Arabic is one of the popular spoken languages among Arab sound system, especially in the centre East and North Africa and it’s really considered the central language of Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Aramaic languages (Zeina, 2008). Arabic is spoken by more than 280 million people as an initial language and by 250 million as another language. Irrespective of the different types, there are three basic’ Arabics’. To place it plainly, there are three types of Arabic: the traditional language, the present day standard vocabulary and colloquial words (Zeina, 2008, Gonzalo, 2005). The first one is the terminology of the Holy Quran which is utilized by all Muslim people who perform their prayers or browse the Holy Quran if they know very well what they read or not (Zeina, 2008). As for the present day Standard Arabic, it was derived from the Classical Arabic which is widely used in formal situations such as classes, universities, courts, federal government and the mass media. Regarding the previous one, it is substantially used in daily life situations and activities among people.

Arabic language differs from other languages; it has something of its (Back Walter & Tim, 2004). It consists of 28 characters, 25 of them are consonant letters and the other three are vowels (Hattami, 2010). There isn’t capital words and small characters. Moreover, it offers a unique and various style since it starts from to still left in both reading and writing. (Zeina, 2008).

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The Status OF THIS Arabic Language
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

The romance between Arabic and other languages such as Hebrew, English, Spanish, Sicilian, and other Western languages is a strong related one. It’s quite common that languages borrow some lexical items in one another. Arabic has borrowed many words from British and other languages and other languages did the same thing as well (wajih, 1991). Quite simply, Arabic has borrowed words from many languages, including Hebrew, Persian and Syriac in early generations, Turkish in medieval times and modern European languages today.

In brief, the Arabic terms is a common vocabulary among Arab audio speakers and its root base have been extracted from the Holy Quran which is considered the way to obtain all literary works and poetry in the Arab world and everything linguists refer to it when they search for some explanations of some words and meanings. Furthermore, Arabic with its different writing system and types, it has a genuine and close contact to other languages, especially British.

In this written project, I am briefly touching on certain details. Firstly, the description of vowels and consonants found in the Arabic and British languages, and the assessment between them. Second, some issues that learners of the Arabic terms might have in learning English.

In spite of the similarities between the consonantal systems of English and Arabic, there are some differences in some aspects. For example, the Arabic language has uvular does sound Ghain / /, Qaaf, //, and Khaa //, the pharyngeal tones Ain // and Haa // (Harakat, 1998), and emphatic may seem two plosives, / / and / /, and two fricatives, / / and / (Al-Muhtaseb et al. , 2000; Ouni et al. , 2005; Selouania and Caelen, 1998). These looks actually give the Arabic language its own distinctive property. Since each words has its system, as stated above, Arabic and English talk about common consonant noises and some restricted-language sounds. (Eid, 2006).

1-Arabic consonant sounds

The Arabic words has some consonant tones that are not existed in the British language. In fact, there are 28 consonants in Arabic, eight halts, thirteen fricatives, one affricate, two nasals, two fluids and two glides (Mousa M. Amayreh, 2003). The following table illustrates the area, manner, and voicing of Arabic consonants. Consonant Chart for Arabic

2-British consonant sounds

In British phonetics we describe consonants regarding to three criteria: host to articulation, types of articulation and voicing. You can find 25 consonants in English, six stops, nine fricatives, two affricates, three nasals, two glides, and two fluids. (Eid, 2006). The next table illustrates the area, manner, and voicing of English consonants.

Consonant Chart for English

3- Comparison of English and Arabic consonants

This part is an evaluation between English and Arabic consonants. Some furniture and other illustrations are provided below:

3. 1 Stops

Based on the dining tables above, one can clearly say that there are eight plosives in Arabic [ b, d, t, k, d, t, q, ?] while there are six plosives in British [ ph, b, t, k, d, g]. The English words lacks the equivalents of the Arabic emphatics [d˜, t˜· ], the uvular [q] and the glottal stop [?]. On the other hand, the Arabic dialect also lacks some equivalents of the British plosives [ph, g]. The consequence of such difference results in a few complications for students and speaker systems. As we will have later on, the down sides that face Arab learners towards pronouncing vowels and consonants. The following stand summarizes the difference between Arabic and British plosives with IPA icons.

