Andrew (aindreas) wrote in linguaphiles,

Sounds of Arabic

I'm on day two of trying to crack Arabic phonetics, specifically Levantine/Eastern Arabic. I've been googling for visual and written breakdowns of how to pronounce /q/, /ʕ/, and /ʔ/. I haven't found anything that's proving to be of any help. It would be great if there were something for Arabic like there is for English/Spanish/German here: Does anyone know of a similar site?

Can anyone give me step-by-step instructions for what my body needs to do to accurately reproduce these sounds? I'm aware that English and a myriad of other languages (I speak EN, DE, ES, FR) contain glottal stops, but I've never had to consciously implement it in any of my other languages, and am struggling with how it works exactly.

Thanks for your help.
Tags: arabic
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Perhaps this might be of use?

If you download or buy used copies of the books that these sound files originally accompanied ("A Course in Phonetics" and "Vowels and Consonants" by Peter Ladefoged), they should give full instructions on how to articulate /q/, /ʕ/, and /ʔ/.
I don't know about Levantine Arabic, but for the MSA pronunciations, the Teach Yourself book has some really good physical descriptions of how to produce various sounds. (this is the book - I don't have it with me right now but can transcribe what it says about the various letters if you want). However I suspect it's a YMMV thing - my main problem when picking up the letters was distinguishing between ح and ه, and it took a number of different explanations until I found one that really worked for me.

I haven't used this site much, but the image at the bottom of the page is very clear and helpful for me:

Алекс Сойфер

March 19 2014, 10:49:36 UTC 2 years ago Edited:  March 19 2014, 10:51:12 UTC

q ق - the back of the tongue touches uvula (the small pink thing hanging from the back of your mouth cavity)
ʕ ع - in reality is just the narrowing of the throat (very tensed and similar to vomiting)
ʔ ء - momentary closure of vocal folds like in English uh-oh

You didn't mention ħ, but it could be a problem too, so
ħ ح - energetic scraping sound of air pushed through the narrowing between the root of the tongue and the back of the throat (very tensed throat)
This might not be exactly what you're looking for, but this video helped me with ع: