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  • Writing Arabic in Syriac script: 'First, there's the many ways of spelling it. Karshuni, carshuni, carchouni, carschouni, karschuni, karšūnī, karshūnī, karschūnī, garshuni, garschuni, garšūnī, gerschuni, gershuni, geršūnī or even akaršūnī and akarschūnī - you name it, it's somewhere out there. Which is the correct one is anybody's guess. According to Julius Assfalg's brief yet exhaustive and even after 26 years unsurpassed overview of the subject (3:297-298), this is a much debated question among eastern Christians. Eminent scholars like G.S. Assemani and Alphonse Mingana believed it should be garshuni/garšūnī and considered the form karšūnī a Maronite corruption. On the other hand, many believe the correct form is gershuni, as it derives from Geršūn, the Syriac form of the name Gershon / Gershom, Moses' firstborn son, who is supposed to have invented this practice. The form with initial k- is firmly established in French and German traditions, while the English-speaking scholars seem to prefer garshuni and its derivations.'

    May 9, 2008