How to improve my Arabic pronunciations?
Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, and Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by perhaps as many as 422 million speakers (native and non-native) in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. It first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living in the Arabian Peninsula bounded by eastern Egypt in the west, Mesopotamia in the east, and the Anti-Lebanon mountains and Northern Syria in the north, as perceived by ancient Greek geographers. It is a Semitic language, like Hebrew and Aramaic. Around 292 million people speak it as their first language. Many more people can also understand it as a second language. The Arabic language has its own alphabet written from right to left, like Hebrew. Since it is so widely spoken throughout the world, the language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, the others being English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. Arabic has influenced many other languages around the globe throughout its history. Some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Turkish, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Kashmiri, Kurdish, Bosnian, Kazakh, Bengali, Malay (Indonesian and Malaysian), Maldivian, Pashto, Punjabi, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Sicilian, Spanish, Greek, Bulgarian, Tagalog, Sindhi, Odia and Hausa and some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Persian in medieval times and languages such as English and French in modern times.
How to improve your Arabic pronunciations?
Familiarize yourself with the Arabic alphabet thoroughly. The first step to pronouncing correct Arabic is by correctly reading it. Learners need to fully aware that the Arabic language has an entirely different writing system than English, and learners need to work hard to register all the Arabic 28 alphabets in their subconscious.
Get a good grasp of the sounds of Arabic alphabets. Just as the alphabets themselves are, Arabic sounds associated with the alphabets are alien and new to an English speaker. Therefore I suggest dividing them in logical chunks of 4-5 alphabets, that aren’t overbearing, yet are achievable when trying to master the sounds.
Use Arabic numerals. Few letters and sounds in the Arabic alphabet do not exist in English at all. We use numbers to help master the pronunciation of Romanized Arabic. To native English speakers, these numbers represent these unfamiliar sounds:
2 = hamza ء (original alif sound): the same sound as in the name “Martin” between the vowels
3 = 3ain (ع): In Arabic, this is a very common and important sound. It may sound silly, but remembering Pee-Wee Herman is the most effective way I’ve found of teaching this sound. You know that deep, throaty laugh he makes when he says, “Hi, I’m Pee-Wee Herman, huh huh!” That sound he makes with his throaty giggle sounds a lot like the letter ‘Ain.
6 = “empathetic” T: the same “th” sound as in the word “them”.
7 = throaty h: the deep “h” sound made from the back of your throat.
9 = “empathetic” S: This is not the same as a regular Arabic “s,” and it is quite uncommon in everyday language. This sound is produced by placing your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
Apostrophes can also be used in Romanized Arabic. If the apostrophe comes after a consonant, it indicates that there is a slight variation. For example, “t’” is similar to the letter “th” in think. If the apostrophe comes after a vowel, the sound is longer.
Practice Your Arabic pronunciation as many times as possible. Do not let mistakes deter you. Accept mispronounced words as a journey to learning. Do not feel embarrassed. The sooner you begin speaking, the sooner you will achieve fluency.
Do not get lost in multiple Arabic dialects. There are atleast 30 distinct Arabic dialects; focus on Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as it is the universal dialect that is easy to learn. And while Arabic people do not speak with this accent, they all will understand it.
Listen to authentic Arabic audio resources online.
Look to study from and practice with relevant error-free, credible audiobooks audio clips, music, podcasts, news, narration online.
Listen to the news in Arabic.
Chances are you will find appropriate pronunciations on a channel broadcasted internationally!
Watch Arabic videos online
Watch Arabic movies, documentaries, talk shows, chat shows, video games, YouTube, and much more.
Practise, record, repeat. Practice speaking with the correct pronunciation. Record yourself to check, replay for yourself and repeat this procedure until you get it right.
Garner new Arabic vocabulary. You should never stop learning new words because there are so many.
Play down on your interfering colloquial accent.
A lot of language learners get hung up with their accents. Fearing embarrassment, they don’t speak Arabic. But,
Utilise the internet to its fullest use
Surf online and find as much relevant online literature you can find to read or search for interesting audio/video resources, YouTube videos, articles, magazines, blogs anything that can introduce you to new words, apps,
Don’t let language learning anxiety limit your progress. Every language learner brings an MTI or mother tongue influence along with themselves that originates from their native tongue and interferes with their new language. Let that not hold you back. With practice, it will slowly taper down. Additionally, when you use the right techniques, you will be able to acquire an authentic Arabic accent.
The ISO assigns language codes to thirty varieties of Arabic, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, also referred to as Literary Arabic, which is modernized Classical Arabic. This distinction exists primarily among Western linguists; Arabic speakers themselves generally do not distinguish between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, but rather refer to both as al-ʿarabiyyatu l-fuṣḥā or simply al-fuṣḥā. Modern Standard Arabic is an official language of 26 states and 1 disputed territory, the third most after English and French. Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, government and the media. Arabic, in its standard form, is the official language of 26 states, as well as the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic.
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