How to type numerals, diacritical marks, special letters for transliteration

Zeynelabidin

New Member
Dutch & Turkish
This is the solution for Microsoft Office 2007:
  1. Launch Microsoft Office Word 2007
  2. Click on the "Office" button then -> Select "Word Options"
  3. Click on the "Advanced" tab, and scroll down to the "Show Document Content"
  4. From the "Numeral" option, click on the combo box and select the "Context" option for displaying numbers in the Arabic shapes.
 
  • stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    I'm a beginner at learning the Arabic language. One aid I use to help increase my understanding of the language is to type my homework lessons.

    What bothers me is that the typed vowel character and alphabet characters have spacing issues. They often are either blurred together, effectively overlapping & difficult to read, or have to much space in between you can't tell the vowel & consonant go together. There are many times in typing when this happens. To cite one example, in typing the word/possessive phrase for classroom غُرْفَةُ الصَفِّ, the end of the word for room (gurfa), there is a single dammah. However, it is impossible to tell whether it's single or double dammah, because they're blurred together & overlap. An example of when they're far apart is the word for a sheet of paper or a leaf, وَرَقَةٌ. Those fat'hahs are pretty far apart from the consonants that they are voweling. What do I do to solve this spacing problem so that it is explicit which vowel is voweling which consonant?

    I know what I'm looking for exists because my textbook, Ahlan wa Sahlan, has typed Arabic text with perfectly spaced voweling. I installed the Egyptian Arabic font from Window's Regional & Language Options settings. Perhaps I should install another that will more aptly do voweling spacing?
     

    Finland

    Senior Member
    finnois
    Hello!

    This is a frequent problem when typing Arabic, because the fonts are not really made for writing short vowels. If I ever need to write short vowels, what I usually do is simply after the consonant I press Shift+J once or twice to prolong the line and write the short vowel after that. At the end of the word, you can always put an extra space. The result is not always pretty, but at least you'll be able to read it.

    HTH
    S
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    Don't use fonts like Times New Roman or Arabic Transparent or Arial when typing Arabic with diacritics. Use instead Simplified Arabic or Traditional Arabic (they come with Windows) or install the font Scheherazade.
     

    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    Finland & barkoosh, thank you both very much! Your help was helpful.

    Finland, I like your idea, but it doesn't work out very well if the vowel is in the middle of the word. Nevertheless, for the vowel at the ends of nouns, usually single dammah and the tanwin (double) dammah, what you suggested is an effective tool to employ.

    barkoosh, your analysis was spot on. You are so right that Simplified Arabic & Traditional Arabic are leaps & bounds more readable than Times New Roman or Arabic Transparent. Both Simplified Arabic & Traditional Arabic got rid of the blurring, run-into-each-other effect, which is much appreciated. However, after not seeing the vowels still not lining up to my liking, by the vowels still hovering too far away from the consonants I meant to voweling, I visited that web site & downloaded the Scheherazade font. Scheherazade is the best!
     
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    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    I have another question. Something else I'd like to know, is where are dagger alif (a.k.a. alif qasirah, a.k.a. short alif) & waslah on the Arabic keyboard?
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    However, after not seeing the vowels still not lining up to my liking, by the vowels still hovering too far away from the consonants I meant to voweling
    That's really odd, even with the all other fonts. I don't see such thing happening with me. If you want, can you provide a small screenshot of such cases?
    I have another question. Something else I'd like to know, is where are dagger alif (a.k.a. alif qasirah, a.k.a. short alif) & waslah on the Arabic keyboard?
    No, not on the keyboard, and for a good reason. Those two characters are rarely used in modern Arabic. Words are written without dagger alif; and regular alif is used instead of the "alif waslah". But if you're using MS Word, you can assign a shortcut for them on your keyboard.
     

    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    Simplified Arabic, Traditional Arabic, Scheherazade.jpg

    I did print screen, copied into paint, cropped, & saved as .jpg. In picture's order, from left to right, my least to my most favorite: Simplified Arabic, Traditional Arabic, Scheherazade. In my opinion, the vowel spacing is still hovering too far away in Simplified Arabic & Traditional Arabic. You were a great help in turning me on to Scheherazade. It doesn't get any better than Scheherazade, right?

