To Gadafy, or not to Gaddafi, that is the question.
Unless the Irish Times start printing in Arabic I would say translations can vary.
Because of the lack of standardization of transliterating written- and regionally-pronounced Arabic
, Gaddafi's name has been transliterated
in many different ways into English and other Latin alphabet
languages. Even though the Arabic spelling of a word does not change, the pronunciation may vary in different varieties of Arabic
, which may cause a different romanization
. In literary Arabic
the name معمر القذافي can be pronounced /muˈʕamːaru lqaðˈðaːfi/. [ʕ] represents a voiced pharyngeal fricative
consonants can be simplified. In Libyan Arabic
) may be replaced with [ɡ
] or [k
] (or even [χ
]; and /ð
) (as "th" in "this"
) may be replaced with [d
] or [t
]. Vowel [u
] often alternates with [o
] in pronunciation. Thus, /muˈʕamːar alqaðˈðaːfiː/ is normally pronounced in Libyan Arabic
[muˈʕæmːɑrˤ əlɡædˈdæːfi]. The definite article al-
(ال) is often omitted.
An article published in the London Evening Standard
in 2004 lists a total of 37 spellings of his name, while a 1986 column by The Straight Dope
quotes a list of 32 spellings known at the Library of Congress
This extensive confusion of naming was used as the subject for a segment of Saturday Night Live
's Weekend Update
in the early 1980s.[citation needed
"Muammar Gaddafi" is the spelling used by TIME
magazine, BBC News
, the majority of the British press and by the English service of Al-Jazeera
The Associated Press
, and Fox News
use "Moammar Gadhafi". The Edinburgh Middle East Report
uses "Mu'ammar Qaddafi" and the U.S. Department of State
uses "Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi". The Xinhua News Agency
uses "Muammar Khaddafi" in its English reports.
In 1986, Gaddafi reportedly responded to a Minnesota
school's letter in English using the spelling "Moammar El-Gadhafi".
The title of the homepage of algathafi.org reads "Welcome to the official site of Muammar Al Gathafi".