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Vowel Sounds

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ummziba View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 October 2006 at 6:11am

Assalamu alaikum,

The Long Vowel Sounds:

Three of the consonants are used to make long vowel sounds: 'alef (aa), ya'a (ee) and waw (oo).

So, for example, (remembering that Arabic is read right to left) ba'a 'alef would sound like baa in bark, ba'a ya'a would sound like bee in beer and ba'a waw would sound like boo in booty.

Practice the long vowel sounds by writing out your Arabic alphabet down the (right) side of the page.  Then make three more columns beside each letter, adding the 'alef, ya'a and waw to each letter to make the three long vowel sounds.

Your first five letters to practice will sound like: aaa eee ooo, baa bee boo, taa tee too, thaa thee thoo, and jaa jee joo.......

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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ummziba View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ummziba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2006 at 6:30am

The Short Vowel Sounds:

Short vowel sounds are indicated by fatha (aa) kasra (ii/ee) and dhamma (oo).

Fatha is indicated with a diagonal stroke above the consonant.

Kasra is indicated with a diagonal stroke below the consonant.

Dhamma is idicated with a tiny "waw" above the consonant.

You will not find these indicators in most Arabic writing!  They are found in the Qur'an to insure proper pronounciation of every word.  Seasoned Arabic readers don't need fatha, kasra and dhamma to know the sounds in what they read - we beginners are lost without them!

Now, make a practice page (like you did for the long vowel sounds) with the Arabic letters in a column along the right side of your page.  Add three columns beside each letter with the fatha, kasra and dhamma indicators for each letter. 

The difference in the sound of a short ba'a with fatha and a long ba'a with 'alef is the length you hold the vowel sound - short for short vowels and long for long vowels.  So for example (remembering that Arabic is read right to left), ba'a 'alef would sound like baaaa and ba'a with fatha would sound like baa.........

It took me a long time to get this just from reading about Arabic because I had the notion of short and long English vowels in my head (ie. 'a' as in rat and 'a' as in rate).  Once I had a real Arabic speaking person to teach me, I finally figured out that short and long Arabic vowels are not like short and long English ones - so, dump that idea out of your head and keep in mind the tip in blue above!

Again, I urge anyone who knows better or who has good tips or advice to please add them to these threads!

Peace, ummziba.



Edited by ummziba
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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ummziba View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ummziba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2006 at 6:44am

Just a side note about 'alef and hamza:

- when 'alef is a consonant it has no hamza, so when using it to make a long vowel it stands without the hamza

- when 'alef is used as a vowel it has a hamza and a fatha, kasra or dhamma

So:

  • aaaa (long vowel sound) is 'alef (remember, ya'a and waw make the eeee and oooo sounds)
  • aa (short vowel sound) is 'alef with a hamza above and a fatha above the hamza
  • ee (short vowel sound) is 'alef with a hamza below it and a kasra below the hamza
  • oo (short vowel sound) is 'alef with a hamza above it and a dhamma above the hamza

Just to recap the vowel sounds:

  • long aaaa is an extended aaaa sound like in bat said like baaaat
  • long eeee is an extended eeee sound like in bet said like beeeet
  • long oooo is an extended oooo sound like in boot said like boooot
  • short aa is like in bat
  • short ee is like in bet
  • short oo is like in boot

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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herjihad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herjihad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2006 at 6:38pm

Just to recap the vowel soundsSalaams, Ummziba.  JazzakAllahKhayr for your continued efforts. Here are some hopefully useful additions.

  • long aaaa is an extended aaaa sound like in bat said like baaaat

This is an aleph

  • long eeee is an extended eeee sound like in bet said lihike beeeet

This is a ya

  • long oooo is an extended oooo sound like in boot said like boooot

This is a wow

Aleph, ya, and wow are written with the other letters, not above or below (99 percent of the time.)

  • short aa is like in bat
  • short ee is like in bet
  • short oo is like in boot

The short vowels are the ones written above and below.

Bat -- diagonal line above

bit -- diagonal line below

boot -- little baby wow above

 

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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