    My Arabic instructor uses both the dagger alif & the alif waslah, as if they are both used regularly. What's the MS Word shortcuts you know?
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    Got it. Obviously you're not using Windows 7. I read once that Microsoft made improvements to some Arabic fonts under Windows 7. Check out how those fonts are displayed under Windows 7.
    fonts.jpg

    As for the shortcuts, you should do them yourself. In order to assign a shortcut on the keyboard to specific characters, see here (Office 2007)* or here (Office 2003). To easily find those two characters, go to "Character code" in the "Symbol" box and type 0670 to find the dagger alif (called "Arabic Letter Superscript Alef" in Word) and 0671 to find "Arabic Letter Alef Wasla".
    I suggest assigning ALT+I for dagger alif and ALT+H for alif waslah.
    ---------
    * For Office 2010, go to the Insert ribbon > Symbol > More Symbols
     
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    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    I couldn't get either the ALT+I & ALT+H shortcuts to work, so switched to CTRL+? for alif qasirah & CTRL+> for alif waslah. Thanks for the help... & I've got another question for you. I installed the Egyptian Arabic font from Window's Regional & Language Options settings. I choose Egyptian because, well, I had to choose! There was a long, long list to choose from. There was no sound reason why I chose Egyptian, & I'm willing to switch if another version is more appropriate. From the list below, which version of the language is the best for an Native-English-speaking American to type in? What are the differences among them?


    Arabic Algeria
    Arabic Bahrain
    Arabic Egypt
    Arabic Iraq
    Arabic Jordan
    Arabic Kuwait
    Arabic Lebanon
    Arabic Libya
    Arabic Morocco
    Arabic Oman
    Arabic Qatar
    Arabic Saudi Arabia
    Arabic Syria
    Arabic Tunisia
    Arabic U.A.E
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    Are you using Windows XP? In the Regional and Language Options box, you have 3 tabs.

    In the first tab, Regional Options, you have "Standards and formats". Here you can keep it English (United States) if you want, since it's all about Number, Currency, Time, and Date formats. In the third tab Advanced, you have "Language for non-Unicode programs". It's only for programs that don't use Unicode. I don't think you need to make any change unless you have some Arabic program that displays funny characters.

    What you need for Arabic support is to check "Install files for complex and right-to-left languages (including Thai)" in the second tab Languages. But I'm sure you already have it checked.
     
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    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    Everything on my computer's settings is exactly as your described. My question was, since American-English is my only first language, which Arabic language dialect should I to type in? Arabic as a distant, distant, distant second language, so which language is it recommended I type in? Microsoft offers a large array of dialects, & as an American, I don't know the differences. I chose Egyptian since Cairo is a popular Arab capital city. I'm interested to know if typing in a different dialect could be more beneficial. In the Windows operating system, & I used the exact same route as you just described. I came across that long, long, long, long list of Arabic dialects to type in, as in my previous post. Which is the best for an Native-English-speaking American to type in?

    I'm as non-Arabic as an American can become. I have no - NONE - Arabic relatives. My desire to learn Arabic is entire intrinsic. I'm an international American.
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    What I'm saying is that those settings have no effect at all on what you're typing. They're all the same. They're only about time format and currency for the operating system. That's why I said you can keep it English (United States). Don't worry about those settings, they do nothing. They are not related to what you learn. I personally keep it English (United States) because I like to see my computer's time and date in English.
     
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    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    Thanks for the explicit answer. One might think that Microsoft would tell its user that, thinking that there is a difference somewhere in the typed alphabet among the long list of Arabic language options, but nope, Microsoft doesn't. If Microsoft does, it's not obvious.

    I've got another question for you. How do you get two consecutive dammahs ُ to appear in typed Arabic? As you know, in handwritten Arabic, nouns that are indefinite end either ٌ or two consecutive ُ. Both of those are known as the tanwin dammah, right? While using ٌ while typing is fine, I'd like to vary sometimes and use two consecutive ُ.

    Seeing both used interchangeably will help in my learning's reinforcement. When I type it twice consecutively in each of the three Arabic fonts we've previously discussed, it doesn't cooperate. When typed twice in both Simplified Arabic, Traditional Arabic, the dammah gets darker, as if it's bolded. In Scheherazade, a new dammah is there but moved to the next space to hover over a nonexistent consonant.

    I have seen the use of two consecutive dammahs ُ at the end of indefinite nouns, typed in what looks be a Microsoft Word document, in a handout my Arabic instructor gave out to class. However, asking him wouldn't get the answer, since I do not believe he is the one who typed those handouts; he got them from another instructor.
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    While there is more than one way to represent tanwin dammah...
    dammatan.jpg
    the third form is the most common today. It's used everywhere and taught in schools. That's why it's expected that MS would adopt that form. As for the "consecutive dammahs", it's not used in modern Arabic.

