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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe

A Note on Transliteration and Nomenclature,   pp. xix-xxii PDF (1.4 MB)

Page xx

occasions for error, absence of strong countervailing arguments, and, most
decisively, the natural tendency of non-specialists to adopt these spellings
but omit the diacritical marks. The use of single letters in this manner
leads to undesirable results, but the spellings adopted for the present work
may be thus treated with confidence by any writer not requiring the discriminations
which the remaining diacritical marks indicate. 
 The letters used for Arabic consonants, in the order of the Arabic alphabet,
are these; ' , b, t, th, j, h, kh, d, dh, r, z, s, sh, ~, d, t, ~, ' ,gh,
f, q, k, 1, m, n, h, w, y. The vowels are a, i, u, lengthened as ~t, 1, U,
with the a/if bi-~ürati-l-ya' distinguished as a; initial ' is omitted,
but terminal macrons are retained. Diphthongs are au and ai, not aw and ay,
as being both philologically preferable and visually less misleading. The
same considerations lead to the omission of / of a/before a duplicated consonant
(NUr-ad-Din rather than Ntir-al-Din). As in this example, hyphens are used
to link words composing a single name (as also ' Abd-Alläh), with weak
initial vowels elided (as Abtt-lHasan). Normally a!- (meaning "the") is not
capitalized; ibn- is not when it means literally "son of," but is otherwise
(as Ibn-KhaldUn). 
 Some readers may be disconcerted to find the prophet called "Mohammed" and
his followers "Moslems," but this can readily be justified. These spellings
are valid English proper names, derived from Arabic originals which would
be correctly transliterated "Muhammad" and "Muslimtin" or "Muslimin." The
best criterion for deciding whether to use the Anglicized spellings or the
accurate transliterations is the treatment accorded the third of this cluster
of names, that of the religion "Islam." Where this is transliterated "IslAm,"
with a macron over the a, it should be accompanied by "Muslim" and "Muhammad,"
but where the macron is omitted, consistency and common sense require "Moslem"
and "Mohammed," and it is the latter triad which have been considered appropriate
in this work. All namesakes of the prophet, however, have had their names
duly transliterated "Muhammad," to correspond with names of other Arabs who
are not individually so familiar to westerners as to be better recognized
in Anglicized forms. 
 All names of other Arabs, and of non-Arabs with Arabic names, have been
systematically transliterated, with the single exception of SalAh-ad-Din,
whom it would have been pedantic to call that rather than Saladin. For places
held, in the crusading era or now, by Arabs, the Arabic names appear either
in the text or in the gazetteer, where some additional ones are also included
to broaden the usefulness of this feature. 

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