Koran vs Qur'an

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     How is the word spelled - Koran or Qur'an? Muslims get very upset if they see it spelled any way other than Qur'an. Why? The reason cited is that spelling it Qur'an is closer to the true pronunciation of the word. If that's the case, then most don't understand language at all.

     The Arabic language uses the Arabic alphabet. The English language uses the Roman alphabet. To TRANSLATE is to turn WORDS from one language into another. To TRANSLITERATE is to turn LETTERS from one alphabet into the corresponding characters of another alphabet.

     If the word Koran were written in Arabic letters, nobody in the western world would be able to pronounce them, so it must be TRANSLITERATED. When you transliterate, you have to use the CORRESPONDING sounds of one alphabet with the CORRESPONDING sounds of the other. 

     The Ar
abic sound which they want to transliterate as "Q" stands for a sound that is close to "K" in English but  is really a sound that does not exist at all in any western language. The lone "Q" in English has no sound. It is used with a "U", but  the grapheme "QU" always sounds like "KW."  QURAN is not pronounced as KWARAN.  Besides, "QU" in English has to have a vowel after it. There is no corresponding sound for "QUR" in the English language. So to say the "Q" corresponds better to the Arabic sound is nonsensical.

     Also, in English, there is never an apostrophe in the middle of a word. Apostrophes are used to indicate contractions of words or possessives. So what purpose does that silly apostrophe in the middle of Qur'an represent in English? Absolutely nothing. Isn't English the language to which they're trying to transliterate? 

       Maybe we should force the French to stop using Les Etats Unis since that's not what we call the United States. Maybe the Russians should force us to say Moskva instead of Moscow. The French spell it Coran. The Spanish spell it Coran. No western country is expected to bastardize their alphabet for a religious group. How come we are?


      Spelling the word as Koran would be correctly transliterating it from the Arabic alphabet into the Roman alphabet. To say a lone "Q" represents a sound better than a "K" does is ludicrous. What sound does that lone "Q" make again in English?