3. 2 Fricatives

The English words has nine fricatives in the labio-denteal interdental, dento-alveolar and glottal areas i. e. the majority of its fricatives are in leading 50 % of the vocal tract, as the Arabic vocabulary has thirteen ranging from the labiodental to the glottal areas. Moreover, it also has elements of uvular [ x˜, ˜] and pharyngeal fricatives [h˜, ˜] as well as two emphatic ones (Eid, 2006). The following desk summarizes the difference between Arabic and British fricatives with IPA icons.

3. 3 Affricates

There are two basic affricates in English a voiceless post-alveolar affricate [th] and a voiced post-alveolar affricate [d3] while Arabic has only 1 affricate, a voiced post-alveolar one [d3] (Hattami, 2010). However, some Arabic dialects, such as the Iraqi one, have [th] sound and this helps Iraqi learners speak words formulated with such sensible properly. (Andrzej & Rouag, 1993, Hattami, 2010).

3. 4 Nasals

The English terminology has three nasal looks [m, n, g] while Arabic has only two [m, n ] (Hattami, 2010). That’s, the Arabic language lacks the [g] sound which is considered an allophone of [n] before velar and uvular stops, such as:

English and Arabic have the same [m] and this doesn’t cause problems. Alternatively, [n] is alveolar in British although it is dental in Arabic.

English and Arabic nasal sounds

3. 5 Approximants

There are three dissimilarities between your approximants of Arabic and English. First, English gets the nasal sound [g] although it is not within the Arabic dialect. Second, [r] in Arabic does not follow the approximants however the un-sustained or R-sound (Odisho, 2003b). Third, the British approximant [r] triggers problems for Arab learners.

3. 6 Laterals

There is merely one lateral audio in English [l] as the Arabic terminology has two: non-emphatic one [l] and emphatic one [L] (Andrzej & Rouag, 1993, Hattami, 2010), as in:

3. 7 Flab

The phonemic system of English language does not have the so-called flap sound. However, the machine of the Arabic terms may be a source of substitutions for the British / r/’s. (Andrzej & Rouag, 1993, Hattami, 2010)

4. Consonantal problems Arab learners face in learning English

Since each words has a audio system and regardless of the similarities between these languages, there, indeed, must be some differences which cause problems for learners of languages. Thus, once the Arab learners are willing to learn the British language, they may make unconscious flaws resulting from either the interference of both languages or unawareness of the acoustics systems of each dialect or the inexistence of certain does sound. (Hattami, 2010) A set of such problems is layed out below:

/p/ as mentioned earlier, English gets the consonant aspirated reasonable /p/, and /b/, whereas there is only /b/ —/˜/ in Arabic. In the result, Arab learners may not be able to differentiate between both of these noises and make flaws when pronouncing them and replace /b/ in replace of /p/. For instance, / picture/ ——/ bicture/.

/g/ the typical Arabic will not consider /g/ as a set sound in its audio system, but in some Arabic dialects, this audio is considered such as the Egyptian dialect. Largely, all Arab learners of English face difficulty in differentiating between them, plus they replace the Arabic /k/ for the British /g/. For instance, /game/ —— / kame/.

/ t / this audio is not also been around in the sound system of standard Arabic. However, it could be found in some Arabic dialects like the Iraqi dialect. The counter-consonant in standard Arabic is /k/. Arab learners of English may have problems in the sound / t / and they may tend to simplify this audio to /  /. Therefore, this ends in wrong pronunciation of / t /. For instance, couch—- shair.

/  ·/ In some cases, the simplification of / d‰’/ to /  ·/ is also found. Some Arabic dialects accept this audio such as Syrian and Lebanese ones. Sound system may simplify / / to / / such as / / —— / /.

/ / doesn’t are present in Arabic whatsoever, in British, it has a limitation on incident: it generally does not occur first. It only occurs medially and lastly. For example, “finger” and “sing”. Consequently, an Arab university student who learns English is highly conditioned by the context where allophone / / occurs and will tend to add the fitness /k g / such as: Performing ——-Think ———.


