Arabic Transliteration System

pronunciationTransliteratedIsolatedTranscriptionpronunciation
أَلِف̛ālifاāLike A in Apple
بَاءbā̛بbLike B in Baby
تَاءtā̛تtLike T in Tree
ثَاءthā̛ثthLike the Th in Theory
جِيمjimجjSometimes like the G in Girl or like the J in Jar
حَاءhā̛حhLike the h in he yet light in pronunciation
خَاءkhā̛خkhLike the Ch in the name Bach
دَالdālدdLike the D in Dad
ذَالzālذzLike the Th in The
رَاءrā̛رrLike the R in Ram
زَايzāyزzLike the Z in zoo
سِينsinسsLike the S in See
شِينshinشshLike the Sh in She
صَادsādصsLike the S in Sad yet heavy in pronunciation
ضَادdādضdLike the D in Dead yet heavy in pronunciation
طَاءtā̛طtLike the T in Table yet heavy in pronunciation
ظَاءẓā̛ظLike the Z in Zorro yet heavy in pronunciation
عَينٍعainعع̛Has no real equivalent sometimes they replace its sound with the A sound like for example the name Ali for علي /عali/
غَينghainغghLike the Gh in Ghandi
فَاءfā̛فfLike the F in Fool
قَافqāfقqLike the Q in Queen yet heavy velar sound in pronunciation
كَافkāfكkLike the K in Kate
لاَمlāmفlLike the L in Love
مِيمmimمmLike the M in Moon
نُونnunنnLike the N in Noon
هَاءhā̛ه هـhLike the H in He
وَاوwāw,W(aw, au, u)Like the W in the reaction of astonishment saying: WAW!
يَاءyā̛يY (ay, ai, ῑ)Like the Y in you
هَمزَةhamzaء

أُ
إِ

أَ
Latter will be discussed separatelySeen latter because it differs according to case and context

http://www.arabic-keyboard.org/arabic/arabic-transliteration.php

A- Short Vowels

Short Vowel Signَُِ
Short Vowel Arabic
Name Transliterated
/ḍam-ma//fatha//kasra/
Short Vowel
Arabic Name
ضَمةفَتحةكَسرة
Short Vowel Sign
English Equivalent
(Vowel Transliteration)
/u//a//i/
UsageRegularity
/̛ār-rafع/ الرَفع
Openness
/̛ān-nasb/ النَصب
Reduction
/̛āk-kasr/ الكَسر
Description– A little lopped symbol like a small wāw always placed over the Arabic Letter.

– Any word in Arabic in isolation shall end in the /u/ vowel as this ending is the regular one.

– Used to indicate regularity when placed over the last letter of a word.
– A short diagonal strike over the Arabic Letter.

– It is an open vowel that is used in the situation of openness when placed over the last letter of a word.
– A short diagonal strike under the Arabic Letter.

– It is a closed vowel that is similar to the reduction of lips witnessed in other foreign Languages.

– Used in the situation of reduction when placed over the last letter of a word.
Bilingual Pronunciation ExampleConsider for example if we put a /ḍam-ma/ over the letter dāl دُ it will be pronounced /du/.Consider for example if we put a /fatha / over the letter dāl دَ it will be pronounced /da/.Consider for example if we put a /kasra/ over the letter dāl دِ it will be pronounced /di/.

http://www.arabic-keyboard.org/arabic/vowels-and-signs.php

A- Letter hamza Chart

pronunciationTransliteratedIsolatedInitialMedialFinalTranscription
هَمزَةhamzaء
أُ
إِ
أ
أ     ؤـئـئ̛̛
أَلِفālifااـاـاĀ
وَاوwāwوـو—-ـوW(aw, au, u
يَاءyā̛ييــيـvY (ay, ai, ̛

B- The Two Types of Letter hamza

/hamzat/ /̛aq-qat ع/ : همزة القطع
– Written as a hamza over the ālif letter.
– Always the sound of the hamza is written, heard and pronounced.

Example:
– أَب وأُم /̛ab/ /wa/ /̛um/
– A father and a mother.
1- We notice here that we here the hamza and we write, hear and pronounce it over the ālif.

/hamzat/ /̛al-wasl/     همزة الوصل
– Written as an ālif without a hamza on it .
– Always the sound of the hamza is heard and pronounced but not written.

