The transliteration standard of Arabic characters
used in ARABVISL corresponds to the one used by The Encyclopaedia of
Islam with a few minor
Check rules for capitalization,
the rendering of case
endings in the transliterated corpus, the
use of hyphens
and the specific problems concerning the transliteration of
Arabic writing does not capitalize. In the transliterated text,
capitalization only occurs when representing the emphatic letters
Saad, Daad, Taa' and Zaa' as well as
Haa' in order to distinguish them from other Arabic
The transliteration follows very closely the way
Modern Standard Arabic is written in e.g. Arabic newspapers and
journals. Thus case endings will only be rendered in Latin characters
if they are normally written in Arabic. As a consequence, only the
indefinite accusative endning "-an" will be rendered in the
The Encyclopaedia of islam
The differences between the system of transliteration of the
Encyclopaedia of Islam and the system used here, are mainly due to
the complex interaction of the database with the html-script. The
differences can be summerized as follows:
1. The emphatic letters Saad, Daad, Taa', and
Zaa' as well as the letter Haa', which are transliterated
in the Encyclopaedia of Islam with a dot beneath a small letter, are
represented in our system with the corresponding capital letters.
2. The emphatic letter qaaf is transliterated with a "q" in
our system instead of a "k" with a dot.
3. The letter jiim is transliterated by "j" in our system
instead of "dj".
4. The letter cayn, which is transliterated by
c in the Encyclopadia of Islam, is represented by * in our
5. Long vowels are represented by writing the vowel twice instead of
a dash above the letter.
A hyphen indicates that the sequences before and after the hyphen are
written as one word in Arabic.
This goes for the following cases:
1. The definite article al- is written as a part of the Arabic
noun, e.g. al-bait (the house), al-banaat (the
2. Possessive pronouns are suffixes in Arabic, e.g. baitu-hu
(his house), banaat-ii (my girls).
3. Personal pronouns used as objects are suffixes in Arabic. The
sentence katabtu al-risaala (I wrote the letter) becomes
katabtu-haa (I wrote it).
4. Certain prepositions and particles (typically consisting of one
consonant) are written as a part of the noun that follows, e.g.
b-il-lugha al-faransiyya (in the french language), a-laysa
kadhalik (isn't it; a- indicates that what follows, is a
In order to follow, as closely as possible, the
way Modern Standard Arabic is written in e.g. Arabic newspapers and
journals, the "ta- marbuuTa" is rendered "-a" as indicated in the
table above, unless it actually changes into a "-t" in the Arabic
script (which happens when a suffix is added) in which case it will
be rendered "-t". Thus, our system does not follow the quite common
usage of generally rendering "ta marbuuTa" as "-t" in the construct
state (the so-called iDaafa in Arabic). Thus, "the man's car"
will be rendered sayyara al-rajul (car the-man), whereas "his
car" will be rendered sayyaratu-hu (car-his).
Helle Lykke Nielsen, May 1999