This index contains names for all spices in various languages using the Arabic alphabet. Currently, Arabic, Persian and Urdu are included; lesser support is found for Kashmiri (I collected these names at local markets, so be careful about spelling mistakes), and two more languages (Kurdish and Pashto) are in a kind of β state. In the future, this index may also be augmented by languages which were written in Arabic characters in the past (Turkish, Azeri, Malay) or for which the Arabic alphabet is used only regionally (Punjabi, Sindhi, Dogri, Uzbek, Uighur), but such data is difficult to collect.
Arabic letters take on up to four different shapes: Isolated, initial, medial and final. Often, there are systematic relationshsips beween those different forms. Moreover, many letters share a common base form which is differentiated by additional signs (usually dots) below or above the letter. The right hand side table shows Arabic letters in all four forms plus their name in Unicode and the transliteration used here. From left to right, the order of the letters is isolated, final, medial, initial; yet not all browsers will render the letters correctly.
Writing in Arabic letters usually omits vowels, at least in part. Arabic language has only three vowel qualities (A,U,I); long vowels are written medially as alef ا, waw و and yeh ي, respectively, but the last two letters can also represent w and y. Word-initial short vowels are written by alef without further distinction. The letter ain ع denotes a glottal stop followed by an unspecified short vowel. The sign teh marbuta ة, when used word-finally, usually means a short vowel. There is no clear distinction between simple vowels and diphthongs in writing.
The Arabic alphabet has been adapted to countless languages of North Africa, West Asia and Central Asia. Most of those belong to the Indo–European and Altaic language families and show many structural differences to Arabic. Thus, the Arabic alphabet had to be modified significantly to write those languages.
Due to the dominant influence of Arabic as Sacred Language of Islâm, all letters used for Arabic are also found in the adapted Arabic alphabets, even if some letters are only used for Arabic loanwords. Most languages need additional letters which are inserted in the original list at appropriate places. In several cases, original Arabic letters are replaced by slightly different forms which have been assigned independent code points in the Unicode standard.
The transliteration used here is close to the common scientific romanization
of Arabic and also tries to follow the Unicode names of the characters.
special characters had to be represented by adding
- Arabic emphatic consonants are marked with a subscript dot (sad=ص=ṣ, tah=ط=ṭ, zah=ظ=ẓ). Alveolar fricatives have an horizontal line below dhal=ذ=ḏ, theh=ث=ṯ.
The letter jeem ج is cognate to Hebrew giml ג and Greek gamma γ.
In Arabic, it is spoken as a palatal like G in
gem, but in Egypt, the original velar pronunciation (like G in
get) is retained. In scientific transliteration, jeem is represented as ğ.
- The letter teh marbuta ة is an original t which became a vowel word-finally. For its graphical similarity, I represent it as ä.
- The Arabic letter yeh ي is written with two superscript dots in all positions. In Farsi and Urdu, however, the dots are dropped from the isolated and final forms (ی). These two variants are treated as different characters in the Unicode Standard. Here, I render Arabic yeh by y and Farsi yeh by ȳ. Similarly, I make distinction between Arabic kaf ك and Farsi keheh ک romanized as k and ḱ, respectively.
- A similar problem arises with letters for H in Urdu. The Arabic heh=ه=h is not used and replaced by heh goal=ہ=ḣ, with looks the same in isolated position but rather different within a word. The Urdu letter heh doachashmee=ھ (looking like initial Arabic heh) acts as an aspiration sign for the preceding consonant and is transliterated by a superscript letter ʰ.
- The Persian (also Kurdish) letter jeh ژ I write as j (according to the Unicode name), although the scientific literature prefers ž. Note that in Kashmiri, this letter denotes a voiceless ts afficate.
The language marked ‘xxx’ in the list below is spoken in Northern Kashmir, or more exactly the region between Dras and Kargil. Its self-designation
Posto might point to a relation with the Pashto language of Afghanistan, although the writing system, the phonology and the spice names themselves suggest a classification into the Dardic branch. In any case, this language is different from the Shina language predominant in that region.
- Begin of page
- German page (Deutsch)
- Table of Contents
- Alphabetic Index
- Botanic Index
- Geographic Index
- Spice Mixture Index
- Morphological Index