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Consonant groups 5 and 6

We will now cover two more pairs of letters. All of these letters are connecting.

siin - س
The letter siin is pronounced like 's' as in 'sound':



Transliteration: s

Independent Final Medial Initial



shiin - ش
The letter shiin is pronounced like 'sh' as in 'show':



Transliteration: sh

Independent Final Medial Initial



Emphatic Letters
The Arabic language has a set of letters that are divided into four pairs known as emphatic and non-emphatic. You have already learned the four non-emphatic letters in this set: taa', daal, dhaal and siin.

Transliteration: The emphatic letter in a pair will use capital letters.

Non-emphatic Emphatic
t/T ت ط
s/S س ص
d/D د ض
dh/DH ذ ظ


Pronounciation: Learning to distinguish between emphatic and non-emphatic letters is one of the hardest things for beginners so don't get discouraged if you also have a hard time.

Distinguishing between the emphatic and non-emphatic letters will be stressed in the 'Ear Training' lessons.

In general emphatic letters are pronounced with the tongue slightly further down the throat and the pronunciation of any following vowels is also affected.

Saad - ص
The letter Saad is the emphatic pair for the letter siin:



Transliteration: S

Independent Final Medial Initial



Daad - ض
The letter Daad is the emphatic pair for the letter daal:

Notice the difference between the pronounciation of the first speaker (Syrian) and the second (Iraqi).



Transliteration: D

Independent Final Medial Initial
ﺿ


Example 1: shiin + yaa' + khaa

Sheikh - shaykh
شَيخ

Pronounciation: We start with shiin and a fatHa which is 'sha'. Then we have a yaa in the middle of a word so it could be either a 'y' or a long 'ii'. However since the short vowel of the preceding letter ('a') does not match the 'ii' it must be used as a 'y' so we have 'shay'. Finally the word ends with a khaa that has no short vowels so the pronunciation is 'shaykh'.

Example 2: baa' + yaa' + Daad

Eggs - bayD
بَيض

Pronounciation: We start with baa and a fatHa which is 'ba'. Then we once again have a yaa in the middle of a word so it could be either a 'y' or a long 'ii'. However since the short vowel of the preceding letter ('a') does not match the 'ii' it must be used as a 'y' so we have 'bay'. Finally the word ends with a Daad that has no short vowels so the pronunciation is 'bayD'.

Example 3: 'alif + khaa + Daad + raa

Green - 'akhDar
أَخضَر

Pronounciation: We start with an 'alif and a fatHa which is 'a. Then we have a khaa with no short vowels giving us 'akh and a Daad with a fatHa to give us 'akdDa.

Finally the word ends with a raa that has no short vowels so the pronunciation is 'akhDar.