This lesson was authored by Mohtanick Jamil

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Reading Arabic Sentences


        Letís 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 itís not written
You just have to know itís there

You pronounce it but you donít write it


        For example, in the word هذِهِ, the first Haa is supposed to have an Aleph after it Ė هاذِهِ Ė 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 itís not written


        But donít worry; this is extremely rare in Arabic; it only happens in a few words
And those words are really popular, so youíll 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 donít 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
Itís 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 youíre not a beginner, you just have to know which letters are silent and which are not
But itís actually really easy and a really basic skill


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

o   Use the fact that you canít have two Saakin letters in a row


        For example: فِيْ الشَّبابِيْكِ
This is pronounced fish-sha-baa-bee-key
Notice that we didnít 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 donít 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 donít 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