Lesson (3): Arabic Transliteration System: Key to Right Pronunciation

As been said before, Arabic is not an easy to grasp Language; thanks to Transliteration -the technique that changes Arabic writing to a Latin substitute that paves the way towards a special writing Latin phonetic system where you can find special linguistic qualities and characteristics as it provides a key system for letters, vowels and accents.
Sometimes they call this system Romanization. The more you go further in our trip the more you will fully absorb it. Consider the Chart below for better and clear understanding:

pronunciation Transliterated Isolated Transcription pronunciation
أَلِف ̛ālif ا ā Like A in Apple
بَاء bā̛ ب b Like B in Baby
تَاء tā̛ ت t Like T in Tree
ثَاء thā̛ ث th Like the Th in Theory
جِيم jim ج j Sometimes like the G in Girl or like the J in Jar
حَاء hā̛ ح h Like the h in he yet light in pronunciation
خَاء khā̛ خ kh Like the Ch in the name Bach
دَال dāl د d Like the D in Dad
ذَال zāl ذ z Like the Th in The
رَاء rā̛ ر r Like the R in Ram
زَاي zāy ز z Like the Z in zoo
سِين sin س s Like the S in See
شِين shin ش sh Like the Sh in She
صَاد sād ص s Like the S in Sad yet heavy in pronunciation
ضَاد dād ض d Like the D in Dead yet heavy in pronunciation
طَاء tā̛ ط t Like the T in Table yet heavy in pronunciation
ظَاء ā̛ ظ Like the Z in Zorro yet heavy in pronunciation
عَينٍ عain ع ع̛ Has no real equivalent sometimes they replace its sound with the A sound like for example the name Ali for علي /عali/
غَين ghain غ gh Like the Gh in Ghandi
فَاء fā̛ ف f Like the F in Fool
قَاف qāf ق q Like the Q in Queen yet heavy velar sound in pronunciation
كَاف kāf ك k Like the K in Kate
لاَم lām ف l Like the L in Love
مِيم mim م m Like the M in Moon
نُون nun ن n Like the N in Noon
هَاء hā̛ ه هـ h Like the H in He
وَاو wāw , W(aw, au, u) Like the W in the reaction of astonishment saying: WAW!
يَاء yā̛ ي Y (ay, ai, ῑ) Like the Y in you
هَمزَة hamza ء


Latter will be discussed separately Seen latter because it differs according to case and context

NB: Any transliterated word from now on will be written between two slashes in which a syllabus is written to form a word. Like for example the verb /ka/ + /ta/ + /ba/ {three syllabuses) means /kataba/ {one word} for the verb "to write".

We tried – in our adopted Transliteration System - to amalgamate between the old Transliteration school of Wright, Blachère, and Larousse and the new one of Dahdah where the latter proposed solutions for the defects of the old. This amalgamation is meant to pave the way to a new and accurate Arabic Transliteration System towards easing and transferring real written and/or pronounced Arabic.