Transliteration rules

For the most part, ISMI uses a one-to-one orthographic transliteration system for entering Arabic-script words into the database. Normally, titles and names are first entered into Arabic-script fields; these are then transcribed using a partially automated procedure according to this table. Thus ابن الشاطر is transliterated as Ibn al-Šāṭir. This would allow for further transliteration into other systems, such as ones used in Turkey, Iran, or various European countries. For our part, we have decided to use the Library of Congress (Washington, DC) transliteration systems for display. They have 3 separate systems, depending on whether the original Arabic-script language is Arabic, Persian or Turkish:

In the future, we hope to incorporate an app that will allow the user to choose a different transliteration system.


Because of the number of people who have worked on the project, and the evolving rules, there are no doubt many inconsistencies. We would be most grateful if you send us corrections to mistakes/inconsistencies whenever you find them: