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Begin in English to End in Arabic (Part 1)


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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful

Introduction

The discrepancy between the written form of a language and the pronounced form constitutes one of the major difficulties in learning languages. It was the work of linguistics to deal with the subject matter and discuss what might govern such discrepancy to determine the implied meaning of a form of speech. In Arabic, such a problem appears most problematic when Arabic is transcribed in Latin letters. Here arise two questions :

1. Why should we transcribe Arabic in Latin letters, and.

2. What is the deficiency in the Latin letter that makes it unable to transcribe the Arabic words.

To the first question, we may perceive two needs: Firstly, Arabic writing did not develop for a long time ago. The last development in Arabic writing returns to the time when its letters got punctuated. After that a very little development, if ever, had happened. Secondly, each Arabic letter has at least four forms according to its occurrence at the beginning, middle, end, or being single in the spelling of a word. This in addition to the difficulty facing those people whose mother tongue is of an Indo-European origin which is written from left to right whereas Arabic is written from right to left. And the existence of some sounds in Arabic that are inexistent in their mother tongue. This actually forms the major difficulty before the learner of Arabic as a foreign language. As for the second problem concerning the inability of the Latin letter, as it is, to write Arabic in, lies in the fact that the Arabic letter is always vocalized whereas the Latin letter, at least in English, is not.

3.  Why should we learn Arabic at all ?

We should learn Arabic for the sake of the Holy Qurán. The Holy Qurán is the Muslim’s Holy Book, revealed by God in the Arabic tongue. The Holy Qurán is untranslatable in its text and its recital cannot be accepted in any form other than in Arabic, This would consequently render learning Arabic to be a must to the Muslim for the sake of the Holy Qurán.

For the previous reasons I thought of finding out a solution for learning Arabic through English for the following reasons:

Islam nowadays finds acceptance at the Non-Arab people who are looking for a peaceful resort from their grave God-forsaken life. They have found in Islam the balanced human behavior that pushes the person to work as if he would never die and to work as well for his later-life as if he would die tomorrow.

As long as Arabic, in its present form of spelling and writing system, affords little help to the Non-Arab learner of Arabic as a second language, we must find another way to write Arabic in which introduces written Arabic in a way understandable and directly taught by the Non-Arab learner. I thought of selecting English to be the vehicle to learning Arabic that most Non-Arab Muslims know English, and English is a universal language nowadays. In adopting English to serve my purpose I had to think of the ways in which the English letter can represent precisely the Arabic sounds. This took me to perform a comparative study between the sounds in Arabic and the counterpart similar English sounds, if ever were found. To overcome the dissimilarity of some Arabic sounds, I had to look for a way to create or to coin the shapes of the letters that represent those dissimilar Arabic sounds. In my trial, I tried to adopt a method that closely pertains the quasi original quality of the intended coined letter. In this respect, I adopted the Arabic calligraphy example and method. To move from one letter to its next in Arabic a small point might be put over the same previous letter whereas the system of arranging the alphabet order of letters depends on the juxtaposition of the succeeding letters in their points of articulation in the organs of speech . As such I coined the following letters of ( ħ )-( ح ) and ( h˙ )-( خ ), ( d )-( د ) and ( d˙ )-( ذ ), ( s )-( س ) and ( ŝ )-( ش ). As for some velarized letters, I adopted capitalization for that purpose to represent the letters of ( S)- ( ص ), ( D )-( ض ) , ( T )-( ط ) , and ( Z )-( ظ ). All this, still, could not solve all difficulties. Arabic language is uniquely characterized by its precise dependence on its letter vocalization system and this is never found in English. I thought of grafting the English letter with the Arabic vocalization signs as a solution. This was actually the first trial ever made in making the Latin letter serviceable in this concern. This is an innovation in the field of transcribing Arabic in Latin letters. This would abolish the severe distortion occurring in transcribing Arabic in Latin letters beginning from the personal names written in passports what looks trivial if compared with the great distortion ensuing from disregarding vocalization of the Arabic representative Latin letters in writing the pronunciation of the Quránic words in some Islamic TV channels.

