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The chart below explains how Wikipedia represents Modern Standard Arabic pronunciations with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Wikipedia also has specific charts for Egyptian Arabic, Hejazi Arabic, and Tunisian Arabic. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-ar}}, {{IPAc-ar}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

Wikipedia transcriptions for Arabic may be either more general and abstract (phonemic), using only the symbols from the first column, or more detailed and precise (phonetic), using the symbols explained in the "Notes" section.

See Arabic phonology for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Modern Standard Arabic, and varieties of Arabic for regional variation.

IPA English
approximation
Arabic
letter/symbol
Usual
romanization
Notes
A–B
a father, but shorter َ a, e [a][b]
father ا  ,ى ā, aa a [c]
aj /a/+/j/, similar to bright ـَي ay, ai, ey, ei [d]
aw /a/+/w/, similar to cow ـَو aw, au [e]
b bee ب b [f]
D
d dash د d [g]
emphatic /d/, no equivalent ض [h][g]
jam ج j, ǧ, j, g [i]
ð these ذ dh, ḏ [j]
ðˤ emphatic /ð/, no equivalent ظ [h][k]
F–H
f father ف f [l]
h he ه h
ħ No equivalent, Mexican jota ح [m]
I–K
ɪ milk ِ i, e [n][b]
machine ي ī, ee, i [o]
j yes ي y
k skin ك k [p]
L–N
l lease (Received Pronunciation) ل l
ɫ tool [q]
m me م m
n no ن n
O–S
q emphatic /k/, no equivalent ق q, g, ' [r]
r "tapped" or "trilled" r;
Spanish perro
ر r [s]
s see س s
emphatic /s/, no equivalent ص [h]
ʃ she ش sh, š, ch
T–W
t stick ت
(sometimes ة)
t [g][p]
emphatic /t/, no equivalent ط [h][g]
θ think ث th, ṯ [j]
u put ُ u, o, ou [t][b]
rule و ū, oo, ou, u [u]
w we و w
X–Z
x Scottish loch,
Spanish jota,
German Bach
خ kh, ḫ, ḵ [v]
ɣ Spanish fuego,
French parler
غ gh, ġ, ḡ [w]
z zoo ز z
emphatic /z/, no equivalent ظ [h][k]
Other
ʔ The pause in uh-oh!;
Cockney butter
ء ʾ ' [x]
ʕ no equivalent
(voiced pharyngeal fricative)
ع ʿ ' ` [y][z]
θ see under T—W
ˈ [ˈkiːwi] كيوي 'kiwi' Means that the following syllable is stressed: /ˈʕarabiː/.
ː [kiːs] كيس 'sack' Means that the preceding vowel is long
[ˈdˤɑħ.ħæː] ضَحّى [he] 'sacrificed'
[mʊdærˈrɪsæ] مُدَرِّسَة [female] 'teacher'
A geminated consonant never belongs to one syllable and is often broken with a stress.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Allophones of /a/ include [ɑ] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r]; and [æ] elsewhere (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595, 600; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 52–53; Kaye 1997, p. 193, 197).
  2. ^ a b c In colloquial pronunciation of Northern Africa (except Egypt), short /a, i, u/ may be reduced to [ə]. This pronunciation is not standard.
  3. ^ Allophones of /aː/ include [ɑː] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r]; and [æː] elsewhere (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595, 600; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 52–53; Kaye 1997, p. 193, 197).
  4. ^ In colloquial pronunciation, /aj/ may be realized as []~[ɛː]~[ej] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595; Kaye 1997, p. 198).
  5. ^ In colloquial pronunciation, /aw/ may be realized as []~[ɔː]~[ow] may occur (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595; Kaye 1997, p. 198).
  6. ^ The letter ب may represent [p] in foreign loanwords (sometimes written پ) (Kaye 1997, p. 193).
  7. ^ a b c d /d dˤ t tˤ/ are realized as either dental, denti-alveolar or alveolar (Al-Ani 2008, p. 597).
