Do you speak arabic

Typogruffer's picture

I am a novice font designer and want to design non latin fonts at some point or the other. I was wondering if you guys who design Arabic typefaces actually speak/understand Arabic( stupid question?). To put it in a better way, should I learn Arabic to typeset it? I did try searching this forum but i can not go back to previous discussion pages(forum is broken? The links are not loading).
If it's still not clear , i am talking about John Hudson(http://typophile.com/user/1262)

froo's picture

Learn the names of letters and recognise their sounds, get the basics of calligraphy, learn words worth learning (given as examples). Anyway, Arabic isn't the only language written with the script.

hrant's picture

I have nativity in three scripts (including Arabic) and can read five languages; I've made fonts both for scripts I can read languages in and scripts I can't, and I've come to believe that you don't need nativity in a script (which practically has very little to do with spoken language) to make acceptable fonts (although you certainly do need nativity to innovate in a script). The central things are observation and thought. However as a rule it take many years to accumulate enough of those two things to get quality results.

BTW don't conflate "type design" with "typesetting".

hhp

Typogruffer's picture

@hrant: Just out of curiosity, how many typefaces have you designed till date? :)

hrant's picture

Not too many (especially considering how long I've been doing this) but enough not to know the number. :-)

hhp

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