Spelling "Brittney Spears" in Arabic

Hello all,

I’m intrigued to know the rationale for the way Brittney Spears’ name is spelt in arabic: بريتني سبيرص

In particular I wonder why the letter ṣād is used at the end, rather than zayn? It’s a long time since I originally learnt the Arabic alphabet, but I remember thinking of zayn as expressing the same as the English Z or voiced S, but of ṣād as a much heavier sound that doesn’t really appear in English: in short, ignorant as I am, I’d have expected a zayn there. What’s wrong with my train of thought?

Thanks very much,

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There is nothing wrong with your train of thought, if I had to write it I would write it with “zay” (الزاي) (or “س” from a French view but not “ص”). Nevertheless, it is not really a big problem as it is a non-arabic name.
How do you write “Richard” in arabic?
If Richard is a French man I will write it “رِيشار” (because “ch” in french is pronouced like “sh” in english, and “d” is silent), if he is American, I will write it " رِيتْشارد".

Anyway, Arabic is a very rich language, so I don’t see the point in using people’s names to teach the language. The only interest - as far as I know - is in studying a grammar chapter (الْمَمْنُوعُ مِنَ الصَّرْفِ).


Thanks for your reply. I agree personally — it’s not a big deal at all, but I also think that these little surprises can tell you a lot about the way native speakers hear sounds and so on. I actually kinda like the names, they’re light relief in amongst the alphabet drill which isn’t difficult but gets a bit tedious eventually.


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