Qaddafi

There’s a name our media can never agree on how to transliterate.  The reason is a combination of the many Arabic dialects (Egyptian is sort of the standard, but that’s like saying Castilian is the standard Spanish) and general western media inability to comprehend other languages.  It is spelled in Arabic Q (a deep K), DTH (as in ‘that’), A (an aaaah sound), F (that one at least is not confusing) and Y (‘eee’).  The vowels are indicated by marks.

Anyway, some of those consonants vary in articulation by region.  All though the first Gulf War, they butchered ‘Dhahran’ on a daily basis.  It would be Dtha-rahn, with the ‘th’ as in ‘that’ (same as in Qaddafi’s name).   But to give you an idea of regional variations, you’ve all heard of Abu Dhabi (same pesky ‘dth’ letter), except in that region that letter actually sounds like a ‘z’:  Abu Zabi.

Anyway, today our old buddy Qaddafi goes:  “I will fight this rebellion to the last drop of my blood.”

His people:  “At least we can agree on the end result.”

I rarely have to confront this during editing work, but it can happen. I’ve long considered multilingualism one of my value adds.

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