It is our duty as Arabs to help the Non-Arab people in learning Arabic. This is what I have done to the English-speaking people. I would like, further still, to set an example to the other Non-Arab people to think of reforming some letters of their own language in the same way I have done to represent the Arabic sounds that are inexistent in their languages. By adopting my system of vocalizing the Non-Arabic letters, a perfect and precise production of sound Arabic pronunciation would be the outcome. This is what we are looking for . As such the Holy Qurán would become the reciprocal pivot around which all languages meet in the realm of Islam.

Kansas City, June 15, 2000
Muhammad Ismail Batrash ( The Author)

Chapter I

A General Highlight of Arabic

The Arabs, if compared with the English, have achieved little work in the field of teaching Arabic to the non-Arabs. I would like to render a little service to those who are interested in learning Arabic.

The difficulty of learning Arabic lies in its somewhat peculiar characteristics compared to Indo-European languages. Firstly Arabic is written from right to left, a matter to the non-Arabs, like trying to copy from a mirror. This is not a simple problem to overcome. Secondly, each Arabic letter can receive some fourteen vocalizations or motivations, what expands its vocal capacity into fourteen sounds. Each compound sound has a special quality. The addition of a full vowel instead of the short vocalization often misrepresents this quality. The addition of any superfluous letter in the word structure would surely distort both meaning and syntax. Arabic structure of sentences is strictly governed by every structural letter vocalization or letter addition. Let us have an example: Verb (wrote) in English is (k t b) (كََتَبَ)- , when wrongly transcribed in Latin letters, it is usually written this way :(kataba). Let us discuss its significance in Arabic: The term, as such, is meaningless in Arabic. If we ignored the presence of the middle (a) in the previous word, taking into consideration that no two consecutive silenced letters can ever occur in Arabic, the word becomes (kaَtba) which means that two (dual) persons are corresponding with others. The ending (-a) denotes a dual subject of the related verb, and the first (a) makes the verb reciprocated among others.

If we are still to consider the effect of adding letters or changing letter vocalizations in the structural word letters, we might come across several forms and derivations of the same basic word like this : (kَ tَ bَ ) is the past form of verb (to write) in Arabic. When a change in its vocalization happens, it becomes ( kُ tِ bَ ) to mean was written, a passive form of the previous verb. When some letters are added, it becomes (kِ t ab ) which means a book, or (katِ b ) which means a writer, or (mَ kْ tَ b) which means an office or a primary school where children learn how to write. The idea of trying to find a more precise way to settle the problem of letter vocalization in Arabic was occupying my mind for four past years. I pondered about finding a solution.

 I thought of grafting the Latin letter with the Arabic vocalization signs, as seen in the previous examples. In addition, I had to find some adjusted Latin letters to represent the Arabic letters that have no counterpart sound in English.

The subject of grafting was settled through the computer facilities, but the letters that are iexistent in English have to be coined. I thought of using the genuine and clever way in Arabic calligraphy of transferring from one Arabic letter to its next simply by adding a point or removing a point to or from its previous or succeeding letter.

This procedure would preserve the nature of Arabic in the displayed coined letters, and this was what I have done in the letters (d)-( د ) and (d˙)-( ذ ), (h )-( ح ) and (h˙)-( خ ) . Other sounds which are pharyngealized or velarized sounds of existing letters, I represented them in capital forms of the nearest English sounds available. I put (A) for

( ع), (S) for (ص   ), (D) for( ض ), (T)for ( ط ) and (Z) for ( ظ.).

It is far from my intention to replace Latin letters for the genuine Arabic ones, but I believe the method I have suggested would encourage the vehement learner of Arabic to pursue his or her career in learning Arabic easily and comfortably.

