Learn to Read Arabic from Scratch: Lesson Six
This lesson will cover: four consonants, and a glottal stop and pause:


Arabic  ه  h is like English h in hot, hat, heat. The Arabic name is  هاء haaɁ and because it is connective it has all shapes:

Arabic  ه  h is like English h in hot, hat, heat; it is voiceless glottal fricative. Arabic ه h differs  from English h in the following ways: (1) it is pronounced with more force than is English h; (2) it can pronounced at the end of a syllable or word, while English h is pronounced only at the beginning of a syllable; and it may be doubled (held twice as long). Listen to the pronunciation of ه  in the following drill.


 

ح ḥ  does not exit in English; it is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative. It is produced with the base of the tongue near the back of the pharynx (throat) and the pharynx walls strongly constricted. Like ه  h it can occur in any position of the word and can be pronounced doubled. It differs from ه   h in that it is articulated with greater force. The tongue is relatively relaxed for ه  h but strongly tensed for ح . One suggestion for mastering  ح  is to whisper “Hey you!” as loud as you can, trying to get the   h as deep in the throat as possible.
Listen to the following items and notice the difference between ḥ and h.
ح ḥ  differs from خ  x in that there is no contact whatsoever between the base of the tongue and the velum for  ح as there is for  خ  (see previous lesson).When you are pronouncing  ح    make sure  to keep the back of the tongue so that it cannot come close to the velum and so produce خ. They are quite different in sound, the ح  being pure sound while خ  has a kind of scraping effect. Listen to the following pair of words and try to recognize the difference between the two sounds.

ح ḥ  is called ḥaaɁ  حاء. It is connector and therefore it appears in all positions. It is similar to ج , خ  except for ح    does not have a dot.
By now you should be able to read these words. To check your pronunciation listen to the recording below the table.

In Lesson Five, the writing of hamza as the first sound of the word was dealt with. This lesson deals with hamza in the other positions (1) at the end of the word and (2) in the middle of the word.
There is one cardinal rule in the reading of hamza: if there is a seat, ignore it. The seat is not pronounced, but is only an orthographic convention in the spelling of words with hamza. The seats can be :

Now listen to the audio and repeat
Hamza is written with or without a seat.
Hamza is written WITHOUT a seat in the following positions:
A- when preceded by a consonant or a long vowel (aa, uu, ii). In other words when it follows a sukuun (the absence of the short vowels a, u, i). the following table shows examples of these cases.
In the middle of a word, after و  whether representing a long vowel, e.g. مُروءَات  or a consonant, e.g. مَوْءُدات or between the two alifs, e.g. إجراءَات. The following table includes examples of these case.
As we mentioned before, Hamza is written with any of the three seats. The choice of seat is determined as follows:
(1) At the end of the word.
The preceding vowel determines the seat, which is homogeneous with the vowel. kasra requires ى , as in شاطئ, dhamma requires و, as in بُؤبُؤ and fatHa َ requires ا , as in نَبَأ. Read and listen to the examples below.

(2) in the middle of the word.
In this position the vowels on both sides of the hamza are considered, and the seat is chosen according to the following priorities. The three short vowels i, u, and a are categorized in terms of strength. Kasra (i) is considered the more influentialon other sounds more than dhammah (u) or fatHa (a). Dhammah comes next and the least influential is FatHa. Accordingly,
if there is kasra (i) on either side of the hamza, the seat is ى : ـئـ . Look and listen to the following examples.
If there is no kasra (i) but there is dhammah (u) on either side, the seat is ؤ as in the table below.
Otherwise, the seat is alif (أ) as shown in the table below.
Nunation after hamza
Two alifs ( ا )do not normally occur in succession. Therefore, if a word with word-final hamza on or after alif rreceives accusative nunation, then accusative nunation is written without alif as in:
Otherwise, the usual rules apply, for eample:
NOTE:
The choice of seat for hamza is determined by adjacent vowels; thus, in unvoweled texts the seats of hamza are important clues to the voweling. For example: سأل  cannot have kasra ِ or dhammah ُ  next to hamza ء  and must be read either سَأَلَ which means 'he asked' or سَأْل which has no meaning.
End of Lesson Six
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