Writing & Pronouncing of Arabic names


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This is not an expert analysis of this subject but it is one way of achieving the results for the writing and pronouncing of Arabic names. The Arabic language is a phonetic one with an alphabet that contains few letters that are not found in other languages nor can be pronounced by a foreigner except with training and practice. As such, the names here are written in English in a way that when read in English they may sound as near as possible to the Arabic pronounciation. See Notes & Rules.

In Arabic, there are certain signs or marks that are added to the top or bottom of letters to give them certain sounds. They are:
1-fat-ha: َ   for the ah sound and is presented as "a" e.g Hamad حَمَد
2-damma: ُ   for the oh sound and is presented as "o" or "u" e.g. Dunia دُنيا or Sobhi صُبحي
3-kassra: ِ   for the eh or ih sound and is presented as "e" or "i" e.g. Adel عادِل or Jihad جِهاد
4-shaddah: ّ   which is presented as "double constant letter" e.g. Waddah' وضّاح
5-sukoon: ْ   which is presented as "two consecutive constants" e.g. Bahjat بهْجت or Yusra يسْرى

Letters Arabic to English
Arabic Alphabet
In English
written as
sounds as in example
alef
          
Aleph with hamza and fat-ha أَ
Aleph with hamza and damma أُ
Aleph with hamza and kasra إِ



a
a
u
i




ram
ago
Uno
inn




Mazen
Ahmad
Usama
Ismael

ba
          
b
ba
bu
be/bi
tab
bat
bush
bet/bit
Abd
Basem
Burhan
Jaber/Bilal
ta
          
t
ta
tu
te/ti
bat
tab
tush
ten/tip
Fat_hi
Tayseer
Tunis
Rateb/Ibtisam
tha
          
th
tha
thu
the/thi
breath
thanks

theft/think
Othman
Thabet
Thuraya
Nawather
jeem
          
j
ja
jo/ju
je/ji
taj
ajar
job/jude
jet/jin
Areej
Jamal
Jomana/Juma'
Majed/Jihad
ha
          
h'/h
ha
hu
he/hi

hand
humos
hen/him
Inshirah'
Hamad
Husain
Helweh/Hilal
kha
          
kh
kha
khu
khe/khi
loch ness



Akhras
Khaled
Khulood
Khitam/khemeh
dal
          
d
da
du
de/di
good
dad
dude
den/din
Ahmad
Dana
Dunia
Adel/Izdihar
thal
          
th
tha
thu
the/thi
breathe
that

then/this
latheeth
thahab
thurah
Munther
ra
          
r
ra
ro/ru
re/ri
jar
ran
Rome/rude
red/rim
Mansoor
Randa
Roma/Rubhi
Fares/Rida
zain
          
z
za
zu
ze/zi
blitz
zap
Zulu
zen/zip
Azhar
Yazan
Zuhair
Mazen
seen
s
sa
su
se/si
mass
sad
suit
send/sip
Asma
Samer
Sumaya
Yousef/Basima
sheen
sh
sha
shu
she/shi
crash
shall
sure
shell/ship
Ayesh
Shamel
Shukri
Rashed/Inshirah'
sad
s
sa
so
se/si
heavy seen
sudden
soda
send/sip
Mostafa
Wisal
Sodqi
Naser
dad
d
da
do
de/di
heavy dal
dark
dose
depth
ard
Nidal
Dome
Fadel/Dirar
tah
t
ta
to
te/ti
heavy ta
task
tore

Fatmeh
Mostafa

Taleb
thah
th/z
tha/za
tho/zo
the/ze/thi/zi
heavy thal

those

Nathmiyeh
Hafeetha/Nizam


ain
          
a/a'
a/a'/ya
o/o'
e/ee/e'

ago
Over
Eve/eel
Moa'taz/Sa'd/Taye'
Adel/Sua'd
Omar
Emad/E'sam/Saeed/Ismae'l
ghain
          
gh
gha
gho
ghe/ghi
Ghana



Taghreed
Ghassan
Ghosh
Ragheb
fa
          
f
fa
fu/fo
fe/fi
stuff
far
full/fore
fed/fin
Atef
Fadel
Fuad/Fawzi
falafel/Firyal
qaf
          