Example:
– اِنطَلِق يا مُحَمَد فَالعُمر يَمضي /̛intalik/ /ya/ /mohamid/ /falعumr/ /yamdi/
– Go Ahead Mohamed, life will not wait you!
1- We notice here that the letter ālif – highlighted in red – heard, and pronounced as a hamza but written as an ālif without a hamza.
ِ   /kasra/     ُ  /dam-ma/     َ  /fatha/     ْ  /sukun/

C- Drawing of the Letter hamza according to the fittest/ dominant sign

pronunciationTransliteratedIsolatedInitialMedialFinalTranscription
هَمزَةhamzaء


أُ

إِ


أ
أ     ؤـئـئ̛̛

1- Letter hamza over the letter yā̛ like ـئـ in medial position of the word

1st case2nd case3rd case4th case5th case
1- If the letter hamza is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the reduction case /̛ak-kasr/ and has the /kasra/ sign.2- If the letter hamza is in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/; whereas the preceding letter to is in the reduction case /̛ak-kasr/ and has the /kasra/ sign.3- If the letter hamza is in the reduction case /̛ak-kasr/ and has the /kasra/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign.4- If the letter hamza is in the reduction case /̛ak-kasr/ and has the /kasra/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the regular case /̛ad-dam/ i.e. has the /dam-ma/ sign.5- If the letter hamza is in the reduction case /̛ak-kasr/ and has the /kasra/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/.
Fittest Sign
/kasra/
Fittest Sign
/kasra/
Fittest Sign
/kasra/
Fittest Sign
/kasra/
Fittest Sign
/kasra/
Key Arabic
Letter
yā̛
Key Arabic
Letter
yā̛
Key Arabic
Letter
yā̛
Key Arabic
Letter
yā̛
Key Arabic
Letter
yā̛
Reason:
Because the /kasra/
sign is > the /fatha/ sign
Reason:
Because the /kasra/
sign is > the /sukun/ sign
Reason:
Because the /kasra/
sign is > the /fatha/ sign
Reason:
Because the /kasra/
sign is > the /dam-ma/ sign
Reason:
Because the /kasra/ sign is > Unreal Quiescence – Extension
Sign /̛ālif/ /̛āl-mad/ ألف المد
Example:
فِئَة /fi̛a/
for “category”
Example:
بِئْر /bi̛r/
for “well”
Example:
رَئِيس /ra̛is/
for “president”
Example:
سُئِل /sưil/
for “asked”
Example:
بَائِع /bā̛iع/
for “salesman”

2- Letter hamza over the letter wāw like ؤ medial and/or final position of the word

1st case2nd case3rd case4th case
1- If the letter hamza is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the regular case /̛ad-dam/ i.e. has the /dam-ma/ sign.2- If the letter hamza is in the regular case /̛ad-dam/ i.e. has the /dam-ma/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign.3- If the letter hamza is in the regular case /̛ad-dam/ i.e. has the /dam-ma/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/.4- If the letter hamza is in the in the in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the regular case /̛ad-dam/ i.e. has the /dam-ma/ sign.
Fittest Sign /dam-ma/Fittest Sign /dam-ma/Fittest Sign /dam-ma/Fittest Sign /dam-ma/
Key letter wāwKey letter wāwKey letter wāwKey letter wāw
Reason Because the /dam-ma/ sign is > /fatha/ sign.Reason Because the /dam-ma/ sign is > /fatha/ sign.Reason Because the /dam-ma/ sign is > the /sukun/ sign.Reason Because the /dam-ma/ sign is > the /sukun/ sign.
Example:
فُؤَاد /fưād/ for “heart”
Example:
رَؤُوف /ra̛uf/ for “well”
Example:
مَسْؤُول /mas̛ul/ for “an official” i.e. “a responsible for person”
Example:
مُؤْمِن /mơmen/ for “a true religious believer”

3- Letter hamza over the letter ālif like أ medial position of the word

1st case2nd case
1- If the letter hamza is in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign.2- If the letter hamza is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign; whereas the preceding letter to it is in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/.
Key letter ālifKey letter ālif
Reason Because the /fatha/ sign is > the /sukun/ sign.Reason Because the /fatha/ sign is > the /sukun/ sign.
Example:
رَأَس /ra̛s/ for “head”
Example:
مَسْألة /mas̛ala/ for “issue”

4- Letter hamza over the line isolated and independent like ء medial position of the word

1st and only case
Description: 1- If the letter hamza is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign; whereas the preceding letter is the letter ālif is in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Real Quiescence sign /sukun/.
Fittest Sign: /sukun/.
Key letter: No letter as it is written over the line in medial position.
Example: قِرَاءة /qera̛ah/ for “reading”.

