[amsat-bb] The meaning of "Es'hail"

Nico Janssen hamsat at xs4all.nl
Sat Jun 11 15:17:51 UTC 2016

Recently we see many postings about the new satellite called "Es'hail 2".
Maybe you also wondered what the meaning is of "Es'hail". I asked two
'friendly Arabic speaking colleagues' to fill me in.

It appears the satellite is named after a star, that we know as Canopus.
In Arabic, Canopus is Sohail. But in the section 'Middle East' on the Wiki
page you see that there are many variants for this name, including Sohayl,
Soheil, Suhayl, Suheyl, etc.

Actually the name of our satellite is 'The Canopus', or in Arabic 'El 
In Arabic they tend to merge the two words, so it would become 'ElSohail'.
Since Arabs find it hard to pronounce the combination of l and s, they drop
the l. So it becomes 'ESohail'. An apostrophe is added to emphasize the S:
'ES'ohail'. And since the o (or u) will be pronounced anyway, almost
'automatically', it may be dropped. So that is how we get 'ES'hail', or even

As for the pronunciation of this satellite's name, probably 'eSohayl' is 
with a short and soft e at the beginning.

So now at least we know what we are talking about   :-)


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