The template Template:policy-TT does not use the parameter(s):
1=Language considerations (Arabic)
Please see Module:checkparams for help with this warning.

link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.
See also Category:Arabic language


We use all hamazāt and tāʔ marbūṭa (required reading)

أ and إ at the beginning of a word should or else never be written with plain ا, although words spelled this way can be entered as lemmas with {{alternative spelling of}} used to redirect to the proper spelling. (This is a bot job, though.)

When to use initial أ/إ and when to use initial ا? A good test that appeals to native Arabic speakers' intuition here is to attempt to prefix وَ (wa, and) to the word in question. Does the sound of the hamza remain, as with e.g. وَأَكْتُبُ (waʔaktubu, and I write)? Then the word must be spelled with either أ or إ. Does the sound of the hamza disappear, as in وَٱمْتِحَان (wamtiḥān, and an exam)? Then the word must be spelled with a hamza-less ا.

However, intuition can't be universally relied upon, so the actual codified rules are laid out below. Most words require أ/إ, except the following:

  1. The definite article ال.
  2. The past tense, imperative, and verbal noun of all verbs whose past tense begins with a kasra in speech. Namely, this refers to all verbs in forms VII and higher, but excludes form IV verbal nouns (such as إِضْرَاب (ʔiḍrāb) and إِضَافَة (ʔiḍāfa), as the past tense of Form IV begins with the sound of a fatḥa) and borrowed words such as إِنْجِلِيز (ʔingilīz), إِسْبَان (ʔisbān), and إِفْرِيقِيَا (ʔifrīqiyā).
  3. Imperative verbs in Form I. Verbs of hamza-initial roots are tricky here, because the وَ-test above appears to show that they begin with a hamza; for example, وَٱئْتِ (waʔti, and come). However, this is only because the prefix causes elision of the initial hamza-less ا, allowing the root's hamza to show itself. The unprefixed word is اِيتِ (īti, come) and pronounced without the root's hamza due to Arabic's historical haplology of adjacent phonetic glottal stops.
  4. All other words that underlyingly start with a two-consonant cluster. This includes but is not limited to the nouns اِبْن (ibn), اِسْم (ism) and اِسْت (ist).

Regarding tāʔ marbūṭa: if a word can have ة, the entry has to use it, not ه.

ʔiʕrāb – final short vowels and nunation (required reading)

We use the following system for deciding whether to include ʔiʕrāb (final, normally unpronounced short vowels and nunation, e.g. the third-person masculine singular past-tense ending -a or the indefinite nominative singular ending -un) in headwords, which generally follows Hans Wehr:

  1. Verbs are shown with full ʔiʕrāb, e.g. كَتَبَ (kataba, he wrote) and يَكْتُبُ (yaktubu, he writes) rather than #كَتَب (katab) and #يَكْتُب (yaktub).
  2. Triptote and diptote nouns, adjectives, and participles (those ending in -un and -u in the indefinite nominative singular, respectively) are normally shown without the ʔiʕrāb, e.g. قَلْب (qalb, heart), مَكَاتِب (makātib, desks) rather than #قَلْبٌ (qalbun), #مَكَاتِبُ (makātibu).
  3. Duals and sound masculine and feminine plurals omit the ʔiʕrāb, e.g. بَيْتَان (baytān, two houses), مُسْلِمُون (muslimūn, Muslims), أُمَّهَات (ʔummahāt, mothers), مُعَمَّوْن (muʕammawn, disguised (masc. pl.)) rather than #بَيْتَانِ (baytāni), #مُسْلِمُونَ (muslimūna), #أُمَّهَاتٌ (ʔummahātun), #مُعَمَّوْنَ (muʕammawna).
  4. Other declension types include full ʔiʕrāb, e.g. قَاضٍ (qāḍin, judge), مُسْتَشْفًى (mustašfan, hospital), دُنْيَا (dunyā, world). Note that pages for words ending in -in such as قَاضٍ (qāḍin, judge) and وَادٍ (wādin, valley) are found under e.g. قاض and واد rather than #قاضي or #وادي, although the latter may be created as non-lemma (construct state) forms; see the example for وَادِي (wādī).

The same forms are copied into the declension and conjugation tables which automatically display full ʔiʕrāb. For participles and verbal nouns listed in conjugation tables the above rules about ommission of nunation apply. Usage examples may or may not include ʔiʕrāb, depending on how formal they are.

When is manual transliteration needed?

