For Modern Standard Arabic leaners, making the transition to colloquial Arabic can be difficult for more reasons than one.
The pronunciation of letters like ظ ث and ق frequently change to ‘z’ ‘s’ and ‘ah’ (hamza) sounds in spoken Egyptian Arabic, confusing non-native speakers who may no longer recognize words they dutifully memorized in class thanks to the altered pronunciation.
To make matters worse, there are always exceptions to the rule, and often times Arabic learners apply the letter changes where there are none, making themselves sound a bit too over-eager.
Here I’ve compiled a list of some common words in Egyptian Arabic that retain the ق to spare you the embarrassment of repeated overcorrections.
قصة = story
مقاومة = resistance
قرية = village
مثقف = cultured, educated (pronounced mosaqaf)
ثقافة = culture (pronounced saqafa)
اعتقد = I think
عبقري = genius
معقد = complicated
تعقيد = complex
قوي = strong (only when used in the context of describing someone as physically strong; not used for ‘very’ which is pronounced ‘awi’)
قرآن = The Qur’an
القاهرة = Cairo
Written by Caitlyn (aka #TeamMaha).