The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-16

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Roman alphabet for supplanting all others. Those who learn languages, and many do so, by the eye as well as by the ear, well know the advantages of a special character to distinguish, for instance, Syriac from Arabic, Gujrati from Marathi. Again this Roman hand bewitched may have its use in purely scientific and literary works; but it would be wholly out of place in one whose purpose is that of the novel, to amuse rather than to instruct. Moreover the devices perplex the simple and teach nothing to the learned. Either the reader knows Arabic, in which case Greek letters, italics and “upper case,” diacritical points and similar typographic oddities are, as a rule with some exceptions, unnecessary; or he does not know Arabic, when none of these expedients will be of the least use to him. Indeed it is a matter of secondary consideration what system we prefer, provided that we mostly adhere to one and the same, for the sake of a consistency which saves confusion to the reader. I have especially avoided that of Mr. Lane, adopted by Mr. Payne, for special reasons against which it was vain to protest: it represents the debased brogue of Egypt or rather of Cairo; and such a word as Kemer (ez-Zeman) would be utterly un-pronounceable to a Badawi. Nor have I followed the practice of my learned friend, Reverend G. P. Badger, in mixing bars and acute accents; the former unpleasantly remind man of those hateful dactyls and spondees, and the latter should, in my humble opinion, be applied to long vowels which in Arabic double, or should double, the length of the shorts. Dr. Badger uses the acute symbol to denote accent or stress of voice; but such appoggio is unknown to those who speak with purest articulation; for instance whilst the European pronounces Mus-cat’, and the Arab villager Mas’-kat; the Children of the Waste, “on whose tongues Allah descended,” articulate Mas-kat. I have therefore followed the simple system adopted in my “Pilgrimage,” and have accented Arabic words only when first used, thinking it unnecessary to preserve throughout what is an eyesore to the reader and a distress to the printer. In the main I follow “Johnson on Richardson,” a work known to every Anglo￾Orientalist as the old and trusty companion of his studies early and late; but even here I have made sundry deviations for reasons which will be explained in the Terminal Essay. As words are the embodiment of ideas and writing is of words, so the word is the spoken word; and we should write it as pronounced. Strictly speaking, the e-sound and the o-sound (viz. the Italian o-sound not the English which is peculiar to us and unknown to any other tongue) are not found in Arabic, except when the figure Im�lah obliges: hence they are called “Y� al￾Majh�l” and “Waw al-Majh�l” the unknown y (�) and u. But in all tongues vowel-sounds, the flesh which clothes the bones (consonants) of language, are affected by the consonants which