Primarily in the following situations:

  1. Whenever a word ending in ة occurs as other than the final word. In that case, the automatic transliteration will render the ending as (t); the manual transliteration should render it as either t or nothing, depending on whether it's in the construct state. Note that manual transliteration is not necessary when the ة is followed by ʔiʕrāb such as ً (-an); in such a case the ة will automatically be rendered as t. (Analogous considerations apply to the ending اة, which should be rendered either āt or āh in manual translit.)
  2. When a word is preceded by a clitic prefix such as وَـ (wa-), بِـ (bi-) or لِـ (li-), so that the hyphen can be written. The automatic transliteration will also have problems with some prefixes followed by the definite article, e.g. وَالْكِتَاب (wa-l-kitāb), rendered as وَالْكِتَاب (wālkitāb) without manual transliteration, and وَالشَّيْء (wa-š-šayʔ), which without manual transliteration is rendered وَالشَّيْء, without any transliteration. Note that manual translit is not necessary in words beginning with the definite article, e.g. الكِتَاب (al-kitāb). Note also that as a special case, words with bi- + definite article are automatically handled correctly, e.g. بِالكِتَاب (bi-l-kitāb) or بِالتَأْكِيد (bi-t-taʔkīd).
  3. In borrowed words where written long vowels are pronounced short, e.g. فِيلْم (film, film); where the vowels e, ē, o or ō occur, e.g. بِيَانُو (biyānō, piano); or where a letter has an unexpected pronunciation such as g, e.g. إِنْجْلِيزِيّ (ʔinglīziyy, English).
  4. In the small number of native words not pronounced as spelled, mostly archaic spellings like أُولٰئِكَ (ʔulāʔika, those), مِائَة (miʔa, hundred), عَمْرو (ʿamr, Amr), صَلٰوة (ṣalāh, prayer).

How the romanization works and some guidelines to it

Arabic transliterations (that is, romanizations) are not words. Arabic entries should only be written in the Arabic script. Normally the transcriptions are automatically and correctly provided by the module ar-translit if you use the correct templates and enter the words with their Arabic vowel signs, but for details how this works:

The Wiktionary romanization system as well as the orthography for Arabic is based on the system found in Hans Wehr A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 4th edition, with the following modifications:

  1. Hamza (ʔ) is always written at the beginning of a word, except when the word begins with an elidable hamza (hamzat al-qaṭʿ).
  2. -iyy-, -uww- are used in place of -īy-, -ūw-. This is because automatic transcriptions can be more easily done this way.
  3. -ay-, -aw- are used in place of -ai-, -au-.
  4. Words with the nisba ending ـِيّ are transcribed with -iyy instead of .
  5. The third-person masculine singular object pronoun is always written -hu/-hi with a short vowel (Hans Wehr writes -hū/-hī following a short vowel, -hu/-hi following a long vowel). Again, even though the vowels are technically long as in هذه, there is no way for programs to know this.

Other important points:

  1. ة gives a normally, but at in an ʔiḍāfa construction.
  2. اة gives āh normally, but āt in an ʔiḍāfa construction.
  3. Similarly, آة, as in e.g. مِرْآة (mirʔāh, mirror), gives ʔāh normally, but ʔāt in an ʔiḍāfa construction.
  4. Hamzas are always written ʔ regardless of which letter they sit on.
  5. Orthographic, silent و and ا occurring at the end of certain words are not transliterated. For example, the third-plural ending ـُوا is transliterated , and the name عَمْرو is transliterated ʿamr in accordance with its pronunciation. (Note that the silence of these letters appears in the Arabic spelling, indicated by the lack of any diacritic over the previous letter when fully vocalized.)
  6. Assimilation and elision of the definite article is shown; hence al- may appear as ad-, aṭ-, etc. before a sun letter or as elided l-, d-, ṭ- etc. after a vowel and before a sun letter. (Assimilation and elision is also reflected in fully vocalized Arabic spelling.)
  7. The character - is used to separate articles and other clitics (e.g. bi-, wa-, al-, etc.). However, allāh and related forms of this word are written without the hyphen.
  8. Stress is not shown, since different dialects have widely varying stress systems and it conveys no distinction whatsoever in Standard Arabic.
  9. Capitalisation of proper nouns or beginnings of sentences is dispreferred, e.g. اَلْقَاهِرَة is transliterated as “al-qāhira”, not “al-Qāhira”.

