Pronunciation اللَّفظ

In this section, you will learn the most significant pronunciation differences between MSA and ‘Ammiyya. Read and listen to the following examples and try to notice the different sounds. Understanding the major pronunciation differences between MSA and ‘Ammiyya will help you as you navigate the language materials on this website.

 

 

Letters  الأَحْرُف

 

أحرف الـهمزة (أ ، ؤ ، ئ )
(in the middle of the word) ⇒ Change to the equivalent long vowel in Arabic:
Listen Urban & Rural ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation MSA Pronunciation
راس رَأس (head)
لولو لُؤلُؤ (pearls)
صايِم صائِم (a person fasting)

 

 

حرف الـهمزة (ء)
(at the end of the word) ⇒ Is dropped and not pronounced:
Listen Urban  & Rural ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation MSA Pronunciation
مَسا مَساء (evening)
وَرا وَراء (behind)
ان شالله ان شاء الله (God willing)

 

 

حرف الثاء (ث)
Listen Urban ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation Rural ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation MSA Pronunciation
يُلفظ (ت) يُلفظ (ث)
كْتير  كْثير  كَثير (a lot)
تَلاتة ثَلاثة ثَلاثة (three)
توب ثوب ثَوب (traditional dress)

 

 

حرف الذال (ذ)*
Listen Urban ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation Rural ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation MSA Pronunciation
يُلفظ (د) يُلفظ (ذ)
دُرَة ذُرَة ذُرَة (corn)
هاد هاذ هذا (this)
يُلفظ (ز)
أُستاز أُستاذ أُسْتاذ (teacher / instructor)
إِزا إِذا  إِذا (if)

 

 

حرف الظاء (ظ)
Listen Urban ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation Rural ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation MSA Pronunciation
يُلفظ (ز) يُلفظ (ظ)
زَرْف  ظَرْف ظَرْف (envelope/circumstance)
أَزِن أَظِن أظُنُّ (I think)
يُلفظ (ض)
ضَلّْ ظَلّْ ظَلَّ (to stay/remain)
ضُهُر  ظُهُر  ظُهْر (noon)

 

 

حرف القاف (ق)**
Listen Urban ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation Rural ʿAmmiyya Pronunciation MSA Pronunciation
يُلفظ (ء – ئـ) يُلفظ (G as in good)
أّديم قَديم قَديم (old)
شَئَّة شَقَّة شَقَّة (apartment)

 

* The pronunciation of words containing either ظ or ذ often differs depending on the word, even within a single dialect. Paying attention to how people speak in daily conversations and regular practice will help you understand how Jordanians pronounce these letters. 

**  In some formal words and proper nouns the letter “ق” will be pronounced the same as in MSA, e.g.:

قُرآن (Quran)
ثَقافة (culture)
قُصَي (male name)
بَلقيس (female name)
القاهِرَة (Cairo)

 

 

The definite article   الـ 

The definite article in ʿammiyya, unlike MSA, is pronounced “il”. Listen to the following examples:

البيت (the house)
الكُرسي (the chair)
السَّيارَة (the car)*

 

 *Note, when الـ  is followed by a sun letter, it is pronounced similar to the “e” in “enter.”

 

The connector   و


The connector و will normally be pronounced “wa” in MSA. In ʿAmmiyya, however, it is pronounced similar to the “oo” in “cool”.

سارَة وأَحمَد في البيت (Sarah and Ahmad are at home)
أَنا بِخير، وإِنتَ؟ (?I’m good, and you)

 

التاء المَربوطة (ة ، ـة)

In ʿAmmiyya, the pronunciation of Taa MarbuuTa varies slightly depending on the letter preceding it. In most cases, ة is pronounced close to a kasra (“eh”). However, when the Taa MarbuuTa comes after emphatic consonants (ط، ظ، ض، ص), a glottal stop (ء) or other consonants specific to Arabic (ح، خ، ر، ع، غ), it will be pronounced with a fatHa (“ah”). 

 

Read and listen to the following examples. Pay close attention to how the ة is pronounced:

 

Pronounced with a fatHah
 “ah”

Listen

بيئَة (environment)
سَيّارَة (car)
قِصَّة (story)
بَطَّة (duck)
جامعَة (university)
Pronounced with a kasra
 “eh”
مَكتَبة (library)
سِتّة (six)
مَدْرَسة (school)
طاولة (table)
قَهوة (coffee)

 

 

Note on case endings – الإِعراب


In ʿAmmiyya, there are no case endings on nouns, verbs, or adjectives. However, we still use tanwiin al fatH ( ً  ) in commonly used phrases, such as: 

شُكراً (thanks)
عَفواً  (‘response to shukran, or ‘excuse me)
طَبعاً (of course)

 

 

Exercise: Practice ‘Ammiyya pronunciation 

Note: This exercise does not work on some browsers, if you face this problem try using Google Chrome.

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