5- Letter hamza over the line isolated and independent like ء final position of the word

1st and only case
Description: 1- If the letter hamza is in the cutting and/or elision case /̛ag-gazm/ and has the Quiescence sign either the real sign /sukun/ or the unreal sign – Extension Sign /̛ālif/ /̛āl-mad/ ألِف المَد.
Fittest Sign: /sukun/.
Key letter: Different than others as it is written over the line in final position not over any of the letters.
Example:
1- Real Quiescence Sign i.e. /sukun/: بِدء /bid̛/ for “start”
2- Unreal Quiescence Sign i.e. /̛ālif/ /̛āl-mad/ ألف المد سَمَاء /samā̛/ for “sky”

6- Final Letter hamza over the letter yā̛ , ālif and wāw

1st case2nd case3rd case
1- If the preceding letter to hamza is in the reduction case /̛ak-kasr/ and has the /kasra/ sign.2- If the preceding letter to hamza is in the regular case /̛ad-dam/ i.e. has the /dam-ma/ sign.3- If the preceding letter to hamza is in the openness case /̛ān-nasb/ i.e. has the /fatha/ sign.
Fittest Sign /kasra/Fittest sign /dam-ma/Fittest sign /fatha/
Key letter:
yā̛
Key letter:
wāw
Key letter:
Ālif
Example:
قَارِئ /kari̛/ for “reader”
Example:
تَبَاطُؤ /tabatư/ for “lazy”
Example:
قَرَأ /qara̛/ for “read”

Moon and Sun Arabic Letters Pronunciation Classification

Sometimes the letter alif is followed by the letter lam to form the /?al/ pronunciation that are sometimes written and pronounced whereas sometimes are written but not pronounced according to the type of the letters (Alphabets) themselves either they are moon letters or sun letters. Consider the following Table:

Lunar Letters or /̛āl-huruf/ /̛a-qamaryah/ الحُرُوف القَمَرِية

Arabic Letter Name in ArabicReading of the Arabic Letter Name in transliterated EnglishTranscription of the Arabic Letter Pronunciation
أَلِف̛ālifā
بَاءbā̛b
جِيمjimj
حَاءhā̛h
خَاءkhā̛kh
عَينٍعainع̛
غَينghaingh
فَاءfā̛f
قَافqāfq
كَافkāfk
مِيمmimm
هَاءhā̛h
وَاوwāwW(aw, au, u
يَاءyā̛Y (ay, ai, ῑ
هَمزَةhamza̛
Description:
– They are 14 letters.
– The sound /̛āl/ is clearly pronounced.

Solar Letters or /̛āl-huruf/ /ash-shamsyah/ الحُرُوف الشَمسِية

Arabic Letter Name in ArabicReading of the Arabic Letter Name in transliterated EnglishTranscription of the Arabic Letter Pronunciation
تَاءtā̛t
ثَاءthā̛th
دَالDāld
ذَالZālz
رَاءrā̛r
زَايZāyz
سِينSins
شِينShinsh
صَادSāds
ضَادDādd
طَاءtā̛t
ظَاءẓā̛
لاَمLāml
نُونNunn
Description:
– They are 14 letters.
– The sound /̛āl/ is not clearly pronounced.

A note on Definiteness and Indefiniteness of Arabic:
Arabic is unique by its Definite and Indefinite cases. It has nothing that stands equivalent to Articles “a”, “an” nor “The”.

Definite Arabic Word

* Letters ālif and lām attached to any word.
* Like the Article “The” in English.
* For Example: The car السَيَارة /̛as-sayāra/

Indefinite Arabic Word

* Letters ālif and lām are dropped.
* Like the Article “A” and “An” in English.
* For Example: A Car سَيَارة /sayāra/ , An Apple تُفَاحة /tufāha/ .

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