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The current article reads like a press release about how great Arwi is - that's not really appropriate for a Wikipedia article, which is supposed to be unbiased. It's better to show how important Arwi is with facts and information rather than just saying so. What makes Arwi books "invaluable" or "authoritative"? Why is it more important than any other aspect of Sarandib-Arab and Indo-Arab cultural heritage? And language like "everlasting monument" just plain doesn't belong here. DopefishJustin 21:30, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Fixed as much RaveenS 17:13, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Arwi Language Discussion[edit]

I have a lot of work in the Arwi Language (from my Grandmother and Grandfather) like dictionaries etc. We called the language Arabu-Tamil and not Arwi. How can the books I have be made useful to anyone interested in them or the wikipedia? Rumey Rumey 11:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Maybe upload scans to Wikibooks? Or even just to a photo site like Flickr. --JWB 21:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi Rumey, i am doing research on Arwi and Tamil Muslims, so i will need those books for my research. Can you please give me your contact details so that i can contact you and get those books. It will be a great help if you do it. my email id is --Yams — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yams.s.p (talkcontribs) 02:55, 10 April 2012 (UTC)


The image says that work is in progress to encode four missing characters. By whom? -- Evertype· 08:19, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Any one have an answer to this question? -- Evertype· 17:35, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

The article needs immediate attention[edit]

... thus, I've multi-tagged it. Apart from this, I have a question: did these unref'd old edits (by anon.), which were immediately reverted, contain any useful info at all?
--Omnipaedista (talk) 01:33, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Arabic, or Persian?[edit]

The article claims this is Arabicized Tamil. However, it uses the Persian script, not the Arabic, and is said to be the Tamil equivalent of Urdu, which is also Persianized, not Arabicized. Did the "Arabic Tamil" name mislead someone? Do we have a RS for this? kwami (talk) 23:28, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Who says it uses the Persian script? A couple of letter values appear to be the same, but other sounds like p are represented differently in Perso-Arabic and Arwi.

When it is said to be the Dravidian equivalent of Urdu, I interpreted it to mean that it was a version of the local language used by Muslims, written in Arabic script, and incorporating some Arabic vocabulary. I did not think it meant Arwi was descended from Urdu.

Historically, Arabs sailed directly from Arabia to the South Indian coast, not by the land route. --JWB (talk) 05:52, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

This article claims it uses the Persian script. If it doesn't, that should be corrected.
I didn't think it meant Arwi was descended from Urdu either, merely that it's formation was similar, say through the Moghuls. (Yes, I know the Moghuls didn't have much presence in the area, but I don't know what else may have been going on. And forms of Urdu popped up all over India.)
The coastal-Arab connection would seem likely on the face of it. Do you know if it was actually the case? If it was, a closer analogy than Urdu would be Swahili. kwami (talk) 07:43, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I see "Perso-Arabic Script" in the infobox, only after searching for it. This was introduced on 27 September 2008 by an anonymous editor. As said, this does not seem accurate. The letter "cha" seems to be the only similarity between Arwi and Persian alphabets not from Arabic. In fact the Perso-Arabic Script article explains:
"There are many Arabic-derived alphabets which were not influenced by the Perso-Arabic script, including Jawi (used for Malay), Sorabe (Malagasy), and many alphabets used in Northern Africa. These alphabets used other innovations for writing such common sounds as [p] and [g], instead of the Perso-Arabic letters پ and گ, although the Jawi script does use the same symbol for [ʧ] ( چ )."
The coastal-Arab connection is supported by all history I've read as well as the articles wikilinked in this article. I don't know the Swahili Arabic alphabet values (it is not documented in Swahili or Category:Arabic-derived alphabets) but it's not surprising that a South Asian would first think of Urdu (spoken as far south as Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh) rather than Swahili as a comparison. --JWB (talk) 09:34, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, natural, but misleading to others.
AFAIK, the Swahili Arabic script was pretty much unmodified. There were some idiosyncrasies, and reforms proposed in the early 20th century which never caught on, but otherwise you simply approximated Swahili in the Arabic alphabet, so that yangu 'mine' and yako 'yours' were both written as if they were "yaku". kwami (talk) 09:59, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I think the Urdu comparison was among "Arabic-script, Muslim-influenced languages of South Asia" rather than attempting to trace the origins of the letter values. I noticed you changed "Urdu" to "Swahili" - I don't think the comparison to Swahili is closer than that to Jawi, North African alphabets, etc., and it is certainly not South Asian. Jawi is likely to have originated from the South Indian coast, actually. --JWB (talk) 13:24, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
But Jawi isn't a language. kwami (talk) 20:08, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Your discussion here has been entirely about script, and you changed the comparison to Urdu in the article to Swahili on that basis, even though the comparison was about the Arwi language and not just the script. --JWB (talk) 11:43, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
No, I was discussing the language. The script was only secondary evidence that the description may have been incorrect. kwami (talk) 19:22, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok, so do you have any evidence of particular closeness to Swahili in either script or other aspects of language? --JWB (talk) 14:27, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

