Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Ps and the Bs

Referring to my last post.

As most of my readers are able to read the arabic font (assuming all are Malaysian. Mostly Malays. Muslims.) you would know that the arabic font does not have certain letters as the roman ones.

Like for instance they do not have the letter "P", "C", "G" "V" and some other letters that I am too lazy to think for you. Arabic letters do have similar letters like roman ones like Ba(ب) for B, Kaf (ك) for "K" Zai (ز) for "Z" and many more letters that I am too lazy to type here.

So sometimes when they want to make a direct copy of a name, they would substitite the missing letters to an arabic letter somewhat closest to it. For instance, refer to this pizza hut banner.


Even though pizza starts with a letter "P". But like I said, Arabic font (the hijaiyah not the jawi) doesn't have a "P", they substitute it with a "B" or the letter BA (ب). And thus pizza hut is spelt BIZZA HUT.

The same goes with things like petrol becomes BETROL and err apa lagilah tak ingat.

Another thing is Arabic font does not have the letter "G". If in jawi we use the letter GA like Kaf with a dot on top. Over here they use JIM (ج). And also in jawi we have the letter nga, which is ain with three dots on top. Thus we can use the word king with better effect. Over here, anything with G is substituted with the letter JIM.

refer to this burger king picture.


Notice the Gs in the Burger King becomes a J (as in JIM)

However, when I went to Oman, I met this guy in Nizwa. We were talking about the mejestic Jabals in Oman. Jabal (جبل)means mountain. But he did not pronounce it as Jabal instead he pronounced it Gabal. I asked him why you said Gabal, is it not spelt with a Jim. Yes with a Jim but the pronunciation is Gabal. Hmm

I was later told by my teacher, certain dialects use Jim as a G. Especially in Egypt.

Anyway saja nak relate a story about a friend of mine who went for his driving test. Before that, a background knowledge for you. When you take a driving test, you do the theory first, then they would test your parking, naik bukit segala tu dulu. After that if you pass, you get on a bus with your fellow comrades where they will take you to drive on the road.

So my friend has completed his parking test and all that. No poles were hit. Reasonable reversing and all. Then the policemen (polis yang test kat sini) started
calling out names for people to get in the bus. There were a few buses. But my friend's name was not called.

"Why me no go on bus?" My friend asked
"You?!! You no bas" The police said.
"No bus?" wondering what he meant by that since there were buses not completely full. "When will there be a bus?"
"You come tomorrow. Tomorrow bas" Presumably the police said that there will be a bus for him tomorrow.

I know I know. How leceh things are. Sometimes you just do not want to argue. Mainly because of language barrier.

So my friend came the following day and asked for the bus. Another officer checked his particulars. And said, "When you want to take test again?"
"What take test again?" My friend exclaimed.
"You take test again. You no bas."
"The other man said I take bus today." My friend said.
"No! No! You no bas! You failed!"
"Ohhhhhh I no pass"

Blearrghhhhh. Hahahhahahhaha

Having said that, I just saw a documentary about the Islam missionaries in the old days after the death of Prophet Mohammad. Indeed they covered Europe and went to China. The documentary also said, because the arabic language requires one to use nearly all the vocal organs like the tongue, the throat, the sides of the mouth and the lips, it was relatively easy for them to learn new languages. These certainly helped the missionaries to somewhat blend in and spread the good word of Islam.

Indeed, now that I am learning arabic and tajweed (with an arab), I am practising a lot of throat exercise. the letter like Kha (ح) and Kho (خ) and Ain (ع) and Dzal (ذ) and Tha (ث)and Dzo (ظ) requires a bit more practice and tongue and throat exercise.

Oh if you couldn't read the banners that I put in the previous entry, do not fret, for the english version of it is everywhere. So you will never miss your favourite fast food.


KakNi said...

I also no bus to Arab...

Neeza Shahril said...

bila pak ara cakap, 'No Barking!' referring to 'No Parking', macam nak tergelak pun ada.. hehee..
tapi, its always interesting learning new things in a new place kan...

Lollies said...

akuni - maalij (it's ok) no bas arab? can speak speak englizz

neeza - hahahaha. yalah banyak berjalan luas pemandangan eh?

Anonymous said...

baru hari tu aku ngan Busu try nak eja Volvo in jawi..

kalau ada kedai Volvo there, i bet they will use ba in replacement of V..kau check untuk aku eh?

Anonymous said...


Dh baca your blog for quite tak pernah komen..but this topic remind ni of one incident here (Egypt)...A fren of mine dtg the company's driver bawak dia jln2..pastu driver tu kata le.."I'm a bull driver, no specific boss" fren ni heran..apa hal la mamat ni kata dia pemandu kerbau..sejak bila la pulak company ni business kerbau...lama gk dia pikir..last2 baru le dia ingat yg org sini semua tukat "P" ke "B" as u mentioned tu...rupanya mamat tu pool/shared driver..hahaha tak ke haru tu..

Anonymous said...

Hi Lollies

I hear you're coming for a holiday. When ya?

I Do

m.u.l.a.n said...

kurang lebih macam di vietnam la.. geli hati pun ada..

fixed price jadi fis rais..
no problem jadi no rolem..
zharif jadi jarif..

Anonymous said...

eh.. they have 'ta' in Bitza Hut.. instead of Bizza Hut. the correct pronouncation of pizza pun mmg ada 't' pun kan...

Btw, i can't help but to put the same song in my blog.. hahaha.. curik idea ok.

Lollies said...

aie - tapi jawi now has the letter v kan? macam fa tapi ada three dots.

so kat sini sebagai ganti huruf V they use the letter FA (ف)

ida - hahahhaha. gila funny. by the way welcome ida. nak manggo slice, i potong sikit?

i do - ah ah. saya akan balik 4hb julai ni tapi sampai kl perhaps on the 20th gitu kot. nanti i contact you.

mulan - they put like that on the signboard too?

zal - itulah punyalah detailnya depa sebut pizza sampai ada huruf Ba also. too bad they have no P. yang peliknya the roman spelling tak ada huruf B and spelt only as pizza. why ah? is it kalau ada dua Z you can pronounce it as Bitza? hmm what about Buzzzz. should we pronounce it as butz? or only applies kalau ada the letter I before the Z?

hah tengok i dah fikir terlampau banyak. :P

Jo Kontan said...

I always tell my kids Let find a Barking Blace.

I learn this from Arab Friends decades ago.


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