Another point I would like to mention. Colloquial Arabic is, nowadays, earning more interest for one reason or another. Some authors of teaching Arabic to foreigners are holding to this line. True, there are several dialects of spoken-Arabic all over the Arab world, and most of them might have some valid source in Standard Arabic. But, despite of that, some dialects are not fully understood to an Arab who is not trained or accustomed to them. Standard Arabic is still well understood and it is still the accepted formal form of Arabic all over the Arab world. This is why I am adopting Standard Arabic in my research than any other colloquial form of it.

Chapter II

الأبجديّة العربيّة و حركة الحرف العربيّ

The Arabic Alphabet and The Arabic Letter Vocalizations

Original Arabic is written from right to left. Each letter in Arabic calligraphy may have four written forms according to its occurrence at the beginning, middle, end , or single in the word. This is why learning written Arabic seems somewhat difficult to attain to the Non-Arabs especially if their mother language is one of the Indo-European family of languages. With this in mind, let us survey the Arabic alphabet letters displayed in Original Arabic separate letters and in the Reformed Latin letters which are intended to be a starting point for the Non-Arabs to begin learning Arabic through them.

The Arabic alphabet consists of 28 following letters:

ط ، ض ، ص ، ش ، س ، ز، ر، ذ ، د ، خ ، ح ، ج ، ث ، ت ، ب ، أ

ab, t, t˙,  j, h, h˙, d, d˙, r, z, s, ŝ,  S, D, T

 ---------------------------------------------------------------

  ،غ ، ع ، ظ ،،ل ، ك ، ق  ، ف م  ، ن ،،هـ و ،ي . 

 Z, A, g, f , q, k, l, m, n, h, w, y

In the proposed Latin transcription, Arabic is written in separately vocalized letters to preserve a correct pronunciation of what is read. In this method Arabic spelling is restricted only to the actually pronounced letters. This would be of great help to the Non-Arabs who are adopting this method. Writing Arabic in the original Arabic letter system, has to comply firmly with both rules of Arabic dictation and spelling in addition to precisely observing vocalization effects of each individual letter. To give the learner a wider scope of choice, let us display at first the unique system of vocalizing or motivating the Arabic letter:

The Arabic Letter Vocalizations or Motivations

Every letter in Arabic can be superimposed by certain motivation signs to produce fourteen different vocalized sounds of the same basic letter sound concerned. These signs are:

  1. Quiescence represented by this sign ( ْ  ) laid over the letter denoting its unmotivated or neutral pronunciation.
  2. Opening represented by this sign ( َ ) laid over the letter denoting its pronunciation with open lips.
  3. Rounding represented by this sign ( ُ  ) laid over the letter denoting its pronunciation with rounded lips.
  4. Breaking represented by this sign ( ِ  ) laid under the letter denoting its pronunciation with a fallen (broken) jaw.

These aforementioned vocalization signs can also be combined with a stress. The stress is represented by this sign ( ّ  ) laid over the letter denoting its quantitative doubling in pronunciation.

  1. The Quiescent Stressed sign (ّْ ) over the letter denotes its neutral quantitative doubling of the letter concerned.
  2. The Opened Stressed sign ( َّ ) over a letter denotes its being quantitatively and openly doubled.
  3. The Rounded Stressed sign ( ُّ ) over a letter indicates its being quantitatively and roundly doubled.
  4. The Broken Stressed sign ( ِّ ) over a letter indicates its being quantitatively and brokenly doubled.

Ennation sign denotes the addition of an (n) sound after pronouncing the motivated letter concerned.

The Ennation sign is usually put over the motivated ending letter of nouns. Ennation can be:

  1. An Opened Ennation represented by a double opening sign ( ً  ).
  2. A Rounded Ennation represented by a double rounding sign ( ٌ  ).
  3. A Broken Ennation represented by a double breaking sign ( ٍ  ).

Ennation as well, can also be combined with a stress to become :

  1. A Stressed Opening Ennation ( ًّ ).
  2. A Stressed Rounding Ennation ( ٌّ ), and
  3. A Stressed Breaking Ennation ( ٍّ ).

Further still, the vowel letter (a)-(ا ) and the semivowel letters (w)-(و ) and (y)-(ي) can be prolonged in pronunciation when a prolongation sign (~) is laid over them.