[1] has:

The popular name "Arabic-Tamil" is misleading as it conceals
(a) the well known considerable Persian influence on the language, and
(b) the possible origin of some of the words used by Arwi writers and speakers in the non-Aryan and non-Dravidian, indigenous or "tribal" languages of the area.

So there is Persian influence, just not in the letter values. Perso-Arabic Script should go but comparison to Urdu is reasonable. --JWB (talk) 14:34, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Ah, so it would seem it's not a coastal Arab influence. Go ahead and fix as you see fit; you know more about this than I do. kwami (talk) 20:28, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

The influence is more Persian than Urdu. Indeed, as I hail from a family that had strong Arabu-Tamil connections I can testify that there are some loan words from Farsi and not Urdu. The Arab Tamil language indeed must have evolved like Urdu, but in a different route. The first few Muslim settlers in Tamil Nadu were indeed Arabs. But then a subsequent population m

Arabic creole?[edit]

In Arabic-based creole languages is written: "Arwi: An extinct Arabic-based creole spoken by Sri Lankan Moors and Muslims in South India". This article says it's rather Arabic-influenced Tamil. Either is wrong and, I think, should be fixed, but I'm not sure which one. --Koryakov Yuri (talk) 17:35, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

This article has a number of problems[edit]

  • The only valid criterion to define Arwi or Arabic-Tamil is the use of Arabic script. It is quite impossible to define Arabic-Tamil on linguistic grounds. Of course you will find a considerable amount of Arabic loanwords in Arabic-Tamil texts, but you will find them also in present-day texts which have been written by Muslim authors or deal with Muslim subjects, yet nobody would dub them "Arwi" or "Arabic-Tamil". Besides, where would you set a border: Are 5 percent Arabic loanwords be enough to qualify a text as Arabic-Tamil? 10 percent? 20 percent? There are no other linguistic features which would set Arabic-Tamil apart. So Arabic-Tamil should not be presented as a language of its own or a distinct dialect of Tamil. Of course there are Muslim sociolects of Tamil, just like there are e.g. Brahmin sociolects, but Arabic-Tamil is basically just Tamil written in Arabic script. For these reasons you absolutely cannot say that Arabic-Tamil is "extinct as a spoken language", compare Arabic-Tamil with Swahili or even call Arabic-Tamil a "Arabic-based creole".
  • Since Arabic-Tamil can be only defined by the use of Arabic script, Arwi language and Arwi alphabet (which is basically a non-article anyway) should be merged to an article Arwi or Arabic-Tamil.
  • Some uncourced statements highly dubious or biased ("There are historical records of the prevalence of Arwi in far Eastern countries, such as Indonesia and Thailand, up until the 1970s. Even today, there are Arwi schools functioning in Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan."; "atrocities" of the Portuguese etc.)
  • File:ArwiRIP.jpg seems not to depict an Arabic-Tamil inscription. As far as I can see, the text is in plain Arabic.

