Darija – Definite Articles
English has the definite article (the); in standard Arabic we use (al).
Now, in Moroccan Darija -as we drop vowels most of the time- we simply say (L) when the word starts with a (moon letter); and when it starts with a (sun letter), this letter is doubled.
These names of the letters refer to the words sun and moon in Arabic. Moon is (qamar Ù‚Ù…Ø±), the moon is (lqamar Ù„Ù‚Ù…Ø±). Sun, itâ€™s (shms Ø´Ù…Ø³), and the sun is (sh-shms Ø§Ù„Ø´Ù…Ø³).
This rule comes from classical Arabic, to distinguish the pronunciation of (L) from doubled letters while defining a word, according to the following classification of letters:
Sun letters are: t, T, d, D, r, z, s, S, sh, l, n.
Moon letters are the rest of the alphabet.
Words with moon letters:
School = Mdrasa Ù…Ø¯Ø±Ø³Ø© Ã The school = lmdrasa Ù„Ù…Ø¯Ø±Ø³Ø©.
Door = bÃ¢b Ø¨Ø§Ø¨ Ã The door = lbÃ¢b Ù„Ø¨Ø§Ø¨.
Building = 3imÃ¢ra Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ø±Ø© Ã The building = l3imÃ¢ra Ù„Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ø±Ø©.
Words with sun letters:
Trousers = srwÃ¢l Ø³Ø±ÙˆØ§Ù„ Ã The trousers = ssrwÃ¢l Ø§Ù„Ø³Ù‘Ø±ÙˆØ§Ù„.
House = dÃ¢r Ø¯Ø§Ø± Ã The house = ddÃ¢r Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù‘Ø§Ø±.
PS: There are no indefinite articles in Darija, such as (a) and (an) in English. The word said independently is considered as indefinite.
The letter J is a lunar letter in MSA, but itâ€™s a solar one in Moroccan Darija.
Neighbor = jÃ¢r Ø¬Ø§Ø± Ã The Neighbor = jjÃ¢r Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù‘Ø§Ø±.
Give the definite form of the following words:
Shrjm Ø´Ù’Ø±Ø¬Ù… (window)
KtÃ¢b ÙƒØªØ§Ø¨ (book)
Wrqa ÙˆØ±Ù‚Ø© (paper)
RÃ¢jl Ø±Ø§Ø¬Ù„ (man)
Qr3a Ù‚Ù’Ø±Ø¹Ø© (bottle)
NDÃ¢Dr Ù†Ù’Ø¶Ø§Ø¶Ø± (glasses)
BrÃ¢ Ø¨Ø±Ø§ (letter)
Drhm Ø¯Ø±Ù‡Ù… (Dirham)
BalÃ®za Ø¨ÙŽÙ„ÙŠØ²ÙŽØ© (suitcase)
TbsÃ®l Ø·Ø¨Ø³ÙŠÙ„ (dish)