Now, let us display the letter ب -b) transcribed in the Latin uniform and vocalized with the fourteen possible motivation signs: The full fourteen vocalized forms of are given below as an illustration:

( بْ -bْ ),( ََََب َ -bَ ), ( ُُ ب -bُ ), ( ِ ب -bِ ), ( ّْب -bّْ ), ( ب -b َّ ),

( ب -b ُّ ), ( ب -b ِّ ), ( ب -b ً ), ( ب -b ٌ ), ( ب -bٍ ), ( ب -b ًّ ),

( ب -b ٌّ ), and (ب -b ّ ٍ ).

Chapter III

بعض الصفات المميّزة للأصوات العربيّة

Some Idiosyncratic Features of the Arabic Sounds

The Arabic Alphabet consists of 28 letters. Each one of which can be vocalized or motivated by the fourteen vocalization signs ,just mentioned before, to give fourteen conspicuously different sounds of the same basic motivated letter concerned:

1.The letter (a)-(أ ) is glottal when it comes single and silenced after a vocalized consonant letter in a word. It is prolonged when doubled that it can never be stressed. It is pronounced /a:/ as a low front pure vowel after the following letters (S-ص, D-ض, T-ط, Z-ظ, and q-ق ). It is pronounced as a front low vowel otherwise. When motivated it can be a mid central pure vowel ( aَ )-(أَ ), or a high back rounded vowel (aُ  )-(أُ ), or a high front pure vowel (aِ )-(إ ). In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

( ء ، ا ، أ ، أُ ، إِ ، ؤ ، ـئـ ، ـئ ، آ ). When vocalized it has the following sounds:

( ءْ ، أ ، أُ ، إ ، آ ، ءً ، ؤٌ ، ءٍ ) Taking into consideration that the letter (a)-(أ ) can never be stressed, but when doubled it is usually elongated.

2. The letter (b)-(ب ) is a voiced bilabial plosive sound, similar to its counterpart letter in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms according to its occurrence as single, at the beginning, middle, or end of the word: (ب ، بـ ، ـبـ ، ـب   ). When vocalized or motivated it has the following sounds :

  (بْ ، بَ ، بُ ، بِ ، بّْ ، بَّ ، بُّ ، بِّ ، باً ، بٌ ، بٍ، بّاً ، بٌّ ، بٍّ).

3. The letter (t)-( ت ) is a voiceless apico-dental plosive sound in Arabic, different from its English counterpart sound which is apico-alveolar in articulation. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms: ( ت ، تـ ، ـتـ ، ـت ). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( ت ْ ، تَ ، تُ ، تِ ، تّْ ، تَّ ، تُّ ، تِّ ، تاً ، تٌ ، تٍ ، تّاً ، تٌّ ، تٍّ ).

4. The letter (t˙)-(ث) is a voiceless apico-interdental fricative sound. Similar in pronunciation to the (th) sound in the English words (Think) and (Thick). In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( ث ، ثـ ، ـثـ ، ـث). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( ثْ ، ثَ ، ثُ ، ثِ ، ثّْ ، ثَّ ، ثُّ ، ثِّ ، ثاً ، ثٌ ، ثٍ ، ثّاً ، ثٌّ ، ثٍّ ).

5. The letter (j)-(ج) is a voiceless palato-alveolar affricate sound similar to the (j) and (g) sound in the word (Judge) in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( ج، جـ ، ـجـ ، ـج). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( جْ ، جَ ، جُ ، جِ ، جّْ ، جَّ ، جُّ ، جِّ ، جاً ، جٌ ، جٍ ، جّاً ، جٌّ ، جٍّ ).

6. The letter (h)-(ح) is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative sound with no similar in English.

In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms: ( ح، حـ ، ـحـ ، ـح ). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( حْ ، حَ ، حُ ، حِ ، حّْ ، حَّ ، حُّ ، حِّ ، حاً ، حٌ ، حٍ ، حّاً ، حٌّ ، حٍّ ).

