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Dagger-Alef in Arabic Script
Graphite kerning for right-to-left scripts
What is a Warsh Orthography?

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12
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, U+0645  ARABIC LETTER MEEM (and all related shapes) is what is seen on the left below. However, some languages have the isolate and final glyphs shorter as is seen on the right below. Sindhi is a well known language where the glyph variants on the right are expected. The variants on the right are also used in some languages in Africa.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, the glyph for U+064C  ARABIC DAMMATAN is what is seen on the left below. However, many languages (especially in Pakistan) use a different glyph as can be seen on the right below.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • The traditional shape for U+064F  ARABIC DAMMA is on the left. The "filled" one is reportedly used by Kazakh and Uighur. In West Africa it is sometimes preferred that the stroke does not completely go through the initial stroke as seen on the right.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • The traditional shape for U+0657  ARABIC INVERTED DAMMA is on the left. The "open" style is used by some languages in West Africa.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, the glyph for U+06F4  EXTENDED ARABIC-INDIC DIGIT FOUR is what is seen on the left below. However, Urdu uses a different glyph as can be seen in the middle below and the glyph Rohingya uses is seen on the right below (same as U+0664  ARABIC-INDIC DIGIT FOUR).

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, the glyph for U+06F6  EXTENDED ARABIC-INDIC DIGIT SIX is what is seen on the left below. However, Urdu, Sindhi and Rohingya use a different glyph as demonstrated on the right below.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, the glyph for U+06F7  EXTENDED ARABIC-INDIC DIGIT SEVEN is what is seen on the left below. However, Urdu, Sindhi and Rohingya use a different glyph as demonstrated on the right below.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, the glyphs for U+0647  ARABIC LETTER HEH are what is seen on the left below. However, there are at least two variants as can be seen below.

    The left one is the default behavior, the Sindhi variant is next and last is Urdu.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • The standard glyph for U+0652  ARABIC SUKUN is shown on the top row. However, it can have a variety of shapes, two of which are shown in the last two rows.

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • Most Arabic script characters follow a pattern where the nukta (dots above or below) are consistent in their positioning and design.

    U+06BD  ARABIC LETTER NOON WITH THREE DOTS ABOVE does not follow the normal pattern. In the Unicode name it says "WITH THREE DOTS ABOVE." However, only the isolate and final form have the dots above. In the initial and medial position the dots are below. Note that the dots point upward when the nukta are above the glyph, and they point downward when the nukta are below the glyph.

    Isolate, Initial, Medial and Final Forms for U+06BD

    ContributorLorna Evans
  • Although there is an undeniable link between Arabic calligraphy and the Islamic religion, the Arabic script existed before Islam. In the earliest examples of Arabic writing, there are two distinct styles; one is more fluid and rounded in shape, and the other is more geometric and sharp. These came to be known as naskh and kufic repesctively, and this broad distinction is maintained to this day. However, as diverse populations throughout the Middle East began using the script, many variations on each style developed, and Arabic writing now displays a great degree of variation.

    It is difficult to draw a line between Arabic calligraphy as a vehicle for communication, and Arabic calligraphy as an art form. A common handwriting style in everyday use by most literate speakers of Arabic is Ruq'ah or Riq'a. It is generally believed to be the easiest style to write and the clearest style to read.

    Calligraphic writing has traditionally been held in high regard as an art form in the Islamic world. Islam discourages the depiction of the human form, so Islamic art has tended to combine geometric shapes with depictions of plants and animals, and calligraphic writing. Examples of this can be found inside almost every mosque. Some popular styles of Arabic calligraphy are thuluth, an elegant style with elongated ascenders and sloping descenders, nasta'liq, having short vertical strokes and elongated horizontal strokes, generally considered the core script of the Persian writing tradition, diwani, a decorative style historically used for secret documents in the Ottoman courts, characterized by its intertwining letters which make it difficult to read, write or forge.

    In Arabic calligraphy, the rules governing letter placement are somewhat less rigid than in everyday writing. As long as the placement does not hamper comprehension of the word(s), letters can be placed above, below or within each other or joined in unconventional ways. Some calligraphers arrange and proportion the letters to satisfy mathematical criteria. The spaces between letters may be strewn with decorative marks having no orthographic value. In a calligram, an inscription takes the form of a flower, bird or other animal, or, less frequently, an inanimate object such as a ship.

    Source

    Rouh Al-Khatt Al-Arabi (The Spirit of Arabic Calligraphy) by Kamel El Baba, quoted at  http://www.arabiccalligraphy.com/ac/resources_detail.php?resId=1

    ContributorScriptSource Staff
  • In standard Arabic, and for most languages using the Arabic script, when U+0650  ARABIC KASRA follows U+0651  ARABIC SHADDA the kasra is moved to just below the shadda (behavior for U+064D  ARABIC KASRATAN should be consistent with the behavior for U+0650  ARABIC KASRA). This behavior is what is seen on the left below. However, some languages require the kasra to remain below the consonant as is seen on the right below. Sindhi and Urdu are two well known languages where the behavior demonstrated on the right is expected.

    ContributorLorna Evans

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Copyright © 2017 SIL International and released under the  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license (CC-BY-SA) unless noted otherwise. Language data includes information from the  Ethnologue. Script information partially from the  ISO 15924 Registration Authority. Some character data from  The Unicode Standard Character Database and locale data from the  Common Locale Data Repository. Used by permission.