-- (talk) 10:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I think I've addressed the issues, and I removed the 'attention needed' tag in the project box. I'd moved this article once before, and it was moved back to 'language', so this time I've made it clearer that it's not a language. — kwami (talk) 21:09, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Like Swahili?[edit]

As of 2009-08-14, the article claimed [Arwi] can be considered the Dravidian equivalent of Swahili. However, according to the Thorsten reference, Arwi is basically Tamil in Arabic script with some Arabic influences. So if Arwi "is like Swahili" (presumably meaning "is the lingua franca of the Dravidian peoples") then Tamil ought to be too. Could someone please clarify this issue? Thanks, and all the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 01:35, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

have several books in arwi[edit]

hi, i'm not english user sorry for poor English. my grand mother uses on of the book, which is written in arwi. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shameermbm (talkcontribs) 14:00, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Arwi language[edit]

As written in the articles Extinct language, Arabic alphabet, Languages of Sri Lanka Arwi is a language. I would prefer the moves by User:Kwamikagami would be reverted. Kwamikagami claims there is no such language. Are all these other articles wrong? But on 16 March 2009 Kwamikagami was talking about Arwi as a language [2], so maybe his current view is only temporary.

Also Kwami deleted the language infobox [3].

I have reinstated Arwi script.

Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 17:43, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

We don't use Wikipedia as a source for Wikipedia. Read WP:RS. You need to demonstrate that it's a separate language. — kwami (talk) 01:50, 1 August 2011 (UTC)


  • AFAIK Arwi is not a "language", it's just Tamil written in Arwi. See comments above. Also, Arwi script is a WP:CONTENTFORK and so should be merged. Having two articles, 'Tamil written in the Arwi alphabet' and 'The Arwi alphabet used to write Tamil', adds no content. — kwami (talk) 01:50, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Regardless of any opinions about whether this is, or is not, a language, it is not appropriate to merge the page into a disambiguation page, particularly one that links to a settlement and an airport! Skinsmoke (talk) 19:22, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Things have been moved around. The dab page was just created. The point is to merge the content forks; the dab page can go under (disambiguation) if you like. — kwami (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved by rough consensus. Arwi script should be merged at editorial discretion. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 22:34, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Arwi languageArwi – Arwi is not a language, but the Tamil language written in Arwi. These are not separate topics. I can find no RS for its existence as a language. See talk page and lack there of evidence for separate status. — kwami (talk) 01:50, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Support as nom. Since Arwi is AFAICT not a "language",it should not be at Arwi language, but moved to Arwi. Or perhaps to Arwi alphabet if we keep Arwi as a dab. — kwami (talk) 01:50, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
    • "AFAICT" - On 16 March 2009 you said it to be a language [4]. I don't know how "language" is defined in WP, maybe it is only something like a sub-language/variety/dialect. But if Tamil would not exist, it would be treated as a language. The relation is as with Urdu and Hindi. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 02:17, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - Read the article: lexical influences from Arabic language and written register of Tamil language. - A script does not have lexical influences from another language. A script is not a written register of a language. This article is about a language, namely ي lisān-ul-arwī or lisān al-arwi = "the Arwi tongue"[5] Like Urdu and Hindi are languages. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 02:10, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Of course it does. For example,

Ricci, 2006. Translating Conversion in South and Southeast Asia, p. 227.


Arwi, known more fully as lisanul-arwi (A. the Arwi language) or Araputtamil (T. Arabic-Tamil) refers to Tamil written in Arabic script. Some scholars claim that the designation Arwi includes also the spoken -- and not only written -- language of Tamil-speaking Muslims, incorporating many Arabic words not used by non-Muslim speakers. ... Arwi began developing ... somewhat later than Muslim literature written in Tamil script. ... Although [Arabic words] could be written in the Tamil script there was a high probability that doing so would cause a distortion in pronunciation and therefore in understanding ...


