Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yogurt Scripts

I give you a complex of commercial language and alphabet use in Moroccan product packaging:

Two occurrences of Roman script:
- Moufid, an Arabic word meaning useful or beneficial
- OCT, date stamp

Arabic script, representing French loan words and Arabized French words:
- danun (“Dannon”)
- vitaminat (feminine plural, “vitamins”)
- kalsyum (“calcium”)
- vanila (“vanilla”)
- gh (abbreviation for ghram, “grams”)

Arabic script, representing Arabic words:
- dirham (itself a root word from the Greek drachma)
- yustahliku qabla 27 OCT (“to be consumed before Oct. 27”)
- yuhfizu fi daraja 6° c (“to be kept below 6° C”)

I guess I just find it kind of funny that Roman script is used to write an Arabic word, even as Arabic script is used to write non-Arabic words.


At 5:37 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

I should have added that the word "yogurt" does not appear here, nor does it need to: "Danon" is a Colloquial Moroccan Arabic word that means "pre-packaged processed yogurt," in much the same way that the word "Dumpster" in Colloquial American English refers to "a large trash bin that can be dumped mechanically by a specially equipped truck."

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous dagger aleph said...

I find this kind of stuff fascinating. It's interesting that "Danon" is like "Kleenex" (also, in Egypt at least, a colloquial word, meaning "paper tissue for blowing your nose, among other things"); in Egypt "yogurt" is "zebadi."

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Jamie Brandon said...

Hybridity on a stick!...or in a yogurt package at any rate.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

DA: Kleenex is also the Moroccan word for tissue. Where does zebadi come from? Isn't zubda the word for butter?

Jamie: I would not hybridize on a stick,
I would not hybridize in description thick,
I would not hybridize with Turner nor Geertz,
I would not hybridize except with yogurts.

(You know... as Tony Webster was always correcting me... Geertz should rhyme with yogurts...)


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