The best fonts for Arabic transliteration

What are the best fonts to use for Arabic transliteration? There are different transliteration systems, one of the most commonly used being the IJMES transliteration system. Certain fonts do not have all the correct glyphs for diacritics used in Arabic transliteration and will replace these with a font that does, making your transliterated text look clunky and unattractive. So which fonts have all the correct characters and also look good when printed?

Times New Roman for Arabic transliteration

Times New Roman is a font most people have that has all the necessary glyphs to transliterate Arabic. It is a recognisable font which can look a bit like a Word document if you use it in your book, so is not necessarily the ideal font for your entire manuscript, but it can look quite attractive as transliteration if it is in italics.

Times New Roman font for IJMES Arabic transliteration
Times New Roman italic font for Arabic transliteration

Gentium Plus for Arabic transliteration

Gentium Plus and Gentium Book Plus are good typefaces for Arabic transliteration, with a more academic or old-world feel to them. They have a full set of glyphs for transliteration, and Gentium Book Plus is a little heavier than Gentium Plus. Do not use Gentium basic fonts though, as these do not have the necessary glyphs.

Gentium Book Plus for Arabic transliteration
Gentium Plus for Arabic transliteration

Great fonts for Arabic transliteration

Brill offers their own font which is designed for use with Brill’s Arabic transliteration system, but requires a license for commercial use, and their transliteration system differs slightly from the IJMES system which is more commonly used and recognised in English-speaking countries.

Do you know of any other good fonts for Arabic transliteration? Leave a comment below to let us know your favourite font for Arabic transliteration.

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