مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Arabic romanization: tranliteration/transcription... etc

أبو علاء
07-12-2010, 21:44
The argument I recently had with Fred about this issue in a thread about a dawr (dór:)) by Sulaymán ·abu dawúd that was about to evolve into a sterile polemic led me to make a small research to confront my supposed knowledge about the question with real facts. It is not my intention to follow on the argument here. This would be both useless and irrelevant in a forum like this. All I want to do is to share the main thing I discovered or rediscovered in this regard.
Long ago, I was taught that there were more or less two main systems to transliterate/transcribe (these are not synonyms) Arabic into Roman characters - the one used in the Encyclopedia of Islam and that of the specialised journal Studia Islamica. As is often the case, my so-called knowledge appears to be approximative and very limited, to say the least. As a matter of fact, the number of known established standards/systems appears to exceed far more what I was told by my teachers (two) and what Fred wrote in the above mentioned thread (one). The standards in question amount no less than 10-12 different systems, among which half a dozen systems seem to be full fledged norms. This includes a couple of ISO norms, the good old E.I. system, systems used by Karl Brockelmann (Arabic Literature History), Hans Wehr (Arabic-German Dictionary), a couple of eminent congregations or European orientalists as well more recent computational standards...
Wikipedia features a small article on the question that has some useful pieces of information. Even though, the open source encyclopedia is far from being a serious reference for academic matters and the article is rather in bad shape in such a way that the webmaster has called for a cleanup thereof. Nevertheless, one interesting element that can be found there is a comparative table of six of the mentioned systems/standards that I deemed it useful to reproduce here for whoever has some interest for the question, and I will refrain from producing any personal comment on the table content. After all, this may be of help for whoever needs hints on how to represent Arabic words/names in the forum threads. On my side, I'll try and be as much close as the keyboard permits to the Encyclopedia of Islam system.