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Learning Arabic -- Pronunciation of the Letters


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( بسم الله الرحمـٰنِ الرحيم )


Learning Arabic -- Pronunciation of the Letters


We now have the tools which will allow us to read and scribe Arabic script. But before taking an Arabic course which will give us the tools to speak and understand Arabic, we must first be able to pronounce the letters of this language the way the Arabs do.


This is an important aspect of learning Arabic because there are many letters in the alphabet which sound very similar. We must be able to differentiate between these letters in order for our listeners to properly understand our speech, and in order for us to derive the correct meaning of words when we read. After having studied this aspect of the language, one would be sufficiently prepared to start a course on Arabic grammar.


In this lesson, we will study the exact places of exit of each letter. That is to say, exactly where from the mouth the letters originate, and how to positions the lips and tongue. In the next two lessons, we will look at the primary and secondary qualities of each letter which will further enhance pronunciation.


The letters are divided into seventeen groups. Each group of letters comes from a certain place in the mouth or throat and is given a name accordingly. Please study the places of exit of the letters. It is not vital, however, that one memorize the names of the groups or the names of the places of exit.



Click on this link to view the whole picture http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2690/4155807917_02a84ccda9_o.png



Click on this link to view the whole picture http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2761/4156570132_59bebd96e7_o.png



Click on this link to view the whole picture http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2595/4155808073_eb1a7f9218_o.png


Rule of 'noon' saakin and tanween:


a) When there is a 'noon' saakin or tanween (since tanween is actually the addition of a 'noon' saakin) followed by one of the six throat letters, the two letters will be pronounced separately.


b) When it is followed by 'laam' or 'raa', the 'noon saakin or tanween will be assimilated into the following letter; the result will be a 'noon' saakin which is not pronounced and the following letter will become mushaddad. An example of this is the phrase "min rajulin". The first 'noon' is saakin and it is followed by a 'raa'. Following the rule, we will assimilate the 'noon' into the 'raa'. The 'noon' will loose its pronunciation and the 'raa' will become mushaddad: "mir rajulin".


c) When a 'noon' saakin or tanween is followed by the letters 'yaa', 'noon', 'meem', or 'waow', OR a 'meem' saakin followed by another 'meem', the 'noon' saakin, tanween, or 'meem' will be partially assimilated into the following letter retaining part of its pronunciation. This partial pronunciation will be from the khayshum - the seventeenth place of exit. This place of exit is special in that it originates from the part of the nose where the soft portion meets the bone. A 'noon' pronounced with what is called ghunnah from the khayshum is comparable to the 'N' in the word 'monkey'.


d) When a 'noon' saakin or tanween is followed the letter 'baa', the 'noon' will be switched into a 'meem'. An example of this is the phrase "min bayni". We see that a 'noon' without a vowel is followed by a 'baa'. According to the rule, the 'noon' changes to a 'meem' resulting in the phrase "mim bayni".


e) When it is followed by other than the thirteen mentioned letters, the 'noon' will be read with no assimilation but from the khayshum.



Click on this link to view the whole picture http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2719/4155808133_44ab3d92b9_o.png



Click on this link to view the whole picture http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2521/4155808193_04c1e74f10_o.png

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