Wiktionary:About Arabic

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
See also Category:Arabic language


Arabic transliterations (that is, romanizations) are not words. Arabic entries should only be written in the Arabic script.

The Wiktionary romanization system for Arabic is based on the qalam system, with the following modifications:

  1. Diacritics are always transliterated
  2. ع gives ʿ, ʕ, 3 (widely used on the internet for transliterating that letter)
  3. ة gives a, or at
  4. the character - is used to separate the articles and to remove ambiguities such as between ش (gives sh) and سْه (which would give sh also). In the latter case, the correct transliteration is s-h (the ALA-LC system uses ′)
  5. alif madda transliterates to ʾā or 'aa
  6. Stress on short vowels can be rendered with an acute accent: á, í, ú in standard Arabic, é and ó in dialects or loanwords.
  7. Transliteration of some loanwords may be unexpected.
Letter Rom. IPA Notes
ا ā, aa in initial position, it transliterates a short vowel (a, i, u)
ب b b
ت t or t- t you may use t- when transliterating the cluster t+h to avoid confusion with th (ث)
ث ṯ, th θ
ج j, ǧ d͡ʒ/ɡ
ح ḥ, H ħ
خ ḵ, ḫ, kh, x x
د d or d- d you may use d- when transliterating the cluster d+h to avoid confusion with dh (ذ)
ذ ḏ, dh ð
ر r r
ز z z
س s or s- s you may use s- when transliterating the cluster s+h to avoid confusion with sh (ش)
ش š, sh ʃ
ص ṣ, S
ض ḍ, D
ط ṭ, T
ظ ẓ, Z ðˤ
ع ʿ, ʕ, 3, ʻ ʕ
غ ḡ, ġ, gh ɣ
ف f f
ق q q
ك k k- k you may use k- when transliterating the cluster k+h to avoid confusion with kh (خ)
ل l l
م m m
ن n n
ه h h
و w ū/uu ō w
ي y ī/ii ē j
ء ʾ, ʔ, ', ʼ ʔ
ة a, at isolated words should use "a", if not isolated, "at" in iḍāfa (إضافة).
Short vowels
ـَ a a
ـُ u u
ـِ i i
ـً an
ـٌ un
ـٍ in
Long vowels and diphthongs
ى ا ā, aa
آ ʾā, 'aa ʔaː
ـَو aw aw
ـُو ū, uu
ـَي ay ay
ـِي ī
  • Hamzas are always written ʾ or ' regardless of which letter they sit on
  • Orthographic و and ا occurring at the end of certain verbs are not transliterated
  • ال always gives al- regardless of elision and sun and moon letters rules
  • To transliterate shadda, the concerned consonant is written twice.

Templates pertaining to Arabic


{{subst:ar-welcome}} ({{ar-welcome}}) may be placed on the talk page of new Arabic-speaking contributors.


The template {{etyl|ar}} should be used in the etymology section of entries in non-Arabic languages whose origin may be derived from an Arabic word. For example, on the page for the English word djinn, the Etymology section contains the following code:

From {{etyl|ar|en}} {{term|جن|lang=ar|tr=jinn||a mythical race of supernatural creatures}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Arabic جن (jinn, a mythical race of supernatural creatures).

The template does three things:

  1. It displays the name of the language of origin;
  2. It links to the Wikipedia article about Arabic; and
  3. Automatically categorizes the entry in the Category:English terms derived from Arabic.

This template also works for languages other than English if the second parameter is changed. So, for the Spanish word cero, the Etymology section contains the following code:

From {{etyl|it|es}} {{term|zero|lang=it}}, from Biblical Latin {{term|zephyrum|lang=la}},
from {{etyl|xaa|es}} {{term| |tr=ṣifr|lang=xaa}}, from Classical {{etyl|ar|es}}
{{term|صفر|صِفْر|tr=ṣifr|lang=ar|zero, nothing, empty, void}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Italian zero, from Biblical Latin zephyrum, from Andalusian Arabic (ṣifr), from Classical Arabic صِفْر (ṣifr, zero, nothing, empty, void).

and classifies the entry in Category:Spanish terms derived from Italian and Category:Spanish terms derived from Arabic.


The template {{Arab}} should be placed around any text in an Etymology or Translations section that is written with Arabic script. If using this within {{term}} you may specify sc=Arab, however this is not necessary, as the default when lang=ar is {{ar/script}} which is also 'Arab'.

For example, the code

:*Arabic: {{term|قاموس|tr=qāmūs|lang=ar}}, {{term|معجم|tr=múʿjam|lang=ar}}


:*Arabic: {{term|قاموس|tr=qāmūs|sc=Arab|lang=ar}}, {{term|معجم|tr=múʿjam|sc=Arab|lang=ar}}

produces the text:

Using the template ensures that text written in Arabic script will display correctly on a wider range of computers and correct for many font problems.

Preposition inflections

The template {{ar-prep-inflection}} is used to show prepositions with bound pronouns. See for example ل and ب.

Regional pronunciations

The template {{arabic-dialect-pronunciation}} can be used to display pronunciations in the modern dialects of Arabic. See for example قابلة.