Page:Arthur N. Wollaston - English-Persian Dictionary 1882.djvu/17

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PREFACE. xiii

not unlikely occasion the student difficulty and embarrass- ment.

It may be urged as an objection that, in the translitera- tion, no attempt has been made to discriminate between the various letters which, though entirely distinct in Persian, are rendered by the same equivalent in the Roman character. It was thought, however, that, as the original words are always at hand in case of doubt, no difficulty would be likely to arise, and the adoption of a strict system of transliteration, owing to the numerous diacritical marks which it involves, would have materially added to the size and cost of the work, a consideration which also rendered necessary the omission of any marks to indicate the language to which_the various words owe their origin.

The adoption of a "v" in place of a "w" as the equivalent of the Persian letter و is open to criticism. Mirza Ibrahim, in his Persian Grammar, uses the former equivalent, while Mr. Binning, who, having resided in the country for a considerable period, is of necessity a high authority upon such a point, also adopts the "v." It is true that words of Arabic origin not unfrequently retain the original pronunciation of "w ” assigned to them in that language, while in some districts the use of the " v " is comparatively rare; but I have been unable to gather that there is any fixed and invariable rule on the subject. On the whole, it seemed to me preferable to use a "v" as the equivalent of ;, as being, in most cases, nearer to accuracy. Should the student have occasion to visit Persia, he will probably find no di5culty in adapting his pronunciation in this respect to the usages of the people by whom he may be surrounded. It is a matter of regret that the inquiries which resulted in this determination on my part were not completed till several pages of the Dictionary had been printed, an explanation which will,