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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Arabic Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the top 5 Arabic pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
These are common mistakes that students of Arabic tend to make.
So pay close attention and make sure that you don't make these same mistakes too.
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
Number 1: Can't pronounce rolled R's.
The Arabic R is a challenging sound for most learners of Arabic.
Don't be discouraged though, as it a naturally difficult sound. Many Arab children have difficulty pronouncing this sound. With enough practice however, you'll be able to overcome it.
The only way to solve this problem is to keep listening to native Arabic speakers and practicing it yourself – or practicing with us!
Listen to the following examples.
"ورد flowers
رد reply
We'll teach you how to perfect this complex sound in lesson 6.
Number 2: Mispronouncing the L sound
The Arabic L sound is a peculiar because it sounds somewhat like an English L but not exactly.
The problem arises when speakers begin substituting the English L for this sound, and when you do, native speakers will notice immediately that Arabic is not your native language!
Listen to (host name) and pay attention to the way it's pronounced in the following words.
"لون color
أهلاً welcome"
Unlike the English L, the tongue is ever so slightly flatter, and straighter in Arabic.
Don't worry if you don't get it straight away because we'll break down this sound in lesson 5.
Number 3: Mixing (ain) ع with the glottal stop ء (hamza)
ء "
Many learners tend to confuse these two sounds, because both are 'throaty' sounds that are uncommon in western languages.
The first sound, sounds like a deep and turbulent sound that rumbles far in the throat. You'll have to retract the back part of your tongue into your mouth to cause constriction in your throat.
This sound is arguably the trickiest sound in Arabic -- but don't give up! You'll master it with practice.
The second sound, is actually deeper in the throat than the first. *So* deep in fact, that it causes the vocal cords to stop momentarily, causing a buildup of pressure. It's the sound you make in between the 'uh' and 'oh' in 'uh-oh!'
Listen to both of these sounds in a few examples.
"عسل honey
فأر mouse
عائلَة family"
We'll teach you all you need to know about these two sounds in lesson 7.
Number 4: The G and J between different dialects
There are many dialects in Arabic. So much so that it often feels like each dialect is like a language in its own. This can be daunting for new learners, because there are just so many options that it's hard to decide which dialect to learn.
This letter for example, is pronounced like the J in "Jam" in standard Arabic and in most dialects, *except* for the Egyptian dialect. The Egyptian dialect however, is one of the most widely understood dialects of Arabic because of the wide popularity of Egyptian media and movies.
In Egyptian Arabic, this letter is pronounced like regular English G, as in "game".
Let's listen to the difference one more time. In Standard:
and in Egyptian:
Of course, both pronunciations are correct. They key thing is to be consistent with your pronunciation.
Number 5: The ق
There are 2 tricky aspects about this letter.
The first is that it's a unique sound that does not exist in many languages.
Let's listen to how it's pronounced in the word 'time' in Standard Arabic.
"وقت time
وقت (slowly)"
The second aspect, is that this letter is pronounced differently in different dialects. The previous pronunciation occurs in Standard Arabic and in the Arab countries of North West Africa like Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia.
In Egyptian and Levantine dialects, this letter is a glottal stop, like the stopping sound in 'uh-oh'.
Compare the pronunciation of this letter first in Standard Arabic, and then in Egyptian dialect.
وَقت (MSA)
وَقت (Egyptian)
وَقت (MSA)
وَقت (Egyptian)
Now you know the top 5 Arabic pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
Try to be careful so that you don't commit these same mistakes.
In the next lesson, we'll starting learning vowel sounds in Arabic.
"What's your biggest challenge with Arabic pronunciation? Is it one of these top 5 mistakes?
Let us know in the comments."
Stick with us and you'll overcome it quickly!
See you in the next Ultimate Arabic Pronunciation Guide lesson!