Help:IPA/Arabic

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The chart below explains how Wikipedia represents Arabic pronunciations with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

To be exact, pronunciations given are those of Modern Standard Arabic. Actual pronunciations differ, depending on the native variety of Arabic of the speaker. For a more thorough look at the sounds of Arabic, see Arabic phonology. For the pronunciation of varieties of Arabic, see Help:IPA/Egyptian Arabic, Hejazi Arabic, and Tunisian Arabic.

The transcription may be either more general and abstract (phonemic), using only the symbols from the first column, or more detailed and precise (phonetic), using as well the symbols explained in the "Notes" section. The former is, however, preferred, use the latter only if you have the expertise in a particular dialect and you know what you are doing.

The symbols are arranged by similarity to letters of the Latin alphabet. Symbols which do not represent any Latin letter are placed at the end.

Symbol 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 Thai 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/,
somewhat close to dwarf
ض [h][g]
jam ج j, ǧ, dj, g [i]
ð these ذ dh, ḏ [j]
ðˤ emphatic /ð/,
somewhat close to buzzword
ظ [h][k]
F–H
f father ف f [l]
h he ه h
ħ No equivalent, Mexican jota ح [m]
I–K
i 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–R
q somewhat close to c in scar ق q, g, ' [r]
r somewhat close to ray ر r [s]
S
s see س s
emphatic /s/,
somewhat close to swarm
ص [h]
ʃ she ش sh, š, ch
T–W
t stick ت
(sometimes ة: see idafa)
t [g][p]
emphatic /t/,
somewhat close to star
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 [v]
ɣ Spanish fuego,
French parler
غ gh, ġ [w]
z zoo ز z
emphatic /z/,
somewhat close to buzzword
ظ [h][k]
Other
ʔ The pause in uh-oh!;
Cockney butter
ء ʾ ' [x]
ʕ no equivalent 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] ضحى [he] 'sacrificed'
[mʊdærˈrɪsæ] مدرسة [female] 'teacher'
A geminated consonant never belongs to one syllable and is often broken with a stress.

Notes[edit]

  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). The affricate variant [] is correctly written with a ligature tie: [d͡ʒ]. The tie is omitted in transcriptions on Wikipedia (except in phonology articles), as it does not display correctly in all browsers.
  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).
  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)).

References[edit]

  • 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. 
  • 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.