Elyssa Alphabet now on Omniglot

So we had a small setback with Wikipedia, as their courteous but super-efficient editors, decided to remove the article I blogged about before. Reason: the Elyssa Alphabet needs to reach a certain level of notability before it can be considered Wikipedia-worthy. I guess we have some work ahead of us.

While the Wikipedia saga was going on, Omniglot accepted to publish the Elyssa Alphabet on their site: Scroll to the bottom of this page: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/arabic_tunisian.htm

Thank you Simon Ager!

PS: We’re up to 4 children’s books now, check them out on our Publications page.



  1. I wonder how the government of Tunisia would react to the Elyssa alphabet. (By the way, Ramzi Hachani, how would you type your full name in the Elyssa alphabet?)



    1. I wonder that myself! 🙂 We will see. In any case, the Elyssa Alphabet is certainly not the first attempt to transcribe Tunisian into Latin script: a simple look around social media will show that Arabizi (Arabic chat alphabet) is everywhere, and Arabizi is only one of the latest manifestations. My aim is to propose a more elegant way of transcribing the Tunisian language into Latin script, along with proper rules for orthography and grammar, for whoever chooses to express him/herself in Tunisian using the Latin script. The alphabet is only the first step.
      My name in the Elyssa alphabet would be “Ramzi Ħaċċèni”.
      Thanks for your post, and I hope to see you around here soon.



  2. I am Houcemeddine Turki, one of the authors of Tunisian Arabic in Wikipedia and a member of Wikimedia TN User Group. I would like to give some data about why your entry in Wikipedia has been deleted.
    In fact, you have made your entry using an IP address and not an account. That is why we could not discuss with you about it. Furthermore, a TUNI1259 blog post is not sufficient to create a page for your work. You have to publish a book with an ISBN in which you explain your method and give references for your work to get cited in Wikipedia. Moreover, your work is the same as STUNdard that was created in 2013. So, if you will write a book about Elyssa Alphabet, you have to write the names of Jihed Mejrissi, Ahmed Saoudi and Emad Adel as coauthors of your book. I can enter as the fifth coauthor of your work if you like that and I will help you in writing your book.



    1. Dear Houcemeddine, in fact I used my Wikipedia account “RHachani” to create that article, and not an IP address. In fact, it’s the same account I used to create the Tunisian Swadesh list a few years ago. Someone else with the an IP address in the 90.x.x.x range was making more changes but I do not know who that person is. Concerning the deletion of the article, I had conversations with the editors and it was clear from them that the article did not comply with Wikipedia policies, from the point of view that the subject of the article lacks notability. I understand and respect that and I am fine with this. I will maybe revisit Wikipedia sometime in the future but not right now. I just googled STUNdard (thanks for pointing me to it) and I found this site https://stundard.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/alphabet/. Although STUNdard seems very similar, it is not quite the same as the Elyssa Alphabet. From what I see, both use Maltese as a source, but many of the choices of letters are different. Finally, I thank you for the offer for collobaration, absolutely, I would be interested, let’s discuss this further.



      1. The principle is the same as STUNdard. In fact, using Maltese Latin Alphabet for Tunisian is explained by the fact that Maltese is created from Tunisian Arabic. So, Maltese orthography is adapted to the morphology and the phonology of Tunisian Arabic. Only the choice of graphs is different.
        I can provide you references that would help you in writing your book. So, just email me at turkiabdelwaheb@hotmail.fr. I will be happy to help you in creating a book about your work.


      2. Si Houcemeddine, WordPress put all your messages in spam for some reason. I just found them now.

        So yes, both STUNdard and Elyssa are inspired by the Maltese alphabet. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to reach that conclusion. The same way the Maltese Latin alphabet was based initially on Italian and kept on transforming over 200 years and through many different authors until it reached its current form. Maltese authors even tried to transcribe their language to the Arabic script at one point, based on the same principle, since the Maltese language is originally Arabic. The same is true of practically all alphabets.
        I studied STUNdard in a bit more details yesterday after you told me about its existence, and although both alphabets are quite similar, especially regarding the straight-forward non-controversial phonemes ([b], [d], [f], [g], [h], [k], [l], [m], [n], [p], [q], [r], [s], [t], [v], [z]), they do diverge a lot in how they represent about 35% of the phonemes. STUNdard made the choice of using digraph from French or the French transcription tradition, I tried to stick as much as possible to the “one phoneme to one grapheme” principle, which explains why I introduced “đ”, “ṡ” and “ŧ” and readapted the Maltese “ċ”, “ġ”, and “ż” (which by the way STUNdard doesn’t use). The one exception in my case is the use of only one digraph “għ” for “ع”, which STUNdard transcribed using the epsilon from the Amazigh alphabet.

        So in conclusion, STUNdard bases itself on Maltese, French and Amazigh, Elyssa Alphabet bases itself on Maltese and my own addition of 3 graphemes from the Unicode inventory.

        All that said, I am very happy that there are other efforts such as STUNdard to latinize the Tunisian language in such a way to promote it to become a national language of education. I think in the end, both our aims are similar.

        Now, can you tell me what exactly is your involvement with STUNdard, since I see the name of Jihen Mejrissi as the sole author of the document “On the Standardisation of Tunisian”?

        PS: the first or second result when you search “stundard” or “STUNdard” on Google, is an unflattering definition from the Urban Dictionary. That’s quite unfortunate.


  3. I thank you for your discussion with me. I recognize that STUNdard is not the same as your Elyssa Alphabet. I have sent to you today some proposals to promote Elyssa Alphabet. Please reply me soon.



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