Arabic tanween is quite important in Modern Standard Arabic. You might have noticed that some important words in Arabic end with an “n” sound, although there is no actual letter noon ن at the end. For example, you can see this in words (shukran – thanks – شكرا) and (ahlan – hello – أهلا). This is because of tanween.
Tanween is a group of diacritics that come at the end of the word, to give the sound of noon /n/. It mainly exists for grammatical reasons.
It occurs at the end of undefined nouns and adjectives. It is combined with fat-hah, kasrah or dammah, which we explained in diacritics lesson #2. When combined with fat-hah, an alif is added before it. Now you should be able to understand and sound out almost all Arabic diacritics, and start to understand the grammatical significance for them.
What’s the function of the tanween? What’s the difference between the three versions?
The main function of tanween is to mark the grammatical case of indefinite words. The -un version ـٌ is for words in subject position, or by default. The -an version ـً is for the direct objects, and the -in version is for words after prepositions.
Therefore, tanween is quite important for both Arabic grammar and pronunciation.
In this lesson we will introduce demonstratives in Modern Standard Arabic. Demonstratives are words such as “this”, “that”, “these”, “those” in English. Specifically, we will learn the different demonstratives, and how to build simple phrases and sentences with them.
The main demonstratives in Modern Standard Arabic are the following:
Our lesson today is about Arabic sun and moon letters, which are important for pronouncing and understanding Arabic words. In Lesson # 3, we have seen how to use the article al- before words to make them definite, such as “the” in English. However, since al- becomes part of the word, its pronunciation sometimes changes according to the first letter of the word.
This pronunciation can change by removing the “L” sound from al-, and doubling the sound of the next letter, using shaddah, which we learned in Lesson # 2.
Example: al-nahr (the river) >> an-nahr
When does this happen? It happens when the first letter of the word belongs to a group of letters called al-huroof ash-shamseyyah (sun letters). However, if the first letter is from the other group (al-huroof al-qamareyyah), al- is pronounced normally.
In this lesson, we will see which letters are sun letters and which are moon letters, and we will show an example sentence for a word beginning with each letter, together with al- .
A phrase for memorizing moon letters:
ابغ حجك وخف عقيمه
(roughly meaning “pursue your pilgrimage, and be concerned about it being futile”)
Learning Arabic personal pronouns is an important step in learning Arabic grammar. In Modern Standard Arabic, personal pronouns are along three axes: person, number, and gender. In this regard, Person means either first person (such as “I” and “we” in English), second person (e.g. “you”), and third-person (he/she/it/they). On the other hand, “number” means either singular or plural, while gender means male or female.
First Person Pronouns (Singular (I): anaa أنا – Plural (we): nahnu نحن)
In Arabic, there are two first-person pronouns, similar to English.
Second Person Singular Pronouns (you) (Male: anta َأنت- Female: anti أنتِ )
Second Person Dual Pronouns (you) (antuma أنتُما)
Second Person Plural Pronouns (you/y’all) (Male: antum أنتُم – antunna أنتُنَّ)
Third Person Singular Prounoun (Male (he): huwa هُوَ – Female (she): hiya هِيَ)
Third Person Dual Pronouns (they) (humaa هُما)
Third Person Plural Pronouns (they) (Male: hum هُم – Female: hunna هُنَّ)
Possessive Pronouns in Arabic are not separate words but are added to the end of nouns. They follow the same distribution of person, number, and gender as personal pronouns that we learned last week. Today we will learn possessive pronouns with examples.
ALIF is an online Arabic learning game. It takes the learners through a number of levels to master different aspects for learning Arabic. Specifically, this game addresses: reading, writing, and listening.
In Mandarin Chinese, names of things can combine of more than one concept. In fact, we can see this in the names of some Animals in Mandarin Chinese. These names are in the form of compound words consisting of multiple concepts, such as:
“fire” plus “chicken” equals “turkey”
“pine” plus “rat” equals “squirrel”
“bear” plus “cat” equals “panda”
“river” plus “horse” equals “hippopotamus”
“dragon” plus “shrimp” equals “lobster”
More Chinese Words for Animals
In addition to the above words, there are more similar compund words for animal names in Chinese.
Let’s learn Arabic language through Arabic Videos with translation subtitles. It is possible to find Arabic videos with subtitles either in Arabic script or translated into Arabic. In our videos here, we focus on providing videos with both the original spoken content in Arabic, in addition to the transliteration of what is being said in English letters, to help learners who are yet comfortable enough with the Arabic script. The subtitles also include the English translation. In addition, all the three-line subtitles are color-matched, in order to allow the learners to glean the meaning of words and expressions.
videos with Arabic subtitles/transliteration in English letters, and English translation. We will watch a videos from the animation series “Alice in Wonderland أليس في بلاد العجائب”, which are dubbed in Arabic.
Last Lessons we have learned the letters of the Arabic alphabet and diacritics. In this lesson, we will learn about letters that attach before or afterward; i.e. Arabic prefixes and suffixes. We will cover the following:
The prefix “al-” الـ, which is the definite article in Arabic. It turns an indefinite nouns and adjectives into definite
The prefix “wa-” و , which is a coordinating conjunction (equivalent to the word “and”), but is attached to the second word
The suffix “-ah”, indicating the female version of nouns and adjectives.
The common factor among all of prefixes and suffixes in Arabic is that there is no space between them and the word. So it is important to learn them early on while starting to read Arabic words. There are other grammatical items that attach to words, such as object pronouns and possessive pronouns, but we will cover them in later lessons.
The Arabic prefix al- ال – definite article
It is important to observe that a noun in Arabic by default is indefinite, unless it is a proper noun. This means that there is no indefinite article in Arabic similar to “a/an” in English. Therefore, there is only the definite article “al-” is used, for both nouns and adjectives.
The Arabic prefix wa- و
The prefix wa- is the quivalent to “and” in English.
The Arabic suffix -ah ة (the letter taa’ marbootah)
Other Arabic Prefixes and Suffixes
There are other prefixes in suffixes, that we will be covering in the lesson on object pronouns and possessive pronouns.
In this lesson, we will learn Arabic diacritics/harakaat/tashkeel which give more information about the pronunciation of letters. Harakaat mainly include short vowels on letters (fat-hah = “a” sound; kasrah = “e” or “i” sound; and dammah = “o” or “u” sound). They also include sokoon which means there is no vowel after the letter. In addition, they include shaddah, which means doubling of the sound of the letter, which can be combined with either fat-hah, kasrah, or dammah.
In this album, we show each of these harakaat combined with each letter. It is important to know that these harakaat are mostly optional in Arabic writing, so it is useful to memorize the harakaat of each new word while learning it. Let us know about your questions and the challenges in your Arabic learning journey.
In this lesson, we can see the different diacritics when they apply to the Arabic letters.
Arabic harakaat in words
Word examples for diacritics as they apply to each letter
In the above, we learned how to read each letter when there are diacritics/harakaat. However, in most real-life written Arabic, these diacritics are rarely used. This can be a problem as some words can be ambiguous without harakaat. However, there are a few factors that can be helpful:
The context: when you read a word, the context will easily indicate whether the ambiguous word is a noun or verb or something else.
Vocabulary acquisition: when you learn a new word, learn it with its pronunciation (either by listening to its audio, read it with transliteration to latin characters, or find it in an Arabic dictionary with its harakaat)
Learning grammar: when you learn grammar and morphology, you will learn that there are some standard templates used for Arabic words. When you identify the templates, you will be able to know the harakaat involved.