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Ear training 2

In addition to the emphatic/non-emphatic consonant pairs there are a few other sounds that beginners often have trouble distinguishing.

haa and Haa
Regular and aspirated 'h'.
  • h - Like a normal 'h' in English. You don't need to do anything extra for this 'h'.
  • H - A very breathy or exhaled 'h'. If you are doing it right you will need to contract your stomach to push out air. Take a deep breathe then exhale out all the air. That is a good starting point for H.

ha/Ha هَ َح
hu/Hu هُ حُ
hi/Hi هِ حِ

kaaf and qaa
These two are not emphatic pairs but they have a similar relation.
  • k - Like 'k' as in king. The top and bottom of your mouth will make contact near the base of your tongue.
  • q - Instead on making contact near the base of your tongue, you will need to make contact way down at the base of your throat.
Note that this affects the quality of the vowels similar to an emphatic/non-emphatic pair.

ka/qa كَ َقَ
ku/qu كُ قُ
ki/qi كِ قِ

raa, ghaa and khaa
Here are three more sounds that are not really used too often in English but you should be able to produce:
  • r - Spanish rolling r. Your tongue should be doing most of the work.
  • gh - French guttural r. You should feel like you are gargling.
  • kh - Scottish 'ch' as in 'loch'. You should feel like you are clearing your throat.