Light vs. heavy sounds

 



     
   

🔴 See also: Light versus heavy, Be careful, Drill, Video

                              
Compare the light to the heavy letters

Watch videos
 (under 2.12 min each)

       1- Compare Easy to Difficult Sounds. 
2- The Hardest letter

 

 

 
 



Here is a matter of phonetics...

Arabic has seven heavy sounds that do not exist in the English language.

As well as seven lighter sounding counterparts that do exist in both the English and the Arabic language.
 

The seven heavy letters, or the "tricky" sounds, are all covered in this module.
 


 

  Compare the SOUNDS of the heavy vs. light letters.

(The sounds are recorded and not the names of the letters).

 

14-2 light v.s. heavy sounds

 
 

LIGHT LETTERS

 Found in Arabic & English 

 

HEAVY LETTERS
Found only in Arabic NOT English

 

        د 

       d
(e.g. day)



      ض
              
2


      هـ 
          
h
(e.g. happy)

 

      ح
              



      س
                  
s
(e.g. sad) 



      ص
         
      



        ت
           
t
(e.g. tame)



       ط
              
 



        ث
          
th
(e.g. thin)         



        ذ
             
1 dh


        ك
            k
(e.g. kind)


       ق
             
1 q



      ز

      13 z
(e.g. zebra)



       ظ
            
14

 

 

 

 



 


Be careful. You asked and we answered.

1- Differentiating between light and heavy letters is critical to pronouncing Arabic correctly.

Let's say it again: Critical.

Try not to be a student of Arabic who says light letters instead of heavy letters... when the letter is clearly heavy.

Learning Arabic means putting a little extra time, in the beginning, to hearing the difference between isolated heavy and isolated light sounds.
 

Keep going! You're almost there.


English speakers have a hard time capturing the heavy sounds-- and tend to alter them to light sounds or skip over them entirely.

 

Falooka places a dot under transliterated heavy sounds. For example: - - -

2- Heavy letters are frequently replaced by light letters in Egyptian Colloquial/Spoken Arabic.

Why is this good news?

Because light sounds are much easier to capture.

Beware: MSA/Classical Arabic (more formal Arabic) preserves the heavy sounds.

 

3- The letters on the right side are replaced by the left column when speaking Egyptian Colloquial/Spoken Arabic:

used in both classical & colloquial Arabic

used mostly in classical & and not colloquial Arabic

د ذ
ت    ث
ء   ق 

4- For MSA/Classical Arabic remember to gently release the tongue from the mouth for the following letters:

ث  ذ  ظ 




 


   

   Read more on heavy versus light letters               

 
   

 

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