q
qa
qu
qe/qi
heavy k
Qatar
quote

Rafeeq
Qadri
Qura~n
Saqer
kaf
          
k
ka
ku
ke/ki
Mark
karate
Kudos
Kent/kiss
Malak
Kareem
Kurdiyeh
Baker/Kifah'
lam
          
l
la
lo/lu
le/li
fill
lamb
lock/Lucy
lent/list
Amal
Lateef
Lora/Lubna
Khaled/A'dliyeh
meem
          
m
ma
mo or mu
me/mi
sum
mark
more/move
men/mist
Haytham
Mazen
Mona/Muna
Fatmeh/Mithqal
noon
n
na
nu
ne/ni
ran
nasty
noon
next/nip
Wijdan
Naser
Nuha
Amneh/Nizam
waw
          
w
wa
o/oo/ou/wou
we/wi
down
Washington
John/cool/pour/would
went/wist
Sawsan
Fadwa
Joseph/Mansoor/Yaqoub/Wo-o'ud
Helweh/Wijdan
hah
          
h
ha
hu
he/hi
blah
hand
hoot
hen/him
Majida or Majidah
Hala
Huda
Maher/Hiba
Ta Marbouta (at end of word)
ta as hah or ta above
ya
          
i/y/ee/ai
ya/ia
yu
ye

yahoo
yuo
yet
Fadi/Aiman/Reem/Mai
Yahia/Hadaya
Yusra
Fawziyeh
hamza
          
~
a/a~
u/u~
e/e~

ago

end
Ala~
Fuad/Lua~i or Luai

Nael or Nae~l

See Notes & Rules below for further clarification.



Learning Material

Here is a selection of books, Cds and DVDs that will eventually cover various subjects related to Arabic Language and Dialects.
Click on the book title for full details and reviews.

Books

Ahlan Wa Sahlan
Functional Modern Standard
Arabic for Beginners

By Mahdi Alosh

Alif Baa
Introduction to Arabic
Letters and Sounds
Book & Audio CD Edition

By Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal
Abbas Al-Tonsi

Alif Baa
Introduction to Arabic
Letters and Sounds
Answer Key

By Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal
Abbas Al-Tonsi

Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya
A Textbook for Beginning Arabic
Part One

By Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal
Abbas Al-Tonsi



Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya
Answer Key

By Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal
Abbas Al-Tonsi

The Arabic Alphabet
How to Read and Write It

By Nicholas Awde, Putros Samano

Arabic-English Dictionary
The Hans Wehr Dictionary
of Modern Written Arabic

By Hans Wehr

Arabic For Dummies
Language & Literature

By Amine Bouchentouf



Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar
A Practical Guide to the
Mastery of Arabic

By Jane Wightwick, Mahmoud Gaafar

A Basic Course in Moroccan Arabic
By Richard S. Harrell, Mohammed Abu-Talib
William S. Carroll

Fun with Arabic
Learn Arabic
the Fun and Easy Way

By Naglaa Ghali

Gulf Arabic Complete Course
By Jack Smart, Frances Altorfer



An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic
An Elementary Grammar
of the Language

By Wheeler M. Thackston

Mastering Arabic
By Jane Wightwick, Mahmoud Gaafar

Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook
With complimentary dictionary

By Dan Bacon, Bichr Andjar

A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language
By John A. Haywood, H. M. Nahmad



Read and Speak Arabic for Beginners
By Jane Wightwick, Mahmoud Gaafar

Standard Arabic
An Elementary-Intermediate Course

By Eckehard Schulz

A Student Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic
By Eckehard Schulz

Teach Yourself Beginner's Arabic Script
By John Mace



Your First 100 Words in Arabic
Beginner's Quick & Easy Guide to
Demystifying Non-Roman Scripts

By Jane Wightwick


Audio

Al-Kitaab
Audio on the Go

By Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal
Abbas Al-Tonsi

Arabic Berlitz Basic
Audio CD

By Berlitz Publishing Company

Arabic
Start Speaking Today
Audio CD

By Language 30

Just Listen 'N Learn Arabic
The Fastest Way to Real Arabic

By Nadira Auty, Clive Holes, Rachael Harris



Pimsleur Instant Conversation Arabic
Speak Arabic Instantly!