Comparative table of romanizations preferred and dispreferred by the English Wiktionary

Letter Rom. Dispreferred alternatives
(incl. Arabic chat alphabet)
IPA Notes
ا ā aa áa ā́ In initial position, it is used to spell a short vowel (a, i, u) without a preceding glottal stop; elsewhere it is used for long ā. Make sure to use أ or إ when appropriate, e.g. أكبر not #اكبر, although the latter might be creatable as an "alternative spelling" of the former, using {{alternative spelling of}}.
أ ʔa ʔu ʔ a u ' ʼ 2 ʾ ʔa ʔu ʔ In initial position, it is used to spell a combination of glottal stop and short vowel (ʔa, ʔu), elsewhere just a glottal stop (ʔ). Always transliterate the glottal stop, including in initial position (using the ʔ character; do not use an apostrophe nor a half-ring). Always use أ rather than ا in initial position when it is called for.
إ ʔi i ʔi Only used in initial position, where it is used to spell ʔi. Always transliterate the glottal stop (using the ʔ character; do not use an apostrophe nor a half-ring). Always use إ rather than ا in initial position when it is called for.
آ ʔā 'aa 'áa 'ā ʼā ʾā ʾā́ aa áa ā etc. ʔaː Always transliterate the glottal stop, including in initial position (using the ʔ character; do not use an apostrophe nor a half-ring).
ب b b
ت t t- t dispreferred alternative t- may be used when transliterating the cluster t+h to avoid confusion with th (ث), but this is not Wiktionary's current convention
ث th θ θ
ج j ǧ d͡ʒ Older versions of the Hans Wehr dictionary used "ǧ", and both symbols represent the current standard pronunciation /d͡ʒ/. The classical pronunciation was /ɟ/, but this exists only regionally (and rarely) today. Other regional variants include /ʒ/, /ɡ/, and /j/.
ح H ħ 7 ħ
خ ḫ kh x 5 x
د d d- d dispreferred alternative d- may be used when transliterating the cluster d+h to avoid confusion with dh (ذ), but this is not Wiktionary's current convention
ذ dh ð
ر r r
ز z z
س s s- s dispreferred alternative s- may be used when transliterating the cluster s+h to avoid confusion with sh (ش), but this is not Wiktionary's current convention
ش š sh ʃ
ص S sˤ 9
ض D
ط T 6
ظ Z ðˤ ðˁ
ع ʕ ʿ 3 ʻ ʕ
غ ġ gh ɣ
ف f f
ق q 8 q
ك k k- k dispreferred alternative k- may be used when transliterating the cluster k+h to avoid confusion with kh (خ), but this is not Wiktionary's current convention
ل l l
م m m
ن n n
ه h h
و w ū o ō uu úu ū́ / oo óo ṓ w o and ō are used in some loanwords and dialectal terms.
ؤ ʔ ' ʼ ʾ 2 ʔ Generally used in the vicinity of a u or ū sound, although the exact rules are complex (see Hamza).
ي y ī e ē ii íi ī́ / ee ée ḗ j e and ē are used in some loanwords and dialectal terms.
ى ā aa áa ā́ Only used in final position. Only use ى in words where it represents or -an. Do not use the Egyptian style where final is spelled ى.
ئ ʔ ' ʼ ʾ 2 ʔ Generally used in the vicinity of a i or ī sound, although the exact rules are complex (see Hamza).
ء ʔ ' ʼ ʾ 2 ʔ
ة a at ah Normally, use -a, but use -at in the construct state (إِضَافَة (ʔiḍāfa)). Do not use the Egyptian style where the final ة is replaced with ه.
اة āh āt ā aa aah ā́h / aat ā́t etc. Normally, use -āh, but use -āt in the construct state (إِضَافَة (ʔiḍāfa)).
ـَ a á a Called فَتْحَة (fatḥa) in Arabic.
ـُ u ú u Called ضَمَّة (ḍamma) in Arabic. o is used in some loanwords and dialectal terms.
ـِ i í i Called كَسْرَة (kasra) in Arabic. e is used in some loanwords and dialectal terms.
ـْ indicates the absence of a vowel after a consonant. Called سُكُون (sukūn) in Arabic.

Normally not used in final positions in the headword or links, e.g. كِتَاب (kitāb), not كِتَابْ (kitāb). The form كِتَابٌ (kitābun) with ـٌ is also dispreferred but is shown in the declension table as a nominative/singular/indefinite form.

