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Khowar alphabet

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Title: Khowar alphabet  
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Subject: Khowar language, Arabic script, Arabic alphabets, Wolofal script, Pegon alphabet
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Khowar alphabet

The Khowar alphabet is the right-to-left alphabet used for the Khowar language. It is a modification of the Urdu alphabet, which is itself a derivative of the Persian alphabet and Arabic alphabet. According to the Khowar Academy with 60 letters, the Khowar alphabet is typically written in the calligraphic Nasta'liq script, whereas Arabic is more commonly in the Naskh style. Usually, bare transliterations of Khowar into Roman letters omit many phonemic elements that have no equivalent in English or other languages commonly written in the Latin script. The Khowar Academy of Pakistan has developed a number of systems with specific notations to signify non-English sounds, but these can only be properly read by someone already familiar with Khowar, Persian, or Arabic for letters such as:ژ خ غ ط ص or ق and Hindi for letters such as ڑ.

History

File:Allam Iqbal’s poetry’s versified khowar translation by Rahmat Aziz Chitrali
Khowar-Alphabets created by Rehmat Aziz Chitrali

The Khowar language developed during the rule of Mehtar of Chitral State. Despite the invention of the Khowar typewriter in 1996 by Rehmat Aziz Chitrali, Khowar newsletters and newspapers continued to be published from handwritten scripts by the Khowar authors until the late 1996s. The Montly Zhang is the first newsletter was the first Khowar newspaper to use Nasta’liq computer-based composition. There are efforts under way to develop more sophisticated and user-friendly Khowar support on computers and the internet. Nowadays, nearly all Khowar newspapers, magazines, journals, and periodicals are composed on computers via various Khowar software programs.

Nasta'liq

The Nasta'liq calligraphic writing style began as a Persian mixture of scripts Naskh and Ta'liq. Nasta'liq is more cursive and flowing than its Naskh counterpart.

Alphabet

A list of the letters of the Khowar alphabet and their pronunciation is given below. Khowar contains many historical spellings from Arabic and Persian, and therefore has many irregularities. The Arabic letters yaa and haa both have two variants in Khowar: one of the yaa variants is used at the ends of words for the sound [i], and one of the haa variants is used to indicate the aspirated consonants. The retroflex consonants needed to be added as well; this was accomplished by placing a superscript ط (to'e) above the corresponding dental consonants. Several letters which represent distinct consonants in Arabic are conflated in Persian, and this has carried over to Khowar. Some of the original Arabic letters are not used in Khowar. This is the list of the Khowar letters created by Rehmat Aziz Chitrali, giving the consonant pronunciation. Many of these letters also represent vowel sounds.

Letter Name of letter Transcription IPA
ا alif a /a/
alif long aa /aa/
أ alif hamza a /a/
ب be b /b/
پ pe p /p/
ت te t /t̪/
ټ te t /t̪/
ٹ ṭe /ʈ/
ث se s /s/
ج jīm j /d͡ʒ/
چ che ch /t͡ʃ/
ح baṛī he h /h/
خ khe kh /x/
څ tse ts /t͡s/
ځ dze dze /d͡z/
ڇ ce e /tʂ/
ڂ ce ce /dʐ/
د dāl d /d̪/
ڈ ḍāl /ɖ/
ذ zāl dh /z/
ر re r /r/
ڑ ṛe /ɽ/
ز ze z /z/
ژ zhe zh
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