Can you understand this?
"9aba7 el kheir...Ya alf nhar abya'9"
This says in Arabic:
يا صباح الخير ... يا ألف نهار أبيض
Which is actually a newly emerging "folk-standard" that has been evolving in the later half of the 1990s, whereby the Arabic language can be represented using the Latin alphabet. This seems to have started using Usenet and E-Mail, but really caught on on the chat services: mainly IRC and ICQ.A language is mainly phonetic (sound-based) and most languages of the world have not been represented in writing until recent times, and therefore, representing languages in different character sets is possible.It has been used in the past due to various reasons (political, ease of use, ...etc.) Recent examples of this include the representation of the Turkish language in a Latin-based script, instead of the Arabic script used for hundreds of years, and the Malay language used to be represented using both Arabic and Latin scripts.There are a few variations and not a single standard, depending on the virtual community that evolved this standard. Therefore different networks in IRC may use different standards, and even different rooms may have their own dialects. However, there is a lot of "cultural borrowing" going on as people span networks and rooms.This is a perfect example where the Internet is giving rise to new cultures.To predict the future: Will we ever see the day where Al Ahram or Ash-Sharq Al Awsat Newspaper published in Latin characters? Maybe not in the near future, but yet again, maybe sooner than you expect...You can also read a detailed table with Latin to Arabic transliteration.I have discussed the rise and fall of non-English writing in internet communities in a separate article.