ـّ indicates a geminate (long, double) consonant. Called شَدَّة (šadda) in Arabic.
ـًا, ـًى an an Note the position of the ـً diacritic over the second-to-last letter as in مَرْحَبًا, not the last one. (Do not use the spellings ـاً or ـىً with the diacritic over the last letter.) This is believed to be more standard in fully vocalized text. In relaxed or colloquial Arabic pronounced only in most adverbials, often dropped as accusative ending.
ـٌ un un Not pronounced in relaxed or colloquial Arabic, and in pausa in strict Arabic.
ـٍ in in Not pronounced in relaxed or colloquial Arabic, and in pausa in strict Arabic.
ـَو aw áw au áu aw
ـُو ū uu úu ū́
ـَي ay áy ai ái aj
ـِي ī ii íi ī́ Note that a nisba ending ـِيّ (-iyy) has a shadda. In other texts where ى is used in place of the dotted ي ‎ in the final positions ى after a kasra ـِى is identical to ـِي but Wiktionary always uses ـِي.
ـٰ ā a superscript alif, dagger alif or ʔalif ḵanjariyya (أَلِف خَنْجَرِيَّة). Not optional in Wiktionary, always written (with or without a fatḥa), e.g. رَحْمَٰن (raḥmān) or رَحْمٰن (raḥmān).
ٱ (nothing) (nothing) (nothing) No sound, used optionally to show that there are no vowels after an ʔalif, especially when it can be ambiguous.

Rare letters

  • Letters with a limited usage, sometimes used in Arabic texts for words borrowed from other languages and not present in the first layer of Arabic keyboard layouts, may be used in Wiktionary entries according to the usage in the world and are transliterated as follows:
  1. پ: p
  2. ڤ, ڨ or ڥ: v
  3. گ, گ or ݣ: g
  4. چ: č
  5. ژ: ž
  6. ڢ: f
  7. ڧ: q

Templates pertaining to Arabic

How to welcome new users editing Arabic

{{subst:ar-welcome}} may be placed on the talk page of new Arabic-speaking contributors.

How to describe derivations

The template {{der||ar}} should be used in the etymology section of entries in non-Arabic languages whose origin is derived from an Arabic word, and specifically {{bor||ar}} if the non-Arabic word is known to be directly from Arabic. For example, on the page for the English word djinn, the Etymology section may contain the following code:

From {{bor|en|ar|جِنّ||a mythical race of supernatural creatures}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Arabic جِنّ (jinn, a mythical race of supernatural creatures).

The template does the following things:

  1. It displays the name of the language of origin;
  2. It links to the Wikipedia article about Arabic; and
  3. Automatically categorizes the entry in the Category:English terms derived from Arabic as well as in Category:English terms borrowed from Arabic if {{bor}} is used.

This template also works for languages other than English if the first parameter is changed. So, for the Spanish word cero, the Etymology section contains the following code:

From {{bor|es|it|zero}}, from Biblical Latin {{m|la|zephyrum}}, from {{der|es|xaa||ṣifr}}, from Classical {{der|es|ar|صِفْر||zero, nothing, empty, void}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Italian zero, from Biblical Latin zephyrum, from Andalusian Arabic ṣifr, from Classical Arabic صِفْر (ṣifr, zero, nothing, empty, void).

and classifies the entry in Category:Spanish terms borrowed from Italian, Category:Spanish terms derived from Italian and Category:Spanish terms derived from Arabic.

I want to write اِشْتِقَاقَات

The templates {{bor}}, {{der}} can and shall be used in Arabic entries. But in Arabic entries you also might like to use {{inh}} for words which Arabic hasn’t loaned but from earlier times if there is evidence for those words in other Semitic languages. Examples of both by خَوْخَة (ḵawḵa) and فَأْر (faʔr):

From {{bor|ar|gez|ኆኅት|tr=ḫoḫət}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Ge'ez ኆኅት (ḫoḫət).
From {{inh|ar|sem-pro|*paʔr-}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Proto-Semitic *paʔr-.

For internal Arabic derivations, that is the majority of lexical entries, {{ar-rootbox}} provides a simple device to categorize terms assigned to certain roots and, via a sidebox, link index pages for the same roots, that have been imagined internally to afford the pattern by which the word has attained its morphological form.

{{ar-rootbox|ك و ن}}

If you intend to explicitly mention roots in etymologies, categorization of terms by roots and linking to root pages in running text will be covered by {{ar-root}}. It supports the following two syntaxes:

Belongs to the root {{ar-root|ك و ن}}.
Belongs to the root {{ar-root|ك|و|ن}}.

Both result in:

Belongs to the root ك و ن (k-w-n).

If you use it outside of words which belong to the root, you are supposed to give |nocat=1, because else the page gets categorized as in Category:Arabic terms belonging to the root ك و ن. Conversely, to categorize but show nothing it uses |notext=1.

But if you want to show something in the etymology section, you can use specific Arabic templates as found in Category:Arabic etymology templates to mark derivations by classical prefixes and suffixes. In cases of a specific template missing you can fall back to {{prefix}} and {{suffix}}.

How to show pronunciations

It is easy to add transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet. Just use {{ar-IPA}} with the vocalized word (and the transcription in |tr=, if there is an irregular pronunciation).

