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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

A note on transliteration and nomenclature,   pp. xix-xxii PDF (772.0 KB)

Page xx

marks to bother the eye and multiply 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, s, d, t, z, ', gh,
f, q, k, l, m, n, h, w, y :(<see image>). The vowels are a, i, u, lengthened
as a, i, ΓΌ, with the alif bi-surati-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 l of al- before
a duplicated consonant (Nur-ad-Din rather than Nur-al-Din). As in this example,
hyphens are used to link words composing a single name (as also 'Abd-Allah),
with weak initial vowels elided (as Abu-l-Hasan). Normally al- (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 "Muslimun"
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, 

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