Arabic pronunciation is difficult for a lot of beginners, but we’re going to try to lay as simple a foundation for you as we can. That way, we can perhaps cut some of the difficulty off at the pass. First, let’s start with a review. The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight letters in it, and Arabic syllables typically consist of one consonant and a vowel that is either short or long. Speaking of vowels, there are six of them in Arabic, and they are either short or long. Having completed our review, we will now turn our attention to some slightly more specific tips for you.
One of the first concepts you should familiarize yourself with when you’re learning Arabic pronunciation is called the Shadda. This is a linguistic term, and it refers to any letter that is stressed while it is being pronounced. It is indicated by a symbol written above it, and it’s crucial that the emphasis is placed properly in such cases. If not, it could actually change the meaning of the word entirely in some instances. Another thing to remember is that if there is a small circle above any consonant, then that means that that consonant is not pronounced at all. Rather, it carries a silent sound.
We’d like to give you a couple of final, more general tips about learning Arabic pronunciation as well. One of them is a tip that we’ve mentioned before in teaching other languages, because it is applicable to all of them. However, this tip certainly bears repeating. The tip we’re talking about is to seize every opportunity that’s presented to you to listen to native speakers of the language. However, it’s important to remember that just because someone is a native speaker of any particular language, Arabic included, doesn’t necessarily mean that they themselves are pronouncing the words correctly. Therefore, if you can find recordings of people that you know for a fact are pronouncing the words correctly, then it’s a good idea to listen to those recordings on a frequent, repeated basis.
As you’re listening to these recordings, you should be trying to mimic the sounds that you hear. This may not sound like a fun activity, but you should keep at it, because it’s truly the fastest possible route to mastering Arabic pronunciation. If you slog through, you will be amazed at how fast you learn to speak Arabic fluently.