Reading Arabic Sentences

Reading Arabic Sentences

·        Let’s start with a little practice and work our way up


·        Identify all instances of Taa (as in Baa-Taa-THaa) in the following


مررت بالشوارع، شوارع القدس العتيقة

Answer: [مرر[ت] بالشوارع، شوارع القدس العـ[تـ]ـيقـ[ـة]]


·        Identify all instances of Aleph in the following


حكينا سوى الخبرية وأعطوني مزهرية

Answer: [حكينـ[ا] سو[ى] [ا]لخبرية وأعطوني مزهرية]


·        Read the following string of words


قُدّامَ دَكاكِيْنِ أَلْبَقِيَتْ مِنْ فَلَسْطِيْنَ


·        Try to divide the following sentence into words based on how far the letters are from each other


قالوا لي هذه هدية من الناس الناطرين

Answer: [[قالوا] [لي] [هذه] [هدية] [من] [الناس] [الناطرين]]


·        Which portion of the following sentence do you hear in the recording?


وعينيهم الحزينة من طاقة المدينة

Answer: [و[عينيهم الحزينة] من طاقة المدينة]


Missing Letters & Silent Letters


1. Missing Letters

·        Sometimes a letter is supposed to be in a word, but it’s not written
You just have to know it’s there

You pronounce it but you don’t write it


·        For example, in the word هذِهِ, the first Haa is supposed to have an Aleph after it – هاذِهِ – but you will never see it written


·        This is somewhat like the word Pizza, where some people pronounce it with a T (peet-za) even though it’s not written


·        But don’t worry; this is extremely rare in Arabic; it only happens in a few words
And those words are really popular, so you’ll pick it up quickly


·        Only the letters Aleph and Waw can be missing
All other letters must be written if they are pronounced


2. Silent Letters

·        Sometimes a letter is NOT supposed to be in a word, but it is written anyways
You have to know not to pronounce it
You write it but you don’t pronounce it


·        For example, the Waw in the word أُولُوْ is silent
The word is pronounced أُلُوْ


·        There are two types of silent letters in Arabic

1.     Those that occur in certain words and are always silent
Like the Waw in أُولُوْ is always silent
These are like the silent letters in English
But they are extraordinarily rare in Arabic

2.     Those that occur in certain situations

Like the Aleph (which is actually a Hamza) in وَالْعَيْشُ
It’s silent right now, but if we remove the Waw from the beginning, it will no longer be silent: أَلْعَيْشُ
It depends on the letters and the grammar and other things, not the specific word
This type of silent letter is NOT rare; it is very, very common


·        Several letters have the potential to be silent


·        You can have several silent letters in a row


·        If you’re not a beginner, you just have to know which letters are silent and which are not
But it’s actually really easy and a really basic skill


·        If you’re a true beginner, though, you will have the vowels written for you
And most silent letters won’t have vowels on them
But some will, so you’ll use your knowledge of Arabic syllables to help figure out if a vowelled letter is silent or not

o   Use the fact that you can’t have two Saakin letters in a row


·        For example: فِيْ الشَّبابِيْكِ
This is pronounced fish-sha-baa-bee-key
Notice that we didn’t pronounce the Yaa, the Aleph, or the Laam!
We went straight from the Faa to the SHeen


·        Why? First of all, the Aleph and Laam don’t have vowels on them
Furthermore, the Yaa has a Sukoon and the SHeen has a Shadda (i.e. a SHeen with a Sukoon followed by another SHeen)
And remember, two Saakin letters following each other is not allowed
So the first Saakin letter gets sacrificed (in pronunciation)


·        It seems a little complicated, but just do the best you can for now
You don’t have to master this right away


·        Exercise: read the following


شَوارِعِ الْقُدْسِ الْعَتِيْقَةْ

مَرَرْتُ بِالشَّوارِعْ

فِيْ الشَّبابِيْكِ

سِوَى الْخَبَرِيَّةْ

أَخٍ لَّكُمْ

قالُوْا اؤْتُوْنِيْ


Reading Arabic!


·        Read the following