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Moroccan Arabic Consonants

The Consonants – with audio

The sounds b, d, f, j, k, l, m, n, s, sh, t, y, w, z are pronounced as in English. See below for an explanation of the consonant sounds that don’t exist in English, with example words and audio.

h

The arabic letter “ha” [ﻩ ], having the phonetic symbol /h/. Pronounced low down in the throat.
Examples (at the start, in the middle and at the end of the word):

hAudio
hnaa [هنا] (here), hadaa [هَدا] (ça), hilaal [هِلال] (crescent moon)
sh-her [شهر] (month), mohim (important), nhaar [نهار] (day), Shd [صهد] (heat)
woojh [وجه] (face)

H

The arabic letter “Ha” [ﺡ ], having the phonetic symbol /ħ/. Pronounced in the middle of the throat.
Examples (at the beggining, in the middle and at the end of the word):

HAudio
Hleeb [حليب] (milk), HTT [حطّ](to put / to place), Hnaa [حنا] (we/us), Haawel [حاول] (to try)
bHer [بحر] (sea), k-Hel [كحل] (black), reeHa [ريحة] (smell)
sbaaH [صباح] (morning), mftooH [مفتوح] (open/light)

kh

The arabic letter “kha” [ﺥ ], having the phonetic symbol /x/. Pronounced high up in the throat.
Examples (at the start and in the middle of the word) :

khAudio
khobz [خبز] (bread), khamsa [خمسة] (five), khdm [خدم] (to work)
dkhl [دخل] (to enter), mkhtaalf [مختالف] (different)

gh

The Arabic letter “ghayn” [ﻍ ], having the phonetic symbol /ɣ/. Pronounced high up in the throat.
Examples (at the start and in the middle of the word) :

ghAudio
ghnaa [غنّى] (to sing), ghaalee [غالي] (expensive), gheer [غير] (just/only)
bghaa [بغى] (to want / to love), dgheeya [دغيّة] (quickly), blagha [بلغة] (moroccan slippers)

3

The arabic letter “ayn” [ﻉ ], having the phonetic symbol /ʕ/. Pronounced in the middle of the throat.
Examples (at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the word):

3Audio
3laa [على] (about), 3laash [علاش] (why), 3afak [عَفَك] (please)
m3a [معَ] (with), sh3r [شعر] (hair)
rbee3 [ربيع] (spring), qT3 [قطع] (to cut), n3naa3 [نعناع] (mint)

q

The arabic letter “qaf” [ﻕ ], having the phonetic symbol /q/. Pronounced in the lower part of the throat with the base of the tongue in contact with the throat.
Examples (at the beginning, in the middle and a the end of the word):

qAudio
qlb [قلب] (heart), qaaseH [قاصح] (hard)
sqef [سقف] (ceiling), m3lqa [معلقة] (spoon), znqa [زنقة] (street)
Treeq [طريق] (way/road), brq [برق] (lightning)

r

The Arabic letter “ra” [ﺭ ], having the phonetic symbol /r/. It’s a rolled “r” sound.
Examples (at the start, in the middle and at the end of the word):

rAudio
reeHa [ريحة] (smell), rb3 [ربع] (quarter), raas [راس] (head)
3chra [عشرة] (ten), qrrer [قرّر] (to decide), frrq [فرّق] (to separate / distribute)
dar [دار] (house), kbeer [كبير] (big), diseer [دِسير] (fruit)

D

The Arabic letter “Dad” [ﺽ ], having the phonetic symbol /dˤ/. Pronounced with the tip of the tongue just behide the teeth and the tongue placed high in the mouth to fill the oral cavity.
Examples (at the start, in the middle and at the end of the word):

DAudio
Dbaab [ضباب] (cloud), Do [ضو] (light/electricity)
mDl [مضل] (umbrella), fDDl [فضّل] (to prefer)
beiD [بيض] (eggs), SeeyeD [صيّد] (to hunt)

T

The Arabic letter “Ta” [ﻁ ], having the phonetic symbol /tˤ/. Pronounced with the tip of the tongue just behide the teeth and the tongue placed high in the mouth to fill the oral cavity.
Examples (at the beginning and in the middle of the word):

TAudio
Tariqa (way), Taa3 [طاع] (to obey)
m3TTl [معطّل] (late), rTeb [رطب] (soft), maTaar [مطار] (airport)

S

The arabic letter “Sad” [ﺹ ], having the phonetic symbol /sˤ/. Pronounced with the tip of the tongue just behide the teeth and the tongue placed high in the mouth to fill the oral cavity.
Examples (at the start and at the end of the word):

SAudio
SbeeTaar [صبيطار] (hospital), Saafee [صافي] (it’s enough)
khaaS [خاص] (special / needed / lacking)

Doubled Consonants

The Arabic symbol “shedda” [ّ ]. The doubled consonant has the sound of one consonant but with extra stress on the consonant.
Exemples:

Doubled ConsonantsAudio
khlls [خلّص] (to pay), Hrrk [حرّك] (to move/shake), fkkr [فكّر] (to think)

Glottal Stop

The glottal stop is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract or, more precisely, the glottis. It is represented by an apostrophe in this dictionaire.
Exemples :

Glottal Stop (‘)Audio
3aa’ila [عائلة] (family), so’aal (question), ‘awel (first)

Dash

We have sometimes used a dash to distinguish between “k” followed by “H” (two consonants) and “kh” (one consonant) which is a different sound, and to show the “T-H” is in fact “T” followed “H” and not a “th” sound. The dash is just there to avoid confusion and has no sound of itself.
Examples:

Dash (-)Audio
k-Hel [كحل] (black), T-Hayn [طحين] (flour), sh-her [شهر] (month)
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