7. The letter (h˙)-(خ) is a voiceless velar fricative sound with no perfect similar sound in English, though it might be approximated to the (ch) sound in the words ( Loch) and (Rannoch) represented by /x/ symbol in IPA phonetic symbols. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : (خ ، خـ ، ـخـ ، ـخ ). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( خْ ، خَ ، خُ ، خِ ، خّْ ، خَّ ، خُّ ، خِّ ، خاً ، خٌ ، خِ ، خّاً ، خٌّ ، خٍّ ).

8. The letter (d)-(د) is a voiced apico-dental plosive sound deviating from its English counterpart sound which is apico-alveolar in articulation. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following two forms only that it does not join its succeeding letter in continuous writing: ( د ، ـد ). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

  ( دْ ، دَ ، دُ ، دِ ، دّْ ، دَّ ، دُّ ، دِّ ، د اً ، دٌ ، دٍ ، دّ اً ، دٌّ ، دٍّ  ).

9. The letter (d˙)-(ذ) is a voiced apico-interdental fricative sound similar to (th) sound in the words (this) and (that). It is also disconnected from its succeeding letter this is why it has only two forms in continuous calligraphy ( ذ ، ـذ ). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( ذْ ، ذَ ، ذُ ، ذِ ، ذّْ ، ذَّ ، ذُّ ، ذِّ ، ذ اً ، ذٌ ، ذٍ ، ذّ اً ، ذٌّ ، ذٍّ) .

10. The letter (r) – (ر) is a voiced alveolar vibrant sound deviating from its counterpart English which is retroflexed. In Arabic calligraphy it may have only two forms due to its being disconnected from its succeeding letter: ( ر، ـر). When vocalized it has the following sounds : (رْ ، رَ ، رُ ، رِ ، رّْ ، رَّ ، رُّ ، رِّ ، راً ، رٌ ، رٍ ، رّاً ، رٌّ ، رٍّ ).

11. The Letter (z)-(ز) is a voiced alveolar fricative sound similar to its counterpart (z) sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

(ز ، ـز) that it cannot join with its succeeding letter. When vocalized it has the following sounds : (زْ ، زَ ، زُ ، زِ ، زّْ ، زَّ ، زُّ ، زِّ ، زاً ، زٌ ، زٍ ، زّاً ، زٌّ ، زٍّ).

12. The letter (s)-(س) is a voiceless alveolar fricative sound similar to its counterpart letter sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

( س ، سـ ، ـسـ ، ـس). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( سْ ، سَ ، سُ ، سِ ، سّْ ، سَّ ، سُّ ، سِّ ، ساً ، سٌ ، سٍ ، سّاً ، سٌّ ، سٍّ).

13. The letter (ŝ)-(ش) is a voiceless alveo-palatal fricative sound similar to the sound of the combination (sh) letters in English in the words (ship) and (sharp). In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

(ش ، شـ ، ـشـ ، ـش). When vocalized it hs the following sounds :

(شْ ، شَ ، شُ ، شِ ، شّْ ، شَّ ، شُّ ، شِّ ، شاً ، شٌ ، شٍ ، شّاً ، شٌّ ، شٍّ).

14. The letter (S)-(ص) is a voiceless velarized alveolar fricative sound approximated to the (s) letter sound in the words (sun) and (son) in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : (ص ، صـ ، ـصـ ، ـص). When vocalized it has the following sounds :(صْ ، صَ ، صُ ، صِ ، صّْ ، صَّ ، صُّ ، صِّ ، صاً ، صٌ ، صٍ ، صّاً ، صٌّ ، صٍّ).

15.The letter (D)-(ض) is a voiced velarized dental stop with no perfect similar counterpart sound in English. It might be approximated to the sound of the letter (d) in the word (done) in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :(ض ، ضـ ، ـضـ ، ـض). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( ضْ ، ضَ ، ضُ ، ضِ ، ضّْ ، ضَّ ، ضُّ ، ضِّ ، ضاً ، ضٌ ، ضٍ ، ضّاً ، ضٌّ ، ضٍّ).