This way:


It produces

IPA(key): /xaw.xa/

How to add regional pronunciations

The template {{arabic-dialect-pronunciation}} can be used to display pronunciations in the modern dialects of Arabic. See for example قابلة.

How to display headwords

Numerous templates are available for headwords. For nouns, {{ar-noun}} should be used, or a more specific template like {{ar-proper noun}}, {{ar-coll-noun}}, {{ar-sing-noun}}. For verbs, use {{ar-verb}}. For adjectives, use {{ar-adj}} or {{ar-adj-sound}}. See Category:Arabic headword-line templates for more.

How to show inflections

For verb inflections, use {{ar-conj}}. For noun inflections, use {{ar-decl-noun}}; {{ar-decl-gendered-noun}}, {{ar-decl-coll-noun}} and {{ar-decl-sing-noun}} are handy to show paired nouns. For adjective inflections, use {{ar-decl-adj}}. The template {{ar-prep-auto}} is used to show prepositions with bound pronouns. See for example ل and ب. That’s all. But you can regard Category:Arabic inflection-table templates for an overview.

How to add references to sources

If one feels the need to point to a page or an entry outside Wiktionary, there are the general templates {{cite-book}}, {{cite-journal}}, {{cite-web}} available, for which you can regard their documentations with succeess. But they are too fiddly for sources one uses often. Thus Arabic has, as all languages covered by Wiktionary use to, templates for specific sources you might consult. They are listed on Category:Arabic reference templates and here the freedom is taken to describe their contents for users who are not familiar with what is available on the market.

What general dictionaries there are

In Arabic larger dictionaries are unavoidable to check vocalizations, plural forms, verbal nouns, for one naturally does not find all information one needs for an entry when one picks up a word. You usually only need to call the books by a short name and use the parameters |page=, |pages=, and |entry= or |1= (the first positional parameter) for a specific entry – if the entry referred to is different from the pagename.

There is the dictionary of Hans Wehr as the standard for the modern literary Arabic language.

{{R:ar:Wehr-4}} {{R:ar:Wehr-5-de}} {{R:ar:Wehr-6-de}}

  • Wehr, Hans (1979) “Entry name”, in J. Milton Cowan, editor, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 4th edition, Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services, →ISBN
  • Wehr, Hans with Kropfitsch, Lorenz (1985) “Entry name”, in Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart[1] (in German), 5th edition, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, published 2011, →ISBN

For Russian readers:


  • Борисов, В. М. (1993) “Entry name”, in Русско-арабский словарь (Russko-arabskij slovarʹ), Москва: Сам Интернешнл, →ISBN

The online dictionary Al-Maʿānī is fairly comprehensive for Arabic-English:


Al-Maʿānī’s Arabic-Arabic comprehensivity appears largely feeded from the medieval lexica however. You can also check the bulk of these Classical Arabic dictionaries nowadays: they are held accessible at But this at whole is not templatized because there is a whole lot of dictionaries in it and cryptic URLs. For now there is:

{{R:Lisan al-Arab}} {{R:ar:Qamus}}

  • ابن منظور. «Entry name»، لسان العرب.
  • Fīrūzābādī (1834) Al-uqiyānūs al-basīt, 2nd edition, translated from Arabic into Ottoman Turkish by Aḥmad ʻĀṣim, Constantinople

You might want to look into Abit Yaşar Koçak’s short treatise Handbook of Arabic Dictionaries from the year 2002 (Berlin: Hans Schiler) to get an overview what dictionaries there have been.

Edward William Lane’s dictionary is thought to be the most complete one for Classical Arabic, translating the medieval Arabic dictionaries, but ends somewhere at the letter ق (¾ of the alphabet) and is somewhat hard to read for its—sometimes spurious—subtile distinctions and referrals to later or former entries.


The Lane is predeceded by Georg Freytag. This one is a clear read – if one reads Latin.


  • Freytag, Georg (1830–1837) “Entry name”, in Lexicon arabico-latinum praesertim ex Djeuharii Firuzabadiique et aliorum Arabum operibus adhibitis Golii quoque et aliorum libris confectum[3] (in Latin), Halle: C. A. Schwetschke

For words assumed to be current before his time one is lucky with Francis Joseph Steingass’s dictionary, but it does not sort all by roots and has an increased amount of misprintings:


Wahrmund’s dictionary is like the same as Steingass’s in structure and quality but in German:


  • Wahrmund, Adolf (1887) “Entry name”, in Handwörterbuch der neu-arabischen und deutschen Sprache[5] (in German), Gießen: J. Ricker’sche Buchhandlung

For a collection different from Steingass and Wahrmund one can use Albin Kazimirski de Biberstein, which is very similar to Freytag but glosses in French; in fact it seems to be a translation of Freytag though occasionally being more detailed in explanation and rarely including dialectal words.


