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pronunciation of J

The sound that is transliterated here as "j" troubles me a bit. In Arabic loan words in my language, we use "dʒ" sound(like the final sound in "cartilage"). When I went to Egypt, I realized they pronounced it as "g" sound(as in "go"). Now in this course, it is pronounced as "ʒ" sound, as something like in French "je". I am confused and curious about what pronunciation is taken as reference in this course. If this is the universally accepted MSA pronunciation, my question would be which dialect it is closest to phonetically. Thanks

July 6, 2019



There are many common pronunciations.



The letter ج is pronounced like a French J in MSA and many dialects, but the dialects have thier own pronunciation. As @StephieRice pointed out, there is more than one “correct” way depending on the dialect, but unless you’re wanting to learn a dialect, stick with MSA.


The Wiktionary link states that it has these various standard pronunciations in MSA. Is there any reason why /ʒ/ should be elevated to be the preferred pronunciation in MSA?

  • 1271

It is "J" in Jacket. There are varieties but the original one is "J" - one clear "J" and this is how Quran and classical Arabic is supposed to be read. If you are about to learn a dialect or so, you can pick one of these varieties. But the standard form (despite some "language assemblies" decisions) is always "J" (a plosive sound, not fricative like ж in Russian, nor velar like "G")

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