16.The letter (T)-(ط) is a voiceless velarized dental stop approximated to the sound of (t) in the word (time) in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( ط ، طـ ، ـطـ ، ـط). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

(طْ ، طَ ، طُ ، طِ ، طّْ ، طَّ ، طُّ ، طِّ ، طاً ، طٌ ، طٍ ، طّاً ، طٌّ ، طٍّ).

17. The letter (Z)-(ظ) is a voiced apico-interdental velarized fricative sound> It has no similar sound in English though it could be approximated to (zh) combination if pronounced interdentally. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

ظ ، ظـ ، ـظـ ، ـظ)). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

(ظْ ، ظَ ، ظُ ، ظِ ، ظّْ ، ظَّ ، ظُّ ، ظِّ ، ظاً ، ظٌ ، ظٍ ، ظّاً ، ظٌّ ، ظٍّ).

18. The letter (A)-(ع) is a voiced pharyngeal fricative sound with no similar sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( ع ، عـ ، ـعـ ، ـع). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( عْ ، عَ ، عُ ، عِ ، عّْ ، عَّ ، عُّ ، عِّ ، عاً ، عٌ ، عٍ ، عّاً ، عٌّ ، عٍّ).

19. The letter (g)-(غ) is a voiced velar fricative sound with no similar in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( غ ، غـ ، ـغـ ، ـغ). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( غْ ، غَ ، غُ ، غِ ، غّْ ، غَّ ، غُّ ، غِّ ، غاً ، غٌ ، غٍ ، غّاً ، غٌّ ، غٍّ).

20. The letter (f)-(ف) is a voiceless labio-dental fricative sound similar to its counterpart letter sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( ف ، فـ ، ـفـ ، ـف). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( فْ ، فَ ، فُ ، فِ ، فّْ ، فَّ ، فُّ ، فِّ ، فاً ، فٌ ، فٍّ ، فّاً ، فٌّ ، فٍّ).

21. The letter (q)-(ق) is a voiceless aspirated velar stop with no similar sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : (ق ، قـ ، ـقـ ، ـق). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( قْ ، قَ ، قُ ، قِ ، قّْ ، قَّ ، قُُّ ، قِّ ، قاً ، قٌ ، قٍ ، قّاً ، قٌّ ، قٍّ).

22. The letter (k)-(ك) is a voiceless aspirated velar stop similar to its counterpart sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

 ( ك، كـ ، ـكـ ، ـك). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

(كْ ، كَ ، كُ ، كِ ، كّْ ، كَّ ، كُّ ، كِّ ، كاً ، كٌ ، كٍ ، ككّاً ، كٌّ ، كٍّ).

23. The letter (l)-(ل) is a voiced alveolar lateral sound similar in pronunciation to both pharyngealized or dark (l) and the clear (l) as occurring in the words (call) or (let) in English. It is velarized in the word ( الله  -God ) in Arabic when preceded by an openly or roundly motivated letter and it is alveolarized elsewhere. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : ( ل ، لـ ، ـلـ ، ـل). When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( لْ ، لَ ، لُ ، لِ ، لّ، لَّ ، لّث ، لِّ ، لاً ، لٌ ، لٍ ، لاًّ ، لٌّ ، لٍّ).

24. The letter (m)-(م) is a voiced bilabial nasal sound similar to its counterpart sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : (م ، مـ ، ـمـ ، ـم). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( مْ ، مَ ، مُ ، مِ ، مّْ ، مَّ ، مُّ ، مِّ ، ماً ، مٌ ، مٍ ، مّاً ، مٌّ ، مٍّ).

25. The letter (n)-(ن) is a voiced alveolar nasal sound similar to its counterpart sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms : (ن ، نـ ، ـنـ ، ـن). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( نْ ، نَ ، نُ ، نِ ،نّْ ، نَّ ، نُّ ، نِّ ، ناً ، نٌ ، نٍ ، نّاً ، نٌّ ، نٍّ ).

