When Is Qaf Actually Pronounced As A Qaf? (Arabic)

Asma Wahba

Author

Asma Wahba

For Modern Standard Arabic learners, making the transition to colloquial Arabic dialects can be difficult for more reasons than one.

The pronunciation of Arabic 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.

Egyptian Arabic words where the letter Qaf is still pronounced

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

Join now and start speaking egyptian Arabic today!

Create your account now and join thousands of other Arabic learners from around the world.