samedi 5 janvier 2013

Rationale for Lebanese Writing Rules



Here are my personal convictions and some facts on Lebanese Writing Rules.

a) I wrote the rules prior to building www.abjadiye.com. Abjadiye uses the rules entirely, it has 100 lessons, thousands of lexicon terms, thousands of conversation sentences, three levels of learning etc. Lebanese Writing Rules as such are not pure theory, they have proven their usability through Abjadiye.

b) Abjadiye and Lebanese Writing Rules have thousands of followers. They received interest from major Lebanese newspapers. They also received recognition from Unesco Lebanese delegates. (References to come)

c) My strong conviction is as follows : any academic alphabet proposal, no matter how perfect it is in reflecting the various Arabic phonems, is bound to fail unless it obtains state backup similar to Turkey and Vietnam, and implements top-down promulgation of the system at all levels of the institutions, starting with schools. I consider therefore that Said Akl's and other systems have failed.

d) Without state backup, Lebanese people have decided on a system of writing with Latin alphabet, which they use on Facebook, Twitter, SMS, mails etc. Lebanese Writing Rules is a formalisation of the most used conventions of this system. It is therefore demotic, can be considered as the people's language, and no one can change this unless he has state power, and even with the state power, I am afraid it is too late to catch up.

e) Lebanese Writing Rules are NOT academically perfect, they do not transliterate every single sound on a one to one mapping. However, this is what the people use today, and after all, one letter may have multiple pronunciations which can be learnt contextually. Think of the letter t in "Shuttle" (pronounced Tah) and in "Cattle" (pronounced t). Think of the letter u in "pure", "purple", "put", "cut" etc. Think of the letter s in "to use" (pronounced z) and in "the use" (pronounced s).

f) Lebanese Writing Rules do not require any specific keyboard. Any Lebanese around the world can use them with a simple QWERTY keyboard.

g) Finally Lebanese Writing Rules were designed for a pragmatic purpose, that of teaching easily and spreading the Lebanese language. Contrary to Said Akl and maybe others, I have not designed them as a departure from Arabic, which is a language I love above all.

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