Is Sa3eed 3akel a Visionary?!

Does Saeed Akel, the writer, poet and self proclaimed Lebanese philosopher, know that his crusade (as in campaign, not as in the infamous wars) to write the Lebanese (Arabic) language using Latin script has been realized? About thirty years ago he called for the use of Latin letters because he claimed that these were of Phoenician origins. At the time he was questioned about the value of this change, not to mention where we will get the kha, ha, a’ein etc, the Arabic sounds from.

Well the ingenuity of the youth (Lebanese & Arab) has come up with a solution. Necessity is the mother/father (to be politically correct) of invention. SMS and chat is easier when the language is Arabic but the script is Latin. The sounds above were replaced by numbers: 5, 7, 3 etc.

Consider this sample of a message written by a 15yr old Lebanese to her friend in class. Of course, the 60 yr old Arabic literature teacher did not understand a word [permission for publishing was granted by student]:

“tani mara lama 7kit ma3o al msn 2alli ma kint 3arfik hal 2ad 7ilwi” or “5alli mahmod ya3rif eno ente binit kteer mni7a w 3a2le w ma bte3mle add la 7ayala 7ada w ma bte3te wij lal shabab…”

Written in Arabic: “تاني مرة لما حكيت معو عل م س ن أللي ما كنت عارفك هل أد حلوي. خللي محمود يعرف إنو إنتي بنت كتير منيحا و عاءلة و ما بتعملي آد لا حيالا حدا و ما بتعطي وج للشباب”

Translation: “when I spoke to him the second time on msn he told me that he did not know that I was this beautiful” or “ let Mahmoud know that you are a very good girl and you don’t just add any body [to your contacts on msn] and you are strict with the [young] men…”

The only letter left now is the ض which has no equivalence in any other language. Then the language of the ض will have a new set of letters.


One comment

  1. sometimes, this language gets so full of numbers that I become TOTALLY lost. there’s the 5 (kh), 6(t) and 9 (?) that are unnecessary for me. 2,3 and 7 should do 🙂

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