ج - جيم pronunciation

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Hemza

Senior Member
French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
If you allow me to correct you, it's "regarde ça" ;).

Thank you for the link. As Cherine stated in the link you gave me, I think it's originally a dialectal feature which spreaded through North Africa, because it's also used in Morocco for some words and as in Morocco, some Yemeni tribes and Andalusian from Yemeni origin settled, so I would see a Southern Arabian origin in it. That's just an hypothesis of course ^^.

Thanks to everyone for your replies :)
 
  • lcfatima

    Senior Member
    English USA
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    In Sudanese dialects, is there a predictable pattern or rule of when jeem will be articulated as j and when it will be a g?
     

    parlesay

    Member
    Berber
    Well, brother, one has to point out that not all Algerians pronounce " dj", but only part of Algeria, at the center if I'm not mistaken. In the capital and the regions around it. So, to rectify you information, Algerians have both pronunciations . In Constantine, Annaba, Djelfa, Oran... and most of the West and the East and even the South ( to verify), the sound you can hear is 'J". By the way, I, once, did a research on how that consonant sound should be articulated in pure Arabic, and found out that " dj" is the correct one, with few exceptions that depend on the surroundings of the letter, for instance, the "dj" sound in "al moujtama3" could not be other than "j'' because it's influenced and got affected by the the "t" which comes after it. This could be just my point of view. If in doubt, see " Rules of Reading Qur'an "!
     
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    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Sorry if I'm being off topic, but I wonder exactly the same thing about Morocco... Why for some words, we pronounce the ج as j and in some others, as a g...
     

    Eternal student

    Senior Member
    English - London
    In Moroccan it works like this. The rule is that ج is normally like the French "j". The exception to the rule is, always and only when later in the root there is a س or ز, the ج will be pronounced "g". The exception to the exception concerns words somewhat recently borrowed from فصحى, like الجزائر. Here the ج is pronounced like the French "j" again.

    I don't know so much about Sudanese Arabic, but I'm pretty sure all original Sudanese words with ج pronounce it as "j", and it is only words recently borrowed from Cairo Arabic (or sometimes from فصحى via Cairo Arabic, as in giddan) where it is pronounced as "g".
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    أهلا يا أخي

    شكرا جزيلا على الشرح :). ما كنت أعلم بتلك التفاصيل
     

    Arabus

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Aleppo
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hello,

    According to Jean Cantineau and other sources, the letter ج is pronounced (that is, d with a y sound) by some Bedouin tribes of northern Arabia. Other sources say that ج is pronounced dz in Najd. I do not remember hearing such pronunciations from Saudi people. Do such pronunciations still exist?
     

    Arabus

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Aleppo
    I found something interesting [Video link removed by mod as per Forum Rules#4. Please search قصة باللهجة الشمرية: خدعه وخطب حبيبته]. This Shammari man pronounces ج as [g] (the so-called "Egyptian ج").

    What other tribes have this pronunciation?
     
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    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    ^It is not exactly Najdi but I know that the "g" pronunciation also exists in Yemen and Oman to some extent.
     

    Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    According to my non-expansive experience with Saudi dialects, the overwhelming majority of Najdi-speakers use /dʒ/ for jeem. Some older communities in the town of Arrass in Gassim (north-central Najd) will subtitute that for a /g/ in some words according to a pattern I've yet to discover. In the Hejaz, most of the urban communities will pronounce the jeem as a /ʒ/ although I've heard the /dʒ/ pronunciation is gaining more prominence within that sector while I've also heard /z/ was a once common pronunciation, although perhaps restricted to some words or used only by a group of Hejazi-speakers.

    Speakers of Gulf Arabic in Alahsa and the Persian Gulf littoral will alternate between a Najdi-like /dʒ/ and a /j/ sound for some words in accordance with other Gulf dialects. I don't have much knowledge on southern dialects but I believe /dʒ/ is the prominent pronunciation among the Bani Yam of Najran while I think many of the patterns found in Yemen (which has pockets of /dʒ/, /ʒ/, and /g/ speakers) would also be mirrored in the south.

