Problems with Perso-Arabic script

Koufiya Arabic font

Three new Arabic scripts work in small sizes and have Roman equivalents -- something I find hard to get my head around.

We know English is harder to read onine than on paper. We're the lucky ones, though. Sure, there are problems forcing the rounded letters of the ABC into pixels, and we're said to read them 25% more slowly than on paper. Think we've got problems? Big deal!
The problems facing those reading and writing web content in Arabic start here:

1. A student interested in mastering the Perso-Arabic writing will need to memorize the convoluted spellings of almost all words, and their complex rules and many exceptions. To master reading and writing in Perso-Arabic takes at least 9 years of dedicated daily practice. Yet, a large percentage of the educated adult population of Iran has difficulty correctly reading the literary works of the great writers and poets such as Golestan and Boustan of Sa'di, Masnavi of Balkhi (aka Rumi), or Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. Another significant percentage of the educated adult population has difficulty reading through a newspaper article without pronunciation errors or writing essays without making spelling mistakes.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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