I have offered a brief evaluation between the consonant systems of English and Arabic. I have also detailed some problems in pronouncing individual consonants faced by Arabic audio speakers and learners of English. Regarding to (Hattami, 2010), the remedial solution can be positioned on teachers. Instructors have to be fully alert to the two sensible systems and then prepare remedial drills and train students to avoid such problems in learning and speaking.

Arabic consonants. Used from (Hattami, 2010)

English consonants. Adopted from (Hattami, 2010)

2- Arabic and British Vowels

Like consonants, English and Arabic have different systems of vowels. They share three common vowels / / while British is seen as a four own vowels / / and only one vowel is fixed to Arabic/ /. Additionally, a laconic overview of the vowel systems of each terms will be discussed below and then a comparison will also be provided.

2. 1 Arabic vowels

The Arabic vowel system has six vowel looks, three brief vowels and three long ones. (Eid, 2006). These are outlined below:

2. 1. 1 Brief vowels:

– Fatha: the first brief vowel in Arabic. Fatha is a diagonal stroke written above the consonant which precedes it in pronunciation. It’s pronounced like “A” in English. For example, the Arabic consonant “”= “b” in British, if we place the Fatha “” above the consonant “”, it will produce the sensible “” = “ba” in English. Another example is /Bat/.

– Damma: the second short vowel in Arabic. Damma can be an apostrophe-like form written above the consonant which precedes it in pronunciation it’s pronounced like ” o” or ” u” in British. For example, if you put Damma “” above the consonant “”, it will produce the acoustics “” and pronounce like /bo/ in the word / but /.

– Kasra: The 3rd short vowel in Arabic is Kasra. Kasra is a diagonal stroke written below the consonant which precedes it in pronunciation, it’s the only brief vowel that comes under the consonants, if we put “” under the audio “” it’ll be pronounced like /be/ in English. Another example is / little /.

2. 1. 2 Long vowels:

Long vowels in Arabic are Alif / / which is pronounced like /aa/ in English, Waw / » / which is pronounced like /uu/ in English, and / »±/ which is pronounced like /ii/ in British.

– Alif / ˜ / comes in three various situations prominent, central, and back. For instance, in the word “˜˜˜” which means “door” in English, the /aa/ is front side vowel. A central vowel like “bar”, and back vowel like “low”. Another example is the English word / father / and / bat /.

-Waw: /   / the second long vowel in Arabic, it’s pronounced like /uu/ in English. For instance “˜ ˜” this means ” blueberry” and it is pronounced as /toot/ in English. Another example is the term / moon/.

-Ya: / ii / the 3rd long vowel in Arabic, we can pronounce it like /ii/ in British. For example “˜˜±˜ ” which relates to s/body Arabic, and pronounce /arabii/ in British. Another example is the word / sheep/.

As for diphthongs and tripthongs, linguists are unwilling to simply accept the existence of the may seem in Arabic. (Odisho, p, 49).

Arabic Name

Arabic Romanization



opening (of mouth)



Short A


As in “accept, ” “ascend”

‘alif mamdooda(t)

extended ‘alif

˜ ‘˜‡ ˜‡˜


Long A

As in “man, ” “can”


breaking (of sound)



Short I


As in “sit, ” “reach”

yaa'< mamdooda(t)

extended yaa'<

˜˜ ‘˜‡ ˜‡˜


Long I

As in “feel, ” “package”


joining (of mouth)



Short U


As in “put, ” “feet”

waaw mamdooda(t)

extended waaw

 ˜  ‘˜‡ ˜‡˜


Long U

As in “sure, ” “roof structure”





No following vowel

As in “stay, ” “drag”

Short and long Arabic vowels in Arabic:

2. 2 English vowels

The English words is abundant with vowels, both simple and diphthongs. Simple vowels are split into brief and long. Since it is shown in desks below, we’ve six short vowels and five long vowels while there are eight diphthongs. (Eid, 2006).