    As for a /dz/ pronunciation, no Saudi dialect as far as I know uses that pronunciation for jeem. However, it is one of two standard pronunciations of qaf in Najdi Arabic, the other being /g/. It is a sister phenomenon to the palatalization of kaf to /ts/ which is a prominent feature of Najdi Arabic, both phenomena mirroring the qaf to /dʒ/ and kaf to /tʃ/ shifts found in Gulf Arabic.

    Edit: I believe I have also encountered the /dʲ/ pronunciation of jeem among some of the more recently settled Bedouin communities of the Najd. These in my region would be members of Ḥarb, ʿtaibah, Mṭair, or ʿnezah with the first three being Hejazi-Najdi Bedouins while ʿnezah are concentrated in the Najd and further north into the Syrian desert.
     
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    Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    It definitely exists in Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, and at least among some communities in Dammam given its position as the region's melting-pot capital.

    رياجيل men
    مسيد masjid
    are still used by Badawi people in Najd
    We also have this in some words in the sedentary speech of Gassim. Examples would be مسيَد (mosque) and يِيزي (enough) while we use رجال or رجاجيل for your other example. However, in most of the few words where this occurs, the pronunciation takes on a crystallized form where most speakers wouldn't even realize it's a jeem in play. The other examples where it's obvious such as مسيَد have already been replaced with /dʒ/ versions of the same word. I believe the situation is somewhat similar to the /g/ pronunciation used in some words by the sedentary communities of Arrass.
     

    tounsi51

    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    Examples would be مسيَد (mosque) and يِيزي (enough) while we use رجال or رجاجيل for your other example.
    يِيزي

    Wow this what we say in Tunisia for enough.

    Also رجاجيل is used among rural areas
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hello,

    I know that the Arabic letter ج (jīm) is pronunced both as [dƷ] (the standard pronunciation) and [g] (in Egypt, Yemen, and certain other regions).

    But, are there any regions where it is pronounced as a true voiced palatal stop, i.e. [ɟ], or as a similar palatalized stop, [dj]?

    I'm asking because I recall an earlier thread where it was mentioned that the dialects of southern Egypt and Sana'a pronounce this letter as "[dj]". But, I'm not sure whether this transcription was meant to indicate a sequence of [d] and the glide [j], or if it was just an alternative way of writing [dƷ].

    Thanks for any help
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Hello,

    In a Sudanese song (sung by an Ethiopian) the singer says "دموعي تدري" which is actually "تجري" (ج becomes د). But it's better to wait for Sudanese speakers to talk about it. I don't know though if this feature (if used in Sudan or just the song) also exists in Egypt.
     
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    akhooha

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    A friend of mine from the Delta town of el Mahalla el Kubra (المحلة الكبرى) told me that his name (جابر) was pronounced as if it were دابر
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    رياجيل men
    مسيد masjid
    are still used by Badawi people in Najd
    You mean that the pronunciation مسيد exists in Najdi? It is also the case in some Maghreb areas were the ج had been elided as well as رجاجيل being used (but @tounsi51 said it)
    Yes, ييزي originally comes from يجزي I believe.
    Thanks
     
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    Zoghbi

    Senior Member
    arabic (Algeria)
    يِيزي

    Wow this what we say in Tunisia for enough.
    It doesn't seems to be exactly the same thing, according to the transcription given by Schem and his comment what happened to يجزي is ي<--ج so it should be pronounce "yiyzi" ( :eek: much more dificult than yidjzi) or rather "yyizi".
    While in the Maghreb ("yizzi" or "yidzi" exists in all Algeria as a synonym of "yekfi" it is less used than in Tunisia because we have "barka ma" for "stop doing ...") it's ز<--ج (or د in algerians areas where the ج is prononced like in fus7a)
     

    Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    ييزي is pronounced yeezy (like English easy with y preceding) in Najdi Arabic and has the meaning of يكفي or يسد or خلاص, all of which mean enough. I haven't come across the North African word to determine if they at least sound the same or have a synonymous usage.
     
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    Tamar

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hi everyone!