  8. ^ a b c d e Emphatic consonants may be either pharyngealized or velarized and are accompanied with labialization (Al-Ani 2008, p. 599; Kaye 1997, p. 193–194).
  9. ^ The letter ج is pronounced as [ɡ] in Egypt and as [ʒ] in the Levant and the Maghreb (Al-Ani 2008, p. 598; Gairdner 1925, p. 23).
  10. ^ a b In nonstandard pronunciations, /θ/ and /ð/ may be pronounced as [s] and [z] (Gairdner 1925, p. 19, 81).
  11. ^ a b The letter ظ is pronounced as [ðˤ] or [] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 601).
  12. ^ The letter ف may represent [v] in foreign loanwords (sometimes written ڤ or ڥ) (Kaye 1997, p. 193).
  13. ^ /ħ/ is pronounced as [ħ] or [ʜ].
  14. ^ Allophones of /i/ include [ɪ]~[e] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595, 600; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 52–53; Kaye 1997, p. 193, 197); they are distinct phonemes in loan words. /ɪ/ completely becomes /e/ in some other particular dialects.
  15. ^ Allophones of /iː/ include [ɪː]~[ɨː] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595, 600; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 52–53; Kaye 1997, p. 193, 197).
  16. ^ a b /k/ and /t/ are usually aspirated (Al-Ani 2008, p. 597–598).
  17. ^ [ɫ] occurs only in the word Allah: [ɑɫˈɫɑh] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 600; Kaye 1997, p. 196; Kaye 2009, p. 564).
  18. ^ /q/ may be pronounced as [ʔ] in Egypt and the Levant and as [ɡ] or [ɢ] in other dialects (Gairdner 1925, p. 26–27).
  19. ^ /r/ is a trill [r] or a flap [ɾ]; it may be velarized or pharyngealized as well (Al-Ani 2008, p. 600).
  20. ^ Allophones of /u/ include [ʊ]~[ɤ]~[o] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595, 600; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 52–53; Kaye 1997, p. 193, 197); they are distinct phonemes in loan words. /u/ completely becomes /o/ in some other particular dialects.
  21. ^ Allophones of /uː/ include [ʊː]~[ɤː]~[] before or adjacent to emphatic consonants and [q], [r], [ħ], [ʕ] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 595, 600; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 52–53; Kaye 1997, p. 193, 197).
  22. ^ /x/ is pronounced as [x] or [χ].
  23. ^ /ɣ/ is pronounced as [ɣ] or [ʁ] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 599; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 598; Gairdner 1925, p. 26).
  24. ^ /ʔ/ is usually written above or below أ, إ, آ, ئ or ؤ.
  25. ^ /ʕ/ is pronounced as [ʕ] or [ʔˤ] (Al-Ani 2008, p. 599; Thelwall & Sa'adeddin 1999, p. 51).
  26. ^ /ʢ/ is neither pharyngeal nor fricative, but it is more correctly described as a creaky-voiced epiglottal approximant (Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:167–168)).

ReferencesEdit

  • Al-Ani, Salman H. (2008). "Phonetics". Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. III. Brill. pp. 593–603.
  • Gairdner, W. H. T. (1925). The Phonetics of Arabic. Oxford University Press.
  • Kaye, Alan S. (1997). "Arabic phonology". Phonologies of Asia and Africa. I. pp. 187–204.
  • Kaye, Alan S. (2009). "Arabic". In Comrie, Bernard (ed.). The World’s Major Languages (PDF) (2nd ed.). Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge. pp. 560–577. ISBN 978-0-415-35339-7.
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World’s Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19815-6.
  • Mitchell, T. F. (1990). Pronouncing Arabic. I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Thelwall, Robin; Sa'adeddin, M. Akram (1999). "Arabic". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge University Press. pp. 51–54.