1. One-letter Alphabet
The following is a one-letter alphabet of Tunisian derived from the Latin alphabet and enhanced with the letter “ɛ” used in the Tamazight Latin alphabet and with the sound “ħ” used in the Maltese Alphabet. The unicode for lower case “ɛ” is U+025B, and the unicode for upper case “Ɛ” is U+0190. The unicode for lower case “ħ” is U+0127 , and the unicode for upper case “Ħ” is U+0126. The STUNdard method writes all the words the way they are pronounced in Tunisian.
|Letter||Example in Tunisian||Example in English|
|Ɛ ɛ||Ɛin Drahem||No equivalent. A voiced pharyngeal fricative / approximate.|
|Ħ ħ||Ħouma||No equivalent. A voiceless pharyngeal fricative|
|I i||Sidi Bouzid||Meet|
|O o||Omm Laɛrayess||Odd|
|Q q||Qarqna||No equivalent. A voiceless uvular stop.|
|R r||Rdayyef||No Equivalent. An alveolar trill.|
|T t||Tounes / Tatawin||Take|
|U u||Errévolusion||No equivalent. French pronunciation of “U”.|
2. Two-letter sounds
The following are the two-letter sounds found in Tunisian
|Sound||Example in Tunisian||Example in English|
|Gh gh||Ghomrassen||No equivalent. A voiced velar fricative.|
|Kh kh||Khniss||No Equivalent. A voiceless velar fricative.|
The usage of “ph” follows the French pronunciation, it is commonly pronounced as “f”.The usage of other vowels or sounds of French origin such as “é”, “è”, “ê”, or “eu” is usually in words of French origin.
4. Usage of the apostrophe
The apostrophe is used in the following cases.
4.1. Linking Two Words
Linking two words that are pronounced as one. For example the preposition “w” and any other word, as in: w’mchit, w’qrit, w’ktebt, w’eddar, w’elkhedma.
Separating the syllables to clarify any confusion in the pronunciation
4.2. Within One Word
To clear up any pronunciation confusion within one word, the apostrophe can also be used in the following cases:
4.2.1. Confusion between a two-letter consonant, and two separate consonants
In the case where a “h” and another letter could be mistaken for a two-letter consonant containing “h”. For example: “T’hanna” and “Theni”.
4.2.2. A two-letter consonant followed by the letter “h”
Between a two-letter consonant and “h”. For example: Dh’hab.
4.2.3. Two two-letter consonants
Between a two-letter consonant and another two-letter consonant. For example: Kh’dhit.
4.2.4. Stress on the “a” sound
Although the stress on the “Alef” sound is practically absent and is replaced by a smooth transition, the apostrophe can be used sometimes in words of Arabic origin to demonstrate a stress on the “Alef” sound. For example, in Arabic the word “الأرض” would be transliterated “al ardh”, in Tunisian however the word becomes “lardh” without any “Alef” sounds at all. If however the context requires a more Arabized pronunciation, then the Tunisian way of pronouncing the word would be “el’ardh”.
In words of French, Italian, English, or other origin than have not completely underwent a Tunisianisation in the way they are pronounced, they may be written both in the way they are in the original language or also in the way the STUNdard rule would imply.
For example the French word “administration” could be written “administration” or “administrasion” depending on the context and the writer’s choice. On the other hand the French “Téléphone Portable” has underwent complete Tunisianisation and thus would be “Telifoun Portabel”.
Barcha ynajjmou yasalou ɛlech hedha elkoll? Maw nektbou yema belfrançais yema belɛarbi waħna marteħin. Elmochkla ħatta ken tetɛallem elɛarbi wela elfrançais, mouch bech tnajjem tefhem ettounsi w’mouch bech tnajjem taħki bettounsi. Nħebbou wela nakrhou aħna Twensa qbal w’baɛd koll chay, w’kif nouslou nektbou loughetna bettounsi w’naqrawha kif kif bettounsi ɛanna ħaja en commun tlemmna enness elkoll. Hedheya elli nħebbou naɛmlouh w’nwasslouh, w’yaɛtik essaħa kif sbart w’qrit elparagraphe elkoll bettounsi.
Ken famma ayy ħaja ennajmou nɛawnou beha contactina, marħbe bik.
7. Known limitations
The pronunciation of Tunisian can vary from a region to another, while the STUNdard method hopes to keep a neutral standardisation every Tunisian is free to use it to write their respective dialect.