The Different Between Dhad ض and Tha'a ظ in Arabic Alphabet

When you start learning Arabic alphabet, you will find a group of letters that have similarity in pronunciation. Letters Dhad ض and Tha'a ظ is an example of this similarity. Maybe the confusing isn't that much in reading, but it becomes harder when you try to write a word and can't figure out if it has Dhad ض or Tha'a ظ letter!! This problem happens to both who are learning Arabic as a foreign language and to Arabic native themselves.
An Arabic poet called "Al-hariri الحريري" wrote a poem and use all the words that have Tha'a ظ letter to help others differentiate between Tha'a ظ and Dhad ض. Because when you know all words with Tha'a ظ , obviously any other words would be with Dhad ض. This poet "Al-Hariri الحريري" lived in 10th century, and since many vocabularies that are used in his poem aren't that common nowadays, it is important to update his list with common vocabularies that are used nowadays. Also, see the movie in the end to demonstrate these words (that have Tha'a ظ) with a pronunciation.

1- How to Pronounce Dhad ض and Tha'a ظ Correctly

First of all, you need to know that you DON'T have to pronounce these two letters exactly as ancient Arabs did because no one does unless you want to learn how to read the holy Qur'an, in that case there are people specialist in this field. When you learn Arabic, you need to pronounce these two letters in a way most people do so you can read and write perfectly and your speaking would be as a native speakers.
This picture will tell how the tongue looks like when you pronounce letters Dhad ض and Tha'a ظ
The different between letter Dhad الضاد and letter Tha'a الظاء in Arabic alphabet
I would like to thank my friend "Asia" for explain this picture clearly
See the movie below to hear the pronunciation.

2- The Best Way to Differentiate Between Dhad ض and Tha'a ظ
I know if I told you that the "practice is the key" you'd like probably to kill me. So instead, I'll tell how to practice. One of the best advice came from the famous poet, Al-Hariri (1054–1122). He suggested to memorize (or learn) all words that have the letter Tha'a ظ and in contrast any other word would has Dhad ض. He wrote a poem that gather all these words, with Tha'a ظ, in Maqama called "المقامة الحلبية =al-maqama al-halabiah". Since he selected some of very odd and unused words, It'll be better to put a list of most common words nowadays.
The next step is read those words, in the next section, and watch the video for pronunciation. Then use cards or stickers to post these words in a place you could see them most of the time. This place can be a wall in your house, office, car..
post it for arabic vocabularies to memorize them
You can include the translation if you want, like "cute" one here

3- A list of Most Common Words With Letter Tha'a ظ
The Arabic Word Transliterations Translation
نَظَرَ nathara (v) looked
نَظَّارَة natharah (n) eyeglasses
نَظَّفَ nathafa (v) cleaned
نَظِيف natheef (adj) clean
نَظَافَة nathafah (n) cleanliness
حَفِظَ hafetha (v) memorized / stored
حِفْظ hefth (n) memorizing / storing
حافِظ hafeth (adj) he's memorizing
مِحْفَظَة mehfatha (n) wallet
اِحْتَفَظَ ehtafatha (v) kept
thel (n) shadow
ظِلال thelal (n) shadows
مِظَلَّة methallah (n) umbrella
ظَلَمَ thalama (v) oppressed
ظُلْم thulm (n) injustice
ظَالِم thalem (adj) oppressor
مَظْلُوم mathloom (adj) to be oppressed
اِنْتَظَرَ entathara (v) waited
اِنْتِظَار entethar (n) waiting
ظَنَّ thanna (v) thought
اِسْتَيْقَظَ estayqatha (v) waked up
لاحَظَ lahatha (v) noticed
لَحْظَة lahtha (n) moment
ظَهَرَ thahara (v) appeared
ظَاهِر thaher (n) apparent
ظُهُور thuhoor (n) appearance
ظُهْر thuhr (n) noon time
ظَهْر thahr (n) back
ظُفْر thufr (n) nail
أَظْفَار / أَظَافِير athafeer / athfar (n) nails
عَظْم athm (n) boon
عَظِيم atheem (adj) great
غَلِيظ galeeth (adj) thik / stodgy
فَظِيع fathee'a (adj) horrible
بَاهِظ baheth (adj) expensive
ظَرِيف thareef (adj) cute
ظَبْيّ thaby (n) deer
ظَرْف tharf (n) envelope
ظَمَأ thama'a (n) thirst
لَفْظ lafth (n) pronunciation
حَظْر hathr (n) ban
كَظْم kathm (n) repression
غَيْظ gayth (n) fury
حَظْ hath (n) luck
مُوَاظَبَة muwathabah (n) perseverance
وَظِيفَة watheefah (n) job
جاحِظ jaheth (n) famous Arabic
prose writer
عُكَاظ ukath (n) well known newspaper
in Saudi Arabia

4- What About Words with letter Dhad ض ?!!
After you memorize the words in the previous list, any other word would has Dhad ض. So you don't need to memorize words of the letter Dhad ض .

5- The Different Between Dhad ض and Tha'a ظ in Arabic Alphabet (The Movie)

6- Al-Hariri's Poem
أيها السائلي عن الضاد والظاء كيلا تضله الألفاظ

Last but not least; listen, repeat, listen, repeat and focus are very important. (A tip from Alexander Hansson we thank him a lot)

- If you have any question or comment! Please use the comment form bellow and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Sharing is Caring »»

7 التعليقات:

  1. I greatly appreciate the pictures. I am a visual learning, which can make learning a new language more difficult, so any time pictures are included, it helps me very much!

    1. Happy you like the post.. Soon other posts will be available in the website

  2. Very very good post :) I'm waiting for the next :)

    1. thank you. happy you like it. there will be more post in near future, Insha'Allah

  3. I've been learning Arabic for the past few months, and this is a fantastic resource. Thank you so much. :)

  4. A very excellent blog post. I am thankful for your blog post. I have found a lot of approaches after visiting your post. alikhbari