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As a native English speaker (from Australia) I've recently started to learn new languages using Mondly, but I'm having troubles with Arabic, specifically vowels.

As a couple of examples, 'ana (أنا) and yaqra' (يقرأ), I can get close but Mondly shows my alif is missing the hamza (and therefore incorrect).

I'm pronouncing the a's as in "ant" (which Google says to do) which doesn't appear to be entirely correct. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I'm missing?

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4 Answers 4

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The Hamza (WP) represents the glottal stop (WP), like the sound between the "uh" and "oh" in uh-oh. This is probably a similar effect to saying "ant" but I think it's not totally accurate. Another English example would be the Cockney dialect, where "butter" is pronounced "bu'er".

Just so you know, the only Arabic I know was from learning for about a month around two years ago, so I've mostly forgotten everything.

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The Hamza in Arabic is quite different from the Alif. It has a sharp pronunciation, while the Alif does not have such a distinct pronunciation. I would pronounce it like "ant", but with more sharpness and emphasis on the "a". " 'Ant ", would be more like how I would pronounce it. You can also try listening to the pronunciation of different Arabic words which contain the Hamza on the internet.

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  • I'll give that a go. I also tried Rosetta Stone yesterday and that gave me a higher success rate on the pronunciation, so I'm starting to suspect there might also be a "not all voice recognition is equal" factor.
    – Aaron
    Sep 6, 2020 at 20:48
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the pronounciation that you're looking for is in an arabic punctuation sign called the 'hamza'.

When placed on A's it will produce the sound that we most commonly find on North American English speakers when dealing with words with the letter T at the end.

For example:

    *I hit that ball very well.*

In this example, hit will be usually pronounced as " hi' ", where the t is almost half pronounced. The same goes for "that", where the t isn't fully pronounced, but almost uttered slightly.

I hope this clears it up :)

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According my experience language software isn't good for learning pronunciation. The best way is find an Arab native speaker to discuss with him/her, either face to face or talking online. But take it easy: Arabs themselves don't observe pronunciation, and even in some cases they change it. But if you want to learn FASIH ARABIC or formal Arabic you must observe the pronunciation.

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