Monday, May 28, 2012

Reading #Arabic

Learning to pronounce texts in classic Arabic is an adventure. It is a challenge for me and I have been promised that I will be able to vocalise at the end of four day sessions and a month of practising at home.

It is fun as well. The sounds are not only different for me but also for my fellow students. One of them speaks Moroccan Arabic and is also struggling with the difference in pronunciation.

When you are taught about the structure of Arabic, you are taught that the "i" and its associated variations are written under the character it is associated with. In figure 1, it is combined with a "shadda" on a "ya". My teacher explained that he is not able to write it in this way with Microsoft Word and, that you will find it as you can see in figure 2.

The documentation for the Arabic script at Unicode explains: "computer fonts often follow an approach that originated in metal typesetting and combine the kasratan with shadda in a ligature placed above the text".

My teacher wants to control the way the characters show. It makes the study material consistent for his students. Showing the kasratan with shadda above the text is then something that can be taught when the basics are understood. The question is does he need a different font or does he need a different word processor.
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