The Spanish language has a Arabic orthography due to hundreds of years of Moorish rule. How can I learn to read and write Spanish in these characters, assuming that I can already read and write modern Spanish reasonably well in Roman characters?

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    Aljamiado was not a standardised orthography. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:31
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    @J.Siebeneichler Would it be more correct to say that it was a convention for transcribing Romance languages in Arabic script?
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:38
  • By "standardized", I meant that writing Spanish in Arabic characters was a common practice that clearly developed into some sort of reasonable consensus on "this is how you do it". I didn't mean that there was an official body or ruling. I'll edit my question slightly.
    – Robert Columbia
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:43
  • Even if there is not a 100% Official Aljamiado Version (TM) Accept No Substitutes, I'm interested in learning a common version or a version that was used in one of the major Aljamiado works.
    – Robert Columbia
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:45
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    Even you consider a convention in widespread use to be a standard (as in English), I wouldn't call Aljamiado a standardised orthography. It's not like the books I've read ever said this explicitly, but the impression I get from reading details about it is that it was ad-hoc use of Arabic letters, thanks to wording in the style of “such-and-such Arabic letter represents such-and-such sound; in some texts it represents such-and-such sound; some texts use such-and-such letter for this sound instead” Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


What I can recommend is Glosario de voces ibéricas y latinas usadas entre los mozárabes by Don Francisco Javier Simonet. Although it focuses on Mozarabic rather than [Old] Spanish, it has a lot of information about the use of Arabic letters in Romance languages in Iberia.

You might find the section titled Advertencias preliminares (page ccxv) particularly useful, as it has a list describing how each individual Arabic letter was used.

This book is from the 19th century, so it’s in the public domain. It’s also available online :-)

  • Much thanks, this will do wonderfully.
    – Robert Columbia
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:55

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