Wikipedia key to pronunciation of Arabic / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The chart below explains how Wikipedia represents Modern Standard Arabic pronunciations with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Wikipedia also has specific charts for Egyptian Arabic, Hejazi Arabic, Lebanese Arabic, and Tunisian Arabic. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Arabic phonology for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Modern Standard Arabic, and varieties of Arabic for regional variation.

Table info: IPA, English approximation, Arabic letter/sym...
IPA English


a[lower-alpha 1] cat in British English, only approx. in American English َ a, á, e فَتْحَة (fatḥah)
[lower-alpha 2] not exact, longer far ـَا
(ى at word end)
ā, â, aa, a أَلِف (ʾalif)

الف مقصورة (ʾalif maqṣūrah)

aj[lower-alpha 3] /a/+/j/, my ْـَي ay, ai, ey, ei يَاء (yāʾ)
aw[lower-alpha 4] /a/+/w/, noun ْـَو aw, au وَاو (wāw)
b bee ب b بَاء (bāʾ)
d dash د d دَال (dāl)
[lower-alpha 5] emphatic and pharyngealized /d/, no equivalent, can be approximated to RP dawn ض ḍ, dh ضَاد (ḍād)
jam ج[lower-alpha 6] j, ǧ, dj, g جِيم (jīm)
ð these ذ dh, ḏ ذَال (dhāl)
ðˤ[lower-alpha 5][lower-alpha 7] emphatic and pharyngealized [ð], can be approximated to RP mother ظ ظَاء (ẓāʾ)
f father ف f فَاء (fāʾ)
h hi ه h هَاء (hāʾ)
ħ hello, but pronounced in the back of your throat ح حَاء (ḥāʾ)
i[lower-alpha 8] happy ِ i, e كَسْرَة (kasrah)
[lower-alpha 9] machine ـِي ī, ee, i يَاء (yāʾ)
j yes ي y يَاء (yāʾ)
k skin ك k كَاف (kāf)
l lease (Received Pronunciation) ل l لَام (lām)
ɫ[lower-alpha 10] tool
m me م m مِيم (mīm)
n no ن n نُون (nūn)
q like cat, but further down to the uvula (uvular). ق q, g, ' قَاف (qāf)
r "tapped" or "trilled" r;
Spanish perro
ر r رَاء (rāʾ)
s snake س s سِين (sīn)
[lower-alpha 5] close to saw, emphatic and pharyngealized /s/ ص صَاد (ṣād)
ʃ sheep ش sh, š, ch شِين (shīn)
t stick ت
(sometimes ة)
t تَاء (tāʾ)

تاء مربوطة (tāʾ marbūṭah)

[lower-alpha 5] emphatic and pharyngealized /t/, no equivalent ط طَاء (ṭāʾ)
θ think ث th, ṯ ثَاء (thāʾ)
u[lower-alpha 11] fruition ُ u, o, ou ضَمَّة (ḍammah)
[lower-alpha 12] boot ـُو ū, oo, ou, u وَاو (wāw)
w we و w وَاو (wāw)
x ~ χ Scottish loch خ kh, ḫ, ḵ خَاء (khāʾ)
ɣ ~ ʁ like gallon, but with a guttural sound further down to the uvula (uvular). Alternatively like French paris غ gh, ġ, ḡ غَيْن (ghayn)
z zoo ز z زَاي (zāy)
ʔ The pause in uh-oh!;

The 'tt' in kitten in Standard American English;
Cockney butter; glottal stop

ء ʾ ' هَمْزة (hamzah)
ʕ no equivalent in english
(voiced pharyngeal fricative or voiced creaky-voiced pharyngeal approximant)
ع ʿ ' ` عَيْن (ʿayn)
θ see under T—W
ˈ [ˈkiːwi] كِيوِي ('kiwi') Means that the following syllable is stressed: /ˈʕarabiː/ عربي ('Arab').
ː [kiːs] كِيس ('sack') Means that the preceding vowel is long
[ˈdˤɑħ.ħæ] ضَحّى ('[he] sacrificed'),
[mʊˈdær.rɪsæ] مُدَرِّسَة ('teacher [f.]'),
[ræs.ˈsæːmæ] رَسَّامَة ('paintress'),
[kæð.ˈðæːb] كَذَّاب ('liar [m.]')
A geminated consonant never belongs to one syllable and is often broken with a stress.

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