Wiktionary:About Arabic/Egyptian

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Wiktionary uses the following system to transcribe Egyptian Arabic, based on the Cairene standard. This is intended for input to a module that will produce IPA.

Letter Romanization IPA Notes
ا Used as a silent carrier for short vowels in initial position, and ā elsewhere. For the pronunciation of these vowels, see the bottom of the chart.
ب b b Romanized as ḅ when used to write the marginal emphatic form that surfaces as [b] but triggers emphasis spreading.
پ p p A marginal phoneme only found in borrowings, often pronounced as [b] and written as ب.
ت t t
ث s s Respelled with ت‎ when an inherited pronunciation of [t] is used.
ج g ɡ, unless in a few loanwords: ʒ چ‎ can be substituted for the pronunciation as ʒ.
چ ž ʒ A marginal phoneme only found in borrowings, often pronounced as [ʃ] and written as ش. An alternative input is j.
ح ħ
خ x
د d d
ذ z z Respelled with د‎ when an inherited pronunciation of [d] is used.
ر r ɾ Romanized as ṛ when used to write the marginal emphatic form that surfaces as [ɾ] but triggers emphasis spreading.
ز z z
س s s
ش š ʃ
ص Emphatic consonant.
ض Emphatic consonant.
ط Emphatic consonant.
ظ Emphatic consonant.
ع ʿ ʕ
غ ɣ
ف f f, unless in a few loanwords: v Or v in borrowings which use this character as a substitute for ڤ‎‎.
ڤ‎ v v A marginal phoneme only found in borrowings, often pronounced as [f] and written as ف.
ق ʾ or q ʔ or q Unpredictable; must be specified. When pronounced as [q], it is an emphatic consonant.
ك k k
ل l l Romanized as ḷ when used to write the marginal emphatic form that surfaces as [l] but triggers emphasis spreading.
م m m Romanized as ṃ when used to write the marginal emphatic form that surfaces as [m] but triggers emphasis spreading.
ن n n
ه h h
و w ū o ō w u(ː) o(ː)
ي y ī e ē j i(ː) e(ː)
ى ā ī a i Only used in final position. The use for [i] is the norm in the Nile Valley, but is spelled as ي in other regions.
ء ʾ ʔ Only pronounced as a glottal stop.
ة a at et Normally, use -a, but use -at, -et in the construct state.
اه āh
Diacritics
ـَ a a Realized as [æ] in normal environments, but as [ɑ] when subject to emphasis spreading. Diacritics are normally not used.
ا ā Realized as [æ(ː)] in normal environments, but as [ɑ(ː)] when subject to emphasis spreading. Shortened in unstressed syllables.
ـُ u o u o Diacritics are normally not used.
ـِ i e i e Often realised as [e]. Diacritics are normally not used.
ـو aw or ō aw or is shortened to [o] in unstressed syllables.
ـُو ū Diacritics are normally not used.
ـی ay or ē aj or is shortened to [e] in unstressed syllables.
ـِی ī i Diacritics are normally not used.

References[edit]

  • Daniel Pipes (1983), An Arabist's Guide to Egyptian Colloquial.
  • Janet Watson (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic. Oxford University Press, →ISBN.

Other Resources[edit]

  • Jane Wightwick, Mahmoud Gaafar (1986), Colloquial Arabic of Egypt.
  • Richard Jasch (1999), Arabic-English/English-Arabic Concise (Romanized) Dictionary for the Spoken Arabic of Egypt and Syria (Hippocrene Concise Dictionary).
  • Living Language (2006), Ultimate Arabic - Beginner-Intermediate (5 lessons dedicated to Egyptian Arabic)
  • Lonely Planet (various editions), Egyptian Arabic Phrasebook & Dictionary
  • Barron's (various editions), Arabic at a Glance - Phrasebook & Dictionary for travellers (based on colloquial Egyptian).