Jawi is the name used for Malay written in Arabic script ...

kwami (talk) 02:11, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Great post: Arwi, known more fully as lisanul-arwi (A. the Arwi language) - anything else to say? Oh, yes. That there is a Jawi script which is based on Arabic as is Arwi script based on Arabic does not mean there cannot be also an Arwi language. Do you think there is no Belarusian language, because there is the Belarusian Arabic alphabet? A language can have several scripts used to write it. But as demonstrated above, Arwi is not the regular Tamil that is written in Arabic script, but it is a special form of Tamil. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 02:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
That's your evidence? That the Arabic phrase means "Arwi language"? Since we don't even know what "Arwi" means, what does that tell us, that this is an Arabic term for the Tamil language?
Also, your own source supports my contention, not yours:
  • Tschacher, 2001. Islam in Tamilnadu: Varia [Nagachop's reference]
p. 1: ... Arwi, that is, Tamil written in Arabic script,
p. 3: Two reasons (apart from the general prestige of Arabic) ... for the formation of Arwi.
First, ... writing their mother-tongue in the Arabic script ... without having to translate religious terms or distorting their pronunciation ...
Second, many Muslims learn to read the Quran in Arabic. ... For them, writing their mother-tongue in Arabic is often easier than learning another script.
Tschacher speaks of Tamil written in the Arwi script, and of Muslim Tamil literature written in that script, but there is no mention of an "Arwi language" that I can find. Rather, everything in your ref appears to be consistent with the claims by other editors above that Arwi is simply Tamil written in the Arabic script, just as Jawi is Malay written in the Arabic script. Arwi would appear to be no more a language than Jawi is, and you've given us nothing to suggest otherwise. — kwami (talk) 02:31, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Ah, here's a use of the phrase "Arwi language". Yet it's used in the sense of "literary language", not to mean a language distinct from Tamil:

  • Ricci, 2011. Islam Translated.
p 104, note 13: Similar to the case of jawi ..., I use Arwi when referring to the heavily Arabicized language of Tamil Muslims, and arwi when referring to the modified form of the Arabic script used for writing Tamil.
p 170. For Tamil the language known as Arwi ... refers to Tamil written in Arabic script and, by some accounts, also to the spoken language of Tamil Muslims, incorporating many Arabic words not used by non-Muslim speakers.
p 175. the cases of Tamil and Javanese pose common, intriguing questions ... due to the continuing use of a prior script alongside the modified Arabic writing in the production and translation of Muslim literature.

