The purpose of this thread is to set the record straight once and for all so that it is clear as daylight to all and sundry why a number of Urdu speakers point out the errors in transliteration of Urdu words in threads which include Urdu as one of the languages under discussion. The following quotes are the most recent in this regard and I hope to cover all the points raised within them. It is my hope and desire that after clearing the air, so to speak, there is no need to raise the same issues by the same people over and over again. There is obviously some grave misunderstanding at play here and the sooner this is removed the better it will be. I invite comments from all friends concerning what is being alleged in the quotes and my responses. Firstly, I would like to begin my piece by making a couple of points whilst focusing on English, Hindi and Urdu. 1) When someone writes in this forum, does n’t that person write in Standard English, Standard Hindi or Standard Urdu? (Or at least is n't he supposed to, according to the rules of the forum?) I would suggest that unless specified otherwise, one writes in what is known as the standard language. I am aware that in English the concept of what is considered right or wrong according to the accepted standard language, has a fairly long history manifested in works like Fowler's Modern English Usage 1911 and Eric Partridge’s Usage and Abusage (First published in 1942). Practitioners of good Urdu try to follow the “isnaad” (authority) of the best prose and verse authors who have stood the test of time. Despite the fact that Hindi does not have this clear concept, still any Hindi writer worth his salt would know that all the ph words are not f words and therefore would not write them as such unless he/she was employing dialogue to demonstrate actual speech of characters. If the initiator of a thread has purely colloquial or slang in mind, then it should be made clear from the start. 2) Does the written language truly reflect the way one speaks? I would say no and this applies even to Hindi. We need not go into English as we all know cough is not cuf, station is not steshan, is is not iz and so on and so forth. In Hindi which unlike Urdu always incorporates short vowels a/i/u, still there are some vowels/consonants which are written but not pronounced as they ought to be, e.g the r, sh and NR in कृष्ण. सिंह is written siNh but pronounced siNgh. The alphabet in question for all the three languages is left to do the job in the best way it can and is not changed on a yearly or decade by decade basis to incorporate the “ground realities”. There may come a time when the speakers of all three languages might look for its respective alphabet to be “revamped”. But until that happens or the languages adopt the International Phonetic Alphabet, we are stuck with the current alphabets. Now that the basics have been laid out, a word or two about Urdu. a) Urdu is written in the Urdu alphabet which in most cases chooses not to include the short vowels a/i/u included in it. These are shown in children’s books and where necessary to give the exact pronunciation of a word. In this forum, if I had my way I would write in Urdu only especially in Urdu only posts. But, as the purpose of all these threads is to impart correct information to everyone, for the benefit of those who cannot read the Urdu alphabet, one is left with no choice but to adopt the Roman/Latin alphabet. b) A number of Urdu speakers try as best as they can to mirror the Urdu system of writing into the Roman/Latin system as closely as possible. Faylasoof SaaHib goes much further in his transliteration which practically mirrors Urdu 100%. Of course we add the short vowels too because within the Urdu system, we become accustomed to reading words as whole units by their appearance. Writing “mshkl” for “mushkil” would serve no purpose for beginners in Urdu or those who don't have command over Urdu script. c) When we have Urdu in mind, then it is not unreasonable to say that in Urdu the word is written ba3d vs baad, shi3r vs sher, phuul vs fuul, roz vs roj, darvaazah vs darvaazaa, shukriyah vs shukriyaa, ziyaadah vs jyaadaa, saHiiH vs sahii, shuruu3 vs shuruu and so on. You will see that in some cases in Hindi mode of depiction, whole consonants are missing! We hope that through this any Urdu learner will be able to relate to the written language much more easily. There is no hypocrisy at play here. Even though the –ah words are not pronounced as –aa, we are talking about the written word. Learners of the language will not be in any state of confusion once they are informed that in such words the h is silent. All our communication in this Forum is through the written word. So, the emphasis is on the written format. This is neither nitpicking nor snobbery. On the contrary it is information being provided to bring awareness to people who are new to Urdu. Why leave people in the dark? d) No one is dictating to Hindi speakers to follow this way of writing. Please write as you wish. The whole idea is to communicate. As long as the reader can follow your system and understand the words, that’s all that matters. But if any of the English/Russian/Hindi/ Chinese speakers have an ounce of interest in Urdu or anybody who follows the forum in a passive way, then they clearly stand to benefit from these snippets of information. I hope this post clarifies the following questions too. Regarding the first question, no. There are not too many -h ending words in Urdu which actually result in -h pronunciation. One exception is "baarah" where the "-ah" ending exists in both Urdu and Hindi and the h is pronounced. Have I been successful in removing the misunderstandings concerning the above matters?