Writing Arabic, part II
Click on Arabic letters to play sound



j (jîm)

h (hâ’) stressed h- always transliterated in bold


kh (khâ’)


c (cayn)


gh (ghayn)


[-at] (tâ’
marbûta)


l (lâm)


ExplanationAs it would become more and more apparent, most Arabic letters have the same shape as one, two, or three others, but that dots are used to separate them. Dots in our days can never be omitted.
This lesson introduces altogether 4 sounds that are unfamiliar to most Western languages. These have one common factor, they are heavily stressed. Special attention should be paid to the cayn, as well as to the ghayn. The former is a new sound to most, and calls for special practice,- few Arabic students do this, unfortunately, they leave it as a pausal stop.
Ghayn is not difficult to pronounce when standing alone, but can easily disappear when inside a word.
The tâ’ marbûTa belongs to a category of itself: It is more a feminine mark than a letter. In most cases, it should not be pronounced, but f.x. when suffixes follow, it is pronounced as a normal t (it is a mixture of the letters hâ’ and tâ’).

Examples and Grammar
khalaca– to undress.
jacala– become; bring [someone into a state]. Arabic is a very rich language in its vocabulary. This means that expressions can be very clear, or consciously vague. For the student of Arabic, this is a challenge.
This verb is only one out of many different verbs that carry more or less the same meaning. But do not be scared: Most of the different words are true synonyms in the normal use of Arabic.
ghalla– crops, produce, yield. Here again, note that double consonants always are written with one letter only. This noun has the feminine mark, which is only pronounced (as a t), if there is a suffix following it.
Very often, when it has nothing to do with human beings, the same noun can indicate two quite different things,- with only the feminine mark as a difference.
Hajj– greater pilgrimage. This is the word for the most central religious act in Islam,- the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Hâl– state, situation. Sorry! Here it was again, one letter that is substituted with another. But as you see it was a wâw that turned into ‘alif, that is one of the long vowels. Normal consonants will only have this thing happening to them, in a very limited number of cases (and you won’t need to worry much about that for still a long time).
 

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