For transliteration of Arabic (known in Arabic as ʿarabiyyah), I have chosen to conform to the basics of the system used in the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) [ ], the new Encyclopædia of Islam, 3rd ed. (EI3), and the Library of Congress (LOC) [ ], with two major exceptions: I always mark the tāʾ marbūṭah (ة) with an ‘h’ and I assimilate the definite article (al-/-ال) into the sun letters, both stemming from an effort to make the transliterations approximate both orthography and pronunciation.
Since Modern Persian (known in Persian as fārsī) is written using the Arabic alphabet, transliteration of Persian resembles very closely that of Arabic. Although a number of academic references tend to use an identical transliteration system for Persian and Arabic, I prefer to use a system similar to that of the Encyclopædia Iranica (EIr), with the minor difference of using consonantal digraphs. A major difference between the EIr system and the ‘Arabic-centric’ ones is that the short vowels are marked as they are pronounced in Persian (the Arabic ‘i’ and ‘u’ are the Persian ‘e’ and ‘o’). Hence, rather than write the name of the Iranian leader as ‘Khumaynī’, as an Arabic-reader would read it, I write ‘Khomeynī’; the spelling of Persian individuals bearing Arabic names follows this pattern (e.g., ʿAżod od-Dowleh, not ʿAḍud ad-Dawlah). With a few exceptions, I write Middle Persian words and names as they appear in modern Persian (e.g., Pīrūz, not Pērōz).
For transliteration of Hebrew (known in Hebrew as ʿivrīt), I have adopted a method, essentially that of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) [ ] and similar to that of the Jewish Quarterly Review (JQR) [ ], which highlights its shared elements with other Semitic languages. One difference from the SBL is that I transliterate the final héh (ה-), which marks the vowel ā, in order to represent the orthography. Unlike with Arabic, I do not mark doubled letters caused by the assimilation of the definite article (ha-/-ה) into sun letters; since the assimilation is neither pronounced nor visually apparent in Hebrew, transliterating it as such may prove confusing (thus, ha-kohén and not hak-kohén). The same goes for a number of the fricatives that are no longer in use (e.g., /th/ [תּ/ת], /dh/ [דּ/ד]). Because transliteration of Hebrew vowels is complex and often unnecessary, I do not usually mark them with macrons or other symbols.
When both Arabic and Hebrew transliterations appear frequently within a study, I transliterate slightly differently, in order to highlight the similarities between the two languages.