Profile Picture

Sounds in both English and Arabic

4 years ago
Most of the sounds in Arabic are also in English and vice versa. For example, the Arabic ba (ب) sounds exactly like the b in English, the Arabic zay (ز), sounds just like the z in English and the Arabic versions of k (ك), m (م), n (ن), f (ف), and j (ج) are all just the same.
The counterpart of l (ل) in Arabic, known as laam, is not exactly the same sound as the English one (the Arabic one is pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth a bit farther back). The counterpart of r (ر) in Arabic, known as raa, is very different from English r. The Arabic one is trilled (it is a "rolled r").
In addition to the above, the following Arabic sounds also exist in English:
-Thâ (ث) makes the sound "th" (voiceless) as in thin or thick or through.
-Dhâ (ذ) makes the sound "th" (dh) (voiced) as in them or there or the.
-Shîn (ش) makes the sound "sh" as in shoot or shin.
-Tâ marbûta (ة) is usually silent in modern Arabic. In Classical Arabic, it is pronounced t, the same as the letter tâ.
-Hamza (ء) represents the glottal stop. It is pronounced by stopping the flow of breath at the back of the mouth cavity (the glottis). We make this sound when speaking English; we just have no symbol for it in our alphabet. Think of the dash in uh-oh, or the Cockney way of saying British as Bri-ish. However, hamza is also written as a diacritic.
-Yâ (ي) acts just like a y. It can be a vowel (always a long vowel) at the end of a word sounding like î (the "ee" in beet), or it can be a consonant (y). It can be a consonant (as in the y in yes) or a vowel (like the "ee" in beet) in the middle of a word.