RE: Arabic Script: A new Hamza is required for Urdu and Sindhi

From: Michael Fayez (
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 16:07:03 CDT

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    From:  Lateef Sagar <>
    Subject:  Arabic Script: A new Hamza is required for Urdu and Sindhi
    Date:  Thu, 15 Sep 2005 03:38:03 -0700 (PDT)
    >Hi List,

    >I suggest a new Hamza for Urdu and Sindhi.
    >Here I would like to discuss that the Hamza in Urdu
    >and Sindhi is not the same as Arabic Hamzas 0x0626 and
    >0x0621. (Since my mother tongue is Sindhi therefore I
    >am presenting some examples in it to clarify my point
    >of view.)

    My mother language is Arabic and I will also present an example to clarify my point of view.

    >Have a look at the examples shown blow:
    >In Sindhi Grammar the basic forms of all of the verbs
    >end with Rnoon which is same as we put to in front
    >of any verb in English:
    >Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    کاءُ To eat
    پيءُ To drink
    >To talk
    >The Sindhi verbs that I have chosen are the one that
    >end with a Hamza. If we use 0x0621 Hamza, as I have
    >done in column 2, then the shape of Hamza will not
    >change, as it is required after adding rnoon, so right
    >now the only solution is to change the spelling of the
    >verb, and use 0x0626 hamza if we need to add rnoon
    >after it. According to dictionary rules, only Rnoon is
    >the added alphabet in column 4, and the remaining
    >spelling in column 2 and 4 is the same. But since
    >right now there is no such Hamza that has isolated
    >shape as required in Column 2 and initial and middle
    >shapes as required in Column 4, we have to train the
    >user to change the spelling of the verb whenever
    >required which does not happen in English and should
    >not happen in Sindhi as well!
    >As per the discussion above, variations in different
    >languages of same characters, with slight or major
    >differences, are dealt by adding a different code
    >point in the Unicode Arabic Range, instead of asking
    >the font vendors to add Language tags for their
    >languages or even providing all the variants to the
    >end user and asking him/her to learn which variation
    >to be used in which form of a word. I strongly
    >recommend that a separate Hamza should be added so
    >that different forms of same words can use one single
    >Hamza, instead of two. The reuired Hamza for Sindhi
    >Language should have the following forms:
    >Isolated Initial Medial Terminal (Non joining)
    ء ئي يئي ء

    The problem you are presenting also have an equivalent in Arabic.

    All feminine singular words ending with teh marboota when appending the possessive pronoun to them the teh marbuta is converted into normal teh

    Like سيارة (sayarah - a car) à سيارتي (sayaraty – my car) not سيارةي we also have to train the user to change the teh marboota into teh. So according to your suggestion it would be good to have a letter ة ‍ة ـتـ (no initial form) or even modify the properties of the existing letter. But this will only add more visual ambiguity to the Unicode. When the medial teh letter is seen in a word would it be a teh marboota in its medial form or a normal teh in its medial form??? I will never know. Plus it will expose the already established Arabic encoding to many problems as not only Arabic and Sindhi will have their special artificial letters (artificial because they are not part of the alphabet taught to children in school or in books)  but also all the other languages using the Arabic script will have their special cases.

    As I live in Egypt which is the largest Arabic speaking country in the world (70 millions), I never heard such complaint (for my example of course) and every one here is just satisfied with the Arabic encoding (it is complete for normal writing but not for the mathematical letter forms and symbols nor some Islamic ligature like for example radya allahu anhu which have the same form of ARABIC LIGATURE SALLALLAHOU ALAYHE WASALLAM U+FDFA ( ) nor one Bahaii ligature ya bahu el abha but this is another topic)

    > we have to train the
    >user to change the spelling of the verb whenever
    >required which does not happen in English and should
    >not happen in Sindhi as well!

    The example you gave and the example I gave are like the case in English in verbs ending with e like the verb "specialize" it is not the responsibility of the Unicode standard to eliminate the final e when an –ation is added  to form the noun like in  "specialization". I think this is out of scope of the Unicode. It is the problem of the Sindhi (or Arab as in my example) users to know the grammar of the language they are writing or it is the problem of their spelling checker.

    Michael Fayez

    By the way I wanted to respond to your first mail but I was too busy the last few days.

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