We don't speak of Jawi as a distinct language either, despite the influence of Arabic phonology and vocabulary on Malay. Arwi is presented here as the "language" of Muslim literature, not a separate language in the cladistic sence. Change "Muslim" to "Catholic" and "Tamil" to "English" and you'll see the parallel: Catholic language, Catholic literature, etc. — kwami (talk) 02:47, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Please, Kwami, leave us alone with the Jawi example, this proves nothing and only makes you look as if you don't understand the topic. There can always be a script that does not have it's "own" language. Again you post stuff that contradicts your own claims: ... For Tamil the language known as Arwi ... spoken language of Tamil Muslims, incorporating many Arabic words a script would not incorporate words, it would only render them. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 03:15, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
You apparently aren't familiar with the various meanings of the word "language". I use the Jawi example because that's the analogy that Ricci uses, and Ricci is the most complete ref we have. The examples should be clear to other editors. Meanwhile, you have yet to provide any evidence for your contention. — kwami (talk) 03:19, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
You apparently aren't familiar with the various meanings of the word "language". - Unproven statement of yours. Check WP:V. Do you really believe only because there is English literature there cannot be English language? Do you think there is no Belarusian language, because there is the Belarusian Arabic alphabet? And a Sacred language is not a language because it has to do with religion? @Jawi example: "We don't speak of Jawi as a distinct language either." - this is your words not Ricci.
Why did you decide to leave your 2009 POV and to regard the Arwi language not as a language anymore? Can it be spoken? Yes. "Azeez uses the term “Arabic-Tamil” to denote Tamil spoken by Muslims, irrespective of the script it is written in: “The term Arabic-Tamil has therefore gained currency to indicate the Tamil of the Muslims." [6]. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 03:45, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Thus demonstrating that you don't know what the word "language" means.
Belorusian has nothing to do with the alphabet. We have an article on Belorusian language because we have lots of WP:RSs that there is a Belorusian language. What you're arguing for Arwi is like saying that because there is a Belarusian Arabic alphabet, there must be a Belarusian Arabic language. Kitabs are the books written in Belarusian language using Arabic script – that's parallel to Kitabs are the books written in Tamil language using Arabic script, basically a comment Ricci made about Arwi.
It's up to you to demonstrate your assertion. You've failed to do so. — kwami (talk) 03:58, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Belorusian has nothing to do with the alphabet. - You got it? And now look at the relation between "Arwi language" and "Arwi script". The script is only one way of expressing the language. It's up to you to demonstrate your assertion. You've failed to do so. - And says so who? Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 03:35, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Says me. Show me one source for an "Arwi language". (Not for the phrase, as you've tried before, but for the language. A phrase is not a thing.) AFAICT, it does not exist. Just as Belorusian is still Belorusian when written in Arabic, so Tamil is still Tamil when written in Arabic. — kwami (talk) 03:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is already a disambiguation page at Arwi. The proposal needs to incorporate what should happen to that disambiguation page (perhaps a move to Arwi (disambiguation)?). Skinsmoke (talk) 19:26, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
That would be fine. — kwami (talk) 02:00, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Since there are several things called Arwi, the language, the script etc, there is no primary topic. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 03:35, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
What should a unified article be called, then? Since the "language" and script are the same thing, that's irrelevant for primary topic. — kwami (talk) 03:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, if you think there is not language, it should be called script/alphabet. Per current WT:NCWS it would be Arwi alphabet. Would you accept Arwi dialect for what I call language? Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 11:31, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Can you demonstrate that it's a dialect? AFAICT, it's not even that. It's not like a certain Tamil-speaking region speaks differently and uses a different script; Arwi is (was) used by Muslim Tamils no matter what their dialect.
But it's more than a script, too: It's a language register, a specific religio-literary form of Tamil, with associated poetic and other literary traditions, specialized vocabulary, etc. It's more like technical English: that's not a dialect, even though the vocab differs from other registers of English, nor is it a script, despite all the specialized symbols. — kwami (talk) 13:01, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that there is no primary topic. The only thing other than the script/language called "Arwi" is Arwi, Maharashtra, a one-sentence unreferenced article on a populated place of unknown size. No disambiguation page is needed per WP:TWODABS, just a hatnote. —  AjaxSmack  07:14, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Up to you to provide evidence that it is, Nagachop. — kwami (talk) 10:41, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I did, but he only votes. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 12:59, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It appears that Bogdan Nagachop (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been blocked as a sockpuppet of Tobias Conradi (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log). Rennell435 (talk) 17:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've struck my support, not because I believe the proposal to be misguided, but because it appears that this is the primary topic for Arwi. As Ajax proposes below, the article should be moved there, and the duplicate article Arwi script merged into it. Rennell435 (talk) 17:26, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Support per nom. Furthermore, whether or not the "language" and the script are precisely the same, the two articles can be merged due to the large amount of overlap in the topics (and the fact that the script article only has one sentence which is already duplicated at the language article). A hatnote on this unified article can direct readers to Arwi, Maharashtra—no need for a disambiguation page per WP:TWODABS. —  AjaxSmack  07:10, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
    • You don't understand TWODABS. It does not mean that one article can overtake the primary position. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 10:30, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It does if one is obviously the primary topic. Rennell435 (talk) 17:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Proposal - I really think it is important to separate concepts. If Arwi is not considered a language, then it might be a dialect. One page will have a Writing system/Script infobox, the other will maybe one day have a Language infobox. If you want to merge to merge the stuff, call the article script/alphabet - there is an image with characters for that, so there is no dispute over existence of a script/alphabet. And then make the language related stuff a subsection, documenting what is said about the language/register/words/dialect. Then with NPOV the language issue can be addressed in the article. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 12:58, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It's not a dialect either. It would appear to be a ethno-religious register. And it's not just an alphabet, but the register that alphabet marks. Moving it to 'alphabet' would not do justice to the full topic, while moving it to 'dialect' would exaggerate its distinctiveness. — kwami (talk) 13:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Arwi (Arabized Tamil) is not extinct. I see the word "extinct" is misleading. Arwi is still used by old generations (such as parents and grandparents) in some areas. Also, there are thousands of (may be more) literary works still available in Arwi. Also, Arwi is generally used by the Nabawiyyatul Qadiriyya, a Sufi order in Sri Lanka for religious teachings etc.--Fahim (talk) 07:05, 20 December 2012 (UTC)