    In order to have those "consecutive dammahs" in Word, you need some special font that has this form in its character map. Typing dammah twice won't work at all; the computer will naturally consider it an error.

    Your instructor, or the other one, must have some special font or program that supports "consecutive dammahs". My advice is to stick to that third form of tanwin dammah showing in the picture. It's universal; everyboday uses it in modern Arabic. And it's easier to write.
     

    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    There's another one that I didn't think of? oh, interesting. Is there any way to type this third one in MS Word? For the two that aren't taught in school, which of them is more widely used than the other? I know, as you've stated, that I only need to be concerned with ٌ, but I'd like to know a little bit of the background history.

    Although you're a native of the Arabic language, do you know of a dependable online resource that has the proper voweling on verb conjugations? For example, the middle verb of for "he lived/resided", sakana سَكَنَ, changes from "ah" to "u" in present tense conjugation. To state we live, it's naskunu نَسْكُنُ. For homework assignments, the middle vowel change is guessing game for me. I know that everything else, except for that middle vowel change, is systematic and predictable. My instructor didn't like one of my homework assignments because I guessed wrongly at what that vowel was, for verbs he assigned to the class to conjugate.
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    Is there any way to type this third one in MS Word? For the two that aren't taught in school, which of them is more widely used than the other? I know, as you've stated, that I only need to be concerned with ٌ, but I'd like to know a little bit of the background history.
    The other two are mainly used in the traditional script of the Qur'an, called Uthmany. Check the 3rd line here. You'll need special fonts that support Uthmany script in order to have them in Word.
    For example, the middle verb of for "he lived/resided", sakana سَكَنَ, changes from "ah" to "u" in present tense conjugation. To state we live, it's naskunu نَسْكُنُ.
    You need a dictionary for that. This site has a number of useful dictionaries.
     

    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    Although that site seems useful, I can't figure out where that site notes the verb vowel changes. I experimented with the verb سَكَنَ into the site's search & saw a long, long list definitions & related terms. Where do I look for what I'm looking for?

    You've been very helpful over the past week & I am appreciative of your hardwork in answering my numerous questions.
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    Ok. Dictionaries usually add the مضارع of the verb you're looking for. For example, you have this from one of dictionaries on that site:
    [ س ك ن ] . ( فعل : ثلاثي لازم متعد بحرف ) . سَكَنْتُ ، أَسْكُنُ ، اُسْكُنْ ، مصدر سَكَنٌ ، سُكْنَى
    The word that I made red here is the مضارع.

    Here's an easier way. Go to http://qutrub.arabeyes.org. Type the verb and hit Enter. In the table that shows, look under المضارع المعلوم.
     
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    stree12

    New Member
    English - American
    That web site is exactly what I've been looking for, regarding my present tense conjugation. I've ran out of question, and each & every of my former questions has been answers so thoroughly. If I have any more, I know that you will provide to the best of your abilities. Thank you for your help.
     

    HermanTheGerman

    Senior Member
    German
    I have another question. Something else I'd like to know, is where are dagger alif (a.k.a. alif qasirah, a.k.a. short alif) & waslah on the Arabic keyboard?
    You can create also your own keyboard layout with Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4.

    do you know of a dependable online resource that has the proper voweling on verb conjugations?
    I like the Elixir FM Arabic web site. It allows you to look up words and to inflect them.
     

    jmt356

    Senior Member
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Is anyone aware of an easy way to type English transliteration of Arabic letters using the ALA-LC system? For example, typing bars over letters such as ā and ī and dots under letters such as ḥ and ḍ?
     

    HermanTheGerman

    Senior Member
    German
    Is anyone aware of an easy way to type English transliteration of Arabic letters using the ALA-LC system? For example, typing bars over letters such as ā and ī and dots under letters such as ḥ and ḍ?
    If you're working on a scientific paper with lots of transliterated Arabic text and are sufficiently computer-savy, check out ArabTeX, which offers several output formats, among them the Encyclopaedia Islamica scheme, which is very close to ALA-LC.

    There's also a LaTeX color extension by Otakar Smrž which allows you to generate Arabic text with colored diacritics.
     

    akhooha

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    If you're not that computer-savvy, and don't want to operate another program, and don't have a lot of stuff, you can use the virtual keyboard provided by lexilogos. Just type the Roman letters, using your normal Roman keyboard, and use the shortcuts shown at the bottom of the page so you don't have to use your mouse. Then just copy and paste.
     
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