The map above shows the names of Arabic speaking countries in Arabic with romanizations to help those who don’t actually speak Arabic. Interestingly, most are quite different from the English name for the country.
Reddit user Pinuzzo, who created the map, explains that:
The colors do not mean anything and are just used to differentiate small countries near each other.
I am using my own method of Romanization that I believe better preserves the Arabic spelling that most Romanization attempts lose. For example, I transliterate 3ayn (ع) as a backwards ezh ƹ, and hamza ء as an apostrophe. Most Romanizations just make both letters an apostrophe, while the sounds they make are very different.
You may also notice that Western Sahara (الصحراء الغربية Aṣ-Ṣaḥrā’ al-Gharbīyah) does not appear on the map, although the map creator does not explain why.
Reddit user stormsmcgee also points out that:
magrib also means West, as in the far western country of the Arab world.
You can learn more about Arabic and the Arabs from the following books:
- Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds [With DVD]
- Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic
- The Arabs: A History
Know any other interesting facts about Arabic? Leave them below: