In arabtex package I found a transliteration encoding mistake. Every time I write letters with kasra and shadda, it will be fatha.

\verb!sayyidinA!\quad \<\huge sayyidinA>\\\medskip
\verb!kulli!\quad \<\huge kulli>\\\medskip
\verb!.salli!\quad \<\huge .salli>

Anyone know how to write it correctly?

1 Answer 1


What you’ve observed is not an encoding error but a less familiar typographic convention: W. Wright’s A Grammar of the Arabic Language discusses different ways in which shadda and kasra are written in Egypt and elsewhere (see the third edition, volume 1, part 1, III.B, Rem. e).

I do not know of a way to make arabtex put kasra where you expect it, but arabxetex does so if that is how the font was designed. Compile this with xelatex:

\verb!sayyidinA!\quad \textarab[voc]{sayyidinA}


\verb!kulli!\quad \textarab[voc]{kulli}


\verb!.salli!\quad \textarab[voc]{.salli}

output of the above example

Someone who prefers kasra below shadda (as in arabtex) instead of below the letter can use \newfontfamily\arabicfont[Script=Arabic,StylisticSet=5]{Amiri}. As Joseph commented, Scheherazade puts kasra below shadda, and the same is true of Lateef; unlike Amiri, they do not seem to offer lookups to control that.

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    I don't know if it's a matter with the font, but when I compile with the default font for arabxetex (Scheherazade) or other fonts, I get kasra below the shadda. Aesthetically, I think it's more pleasant (it fills the spaces between the shadda and the letter).
    – user9424
    Feb 13, 2014 at 19:46
  • @Joseph Thanks for noticing that. The same is true of Lateef. I agree about the aesthetics (although, now that I need bifocals, it’s easier to read kasra under the letter…). When I have time, I’ll experiment with the stylistic sets in several fonts to see whether they can be used to control the placement of kasra.
    – Thérèse
    Feb 13, 2014 at 20:09
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    BTW, traditionally the Kasra was almost always placed below the letter, in the early 20th Ahmad Zaki Pasha advocated placing it under the Shadda to “decrease eye movement” and it was adopted by Bulaq press and other printing presses since then. Personally I like putting it under the letter as I think it is more logical/consistent and that is why it is the default in Amiri (incidentally it is also how Bulaq placed it in its Mushaf). Feb 14, 2014 at 12:12

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