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.


Arabic Alphabet for Medical Use

learn Arabic vocabularies that are related to medical and hospital field
Let's say a person "X" works in medical field. Obviously, he has to deal with many vocabularies that used in everyday medical. The person X also needs to use these vocabularies to communicate with patients and people who need some kind of help. Let's think where do these people come from?!! Exactly, they come from everywhere and from every nationality.. and if the person "X" wants to work in Arab country, most the patients would be obviously Arabs.

We in EVERYDAY ARABIC commit to give you Arabic language that actually used in everyday situations. This post is a start point for those who are interested or work in medical field. These Arabic alphabet comes with examples of medical vocabularies (or related to).

Use the audio embedded for pronunciation.

* Arabic alphabet are ordered in 6 groups according to similarity of calligraphy, which is the best way to learn Arabic alphabet.
* Be aware that all the vocabularies provided here start with the same vowel which is Fatha (read about Fatha vowel and how to pronounce it in this link)

Are you work in Arabic country and need to learn dialect Arabic to use it in communication or business! Let us help you in private online lesson and start with free session, read more details..

If you have any question or suggestion, we'll happy to help and hear. Contact us or leave a comment here.


Arabic Alphabet Song Lyric

Arabic Alphabet Song Lyric in Arabic and English

This is well-know Arabic alphabet song. It has beautiful lyric meanings.

أ أرنب يجري يلعب يأكل جزرًا كي لا يتعب

Alifun arnab, yajri yal’ab, ya’kulu jazaran kay la yat’ab

Alif is for rabbit that runs and plays and eats carrots so he won’t get tired.

ب بطة نطت نطة وقعت ضحكت منها القطة

Baa’un baTTa, naTTat naTTa, waqa’at DHahikat minha alqiTa

Baa’ is for duck that jumped and fell making the cat laugh at her.

ت تاج فوق الراس فيه الذهب وفيه الماس

Taa’un taj, fawqa, arra’s, feehi thahabu wa feehi almaas

Taa’ is for a gold & diamond crown on the head

ث ثعلب صاد دجاجة فهو ماكر وقت الحاجة

Thaa’un tha’lab, Sada dujaja, fahuwa makir waqta alHaja

‘THaa’ (thank)’ is for fox who caught a chicken, for he is sly when he needs to be

ج جمل في الصحراء مثل سفينة فوق الماء

Jeemun jamalun fiSSahra’, mithla safeena fawqa almaa’

Jeem is for camel in the desert like a ship on the water.

ح حج اسمى رغبة فيه طواف حول الكعبة

Haa’un hajjun asma raghba feehi Tawafun Hawla alka’ba

‘Haa” is for hajj, the best desire to talk/roam around the ka’ba.

خ خبز عند البائع لا يأكله إلا الجائع

Khaa’un khubzun ’imda alba’i, al ya’kuluhu illa alja’i

‘KHaa’ is for bread at the merchant, only hungry people eat it.

د ديك حسن الصوت قام يؤذن فوق البيت

Dalun deek, Hsasanu aSSawt, qama yu’athinu fawqa albayt

Dal is for rooster and his good sound making ‘athan’ on the rooftop.

ذ ذئب وحش صلب لا يرهبه إلا الكلب

Thalun thi’bun, waHshun Salb, la yurhibuhu illa alkalb

‘THal (the)’ is for wolf a tuff monster who fears nothing but dogs.

ر رجل عرف الدين فهو صدوق وهو أمين

Raa’un rajulun, ‘arafa addeena, fahuwa Sadooqun wa huwa ameen

Raa’ is for man who found revelation, for he is honest and trusworthy

ز زهرة أصفر أحمر هي في عيني أحلى منظر

Zaayun zahra, aSfaru aHmar, heya Bi-aynee aHla manTHar

Zayn is for flower, yellow and red, to my eye she is the nicest view

س ساعة تحفظ وقتي في مدرستي أو في بيتي

Seenun saa’a, taHfathu waqtee fee madrasatee aw fee baytee

Seen is for watch, she tells me the time, at school or at home

ش شمس صنع قدير فيها الدفئ وفيها النور

Sheenun shams, Sun’u qadeer, feeha addif’u wa feeha annoor

SHeen is for sun, a fine making, it gives warmth and light

ص صائد ألقى الشبكة بعد قليل صاد سمكة

Sadun Sa’id, alqa ashabaka, ba’da qaleelin Sada samaka

‘Sad’ is for hunter who threw his net, and then caught a fish.