26. The letter (h)-(هـ) is a voiceless glottal fricative sound similar to its counterpart sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

( ه ، هـ ، ـهـ ، ـه). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( هْ ، هـَ ، هـُ ، هـِ ، هـّْ ، هـَّ ، هـُّ ، هـِّ ، هـاً ، ـهٌ ، ـهٍ ، هـّاً ،ـهٌّ ، ـهٍّ).

27. The letter (w)-(و) is a voiced bilabial continuant semivowel sound similar to its counterpart sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

( و ، ـو) because it cannot join a succeeding letter. When vocalized it has the following sounds : ( وْ ، وَ ، وُ ، وِ ، وّْ ، وَّ ، وُّ ، وِّ ، واً ، وٌ ، وٍ ، وّاً ، وٌّ ، وٍّ ), and

28. The letter (y)-(ي) is a voiced palatal continuant semivowel sound similar to its counterpart sound in English. In Arabic calligraphy it may have the following forms :

( ي ، يـ ، ـيـ ، ـي). When vocalized it has the following sounds :

( يْ ، يَ ، يُ ، يِ ، يّْ ، يَّ ، يُّ ، يِّ ، ياً ، يٌ ، يٍ ،يّاً ، يٌّ ، يٍّ ، ).

A thorough study and practice of the aforementioned letters would put the learner on very firm foundations to survey and enjoy the correct pronunciation of the noble Arabic language which God has chosen to reveal His Eternal Book Al-Qurán in it.

I advise the learner to straighten and strengthen his tongue up through reading aloud the vocalized Arabic letters as a starting point to be able later on to pronounce the Quránic words correctly.

I would like to mention that there are further rules applicable when reciting the Holy Qurán. Those rules will be amply discussed and illustrated in the coming books.

C. How to Write Arabic

 Depending on what is displayed before, we can write Arabic in either one of two systematic forms : The Original Arabic Letter System, or The Reformed Latin Letter System. Each system has its special qualities. The proposed Reformed Latin Letter System which I propose has the following characteristics over that of the Original Arabic Letter System :

  1. It can provide Non-Arab English-speaking people with an immediate and familiar starting point to learn Arabic. All that the learner needs is to understand and observe the unique quality of the Arabic letter in its being virtually always vocalized and its vocalization forms are intrinsic qualities that affect all the phonetic, semantic and syntactic structure of the word.
  2. It saves the learner from all the difficulties of dictation, that spelling in the proposed Latin letter system is restricted only to the virtually pronounced letters.
  3. It avails the learner with a precise and an easy-learnt pronunciation system where every letter is vocalized and signified.
  4. It gives the Arabic language an opportunity to spread widely over the whole world after pushing off all the dust of stagnation resulting from the deterioration of the present-day Arabs.
  5. Language is something living and life means development, so why should we not give Arabic the necessary chance to grow among Non-Arab people to gain their effort in developing it?
  6. Arabic language is orally preserved by the Holy Qurán, why should we not let the Qurán free itself from the written Arabic letter. Since Islam is the religion for all human kind peoples and the Muslim Arabs nowadays do not from anything more than one tenth or less of the total Non-Arab Muslims in the world, so why should we not let the Holy Qurán be written in all reformed human language letters provided its keeping the correct Arabic reciting sounds. Why should we not separate between the written forms which are many and the recited form which is one and the most important for the Holy Qurán? If we are afraid of effecting any change in printing the Holy Qurán in any language letter other than Arabic, we can say : The Holy Qurán was revealed orally and not in a written form. Secondly The Arabic form in which the Holy Qur’an was later on written, also developed to a certain extent. Any printed form of the Holy Qur’an should be checked and be authorized by the Committee of Reviewing and Checking the Quránic editions. This is enough to preserve one original recited form of the Holy Qurán, and writing the Holy Qurán in any language alphabet, provided it preserves the clear and perfect sounds of the Quránic Arabic, should be accepted since it facilitates the reciting of the Holy Qurán to the Non-Arabs concerned and lets the Holy Qurán be the Reciprocal pivot around which all languages on earth meet to worship The Almighty God in Islam which is a Unitarian Monotheistic religion. In the Holy Qurán God says what means: This Nation of yours is only one and I am your God whom you should stick to. In another place God says, Religion at God is Islam and he who adopts any other religion shall not be accepted and he shall be a looser in later life. In another place God says, Say we believed in God and in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to Ibrahim, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the Grandsons, and in what had Moses, Jesus and the Prophets had from their God. We do not differentiate between any other one of them and we are all Muslims to God.
  7. To set an example in this respect, I am going to write a certain text from the Holy Qurán transcribed in both Original Arabic letter form and in Reformed Latin form to see and consider if either one can have any fault in reciting the Holy Text:
  8. “ swrَ tُ lْ fatِhَ h : bِِsْmِlّahِ rّhْ manِ rَّh ym. alh md llّah rbِّ lAlَmyn . arَّh man rَّh ym. malk ywm dّyn . aِyّak nAbُd w ayak nstَAyn, ahdna SِّraT lmstqym. SِraT lَّd˙ yn anAmt Alyhm. gyr lmgDwb Alyhm w la Dّalّyn.”
  9. سورة الفاتحة :" بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم . الحمد لله رب العالمين. الرحمن الرحيم.مالك يوم الدين. إياك نعبد و إياك نستعين. إهدنا الصراط المستقيم . صراط الذين أنعمت عليهم غير المغضوب عليهم و لا الضالين."

