Arabic Scrabble

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Scrabble for Arabic countries is produced by JW Spear's Games in England. Here are the tile values and distributions:

(Click on the image for a better quality view (44K))

WARNING: I recently bought an Arabic Scrabble on eBay which is in the livery of Spear's Games versions, but does not have a copyright anywhere on the board; it turns out that this board, which is being sold regularly on ebay, is a forgery.

The bootleg board has a slightly different set of letters, and where the letters are the same, the values of the letters sometimes differ. The statistics on the bootleg board, as far as I can make out (and my knowlege of Arabic is minimal - I can read the letters but don't know many words) are as follows:

Letter name (Alt spelling) Count  Points
ALIF (ALEF)                   10       1
BEH                            4       2
TEH                            4       2
THEH                           1       2
GEEM (JEEM)                    3       2
HA (HAH)                       3       2
KHA (KHAH)                     2       2
DAL                            3       2
ZAL (THAL)                     1       4
REH (RA)                       4       2
ZAIN                           2       3
SEEN                           3       2
SHEEN                          2       3
SAAD (SAD)                     2       3
DAAD (DAD)                     1       5
TAH                            2       4
ZAH                            1       5
EINE (AIN)                     3       3
GHEIN (GHAIN)                  2       2
FEH                            3       3
KAAF (QAF)                     3       3
KAF                            3       4
LAM                            6       1
MEEM                           4       2
NOON                           4       2
HEH                            3       2
WAW                            5       1
YEH with 2 dots                5       1
TEH MARBUTTA                   3       2
HAMZA                          2       8
ALIF HAMZA                     2      10
WAW HAMZA                      2      10
YEH with 2 dots HAMZA          2      10
blank                          4       0
Here is an image of the tiles from which I transcribed the above, so if any Arabic-speaking reader can correct any mistakes above, I would be most grateful.

What is interesting about this set is that the letter frequencies on the score pads do not match those of the actual tiles. However they do match the frequencies of the genuine Spear's Arabic board. It would appear the scorecards are direct copies, although the board itself and the tiles (and the bag and the racks) have been re-engineered. The bootleg version shows extremely shoddy workmanship compared to the Spear's version.

The bootleg version costs 20 Riyals (about $5.00) on the streets of Riyadh. The Spear's version is about 15 pounds sterling in England.

Local copy of Unix Arabic word list
Bahrain Scrabble League
Arabic Dictionaries
Online Arabic Dictionaries
Web of online dictionaries
Sakhr's Arabic Dictionary
Sakhr's Arabic Lexicon
Modern Standard Arabic
Effel Dahling's Arabic Dictionary
More links...

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Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro Inc in the US (formerly Selchow and Righter) and Mattel (formerly J.W. Spears) elsewhere.