    I have a question about the pronunciation of the word 'khaliji' (dzh)
    I also pronounce it as the latin characters show (like in English), but I've been told that the correct pronunciation is 'khaligi' (g)
    And I once played it on google translate (not the best of choice, but I don't have any other option :( ) and there the pronunciation was 'khalizhi'.

    I'd like to know what is the pronunciation in Emirati and Egyptian arabic mostly (but all other dialects are also welcome, of course :) )


    Thank you!
    Shukran!
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    There's the usual pronunciation differences between dialects. The plural also differs.

    In fuSHa the prescriptive option is /xali:dZi(jj)/, and the plural is with -uun.

    In Egyptian the pronunciation is /xa'li:gi/. The plural, as I recall, is usually /xali'gejja/, with shortening of the i because of the stress shift.

    In Levantine both dZ and Z exist as pronunciations, and the usual plural is either /xali:dZijje~xali:Zijje/ or /xala:jdZe~xala:yZe/ (the latter is on the same pattern as e.g. maghaarbe 'Moroccans').
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Just to add, in Emarati Arabic it's khaleeji with the j pronounced as in jinx or John.

    In fuSHa the prescriptive option is /xali:dZi(jj)/, and the plural is with -uun.
    Are you sure this is the 'prescriptive option'? I'm assuming here the j is as in garage (American English). But that may only be because someone from the Levant or Egypt pronounced it; if it were someone else he may have pronounced it as the Emarati does. The thing is, while Arabs do clearly distinguish between the Egyptian/Yemeni way of pronouncing it and the way everyone else does, but the difference between the other two ways is not really distinguished - mind you, that doesn't mean that people don't hear the difference, just that they see it as one and the same despite the difference and hence everyone pronounces it the way they are used to. It's like two ways of pronouncing the laam.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    /dZ/ is the sound as in John and jinx or garage in UK English (the /jj/ is nothing to do with this sound). This is the prescriptive pronunciation that for example al-Jazeera teaches to its newsreaders and the one if I remember correctly they teach in tajwiid classes. I remember being corrected from /Z/ to /dZ/ in fuSHa classes. This is not to say of course that people don't pronounce it other ways in fuSHa, because they do.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    /dZ/ is the sound as in John and jinx or garage in UK English
    Oh, sorry, then I guess we mean the same thing. I just assumed it was the Levantine jeem that is somewhere between j and z that you were talking about.
    the plural is khaligiyyiin and khalayga
    I've actually heard khalayga before; it's not very common so maybe it's regional in Egypt or maybe it's an effect of some other dialect.
     
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    Tamar

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    Thank you guys so much! Then I can just take my pick on the pronunciation I like the most
     

    mrsonic

    Member
    panjabi
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    is there any evidence for the claim that in the 6th century, the speakers of fusha would have pronounced jibreel as gibreel?
    so instead of using jeem, they used ghayn.

    is there evidence that both pronunciations existed?
     
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    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    There is no evidence that they used g instead of j (similar to the Yamani and Egyptian way of pronouncing it).

    Having said that, some linguists believe, based on classical descriptions of how it was pronounced, that it was slightly different than it is pronounced in MSA, a clearer j sound whereas in MSA it is a compound sound that combines j with d. This is what I have read.

    As for pronouncing it as a hard g, there is no evidence in history that it was pronounced this way in Arabic, but there is evidence that it is pronounced this way in many other Semitic languages including South Arabian languages that were/are spoken in parts of Yemen. It is believed that this is where the hard g sound entered Arabic dialects. In Lower Egypt (Cairo and other northern parts of Egypt) the g sound came from Yemeni immigrants to Egypt during the Middle Ages.

    so instead of using jeem, they used ghayn.
    I don't understand this, why would they replace the jeem with a ghayn? You must be confusing the different ways of pronouncing jeem with the use of ghayn in some regions to represent a hard g that does not exist in MSA or Classical Arabic (such as in the Levant, where they transliterate Portugal as برتغال. In this case it's only used in foreign words that were transliterated to Arabic.
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    There is no evidence that they used g instead of j (similar to the Yamani and Egyptian way of pronouncing it).
    I disagree, I think there is some decent evidence to suggest that ج was pronounced as [g] or perhaps [ɟ] during classical times, namely that the letter is established as حرف قمري rather than حرف شمسي as it would be if it were realised as [dʒ] or [ʒ] (and as it is in modern dialects that realise it as such). It was certainly realised as [g] in proto-Arabic (compare with other Semitic languages) and it seems rather unlikely that the Yemani (and subsequent Egyptian) dialects ever shifted from this.

