TJ_Q8, you say, "I guess you mean انا?" (Sorry, I can't put the hamza on top of the initial alif), presumably to correct 's spelling of yhe word? But that looks different from Duolingo's spelling in the source text. Unfortunately, the font on my phone is too small. Could someone tell me what the diacritic ie on top of the initial alif of "ana"?
Thanks, TJ_Q8. I hadn't noticed they'd written ابا ! I'm really bad at missing diacritics, or not noticing if they're above or below, I'm ashamed to say. But I'm now on my computer, where the font is bigger, so all is clear. But thanks very much for replying. Also, is the diacritic on top of the initial alif in ٱسْمي only there because it's preceded by the alif of "ana", to indicate that it's swallowed into the "ana"?
No not really. The two are not connected (i.e. we don't write one because there is something else before, not like the Hamza rules). It is just some words in Arabic are written originally with Hamzat-wassl (which is an Alif without Hamza ironically). I don't know, though, why Duolingo is using this marker on the Alif, and my hope is that they don't consider an answer wrong for not typing it. Because this marker is indeed a marker for continuation of articulation but it is used mainly in Quran to guide and control the quality of reading. People who study and who read Quran in Tajweed تجويد are more concerned with this mark and other marks as well that guide the sounding. In regular writing, as a standard, this small صـ on Alif, is not used.
Oh! so that small sign is an emphatic S (Saad)? Oh, but if it is, you've written it as initial letter with something about to follow it? Demystify me please! By the way, you began, "No, not really...". I think that's too polite. "No, not really..." suggests that what I'd said was just a bit inaccurate, but the fact is that what I said was quite wrong, wasn't it? Your kindness raises false hope.
Well, I said "not really" because this Alif is indeed swallowed by the preceding sound, but not by (aná) itself. If someone speaks a bit fast, the whole sentence would sound something like (anáesmí) without a glottal stop between (aná) and (ismí).
Anyway, it is indeed initial Saad that is used here, and it's just a symbol. Quran is full of symbols of that sort to guide the reader, and my guess is that they chose this symbol because it is the initial of the word صِلْ (cil) - continue/connect (imperative mood).
This is one of the symbols that are placed on letters, and there is another group of symbols to be written in spaces between words to note continuation of reading, stopping, and giving a choice between stopping and continuation ...etc; While symbols for letters can be placed on top or below the letter, those of continuation and stops are majorly superscript.
I'm checking the standard system fonts of Windows because I thought I saw these symbols implemented in the font but seems I've got mixed up with another font, as I don't see these symbols in the character map of such fonts like Times New Roman and Arial.
So would that mean that ٱسْمي is a verb and أنا the subject? Or in this example is it almost as if we're saying "Hello Judy! Me, my name is Mohamed" (which of course is not proper English grammar but you'll hear anglophones in Montreal say it being influenced by the francos ^^)
Well, اسمي means (my name). There is no verb here. The pronoun أنا (I) is just added for emphasis. You can remove it and still the sentence is correct and understood, and normal.
Duolingo correcting system, though, is a different story; I'm not sure it would accept removing the pronoun or not.