1

When I was looking for some Arabic lyrics I was wondering why there are numbers inbetween letters in some words (eg. "Aw3a Tes2ny" or "7obak"). Is there a reason behind this?

  • 3
    Just like the Latin letters, the numbers represent letters of the Arabic alphabet. See e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_chat_alphabet – reinierpost Mar 10 '15 at 10:58
  • 1
    In general, there exist various transliteration systems for foreign languages. Romanization (writing a foreign language with Latin script) is not an exception. The same applies to phonetic transcriptions. Extra symbols exist since Latin alphabet may not be sufficient for the purpose. You may check SAMPA for English as a nice example. – bytebuster Mar 10 '15 at 12:47
7

The numbers represent Arabic letters of similar shapes, which mostly don't have an intuitive Roman equivalent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_chat_alphabet

For example, 7 is ح and 3 is ع, which represent [ħ] and [ʕ].

A similar phenomenon exists in transliterated Cyrillic, you sometimes see 4 being used for Ч; the similarity in shape is reinforced by the coincidental fact that the numeral "four" begins with that letter in all of the Cyrillic-using Slavic languages.

| improve this answer | |
1

There are some arabic sounds that don't exist in English. We use numbers to express those sounds.

For example: In English, you use two characters together for expressing a specific sound such as "sh". But In arabic, we don't use two characters together. we use numbers instead.

To learn more about the pronunciation of these characters and sounds you can watch this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPOA0sGx9Zo

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.