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Lesson Transcript

Simon: Hello, and welcome to the Pronunciation Series at ArabicPod101.com, where we studyArabic in a fun, educational format!
Hala: So, brush up on the Arabic that you started learning long ago, or start learning today.
Simon: Thanks for being here with us for this lesson. Hala, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Hala: Today we will be talking about some tricky letters, but hopefully after this we’re done…
Simon: Nothing is going to be tricky anymore!
Hala: But before we start, Simon, can you please summarize what we have done in the first two lessons?
Simon: For sure, we covered the four dark letters, and the four letters that resemble them in a softer tone!
Hala: Which were “sa, ṣa”, “da, ḍ”, “ta, ṭa”, and finally “za, ẓa”
Simon: Hala, I see you’re improving!
Hala: ( laughing ), thank you Simon, that’s very kind of you!
Simon: Now moving to today’s lesson, which letters are we going to cover ?
Hala: That would be “ʾlif” , “ḥ”, “ʿ” and “ha”
Simon: I don’t see what exactly do you mean when you say they are tricky!
Hala: The sounds produced are similar to each other, with small differences.
Simon: And now you’re kidding, come on, I didn’t hear one bit of similarity in all of them!
Hala: That’s because I was saying the names of the letters, lets try now with the sound of each one, which are “ʾa”, “ḥa” , “ʿa” and “ha”
Simon: Ok, you proved your point, but can you give it to us in words?
Hala: “ʾalam”, “ḥalam”, “ʿalam” and “halum”
Simon: And these are all real words?
Hala: Lucky for us, yes!
Simon: Ok, lets take them two by two
Hala: The first 2 are “ʾalam” and “ʿalam, as you can see, the first one is more like ( a ) as in ( apple ), the second one is a different sound, it comes from the throat, you actually feel your cords moving when you pronounce this one.
Simon: Is there any easy way to be able to do it?
Hala: Well, sorry about this guys, I know its not a very friendly image, but I’m afraid it’s the only one to make it closer!
Simon: I’m ready! And I’m sure our listeners are too!
Hala: Well, think of the sound you make when you’re about to vomit (ʿʿʿ), and that’s the one we’re looking for!
Simon: Well, at least I know I wont confuse it from now on with the “ʾ “ of ( apple).
Hala: Another two words in which to see the difference are “ʿibar” and “ʾibar”.
Simon: “ʿibar” and “ʾibar”
Hala: Yes, but try to pronounce the second as we explained, “ʿibar” and “ʾibar.”
Simon: “ʿibar” and “ʾibar.”
Hala: Much better!
Simon: Ok, I’m starting it get the hang of it, how about another one before we move to the second set of letters?
Hala: Hmmm, let me think… Okay “saʿal” and “saʾal.”
Simon: “saʿal” and “saʾal.”
Hala: Great job Simon, Ok moving on, we have “ḥa” and “ha.”
Simon: The difference is not very clear to me I’m afraid.
Hala: “ḥa”, “ha”, let me put it in words to make it more clear “ḥallh”, “hallh.”
Simon: What’s the trick to get this one correct?
Hala: Well, we have the “ha” which is the same as the “H” in English, so that’s easy, as for the “ḥ”, its called in Arabic a hollow letter, because of the way we pronounce it, think of it as a “chilly” letter, it’s the exact sound ( making the sound ).
Simon: That makes it more clear, so lets test it, more words please!
Hala: “hama” and “ḥama”
Simon: “hama” and “ḥama”
Hala: niiiiiice, ok, please try repeating these 2 words “ḥammām”, “hammām”
Simon: Please repeat it slowly again.
Hala: “ḥammām”, “hammām”
Simon: Now its my turn, “ḥammām”, “hammām”
Hala: Wonderful Simon, the thing you have to remember is, by mixing up the sounds, its not a matter of making the word sound strange but understandable, you will actually end up with a complete different word!
Simon: Will pay attention to that for sure from now on!
Hala: That just about does it for today.
Simon: Premium members, use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Hala: Available in the premium section of the website,
Simon: the learning center
Hala: and through iTunes via the premium feed,
Simon: the Review Track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause so you can repeat the words aloud.
Hala: The best way to get good fast!
Simon: Bye!