ض ضابط يحمي وطني يحفظ أمني يرعى سكني

Dadun DabiT, yaHmee waTanee, yaHfathu amnee yar’aa sakanee

‘Dad’ is for officer who protects my home and provides security.

ط طفل أجمل طفل فهو نظيف حسن الشكل

Taa’un Tiflun, ajmalu Tiflin fahuwa natheefu Hasanu ashakli

‘Ta’ is for child who is clean and in good appearance.

ظ ظفر نظفناه طال قليلا فقصصناه

THaa’un THifrun naTHafnah, Tala qaleelan fa-qaSaSnah

‘THa’ is for a nail that we cleaned. It got a little longer so we cut it.

ع عينًا تخشى الله تشهد خيرا فيه رضاه

Aynun aynan takhsha allah, tash-hadu khayran feehi riDaah

‘Ayn’ is for an eye/soul who fears his creator(Allah) doing good things that please him.

غ غار غار حراء فيه أنزل القران

GHaynun ghar, gharu Hira’, feehi ’onzila alqur’aan

‘GHayn’ is for (ghar hiraa’) hiraa’ cave where the Quraan came down.

ف فيل ذو أنياب وهو صديق يا أصحاب

Faa’un feel, thu anyab, wa huwa Sadeequn ya aS-Hab

F is for elephant with tusks and he is a friends O friends

ق قمر فيه منال ومواقيت تهدي السائل

Qaafun qamarun, feehi manalun wa mawaqeetun tahdee assa’il

‘Qaaf’ is for moon that has the time(date) for who asks

ك كلب عاش جواري يحرس غنمي يحرس داري

Kafun kalbun, ‘aasha jawaree, yaHrusu ghanamee, yaHrusu daaree

Kaaf is for dog who lived beside me, cares for my sheep and guards my house.

ل لحم ينمو جسمي يكسو عظمي فيه إسمى

Lamun laHamun yanmoo jismee, yaksoo ’athmee feehi asma

Laam is for meat that makes me grow(muscles) and it covers my bones.

م مسجد بيت الله فيه أؤدي كل صلاة

Meemun masjid, baytu allah, feehi o’addee kulla Sala

Meem is for masjid, the house of God, in it I make all my prayers.

ن نهر نهر النيل فهو كريم غير بخيل

Noonun nahrun, nahru annel, fahuwa kareemun ghayru bakheel

Noon is for river.. the nile river that is generous.

هـ هرم عالي القمة وبناؤه رمز للهمة

ha’un haramun ’aalee alqimma, wa bina’uhu ramzun lilhimma

Haa’ is for pyramid, high and a symbol of strength.

و وجه للإنسان فيه نور بالإيمان

Wawun wajhun lilinsaan, feehi noorun bil-eman

Waw is for face for the human, there is light of faith.

ي يد ترسم زهرة تبدع شكلا تظهر فكرة

Yaa’un yaddun, tarsumu zahra, tubdi’u shaklan tuTH-hiru fikra

Yaa’ is for hand that draws a flower, creates a shape and shows and idea


Arabic Alphabet

In this pdf file, the Arabic alphabet is grouped depending on similarities in shape. Each page has one group with examples and explaining what the sound like. The alphabet is arranged in this way because it is the simplest way to learn them, written and reading. You will find that Arabic alphabet has some letters with no equivalents in other languages, which makes learning Arabic more exciting because you will practice the vocal cords to do new sounds. And that is why Arabic language is considered to be very poetic and musical language.
Listen to the audio for pronunciations. Don't forget to repeat and practice.