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Learners of Arabic use the vowels which include: َ (a) ُ (o) ِ (i) ً (an) ٌ (on) ٍ (in). Apologies if you are unable to see it due to size. Fluent/Native Arabic speakers do not use these which is why you will almost definitely not see them in Arabic texts unless there are two exact words with the same letters in the same order which need a vowel to differentiate between them (if context first is not clear).
To answer your question, the vowel ٌ would be used in speaking, listening and basic-level writing
Is there any solution to this tiny letter sizes? It is really impossible to see the vowel markings clearly. I am reduced somethings to copying the text elsewhere where I can enlarge it. It is a shame to have all the work that went into adding the vowel markings go to waste because there is no way to display them.
there is a Chrome extension that helps with this: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/huruf/lhdifindchogekmjooeiolmjdlheilae
Someone already posted the Chrome extension but the same one is available in Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/huruf_letters/?src=search
With the dammatayn on the end tayn on the damma means 2
the stripe above the arabic letter: fat7a (a) If there are two stripes above the given letter: fat7atayn (en)
The stripe under the arabic letter: kasrah (i) Two stripes under the given letter: kasrateyn (in)
the arabic letter "waw"-like symbol above the letter is a dammah (oe) two of those dammah's create the dammatayn (oen)
Standard Arabic has cases. This is the nominative case. And no, it doesn't actually indicate indefiniteness, but it can't come together with the definite article. So in محمدٌ رسول الله ("Muhammad is the messenger of Allah," part of the Muslim creed of faith), Muhammad is also followed by -un, even though it is definite. But if we were to say الباردُ (the cold one), we'd simply attach an -u sound to the end, without the -n.
In practice, many native speakers don't use the case endings, or use them inconsistently or incorrectly, because the modern vernaculars don't use those case endings. So if it makes it easier for you, you can simply ignore the ending, and you'll be understood just fine.
Do remember that Arabic has two "aa" sounds, one like the one in American English "mat" and one like the one in American English "father." None like the French or Spanish A sound. So it can sound like "berid" to somebody whose native language has a more "central" A sound. In fact, Turks frequently borrow this sound into their language as an E, like in the name "Kerim" for example.
The course is definitely strongly biased towards Levantine Arabic dialect (spoken by about 10% of Arabs) more so than towards Egyptian Arabic dialect (spoken by about 30% of Arabs).
the more common 'a' sound in Egyptian Arabic is the a in cat. the more common 'a' sound in Levantine dialect is the vowel as in bear.
the more common ج sound in Egyptian Arabic dialect is a g as in game The more common ج sound in this course is a soft j as in bonjour
Both are wrong in MSA, the correct MSA pronunciation for ج is as the j in joy.
The problem is: the course makers claim two things that in my opinion are deeply incorrect.
1) That the course is 'halfway between MSA and dialect'. This statement is a logical flaw - because there is no single dialect. But my assumption from seeing a bit of it is: what they mean is it is 'halfway between MSA and Levantine dialect'. The problem with this is:
(a) these are practically two different languages with contradicting rules, and they have shown to contradict in the course whether in grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary etc. When they do, then one of two options is 'wrong' according to the other.
(b) this goes against the identity of the language itself, as defined by its speakers who have the onus of identity and definition of what Arabic is, above Duolingo. Nations that chose Arabic as an official language recognize 'Arabic' to mean MSA, the same wherever one is, even though their dialects are different.
c) The nature of the language itself is deeply perfectionist and aesthetic, it is either 'correct' or 'very wrong' and so almost every single lesson here, is 'very wrong' in terms of grammar or pronunciation. (d) the learner has signed up for 'Arabic' without being told he is actually studying 'some nonexistent language that is wrong Arabic with a deep bias to Levantine Arabic' which only 10% of Arabs speak.
2) The course makers justify this as 'how newscasters speak' and this is a flatly inaccurate statement. 'Wrong' MSA may be spoken by some local station in some country, but all transnational Arab stations - BBC Arabic, MBC, Al Arabiya, etc. speak strict MSA. BBC Arabic is actually a very good example.
So referring to all above, there really is only one way to define what 'Arabic' is and that right of definition rests with the holders of the language identity, ie, Arabic speaking nations, who all have their dialects mind you, but define 'Arabic' as MSA.
So that is the measure of what Arabic is. Anything else is flat out 'wrong', not another 'option'.
I always appreciate your comments but I'm very surprised by what you say about the correct MSA pronounciation of the ج letter.
I'm not an expert but I checked in several serious books and they all give the "j" sound of pleasure ("j" of French bonjour) as the standard MSA sound.
In the Mentor method, the author A. M. Delcambre writes (p. 25): « Le j est souvent prononcé "dj" dans les dialectes algérien et marocain (pas tunisien), et "gue" en Égypte. »
Arabic has a class of nouns called the collective, to which you add a simple suffix, usually ة, to form another form called the singulative. When we are talking about fish in general, like when we are talking about any quantity of fish used as food, not one fish, not a group of fish that is small enough to count, but just the concept of fish or a whole lotta fish, we say سمك. But if we are referring to to a particular fish, it becomes سمكة. A group of fish that you can actually quantify would be سمكات, which is the plural. A similar pattern can be observed with many words that refer to animals, plants, and other objects you can find in nature, like rocks. A closely related concept is the instance noun, where adding a suffix to the infinitive gives a word with the meaning "a single instance/occurence of the action indicated by the infinitive," so ضرب would be "hitting," ضربة would be "a hit," for example.
Thanks. Your explanation is very helpful. It helps me understand better what A.S. Tritton is writing about in his Arabic (Teach Yourself Books, 1943) p. 30. He gives an example of "trees" (collective) شَجَرٌ (šajarun), then singulative شَجَرَةٌ (šajaratun), "a tree." I tried to put in the last squiggle, which may be a hamza (2)? (I'm not sure if the Arabic keyboard sign for that last vowel is the same as what's in Tritton's book.)
Well, again, the prompt says "cold fish," not "a cold fish," so it wouldn't even make grammatical sense to apply it to a person really. But even if you use the singulative, calling somebody a fish carries zero connotation in Arabic as far as I'm aware.
But yeah, in Egyptain Arabic, the word used in the prompt here, بارد, means "cool" rather than "cold," and that one is indeed used to refer to an annoyingly dispassionate person. "Stop being so baarid and get it over with already! You can watch TV after you're done!"
It makes sense when you consider that in Egyptian Arabic, بارد is the word you use for "lukewarm" as well, not just "cool." Interestingly, the word بارد can be used to refer to something reaching room temperature from either extreme of temperature. So if you take something out of the freezer to let it thaw out, you can say that you're waiting for it to "cool down"!