By Pimsleur

Teach Yourself Arabic
Complete Course
Audiopackage

By John Mace, Frances Altorfer

Travel Talk
Moroccan Arabic
Audio CD

By Penton Overseas

Software

Instant Immersion Arabic

Rosetta Stone
Arabic Explorer



For more books, DVDs, CDs and others visit:
Search:
Keywords:
In Association with Amazon.com

For links to the Middle East, North Africa, Arab and regional information
or a specific country resources, choose the country from the list below.

The Countries & People of Arabia


Notes:
The following will be used as standard through out my pages:
Note 1: "A", "E" and "O" when used for "ain" they are considered as vowels at the beging of a word e.g. Omar (O-mar), and
           a double letter in the middle; the first is considerd a constant and the second a vowel depending on the mark e.g.
           Sae'd (Sa-eed), Sua'd (Su-aad). Exception is if the mark is "skoon" or at the end where it may be marked by " ' " e.g.
           Sad (Sa'd), Taye' (Ta-ye'), Juma' (Jum-a').
Note 2: At the begining of a word, "alef" with kassra is written as English "I" and is pronounced as in "inn" to differentiate it
           from "ain" with kassra which is written as English "E" or "E' " and is pronounced as in "ego" e.g. :
           Iman (E-man), Esam or E'sam (E-sam).
Note 3: At the begining of a word, "alef" with damma is written as English "U" and is pronounced as in "Uno" to differentiate it
           from "ain" with damma which is written as English "O" or "O' " and is pronounced as in "own" e.g. :
           Usama (U-sa-ma), Omar or O'mar (O-mar).
Note 4: All the vowels with a hamza are considered as constants and the rules below apply e.g Fua~d or Fuad (Fu-ad),
           Rae~d or Raed (Ra-ed)..
Note 5: When placed at the begining, "ai" and "ay" are interchangable; they almost sound like "eye" e.g. (Ai-man or Ay-man).
           Any where else the rules below apply.
Note 6: "ia" and "ya" are interchangable and are considered as a syllable e.g. (Fad-ia or Fad-ya), (Mun-ia-ti or Mun-ya-ti).
Note 7: "H" is always considered as a constant and is silent when placed at the end of a name.
Note 8: sh, kh, th and gh are considered as one constant e.g. Morshed (Mor-shed), Khaled (Kha-led) otherwise if they are to
           be pronounced separetly, rule 4 below applies.
Note 9: A name of foreign origin used here may be written in that language rather than how it sounds in Arabic e.g. :
           Sue not Soo, Joseph not Josef, Isabelle not Izabel, Mariam not Maryam ....

Rules:
When reading a name it should be divided into syllables according to the following rules in conjuction with the notes above:
Rule 1: A vowel at the begining of a word is a syllable if followed by one constant only e.g. Omar (O-mar) or Iman (I-man).
Rule 2: Two vowels at the begining of the word are a syllable e.g. Aida (Ai-da) or Eid (Ei-d).
Rule 3: Where a name contains two consecutive vowels such as ee/oo/ou/ai/ia it is considered as a single long sounding letter
           and part of a syllable begining with the preceeding constant e.g. (Ya-seen, Mah-mood, You-sef or Hu-sain)
Rule 4: Two consecutive constants can not be in the same syllable e.g. A'mr (A'm-r), Abdallah (Ab-dal-lah), Fathi (Fat-hi).
           i.e. the first constant will be the end of the first syllable and the second will be the begining of the next syllable
           See note 7 above for exceptions.
Rule 5: Taking the above notes & rules into consideration, all other syllables must begin with a constant followed by a vowel
           and may or may not end with a constant e.g. (Ra-mi), (Ja-meel), (You-sef), (Zah-ra), (Bad-r), (Bad-ri), (Ab-dal-lah).
Rule6: There are always other exceptions but you will figure them out.


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Last updated 20 May 2014
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