Jalaleddin (Ջալալէդդին) is named after the eponymous Kurdish Sheikh, a real-life character. A strict transliteration of the Armenian title from Eastern Armenian (Raffi’s dialect) yields the spelling Jalaleddin, whereas a Western Armenian transliteration would yield Chalalettin. However, if the story was written by a speaker of Western Armenian, it would have been spelled Ճալալէտտին, which would also yield Jalaleddin.
Jalaleddin is not Armenian. It is an Arabic name, composed of two parts: the first is Jalal, a masculine given name meaning “majesty,” and the second is ed-din, meaning “of the religion”. The second part (-eddin) is a common suffix of Arabic names and is also commonly transliterated as el-din, al-din, ad-din or ud-din. Which spelling is correct? In a sense, they all are. The Arabic spelling of the suffix is الْدِّين, which strictly transliterates to “al-din,” but that does not yield the correct pronunciation.
The l in “al-din” (ل; second letter from the right) is followed by a d (ﺩ), which is a so-called “sun letter”. A property of sun letter is that it forces the preceding letter to take on its pronunciation. So what is spelled “al-din” is really pronounced “ad-din”. And, in many forms of Arabic, the “al-“ (or, “ad-“) sound is pronounced (and Romanized) as “el-“ (or, “ed-“). Thus, the transliteration from Eastern Armenian, Jalaleddin, is the correct spelling (although it is not the only correct spelling). In Jalaleddin, we tried to make the transliteration of all non-Armenian names from Armenian consistent with the rules of the original language. Sometimes, this required us to override the rules of Armenian transliteration. In the case of Jalaleddin, it all worked naturally.
Who was Sheikh Jalaleddin and what did he do?