10. Number and Sequence of Urdu Alphabets and Controversial Debate of Spellings. اردو میں حروفِ تہجی کی تعداد و ترتیب اور ہجے کے اختلافی مباحث
Author(s) : Dr. Abdul Sattar Malik.
The written form of a sound is called a letter. The number of Arabic alphabets is twenty-eight. In the beginning, the order of these letters was phonetic and not phonetic. With the passage of time, for the convenience of students, the experts put together similar letters in one place and presented a new order. The arrangement is still prevalent in Arabic, Persian and other languages, where the Arabic script has been adopted. An important controversial and debatable issue in Urdu script is its number of alphabets. This uncertain and confused situation creates difficulty for a learner. The alphabet is the foundation for learning a language. Urdu alphabets are no longer in an indefinite or unorganized condition. So, at present consensus about the definite number of alphabets is the need of the hour. Addition to number of letters or changing their order is an impediment in the development of the language. The second issue is the method of spelling. In addition to spelling, another problem is the letters’ articulation manner. In our society, Urdu Primer and Quran reading starts side by side. Ba, Ta, Sa are taught in the mosque while Bay, Pay, Te, Se is taught in the school. This double method of articulation causes great trouble and confusion to an innocent mind. While in the phonetic teaching method, Sound length of Urdu letters as Aa, Ba, Ta, Sa, Ja, Cha, Da, Dha etc. is different from the previous. This is a very important and fundamental problem that demands the attention of linguists and pedagogues. The essay elaborates the mentioned issues categorically and opens new vistas.