The Arabic alphabet, 28 in number, are formed, with the help of the lips and the tongue, in the front, the middle, and the back of the vocal cavity. Generally, their sounds are, more or less, the same as those of the English alphabet, except for some consonants and vowels which are explained below;
1. The Hamzah, transliterated as (') sign, is pronounced like a glottal stop together with the three vowels:
a. Which sounds like the (a) vowel of the English word (an), ('i) which sounds like the initial vowel of (in) and ('u) which sounds like (oo) vowel in the English word (oops) / ups /
2. The digraph (th) sounds in Arabic like the (th) sound in the English word (three).
3. The transliteration (h) nearly has the sound of (h), but is formed at the back of the throat, as in Hajj.
4. (kh) is like the sound of the German (ach), as in Khumus.
5. (dh) is like the sound of (th) in the English word (that), as in Dhikr.
6. (s) has the sound of a thick (s) formed near the back of the throat, as in Sawm.
7. (d) is like the sound of (d) but formed by touching the upper incisor teeth with the tip of the tongue, as in Wudu.
8. (t) is formed by smacking the front of the tongue at the hard palate, in the place where the English (t) is formed, as in Tahir.
9. (‘) This is also a deep throat letter formed at the back of the throat, as in ‘Alim.
10. (gh) is formed by touching the upper palate with the middle of the tongue. It sounds like the Parisian (r), as in Maghrib.
11. (q) is formed by pressing the middle of the tongue to the palate, and then letting it go with a burst, as in Qur'an.
1. (a) sounds like (a) vowel in the English word (far), as in Salat.
2. (u) sounds like the long (ue) vowel in the English word (true) as in Sujud.
3. (i) sounds like (ee) i n (feet), as in Takbir.
1. (a) sounds like the vowel (a) in the English word (cat), as in Faqih.
2. (u) sounds like the vowel (u) in the English word (put), as in Ghusl.
3. (i) sounds like the vowel (i) in the English word (fit), as in Kafir.
A Note: Whenever there is a double letter in a transliterated Arabic word, it is to be pronounced as two separate letters. For example: (hh) in Mutahhir is to be pronounced: Mutah-hir.
Our brother teachers are requested to exert much effort to teach the non-Arab students how to pronounce the Arabic letters and words as best as they can. May Allah help them in their righteous efforts!