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Why is At in front of Taji on an Iraq map. Some cities have An or Al. What does it mean?

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Wiki User
07/25/2008

The Arabic language has Sun and Moon letters, which effect the "Al" before most words. "Al" means "The" or makes an object definitive. With Sun letters the "L" in "Al" takes on the sound of the letter in the word it is making definitive, Ta in the Arabic language is a sun letter, as in "Ta"ji, so "Al Taji = The Taji" which becomes "At Taji" when spoken (due to the Ta turning the L into a Ta sound) but is still literally spelt "Al Taji". Moon letters never do this assimilation of sound, such as "Al Anbar" "Al Rukbah" and so on. So depending on who's translating, and what word it is, they may spell it as it sounds or how it is spelled. For more on Sun and Moon letters just type "Sun and moon letters" into the wikipedia search engine.