updated an old project today to make it easier to update and load a bit faster: notarabic.com/

@nasser Arabic script looks beautiful. On the about page, it says Arabic is your native language; can I ask you a quick question about it?

(warning: it's probably a dumb question)

@melerva please do! no such thing as a dumb question, and I love talking about Arabic. what's up?

@nasser how do you quote a statement in a left-to-right language like English in a right-to-left language like Arabic?

Like let's say you're writing a news report in Arabic and you include an English quote verbatim in a sentence.

@melerva generally you would translate or transliterate the English quote, the same way you would include an Arabic quote in an English newspaper. you generally would not include a block of Arabic text because that wouldn't be meaningful to your readers.

@melerva that said, there are situations where people will typeset Latin names in the middle of a run of Arabic text, usually for proper names, but this isn't really "correct" it's more of a shorthand and a concession to the fact that the reader is likely proficient enough in a Latin language to be able to sound out the names. notably, this doesn't happen in the reverse, which is a testament to the hegemony of the Latin alphabet. this is a screenshot from the Arabic Wikipedia article on NASA.


@melerva to read that your eye jumps back and forth, and it kind of doesn't work across line breaks and it's generally pretty messy. for what it's worth Arabic numbers are written left to right despite the rest of the language being written right to left, so people are used to their eyes jumping back and forth a little bit.

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@nasser Thank you!

It makes sense like that; letters in a language should be written in the direction they were intended to, and the whole word treated as one large glyph.

I think (hope) we write Arabic letters right-to-left when quoting them in English text, but I am admittedly an optimist.

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.