Moroccan Arabic (darija). Alphabet and sounds

We work with traditional alphabet in Darja and its sounds too. The alphabet is given by different sounds from traditional Arabic and it is follow,

ا‎ ـا‎ ـا‎ ا‎ ʾ / ā ‘a’ as in ‘father’
ب‎ ـب‎ ـبـ‎ بـ‎ b ‘b’ as in ‘bed’
ت‎ ـت‎ ـتـ‎ تـ‎ t ‘t’ as in ‘tent’
ث‎ ـث‎ ـثـ‎ ثـ‎ ‘th’ as in ‘think’
ج‎ ـج‎ ـجـ‎ جـ‎ j ‘j’ as in ‘jam’
ح‎ ـح‎ ـحـ‎ حـ‎ Sharp ‘h’
خ‎ ـخ‎ ـخـ‎ خـ‎ ḫ (kh, x) ‘ch’ as in German ‘Bach’
د‎ ـد‎ ـد‎ د‎ d ‘d’ as in ‘deer’
ذ‎ ـذ‎ ـذ‎ ذ‎ ḏ (dh, ð) ‘th’ as in ‘there’
ر‎ ـر‎ ـر‎ ر‎ r ‘r’ as in ‘run’
ز‎ ـز‎ ـز‎ ز‎ z ‘z’ as in ‘zoo’
س‎ ـس‎ ـسـ‎ سـ‎ s ‘s’ as in ‘sit’
ش‎ ـش‎ ـشـ‎ شـ‎ š (sh) ‘sh’ as in ‘shut’
ص‎ ـص‎ ـصـ‎ صـ‎ ‘s» as in ‘sold’
ض‎ ـض‎ ـضـ‎ ضـ‎ ‘d’ as in ‘bulldozer’
ط‎ ـط‎ ـطـ‎ طـ‎ ‘t’ as in ‘Tazmania’
ظ‎ ـظ‎ ـظـ‎ ظـ‎ ‘th’ as in ‘those’
ع‎ ـع‎ ـعـ‎ عـ‎ ʿ ‘a’ in ‘agh’ when suprised
غ‎ ـغ‎ ـغـ‎ غـ‎ ġ (gh) ‘r’ as in ‘Paris’
ف‎ ـف‎ ـفـ‎ فـ‎ f ‘f’ as in ‘free’
ق‎ ـق‎ ـقـ‎ قـ‎ q ‘q’ as in ‘Qum’
ك‎ ـك‎ ـكـ‎ كـ‎ k ‘k’ as in ‘king’
ل‎ ـل‎ ـلـ‎ لـ‎ l ‘l’ as in ‘lift’
م‎ ـم‎ ـمـ‎ مـ‎ m ‘m’ as in ‘moon’
ن‎ ـن‎ ـنـ‎ نـ‎ n ‘n’ as in ‘net’
ه‎ ـه‎ ـهـ‎ هـ‎ h ‘h’ as in ‘house’
و‎ ـو‎ ـو‎ و‎ w ‘w’ as in ‘wonder’
ي‎ ـي‎ ـيـ‎ يـ‎ y ‘y’ as in ‘yellow’
ء ‘o’ as in ‘oh’.
Top vowel َ‎ a Sounds like ‘a’ in Alabama
Top vowel ُ u Sounds like ‘o’ in Open
Bottom Vowel ِ‎ i Sounds like ‘I’ in India
چ ch as in guest

We see that the alphabet isn’t very simple and it has its own sounds and which aren’t close to traditional English. This alphabet is closer to Arabic than to English and French. It gives base for work with it and that work petmits using of Arabic script for studying Arabic if it will be becessary for you.

The first column of the table shows independent letters without connection, the second shows letters at the final position, the third shows letters with connections as before as after letter, the forth gives sounds and the last column gives manners of pronunciations.

We see that Moroccan alphabet is very unusual if you haven’t ever ability to write on Arabic and Persian. But knowledge about the alphabet permits to study many interesting Arabic and Persian languages!

This article was written by Duchanin Ilya.

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