  • Kazimirski, Albin de Biberstein (1860) “Entry name”, in Dictionnaire arabe-français contenant toutes les racines de la langue arabe, leurs dérivés, tant dans l’idiome vulgaire que dans l’idiome littéral, ainsi que les dialectes d’Alger et de Maroc[6] (in French), Paris: Maisonneuve et Cie

In French the dictionary of Reinhart Dozy is notable for being evidence-based, for perusing and referring to sources other than the classical dictionaries:


An even more notable, comprehensive attestation-based dictionary, par with the great national dictionaries, covers only the letters ك (k) and ل (l):


  • Ullmann, Manfred (1959–2009) Wörterbuch der klassischen arabischen Sprache (in German), Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz

Note that particular lexicographic studies in the series Beiträge zur Lexikographie des Klassischen Arabisch from the milieu of the WKAS are all digitized at the Bavarian academy of sciences.

The WKAS continued one publication which covered only seldom terms beginning with أ (ʔ) / إ (ʔ).

{{R:ar:Nöldekes Belegwörterbuch}}

  • Nöldeke, Theodor (1930) “About Arabic”, in Jörg Kraemer, editor, Belegwörterbuch zur klassischen arabischen Sprache, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, published 1952–1953, Fascicles 1 and 2 (Only Alif)

Else it contains a history of Arabic dictionary projects at the end of the ل (l) volume.


You can use the latest Arabic-Spanish dictionaries well too:

{{R:ar:Cortés|ed=1|Entry name}} {{R:ar:Cortés|ed=2|Entry name}} {{R:ar:Corriente|Entry name}}

  • Cortés, Julio (1996) “Entry name”, in Diccionario de árabe culto moderno (in Spanish), 1st edition, Madrid: Gredos, →ISBN
  • Cortés, Julio (2008) “Entry name”, in Diccionario de árabe culto moderno (in Spanish), 2nd edition, Madrid: Gredos, →ISBN
  • Corriente, Federico (2005) “Entry name”, in Diccionario avanzado árabe[8] (in Spanish), 2nd edition, Barcelona: Herder

This milieu has also engendered some comprehensive attestation-based Andalusi Arabic dictionaries:

{{R:xaa:Corriente}} {{R:xaa:Corriente-Additions}} {{R:xaa:ELA|II}}

  • Corriente, F. (1997) A Dictionary of Andalusi Arabic (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East; 29)‎[9], Leiden, New York, Köln: Brill, →ISBN, →LCCN

Corriente, Federico (2008) “Additions and corrections to A Dictionary of Andalusi Arabic”, in Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes[10], volume 98, pages 31–80

  • Corriente, Federico, Pereira, Christophe, Vicente, Angeles, editors (2017), Dictionnaire du faisceau dialectal arabe andalou. Perspectives phraséologiques et étymologiques (in French), Berlin: De Gruyter, →ISBN

Worth a look are also reliable Yemeni Arabic dictionaries:

{{R:ar:Landberg|G1}} {{R:ar:Landberg|G2}} {{R:ar:Landberg|G3}} {{R:ar:Piamenta}}

  • Landberg, Carlo, editor (1920), Glossaire daṯînois[11] (in French), Leiden: Brill
  • Landberg, Carlo, editor (1928), Glossaire daṯînois[12] (in French), Leiden: Brill
  • Landberg, Carlo, editor (1942), Glossaire daṯînois[13] (in French), Leiden: Brill
  • Piamenta, Moshe (1991) Dictionary of Post-Classical Yemeni Arabic, Leiden: Brill, →ISBN

And if a word is in the Qurʾān, one can make points with the newest dictionary of Qurʾānic usage (it takes |page=, |pages=, |entry=):


  • Badawi, Elsaid M., Abdel Haleem, Muhammad (2008) Arabic-English Dictionary of Qurʾanic Usage (Handbook of Oriental Studies; 85), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN



  • Farid, Malik Ghulam (2006) “Entry name”, in Dictionary of the Holy Qurʾan, Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., →ISBN

Perhaps one finds something about the frequency of a word in Buckwalter/Parkinson:


  • Buckwalter, Tim, Parkinson, Dilworth (2011) “Entry name”, in A Frequency Dictionary of Arabic: Core vocabulary for learners, first edition, London and New York: Routledge, →ISBN

A source of a different kind also giving you a picture about frequency is Reverso Context. It can help you modulate the meanings you understand for terms you search by giving equivalent Arabic and English texts matching your search terms, and often it is also the fastest for finding out what words mean. It requires you to be logged in though to load more than a few rows, and with regard to the representativeness you should be wary of texts being gathered from subtitle databases, and of course it technically cannot be cited.

