Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This post is dedicated to fellow blogger Joyce: your wish, my command my friend :)
*if you’re not Joyce you can still read the post you know.
So I guess a lot of people would like to know how to read “this Arabish language” (Arabic written with Latin letters and numbers), I wish my mom would master it because it takes me ages to write her or dad a text message in Arabic (For those of you who will say “just call her”, this is in cases of meetings, parties and situations where I can’t call). Plus Arabic characters take up more space so a text message can only have 70 characters as opposed to 160 Latin characters.
Anyway, some people use numbers to replace letters that do exist (or are close enough) in English, I don’t like that, I think it makes the written word an eyesore (you know what else is bad for your sight? WrItInG LiKe tHiS, I hAtE iT aNd iT tAkEs mE aGeS tO rEaD iT), back to the point, here’s a list, of course, of the numbers and their uses:
“2” is used instead of the Hamza, or the glottal stop, the best example I found was on Wikipedia: it’s represented by the hyphen in uh-oh! So, if uh-oh was an Arabic expression, it would be written like this: uh2o (usually the h in the end is dropped).
“3” is used instead of the letter Eyn, as in Arabee (Arabic) or 3arabee, and 3eraq (Iraq).
and 3’ (with an apostrophe) represents the letter Ghain, as in Ughneyeh (song) or u3'neyeh, and a lot of people use "gh" instead.
“5” not as popular as the 2 and 3, it’s the substitute of the letter Khaa, similar to a Spanish J, as in Julio (not Hulio), a lot of people just use “kh” instead, for example “sabaah al 5air (khair)” (good morning), some people like to use this: 7’ instead.
“6” also not a very popular one, sometimes used instead of the letter Ta, with a heavy T as in Tareq = 6areq.
“7” is used instead of the letter Haa but with an intense H coming from further down the throat (imagine an English person saying something is hhhhot, kind of) for example, habeebi and habeebti are written like this: 7abeebi or 7abeebti.
“8” is sometimes used instead of Qaaf, a more intense Q, as in 8atar = Qatar but it’s also not that popular.
“9” is used in two different ways, in the Middle East, it’s a heavy S, the letter Saad, as in 9adeeq = sadeeq (friend) while in North Africa (countries like Tunisia and Morocco) it has the same use as the “8” above.
“10” is used… no I’m just kidding, that would be too much now wouldn’t it?
Also, it wouldn’t be unusual to find words without vowels, since short vowels in Arabic are represented by Arabic diacritics: Harakaat (or tashkeel) and they’re not always used because mostly they are there to show the correct pronunciation of the word, for example my name, Rand, is written in Arabic using three letters only, R, N and D. Now how you read a word that is vowelless and unfamiliar is your problem not mine :)
I think these numbers were chosen based on their similarity to the letter they are replacing in Arabic, as you can tell from the pictures.
That’s the best I can do in explaining them, I hope it was helpful. Yeah Joyce?