye", yaum "day".

Non-standard Arabic consonants: p (پ), ž (ژ), g (گ)

Alif maqṣūra (ى): ā

Madda (آ): ā at the beginning of a word, ʼā in the middle or at the end

A final yāʼ (ي), the nisba adjective ending, is represented as ī normally, but as īy when the ending contains the third consonant of the root. This difference is not written in the Arabic.

Capitalization: The transliteration uses no capitals, even for proper names.

Definite article: The Arabic definite article الـ is represented as al- except where assimilation occurs: al- + šams is transliterated aš-šams (see sun and moon letters). The a in al- is omitted after a final a (as in lamma šamla l-qatīʻ "to round up the herd") or changed to i after a feminine third person singular perfect verb form (as in kašafat il-ḥarbu ʻan sāqin "war flared up").

ISO 233

The international standard ISO 233 establishes a system for romanization of Arabic and Syriac. It has been supplemented by ISO 233-2 in 1993.

Latifa discography

This is Latifa's discography in chronological order, most recent releases to older ones.

Note. Translated English titles and Romanization of Arabic and Transliteration by Latifa's official site.

Latifa videography

During her 20+ years career, Latifa released more than 30 music video, one movie, one play and appeared as herself in the Arabic version "Lahathat Harijah" (لحظات حرجة) of the TV show ER.

This is Latifa's videography in chronological order, most recent releases to older ones.

Note. Translated English titles and Romanization of Arabic and Transliteration by Latifa's official site.

List of English exonyms for Arabic-speaking places

The list includes countries and territories, and their capitals or administrative centres, where at least one official language is Arabic. Standard Arabic (pausal) pronunciation was chosen.

List of characters and names mentioned in the Quran

List of characters and names, mentioned in the Quran. Standard form: Islamic name / Biblical name (title or relationship). This list makes use of ISO 233 for the Romanization of Arabic words.

Romanisation of Sindhi

Sindhi romanisation or Latinization of Sindhi is a system for representing the Sindhi language using the Latin script.

In Sindh, Pakistan the Sindhi language is written in modified persio-Arabic script and in India it is written in Devanagari (Hindi) Script.

Sindhis living in Pakistan as well as Sindhis living in India are able to speak and understand each other, however, they cannot write to each other because of the two different scripts.

Indus Roman Sindhi Script gives ability to Sindhis and would allow Sindhis all over the world to communicate with each other through one common script.

Said Akl

Said Akl (Arabic: سعيد عقل‎, saʿīd ʿaql, also transliterated Saïd Akl, Said Aql and Saeed Akl; 4 July 1912 – 28 November 2014) was a Lebanese poet, philosopher, writer, playwright and language reformer. He was considered one of the most important modern Lebanese poets. He is most famous for proposing the creation of the Lebanese language, distinct from Arabic with its own Latin-based alphabet system made up of 36 letters. Some of his poems were written in this Lebanese language.

His writings include poetry and prose both in Lebanese dialect and in classical Arabic language. He has also written theatre pieces and authored lyrics for many popular songs.

Semitic romanization

Romanization schemes for Proto-Semitic and various Semitic languages (Semitic abjads):

Romanization of Arabic

ISO 233

DIN 31635

Romanization of Hebrew

ISO 259

Standard Arabic Technical Transliteration System

The Standard Arabic Technical Transliteration System, commonly referred to by its acronym SATTS, is a system for writing and transmitting Arabic language text using the one-for-one substitution of ASCII-range characters for the letters of the Arabic alphabet. Unlike more common systems for transliterating Arabic, SATTS does not provide the reader with any more phonetic information than standard Arabic orthography does; that is, it provides the bare Arabic alphabetic spelling with no notation of short vowels, doubled consonants, etc. In other words, it is intended as a transliteration tool for Arabic linguists, and is of limited use to those who do not know Arabic.

SATTS, a legacy of Morse and teleprinter systems (see "Background," below), has historically been employed by military and communications elements of Western countries for handling Arabic text without the need for native fonts or special software. Although its use has decreased in recent years with the demise of Morse code and the obsolescence of the teleprinter, and with the increased availability of native-font software, it is still used for the quick and handy platform-independent recording and transmission of Arabic terms and text.


Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus trans- + liter-) in predictable ways (such as α → a, д → d, χ → ch, ն → n or æ → ae).

For instance, for the Modern Greek term "Ελληνική Δημοκρατία", which is usually translated as "Hellenic Republic", the usual transliteration to Latin script is "Ellēnikḗ Dēmokratía", and the name for Russia in Cyrillic script, "Россия", is usually transliterated as "Rossiya".

Transliteration is not primarily concerned with representing the sounds of the original but rather with representing the characters, ideally accurately and unambiguously. Thus, in the above example, λλ is transliterated as 'll', but pronounced /l/; Δ is transliterated as 'D', but pronounced /ð/; and η is transliterated as 'ē', though it is pronounced /i/ (exactly like ι) and is not long.

Conversely, transcription notes the sounds but not necessarily the spelling. So "Ελληνική Δημοκρατία" could be transcribed as "elinikí ðimokratía", which does not specify which of the /i/ sounds are written as η and which as ι.

Turkish alphabet

The Turkish alphabet (Turkish: Türk alfabesi) is a Latin-script alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 29 letters, seven of which (Ç, Ş, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ü) have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requirements of the language. This alphabet represents modern Turkish pronunciation with a high degree of accuracy and specificity. It is the current official alphabet and the latest in a series of distinct alphabets used in different eras.

Ṭ (minuscule: ṭ) is a letter of the Latin alphabet, formed from T with the addition of a dot below the letter.

It is used in the orthography of the Mizo language. It sounds much like a 'tr' in Mizo Language, as it sounds in English. But it does not replace Ṭ or ṭ .

It is used in the transcription of Afro-Asiatic languages to represent an "emphatic t", in romanization of Arabic and Syriac, and in the Berber Latin alphabets.

In the transcription of Arabic, it corresponds to the letter ṭāʾ (ط).

It is also used in the Bhojpuri language as a single consonant to represent 'tr'.

In transliterating Indo-Aryan, East Iranian and Dravidian languages it represents a retroflex t. It was also formerly used for the same sound in Javanese, but has now been replaced by the digraph "th". It is used in writing the Pali letters ṭ and ṭh, an important language in Theravada Buddhism.

It is also used for literature for Chin Language. It is after T in the alphabets. As it is pronounced differently from T.

Notable varieties
By publisher (for several languages)
By language or writing system

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