The Opening Sura of the Holy Qurán : “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Marciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the world. The Beneficent the Merciful. Owner of the Day of Judgement. To Thee we worship and ask for help. Guide us to the path of righteouness. The path of those whom Thou are not angry with, nor of those who have gone astray”.

Chapter IV

Original Arabic Writing:

  Once more, we should fortify the return to the original Arabic letter in which the Arabic Anthology is still preserved. Once again we should remember that Arabic is written from right to left and letters have to be joined where possible and in writing every single word. The letters ( ا ، د ، ذ ، ر ، ز )  only are disjoined from the succeeding letter in continuous writing. All other letters have different forms at the beginning, middle, end or when they are ingle in a word in the following forms:

1 ا ، ء ، أ ، أُ ، إِ ، آ ، ـئـ ، ـئ ، ـؤ ، ـأ . 

2ب ، بـ ، ـبـ ، ـب.

3ت ، تـ ،  ـتـ ، ـت .

4ث ، ثـ ، ـثـ ، ـث .

5ج ، جـ ، ـجـ ، ـج .

6ح ، حـ ، ـحـ ، ـح ,

7خ ، خـ ، ـخـ ، ـخ .

8د ، ـد.

9 ذ ، ـذ .

10ر ، ـر .

11ز ، ـز .

12س ، سـ ، ـسـ ، ـس .

13ش ، شـ ، ـشـ ، ـش ,

14ص ، صـ ، ـصـ ، ـص ,

15ض ، ضـ ، ـضـ ، ـض .

16ط ، طـ ، ـطـ ، ـط .

17ظ ، ظـ ، ـظـ ، ـظ .

18ع ، عـ ، ـعـ ، ـع .

19غ ، غـ ، ـغـ ، ـغ ,

20ف ، فـ ، ـفـ ، ـف .

21ق ، قـ ، ـقـ ، ـق .

22ك ، كـ ، ـكـ ، ـك .

23ل ، لـ ، ـلـ ، ـل .

24م ، مـ ، ـمـ ، ـم .

25ن ، نـ ، ـنـ ، ـن .

26ه ، هـ ، ـهـ ، ـه .

27و ، ـو .

28ي ، يـ ، ـيـ ، ـي .

The learner is advised to practise writing in original Arabic letters sticking to convert his starting points in writing from the English system into the Arabic system where the left becomes right, up becomes down and so on. While writing, the learner can pronounce the sound of the letter he is writing to fortify memorizing it as written, read and pronounced.

 


See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.









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