Arabic transliteration: The hamza and the ayn

MarianaR's picture

I am having arabic transliterated letters drawn to work with Adobe Garamond Premiere Pro, including the hamza and ayn. We are are having the designer draw U-02BE and U-02BF for these letters. Should the hamza and ayn have an "italic" version? In Chicago 15, page 423, the word "ayn" is italicized but the half ring is not. Is that correct?

Any help would be appreciated!

AzizMostafa's picture

Samples Please

hrant's picture

They look like small, floating, monoline half-rings,
the first open on the left, the other on the right.

I really have to doubt there's a convention for this. Unless you make one. :-)


MarianaR's picture

i'll have them make italic half-rings. :^)


charles ellertson's picture

I don't know this for sure, but I do believe that the reason they have all come to look like "monoline halfrings" has to do with how they were rendered in type from older days -- like the Linotron 202. What we used, unless we though about it, were the sorts from the phonetic font -- the half-rings, raised up. If we had a good Greek font that matched the text font, we'd sometimes use the rough & smooth breath marks. When PostScript fonts came along, I used to modify the Galliard quoteleft and quoteright to use to signal the hamza & 'ayn in transliteration.

BTW, the "hamza" is a glottal stop. IPA allows this to be rendered with the "raised comma," a name that goes back to the days of the type case. There was no apostrophe in the case, so to set one, you raised a comma. Same is true for what is now called "quoteleft" -- there was no such sort, so you took a comma & turned it over. Even today, the term "turned comma" continues to be used. From the PHONETIC SYMBOL GUIDE (Chicago), p. 217: "IPA usage: The Arabic character 'ain which represents a voiced pharygeal fricative, . . . is generally transliterated by a turned comma." (I used an ellipses so as to not try I put "reverse gelded question mark" in this file).

If you have an Merriam Webster's Second International, go to page 75. You'll see that the Hebrew 'ayin would be transliterated exactly the same as the Arabic 'ayn -- just don't make the mistake I once made, & refer to it as an 'ayn" when working on one of Netanyahu's books!

Good luck

abuzaynab's picture

Hi there MarianaR. How did you get on with creating this font? I have been using Adobe Garamond Premiere Pro as a standard font for my typesetting but now i have to do work transliterating arabic. Could you help me out at all?

Thank you.

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