Thursday, December 17, 2009

ABC question

Was looking at license plates the other day, and I've got a question maybe a reader can help me with.  I'm wondering if there is a set correspondence between the English and Arabic alphabets.  Our local plates only use numbers, so it's not an issue.  However, we often see Saudi plates and those are number/letter combos.  They are also dual language.  So the "waw" و stands for U, etc, etc.  Arabic has more letters than Arabic, and as there are two types of "s", two types of "t" etc., you can't do a phonemic correspondence.  Impossible.

So do all Arabic countires use a set system for their license plates?  If so, which letters got the axe?  Additionally, Vitamin C in English is called Vitamin ج "jeem" in Arabic.  Are the vitamins and the licences plates using the same system? 

Just curious. 


Abu Daoud said...

I don't know that each country has its own system, but I would guess that something like the qwerty Arabic typing system would be the norm. It is true that Arabic has letters that the Latin alphabet (or really the Phoenecia alphabet) does not have, but it goes the other way. Thus in the qwerty typing e=3iin and c=ص and so on. u=waw and i=yay.

MommaBean said...

Oh, absolutely there is a system. Some guy in each country said, hmmm... if it's g in English, we'll give it a Q in Arabic... :). (I'm fairly certain there's no standard.) Nizaam Abu 3arab.

abu 'n um tulip said...

Abu Daoud I'm a bit confused. When I look at my keypad. the ص is w and the ع us u. QWERT comes out ضصثقفغ in Arabic.... hmmm.