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comparing the study of Chinese and Arabic

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Lugubert

atitarev,

You consistently write "fus-ha". That's quite useful to distinguish it from any "fu-sh-a", if there is such a word. But wouldn't you agree that "al-fuSHaa" might be an even better way of transcribing الفصحى if you have defined your system, and what would be the best way of unambiguously rendering that final "ā"?

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atitarev

Lugubert, الفصحى can be transcribed differently and in Wiktionary the current convention would be "al-fuSHaa", the previous was "al-fúṣḥā" and the IPA is [al'fusˤħa]. There are too many methods to say, which one is more common. I saw "al-fus-ha" on the web and thought that was the best way for English speakers who have no idea about Arabic. I am flexible and we haven't discussed any conventions yet. Still, some way of separation of "s" from "h" would be often required to avoid misreading it as "sh" as in "shape".

---

Guidance, please stay. You can help out on our Arabic social group.

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Lugubert

atitarev,

I hope you realize that I totally agree with your points. Maybe I simplified my response, because there is another angle beyond Arabic:

When, and how to, write the Alif Maqsuurah is a pain in Urdu. Double final yaa underdots? Wrong IMHO, but very common. Alif Sikkiin? Love it, but again, when and where?

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atitarev

I don't know all the rules but in this pattern, it's always ʾalif maqṣūra, e.g. akbar (أكبر) - kubra (كبرى). It is the feminine form of فصيح (faṣīḥ) - "eloquent".

I prefer to write the normal yāʼ at the end of words with dots (ﻱ) to separate from ʾalif maqṣūra, the Egyptians don't follow this rule, they write dotless yaa (ﻯ), adding to the confusion.

I think you can't really tell, you need to know the word and its form and in some verbs both yāʼ and ʾalif maqṣūra are possible and they mean a different tense.

I don't have a reference with examples on this, though.

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Lugubert

Personally, I'm a stickler for not dotting the alif maqṣūra's. Worse still, how would you in transcription/transliteration distinguish between them and an accusative -an? On alif sikkiin, I've asked a couple of Hindi teachers in India, supposedly Urdu speakers, and received little more than blank stares. Well-known dictionaries use/treat them quite differently.

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atitarev

('alif sikkiin - ألف سكين) Do you mean ألف خنجرية ('alif khanjaríyya)? What about it? For the transliteration purposes, it is the same as a normal alif - a long "aa", e.g. هٰذَا - haadhaa. It's missing on all keyboards, so in typing, it's ignored like most of Arabic diacritics. Occasionally, I can see fatHa is used instead. It's too rare, that's probably why the designers of the Arabic keyboard didn't care to provide an input for it (similar to 'alif waSla ٱ)

In my opinion, not dotting the final ـي is not a good practice, admitted by many Arabists as carelessness but it's too common. The popular online Arabic editors show the dots as expected (Yamli, Google, etc.) In Urdu and Farsi it must have spread further but I am not familiar with these.

Try typing 3arabiy here and you get عربي.

http://www.yamli.com/arabic-keyboard/

'alif maqSuura is transcribed the same way as the final 'alif, long aa, I guess. It's actually shortened in the pronunciation, if not accented. That's why they are both called alif :). The definite accusative is pronounced as -an, at least formally, شكراً shukran, أحياناً 'aHyaanan, etc.

By the way, let's talk in the Arabic social group, if you wish to continue :)

Edited by atitarev

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Lugubert

I didn't mean the ordinary dagger alif, but its use (or not) on final undotted ya.

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atitarev

More confused, not sure about your confusion. :)

1. ألف خنجرية ('alif khanjaríyya) or dagger alif - a small alif written on a certain number of words instead of the normal alif.

2. الألف المقصورة (ʾalif maqṣūra) or undotted yaa'. It is a concept, not just a letter. When Egyptians, out of carelessness or following their own rules write it instead of a dotted yaa', it's still a yaa', only looking like ʾalif maqṣūra. I think, one just needs to know which words have a yaa' and which have an ʾalif maqṣūra.

An example I can think of, where it's best to type differently:

علي `ali - Ali (name)

على `alaa - on, upon (a preposition)

Some Arabs (Egypt) write the former as على, which is confusing (when the mean the name) but it's still not an ʾalif maqṣūra and shouldn't be pronounced as a long aa.

Edited by atitarev

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Lugubert

What I mean is when the ya' of the preposition is written with a dagger alif, probably to emphasize that it is not a ya' pronounced ya'. I have even seen undotted ya's with daggers which I find quite superfluous.

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