They are produced when airstream is voiced through the vibration of the vocal cords. Vowel consonants can be categorized as: vowel tongue height (close, mid, open up) by boosting or decreasing the tongue; vowel tongue position(front, centre, back again) by evolving your body of the tongue; and lip rounding(spread, natural, and rounded).









http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_i. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_u. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ii. jpg



http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_e. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_a. jpg


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ee. jpg


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ae. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_o. jpg


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_aa. jpg

Lips loosely pass on. Tongue lax with less pressure than / i: /


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_i. jpg

Lips loosely multiply and slightly wider apart than / /


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_e. jpg

Lips neutrally available and just a little wider apart than / e /


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ae. jpg

Lips loose, but meticulously rounded. Tongue not as tense as in / u: /


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_u. jpg

Lips neutrally available. Start jaws. Centralized quality. (chop)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_a. jpg

Open lip-rounding, wide open jaws, back again of tongue low. (container)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_o. jpg

Lips pass on. Tongue tense (entry increased) with factors touching upper molars. (bead)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ii. jpg

Lips neutrally multiply. Tongue slightly higher than // (no firm contact with top molars). (gal)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ee. jpg

Lips neutrally open up and jaws considerably apart. Centre to back of tongue completely open. (car)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_aa. jpg

Lips closely rounded. Back of tongue high. Tense compared with /‰ /. (booed)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_uu. jpg

Medium lip rounding. Tongue attracted back making no connection with higher molars. (bought)

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_oo. jpg

Lips in neutral position. Centralized. Tongue just a bit greater than in /‰/. (instructor)

http://www. btinternet. com/~ted. power/ph07. gif




to /http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_i_bg. jpg/

to /http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_u_bg. jpg/

Starting close



http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ie. jpg http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ue. jpg

Starting mid

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ei. jpg http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_oi. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_eu. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ee3. jpg

Starting open

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ai. jpg

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_au. jpg


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ei. jpg

Bay, say

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_oi. jpg

Boy, foil

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ai. jpg

Reply, high

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_eu. jpg

Toe, show

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_au. jpg

Cow, how

http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ie. jpg


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ue. jpg


http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ee3. jpg


3- Comparison of British and Arabic vowels

3. 1- Entrance vowels

In the British audio system there are five phonemes. Alternatively, Arabic has four phonemes.



two in the high area

/ I / higher high and /i/. lower high

two in the high area

one in the middle area


two in the low area

/ / high long,

/ /. High short

two in the low area

3. 2- Again vowels

English has five phonemes while Arabic has only two.



two in the low area

/ / low, low, again / / higher low back

Two again phonemes

One in the mid area

/ / mid back

Two in the high area

/ / lower high again / /higher high again.

3. 3- Central vowels

English has two central vowels while Arabic has no central vowels.


One mid-central

/ /

Non-mid central

/ /

4- Problems Arab learners come across in vowels:

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_a. jpg/, most Arab learners pronounce the /http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_a. jpg/ sound, which produces when the tongue is more central and the lips are relaxed, as /http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ae. jpg/ instead of /http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_a. jpg/. For instance, the term “cup” as /khttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ae. jpgp/ instead of /khttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_a. jpgp/.

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_e. jpg/, Arab audio system tend to lengthen the short vowel /http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_e. jpg/, just as what “pet” and “men”.

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_i. jpg/, which is produced when the tongue is more forward and little high. For example, the word “sit” which pronounce as /establish/ instead of /shttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_i. jpgt/.

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_au. jpg/ which likely to pronounce utilizing the tongue central, then securely round the mouth. For example, the word “note” /nhttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_o. jpgt/ rather than the correct pronounce /nhttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_au. jpgt/.

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ei. jpg/, which produces when the tongue steps from front centre to forward high. For instance, the term “late”, Arabic sound system pronounce it like /let/ rather than /lhttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ei. jpgt/.

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ie. jpg/, tongue high and front then proceed to center. For example, the term “beer” as /be(r)/ rather than /bhttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_ie. jpg(r)/.

/http://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_oo. jpg/, which made by moving the tongue low, again and set. Jaws together. For example, the word “bought” /bhttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_eu. jpgt/ instead of the correct pronounce /bhttp://www. englishlanguageguide. com/english/images/ipa/ipa_oo. jpgt/.


In this short part, a distinction between British and Arabic vowels may seem is given. The variation demonstrated some similarities and variations between the two systems. Some desks and characters have been given to illustrate the difference vividly.