Arabic: Nastaliq or Naskh?


Arabic is enough of a challenge to work with on a computing level because it's right to left and has special ligature forms for when certain letters come together (plus consonant forms change depending on if it's at the end, beginning or middle of a word).

But wait until you hit Urdu and Persian! Now you have to work with letters not found in Arabic and a different form of calligraphy. Although modern Arabic text is based on Naskh writing, Persian and Urdu prefer Nastaliq writing.

There's actually a nice picture from the Wikipedia at

The lesson for me was that every language seems to need its own special support even if its script is already "covered."

About The Blog

I am a Penn State technology specialist with a degree in linguistics and have maintained the Penn State Computing with Accents page since 2000.

See Elizabeth Pyatt's Homepage ( for a profile.


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