1- General Indications

If you are not familiar with the Arabic alphabet, knowing about our transliteration system will help you with pronunciation.

Here is the list of letters used in Darija, with the adopted transliteration for each one of them:

Letter

Arabic

Notes and description

a

أ

Sharp (A), like the French (A).

b

ب

B like in (battery)

t

ت

T like in (steady)

j

ج

J like the sound of (S) in (pleasure).

7

ح

It’s the aspired sound of (H); a voiceless fricative sound made deep in the throat.

kh

خ

Like Spanish (J).

This letter is often transliterated in chats and messages as (7’).

d

د

D like in (doll)

r

ر

Different from the English (R). A little bit trilled.

z

ز

Z like in (zebra).

s

س

S like in (secret)

sh

ش

SH like in (she)

S

ص

Emphatic sound of (S), like in (sour).

This letter will be capitalized, bold and underlined in transliteration, not to confuse it with normal (S).

This letter is often transliterated in chats and messages as (6).

D

ض

Emphatic sound of (D), like in (door).

This letter will be capitalized, bold and underlined in transliteration, not to confuse it with normal (D).

This letter is often transliterated in chats and messages as (6’).

T

ط

Emphatic sound of (T), like in (Tall).

This letter will be capitalized, bold and underlined in transliteration, not to confuse it with normal (T).

3

ع

It’s the sound produced when you pull the back of your tongue back into your throat a bit.

gh

غ

Hard version of (KH) being voiced, like the French (R) in (Maroc).

This letter is often transliterated in chats and messages as (3’).

f

ف

F like in (far)

q

ق

It’s the hard throatish equivalent of (K).

k

ك

K like in (kidnap), (cat).

l

ل

L like in (light).

m

م

M like in (man).

n

ن

N like in (not).

h

ه

H like in (home).

w

و

W like in (what).

y

ي

Y like in (you).

2

ؤ ئ ء

It refers to a glottal stop.

v

ڤ

English V.

g

ڭ/گ

English G.

p

پ

English P.

Some letters that are used in classical Arabic, are omitted in Darija, namely:

th ث which is replaced by t ت; [Example: thôm ثوم (garlic) in MSA becomes tôma تومة in Darija]

Dh ذ which is replaced by d د; [Example: dhakiyy ذكي (intelligent) in MSA becomes dki دكي in Darija]

and TH ظ which is replaced by D ض. [Example: DHolm ظلم (oppression) in MSA becomes Dolm ضلم in Darija]

As for vowels, they will be like following:

a: Short a, like in (at).

â: Long a, like in (sad).

i: Short i, like in (bit).

î: Long i, like in (sheet)

o: Short o, like in (operate).

ô: Long o, like in (moon).

Other indications:

* (-): The dash will be needed to avoid confusion when a letter belonging to two different sounds is repeated twice. In Darija, it’s very frequent to have words without any vowels at all. Example: sh-hr شهر (month).

* Doubled letter: Means that there is more stress on it. Example: 7orr حر (free).

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