The Arabic definite article is written before the noun and together with it. It consists of one word only – [al], which, however, is not always read as it is written. There are two groups of consonants in Standard Arabic. The first group, when in the beginning of the word, calls for the assimilation of the sound [l] in the definite article, whereas the other group does not cause any phonetic changes to the definite article.
Having that in mind, we cannot but notice that there occur three major problems when spelling the Arabic proper names, which are defined by the definite article, in Bulgarian. They are as follows:
1. Whether the definite article should be written together with the word it defines, separately or with a hyphen, for example: [alqamar] (which means „the moon"), [al qamar] and [al-qamar].
2. Where should capital letters be put. The possible combinations here depend on whether the definite article is written separately or together with the proper name.
3. Whether or not the assimilation of the sound [l] should be marked in Bulgarian.
The present norm in Bulgarian language regulations states that the Arabic definite article should be written separately from the noun and in small letters. Since the idea of the regulations is that the norms be as close to the original languages as possible regulation inaugurators should take the specific problems mentioned above into consideration.