And there are also dictionaries dedicated to verbs which are templatized, the one by Nabil Osman is also frequency-based and takes pursuant to its actual ordering the parameters |pages=, |page= and |Tafel=.

{{R:ar:Osman-Verben}} {{R:ar:Mace}}

  • Osman, Nabil (1996) Konjugationslexikon arabischer Verben (in German), Ismaning: Max Hueber Verlag, →ISBN
  • Mace, John (2007) “Entry name”, in Arabic Verbs, New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc., →ISBN

How one can ascribe Arabic words to outside origins

The etymological treatment of the Arabic language is destitute. There is no etymological dictionary for Arabic; etymological studies are scattered across journals and isolated monographs of scope limited by author knowledge. Generally you have to apply your own reason and historical knowledge to determine how Arabic words or their meanings can be attributed.

What topical dictionaries there are

There is the specific field of names for entities in the flora and fauna. This topic is very obscure: It is already an accomplishment to ascribe to Arabic plant or animal names correct meanings if the words aren’t the most current ones – even the meanings given for plants and animal names used in the Qurʾān are often plainly wrong.

A systematic place to get plant names is Immanuel Löw. From him one can use:

{{R:arc:Löw-Flora}} {{R:arc:Löw-Pflanzen}} {{R:arc:Löw-Färberpflanzen}} {{R:arc:Löw-Lurche}} {{R:arc:Löw-Schlangen}}

  • Löw, Immanuel (1924–1934) Die Flora der Juden[14] (in German), Wien und Leipzig: R. Löwit
  • Löw, Immanuel (1881) Aramæische Pflanzennamen[15] (in German), Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann
  • Löw, Immanuel (1922) “Semitische Färberpflanzen”, in Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete[16] (in German), volume 1
  • Löw, Immanuel (1912) “Aramäische Lurchnamen”, in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete[17] (in German), volume 26
  • Löw, Immanuel (1909) Aramäische Schlangennamen[18] (in German), Szegedin

There has been an extensive work on Arabia’s plants with the rare merit of combining botanical exactitude and correct transcription:


  • Mandaville, James Paul (2011) Bedouin Ethnobotany. Plant Concepts and Uses in a Desert Pastoral World, Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, →ISBN

One may harvest plant names from the web by searching Arabic words together with taxonomic names, but one must be careful about combined terms that might have been specifically calqued for the purpose of writing Arabic – including, and particularly, plant titles on the Arabic Wikipedia. One must be convinced that plant names circulate not only by force of Wikipedia so they can be created.

A polyglot dictionary notable for botany and reprinted often is:


  • Bedevian, Armenag K. (1936) “Entry name”, in Illustrated Polyglottic Dictionary of Plant Names[19], Cairo: Argus & Papazian Presses

Worth a read for textiles is:

{{R:Textile Terminologies}}

  • Gaspa, Salvatore, Michel, Cécile, Nosch, Marie-Louise, editors (2017 July 26), Textile Terminologies from the Orient to the Mediterranean and Europe, 1000 BC to 1000 AD[20], Lincoln, Nebraska: Zea Books, →DOI, →ISBN

Cosmetics are comprehensively covered in


  • Schönig, Hanne (2002) Schminken, Düfte und Räucherwerk der Jemenitinnen: Lexikon der Substanzen, Utensilien und Techniken (Beiruter Texte und Studien; 91)‎[21], Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, →ISBN

For animals and their parts there is:

{{R:Hommel-Säugethiere}} {{R:ar:Eisenstein}} {{R:sem-pro:SED|volume=1}} {{R:sem-pro:SED|volume=2}} {{R:sem-pro:Weninger-Handbook|pages=179 seqq.}} {{R:ar:Hyrtl}}

