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Introduction to Arabic Alphabet: 17

Note that double letters are never written down in Arabic. The first one has no dot, so it is a capital H, and the second one has a dot inside, so it is a J.

There is also another change you can make to this letter. If you put a dot ABOVE the letter, instead of in the middle or below like the J, then it becomes a KH instead of just a H. The KH is much easier for English speakers to say, because it is the KH or CH in European languages like German, or Dutch:

ﺧﺨﺦ ﺥ

For example, look at the word for "my brother" (akhuya). Note that the -ya ending is written exactly the same as the -ee ending, with a Y, because the vowel on the end isn’t written. In this case the Y is a consonant rather than a vowel. Here is how you write "my brother":

أخي

Here the Alif has a mark above it. You can ignore the mark, because it just indicates that the word starts with a glottal stop. A glottal stop is basically silent. English speakers won’t notice any difference between a word starting with a glottal stop and a word starting with a vowel. But the difference is that a glottal stop means the vowel starts more suddenly, rather than gradually like it normally would.

Can you spell this yourself?

أخي

  1. This means "my brother".
  2. This is two words, the name of an American corporation (and you have already encountered the second part of that name).
  3. This is the word for "market".
  4. Watch out for the double "l".
  5. The American spelling is "Ghana".
  6. This word is "manager" in Egyptian Arabic.
  7. This is the word for she, similar to the English "hey ya!"
  8. This is the Egyptian Arabic word for Egypt. 
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