Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic)

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For the names of articles on Arabic topics, prefer translations, only use transliterations if there's no common translation available.


Use an English translation of an Arabic title whenever such translation is the most common name that is unambiguous.

When not to use a translation as page name[edit]

However, if a concept coming from Arabic culture has a usual English translation, but has a specific meaning in Arabic context, this specific meaning can be explained in a separate article with a transliterated name, if, and only if, this doesn't make a POV fork, and the transliterated form is verifiably in common use in English in this specific meaning, that is: more common than a (descriptive) translation.

Romanisations that have become a translation[edit]

Romanisation is the general term for the transformation of words from Arabic or other foreign scripts to words that use the Latin alphabet. Only when such transformation is systematised in a letter by letter system this can be called transliteration. Many words that have Arabic roots have a romanised equivalent in English, that is commonly used and thus has become a translation, e.g. algorithm, algorism, Cairo, Mecca,...

Whether such words are transliterations in a strict sense, or more loose romanisations is of no importance: if there's a format that is commonly used in English, that format is used as a page name in English Wikipedia. If a strict transliteration differs from this common English version of an Arabic word, this transliteration is mentioned in the lead section of the article (e.g. "Muḥammad 'Anwar as-Sādāt" in the Anwar Al Sadat case).


For definitions of "Arabic article", "primary transliteration", "standard transliteration" and "strict transliteration" see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Arabic).

  • If an Arabic article has a primary transliteration, then it should be used as the article title.
  • If an Arabic article has no primary transliteration, then the standard transliteration should be used as the article title.
  • The strict transliteration should not be used in article titles.

Avoid diacritics, dots, lines, or other unprintable character in page names for content pages (e.g. ""): page names should always be usable as hyperlinks, so, depending on browser/operating system/font/stylesheet combination the sign under the letter gets crossed and would be indiscernible (e.g., "").

See also printability for a general treatment of the printability issue.