From: Ahmad Gharbeia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Mar 19 2005 - 03:42:42 CST
The current Unicode standard has incorrect names for fourteen of the
basic Arabic script's twenty eight letters. With basic I refer to the
Arabic alphabet excluding the extended set of letters modified for
writing languages other than Arabic.
The following table lists those letters with incorrect names and the
final column specifies the correct Arabic name for each letter:
0628 ARABIC LETTER BEH -> baa'
062A ARABIC LETTER TEH -> taa'
062B ARABIC LETTER THEH -> thaa'
062D ARABIC LETTER HAH -> haa'
062E ARABIC LETTER KHAH -> khaa'
062F ARABIC LETTER DAL -> daal
0630 ARABIC LETTER THAL -> dhaal
0631 ARABIC LETTER REH -> raa'
0632 ARABIC LETTER ZAIN -> zaai
0637 ARABIC LETTER TAH -> taa' (different from 062A. This one should be .taa')
0638 ARABIC LETTER ZAH -> zaa'
0641 ARABIC LETTER FEH -> faa'
0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH -> haa' (different than 062D, which should be ḥaa')
064A ARABIC LETTER YEH -> yaa'
In the above transcription notation, the double 'a' denotes a long
vowel, and the apostrophe denotes a glottal stop. Also, since what is
of concern here is only the ending of letters' names and not the
precise pronunciation of the signifying phoneme of each letter, the
above list does not attempt to change/correct the first consonant of
the letter's name.
While the mentioned letters' names in their current incorrect state
reflect the colloquial pronunciation in Egypt, where I am from, they
are not the canonical, globally understood letter names and are
considered invalid. While the proposed corrections do not aim to
precisely transcribe the sounds of the letters, they are simple to
implement and would result in identifiable names of the letters.
The Wikipedia article titled "Arabic alphabet", reachable at
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_alphabet], at the date of writing
this message includes a table showing the correct letters' names.
This also implies correcting the names in extended letters where the
basic letter is combined with a diacritical mark or a derivative of it
is included, maybe excluding the cases where the derivation has a
distinctive name in another language which uses the modified letter.
Finally, the order of Arabic letters as defined in the current version
of Unicode, known as the Hegaa'i order, is a relatively newer order
where letters are sorted according to their shape proximity, and is
not the original Abgadi order, which matches the (ABC) ordering of all
alphabets derived from the original Ugaritic alphabet. Although it is
unlikely that this heritage of earlier encodings can be modified now,
this should be noted, however.
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