  • Hommel, Fritz (1879) Die Namen der Säugethiere bei den südsemitischen Völkern als Beiträge zur arabischen und äthiopischen Lexicographie, zur semitischen Kulturforschung und Sprachvergleichung und zur Geschichte der Mittelmeerfauna. Mit steter Berücksichtigung auch der assyrischen und hebräischen Thiernamen und geographischen und literaturgeschichtlichen Excursen[22] (in German), Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung
  • Eisenstein, Herbert (1991) Einführung in die arabische Zoographie: das tierkundliche Wissen in der arabisch-islamischen Literatur (in German), Berlin: Dietrich Reimer
  • Militarev, Alexander, Kogan, Leonid (2000) Semitic Etymological Dictionary, volumes I: Anatomy of Man and Animals, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, →ISBN
  • Militarev, Alexander, Kogan, Leonid (2005) Semitic Etymological Dictionary, volume II: Animal Names, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, →ISBN
  • Kogan, Leonid (2011) “Proto-Semitic Lexicon”, in Weninger, Stefan, editor, The Semitic Languages. An International Handbook (Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft – Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science; 36), Berlin: De Gruyter, →ISBN, page 179 seqq.
  • Hyrtl, Joseph (1879) Das Arabische und Hebräische in der Anatomie[23] (in German), Wien: Wilhelm Braumüller

There is a thick book that has narrowed down the weapon names of the oldest literature:


  • Schwarzlose, Friedrich Wilhelm (1886) كتاب السلاح. Die Waffen der alten Araber aus ihren Dichtern dargestellt. Ein Beitrag zur arabischen Alterthumskunde, Synonymik und Lexicographie nebst Registern (in German), Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung

And there is a dissertation about bakery-related words:


  • Mielck, Reinhard (1914) Terminologie und Technologie der Müller und Bäcker im islamischen Mittelalter[24] (in German), Hamburg: J. J. Augustin

And one can try for household items:


  • Vollers, Karl (1896) “Beiträge zur Kenntniss der lebenden arabischen Sprache in Aegypten”, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft[25] (in German), volume 50, page 607

For clothing names:


There are some dictionaries of the administrative area; one might consult them because common usage as well as the general linguistic material might exhibit wild misperceptions about which words are used for specific legal concepts or which meanings terms current in specific administration areas have.

{{R:ar:Conference}} {{R:ar:Diplo}}

  • Abdallah, Hassan (1982) A Dictionary of International Relations and Conference Terminology. English-Arabic with English and Arabic Indexes and Appendices, Beirut: Librairie du Liban
  • Fawq al-ʿĀda, Samūḥī (1974) A Dictionary of Diplomacy and International Affairs. English-French-Arabic, Beirut: Librairie du Liban, →ISBN

The vocabularies of the churches have been recorded in:


How to make things pretty when working with Arabic

Arabic text in an etymology or usage section should be surrounded with {{m|ar|...}}, or the link template {{l|ar|...}}, if it is not nested in any other template. Ideally the text should be written fully vocalized, in which case a transliteration will automatically be provided, but a transliteration can also be specified explicitly using |tr=.

For example, the code

*Arabic: {{m|ar|جَزِيرَة}}, {{l|ar|كِتَاب}} 


*Arabic: {{m|ar|جَزِيرَة|tr=jazīra}}, {{l|ar|كِتَاب|tr=kitāb}} 

produces the text:

Using the templates ensures that text written in Arabic script will display correctly on a wider range of computers and font problems will be bypassed, as well as that automatic transliteration will be provided in case of full Arabic vocalization.

In general, one does not need to write Arabic text untemplatized in the English Wiktionary. Either one has it in the headword or inflection templates or in {{m}} or {{l}}, or {{lang|ar|word}} if one does not need to link nor transliteration, as often in quotations or in image descriptions. The headword can use {{l-self}} and {{m-self}}. For example the already adduced entry خَوْخَة (ḵawḵa) has the following:

[[File:Śluza Gdańska Głowa na Szkarpawie - panoramio.jpg|thumb|right|{{l-self|ar|خَوْخَة|tr=-}}]]

It displays a nice picture with readable Arabic text:


Here the picture of course uses thumb|center and not thumb|right. The general rule for images illustrating lemmata is that they use thumb|right. Browse Wikimedia Commons to find images. You will most likely find fitting images there if it is possible to illustrate a word with a picture.

As you might find out by browsing Wiktionary:Namespace, you can just prefix your queries in the English Wiktionary with c: to be directed to Wikimedia Commons for any word you search – typically an English one, but you might search Arabic words to find more prototypical images for Arabic entries. You might also want to glean images from Wikimedia Commons systematically starting from c:Category:Arabic culture.

Monitoring devices applicable to Arabic entries

You can check Category:Arabic entry maintenance to find work for boring hours. You should definitely check into it if you are a native speaker of Arabic, for some of the categories touch points relating to exhaustion of experiential knowledge and references of editors.

You might like a watchlink for Recent changes to Arabic lemmas for ensuring the constant reliability of Wiktionary in Arabic entries.

See User:Erutuon/bad Arabic transliteration for transliterations that need to be corrected, derived from the XML dump.

See also