A belated Eid Mubarak and Happy New Year to all my readers!
This post is brought to you by the letter G - a sound all too common in many languages, including many dialects of Arabic, yet absent from Classical Arabic, leading to a minor quandary for transcribers, and to substantial regional variation. In Morocco, [g] in names is typically written using a kaf ك with three dots (ڭ), as in this sign. In Algeria and Tunisia, it's typically a qaf ق with three dots (ڨ), a choice reflecting the sound shift q > g common in Bedouin dialects, but unfortunately easily confused with the fa with three dots (ڤ) often used elsewhere in the Arab world for [v]. In Egypt, a jim ج is generally used, since classical j is pronounced g in Egyptian dialect. Elsewhere in the Arab world, a kaf with a line on top (گ), as in Persian or Kurdish, is sometimes used. In adapting foreign loanwords, ghayn (eg بلغاريا Bulgaria) or jiim (eg إنجيليزية English) are usual. In a Qatari mall recently, however, I saw yet another system: Osh Kosh B'Gosh was transcribed as أوش كوش بيڠوش, with a ghayn with three dots (Malay ng). I have no idea what country this may be characteristic of - even here it appears rather unusual. Any thoughts?