Re: Arabic aleph representation of glyphs

From: Khaled Hosny (
Date: Fri Mar 05 2010 - 23:08:20 CST

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    On Fri, Mar 05, 2010 at 03:45:54PM -0800, Maher Alnubani wrote:
    > On 3/5/2010 2:11 PM, CE Whitehead wrote:
    > Hi, thanks very much.  You did answer my questions.  I still have one
    > more question:  would any literate Arabic speaker always type the tanween
    > al-fatah logically after the aleph seat? 
    > Yes.
    > (Because of course the tanween al-fatah, unlike Arabic vowel diacritics
    > elsewhere, should precede the aleph consonant seat in a visual display and
    > not follow it--that is, in an rtl context, it should be displayed slightly
    > to the right of the aleph--that is how I was taught and indeed how it
    > appears in the combined character in the Unicode extended characters, and
    > indeed that is how it appears when I type it in following the aleph [and of
    > course, it appears this way when I type it in before too].)
    > Well, TANWEEN AL-FATH normally appears on top of the ALEF (or the TAH MARBUTAH)
    > not before or after it. But, in standard Arabic writing TANWEEN is the last
    > thing to write in a word.

    Not true, this is actually is debatable. Though the wide practice today
    is to type the tanween after the alef (thus on top of it), still many
    people type it before the alef since the preceding letter is the actual
    seat of tanween (i.e. treating all tanween the same wither it is fath or
    not). Traditionally, in hand written calligraphy, tanween al-fath comes
    to the write of the alef, thus essentially preceding not following it.


     Khaled Hosny
     Arabic localiser and member of team
     Free font developer

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