"أَسْكُن في ٱلْطّابِق اَلْثّاني."
Translation:I live on the second floor.
hi on my screen the word for floor has a different first letter than the word for second. Are these two different letters or is there something wrong with my computer? They both should be alef but they are different. The one in the word floor is thinner than the one in the word second. Hope someone can see the same thing on their screen.
What you see is the difference between أ and ٱ. You know the first, a short a after a glottal stop, which we write 2a. The second one describes a form of liaison in which certain letters are completely ignored and drawn into another. في ٱلمدينه. is NOT pronounced as "Fî al-madînah" but rather "Fî l-madînah" because the alif is completely ignored. This takes several forms, such as ما ٱسمك being "Mā smak" and NOT "Mâ 2ismak" for example or في ٱلطاولة being "Fî T-Tâwilah" and NOT "Fî aT-Tâwilah".
Oh ok .. well I was thinking of a picture.
Yes now i noticed there is a difference somewhat but not the size, on the top character on each Alif. Duolingo should not have used this to confuse people.
I think you know the stroke above a letter, FatHa, which is (a) so probably no need to explain this one.
The little symbol on the Alif in the word الطابق, this is just a marker for Alif to mark it as Hamzat-Wassl. I posted a complete post about the differences between Hamzas and such. Anyway, this small character on the Alif is not necessary (it is used in Quranic calligraphy more to gauge and control the recitation). The mark resembles a little صـ (from the word وصل Wassl, meaning Connection). Again, this is just a regular and normal AL الـ that comes to define a noun ... nothing is different about how it is pronounced. And yet, i don't know why Duolingo insists on using such symbols as the dagger Alif and like this one which we don't usually use in daily writing at all.