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 Jörg Rhiemeier said:

> Mixed-case transcription/transliteration systems just suck and
> are as ugly as an oil spill.  A transcription avoiding this can
> easily be made up for Klingon (basically, as there is only *one*
> letter that is used both upper- and lower-case, you can just
> change _Q_ into _qh_ and then dispose of the case distinction).
>
> Yet, the current mixed-case system is firmly established among
> Klingonists, and if you ask me: the *language* is itself as
> ugly as an oil spill, too!  But that, too, is just my personal
> taste.  Let the Klingonists do what they want to, and let our
> colleague do what he wants to with SimArabic.
>
> And for Arabic, we have a pretty serviceable transcription
> system developed by the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft,
> which is in international use.  There really is no good reason,
> in these days of most computers being capable of handling the
> required diacritics, not to use that for a morphologically
> simplified Arabic.

Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the
transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) is a
lot prettier - but it is not easier to use. It needs the following
diacritics: macron above, macron below, dot above, dot below, caron above,
breve below - and these special characters: right half ring, left half
ring. It is a pain in the neck to type.

If someone wanted to use Sim-Arabic with DIN 31635 (augmented by the four
additional letters in the Persian alphabet), I wouldn’t object.

… and Jörg Rhiemeier continued:

> I am not much into this kind of "simplified natlangs".  Sure,
> they are easier to learn than the real thing, but what is the
> point of them?  Someone who has learned SimArabic will still
> be lost at understanding real Arabic, because the latter is
> full of irregular forms he does not know because they have
> been excised from SimArabic!
>
> Basically, such simplified languages are perhaps useful as
> regional auxlangs, but apart from the fact that regional
> auxlangs IMHO make less sense than global ones, I doubt that
> simplifying a natlang in such a half-hearted way as in
> SimArabic is a good way of achieving that.  Why not go the
> whole path and dispose of *all* inflections?

I can assure you that Sim-Arabic was a “whole-hearted” effort. It is not
meant as a bridge to learn Arabic, but rather as a way for those who choose
not to learn Arabic to be able to appreciate literary Arabic without
translation (provided it is turned into Sim-Arabic). Well, it’ll probably
never catch on, but I decided to do it anyway.

Patrick Dunn said:

> It might be useful, then, to have a three-way dictionary from Arabic -
> Sim-Arabic - English, so S-A can be used as an interlanguage between the
> two.

That is an interesting idea. I might do that.

Adnan Majid said:

> Great start!
>
> I too found the orthography a bit aesthetically unappealing though, and
> this may unfortunately be an impediment in your goal of making the
original
> writings more accessible for readers. Many readers, for instance, may be
> turned off from approaching text that they find difficult to read (because
> of the uppercase letters, asterisks, and letters like "R" on "x" that
> aren't pronounced as one would expect).

See my comments to Jörg above.

> If your goal is just to simplify Arabic texts for western readers, you
> could transliterate the ghayn sound simply as "g" instead of "R", for
> instance.

Then it would be ambiguous with the Persian “g”. (And the ghayn is close to
a French “r” in some dialects.)

> Also, if you don't intend that your language be a stepping stone
> to help readers learn classical Arabic (though it's fine if you do), you
> could also see about collapsing a few letters like "h" and "H", "t" and
> "T", "s" or "S", or "d" and "D". You'd have to figure out a way to
> distinguish 3-letter roots that become similar, but you may also find out
> that the number of ambiguous roots you form is surprisingly small. (I
> haven't looked into the issue in depth, but certain Arabic sounds like
> "ayn" vs. "hamza" or "kaf" vs. "qaf" seem much more important to
> differentiate for the sake of meaning compared to the ones I listed). In
> this way, maybe you could reduce the number of capital letters you use
> without having to use diacritics or digraphs.
>
> Looking over your vocabulary list cursorily, I don't see words that would
> become ambiguous if you collapsed the distinction of the few letters I
> listed above ("h" and "H", "t" and "T", "s" or "S", or "d" and "D"). Maybe
> I missed something though.

To really know if this would cause any ambiguities, I would have to check
it against an unabridged Arabic dictionary (or at least a comprehensive
list of roots). Too much work for one single conlanger.

> Likewise, you can get often get away without differentiating long and
short
> vowels. Where you can't, are you opposed to adding an accent over the
vowel
> or using "ee" or "oo"?
>
> Furthermore, I'm not sure why you would need letters like "Y" or "W".
These
> seem only important if you intend that your language help readers trying
to
> learn the intricacies of classical Arabic, but they seem superfluous when
> the goal is to just to help people connect with historical texts *without
> having to learn Arabic*.

I have debated whether to remove “Y” and “W” and just use “y” and “w”
throughout.

> Also, what do you use your letter "N" for? You
> call it "tanween" but what purpose does it serve if you're not using the
> Arabic tanween to mark indefinite nouns?

To mark adverbs.

> Looking forward to learning more about your conlang!
>
> Adnan (or ^adnAn, I suppose :) )

Jeffrey (or: jifrI)