    Of course, غ has nothing to do with this.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    There were classical descriptions that show that it was not pronounced as [g] or even [ɟ], but it was harder than the current MSA pronunciation of [dʒ] and certainly not [ʒ]. I understand that several modern specialists claim what you say, but I do believe that they are ignoring documented evidence or dismissing it as 'not reliable'. I'm not going to argue what is reliable and what is not, but they (modern specialists) are definitely ignoring an important point: for teaching the Quran, the pronunciation is very important and documented evidence by Muslims is not going to ignore that for any reason. They are only focusing on the fact that most other Semitic languages pronounce it as [g], forgetting that Arabic was not really documented very well prior to the 1st century AD and for all they know Arabic could be older than Akkadian (we have no proof that it isn't, not that I'm claiming it is) so there is plenty of time for the shift to occur hundreds of years before Islam.

    I don't know how it was pronounced in proto-Arabic, that was hundreds, if not thousands of years earlier - even specialists don't know because it's a theoretical language that is reconstructed based on guesses more than anything else (even if the guesses were educated, they are still guesses and estimations). This is not what mrsonic was asking about anyway.

    As for the Yemeni shift, this is also documented. Around the 6th century, only a small portion of Yemenis spoke Arabic as they spoke four other South Arabian Languages, most common among them is Sabba'i (Hadrami dialect of Sabba'i at the time of Islam). The language has a relation to Arabic and some Arabic pre-Islamic text used the Sabba'i script, so keeping their way of pronouncing the jeem is no big surprise really. The unlikely thing is not that the dialects shift, the unlikely thing is that Classical Arabic would shift so significantly AFTER Islam despite it's significance for Islam and despite extensive documentation and preservation. I'm not saying that subtle changes wouldn't occur, but [g] or even [ɟ] are significantly different than [dʒ], this shift would not be subtle at all.


    PS: I have to point out that I'm giving an opinion based on some sources I have read, not based on a full study of phonetics and how they change through time. I'm no specialist in this area and thus do not expect anyone to take my word for it. Just consider me devil's advocate here :D.
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    I too am not an expert on this issue, but am only following the ideas as they occur to me. Certain points occur:

    1. We know that the porto-semitic phoneme was realised as [g] and that all of Arabic's closest relations realised it as such. So the shift from [g] to [dʒ] (and to other realisations) must be an innovation in Arabic that occurred sometime between the point at which Arabic split off from the Semitic tree and the present day. This is of course something we can all agree on, the only question is identifying at what point in time roughly that shift occurred, and indeed to what extent.

    2. I assume (and I may be wrong on this, I'll be happy to be corrected), that the rules of الحروف الشمسية and الحروف القمرية were codified after Islam. We not that ج is codified as حرف قمري which would imply that at that time the dominant pronunciation was palatal or backer, that is to say it had not progressed further than [ɟ]. Had it done so, had it progressed to [dʒ] or something similar, it would have been codified as حرف شمسي.

    3. We also know that in classical times foreign words with the [g] sound were imported into Arabic with the letter ج. As you have noted, in modern dialects that lack a /g/ like sound such as Levantine, [g] is represented with غ as that is the closest sound they have available to them. This would imply that in classical times the realisation of ج was closer to [g] than any other Arabic letter.

    4. Regarding the teaching of the Qur'an and the pronunciation thereof, there is no doubt that that has changed over the centuries, for example with regards to the letter ض (which has been the subject of other threads on this forum). There can be no doubt that Arabs have allowed their vernacular pronunciations to influence their rendition of the classical language over the years.

    5. With regards to the idea that Yemani Arabic was influenced by South Arabian, well there is no reason I can see for why this can't be the case, though we could also ask why Iraqi and Levantine (for example) weren't influenced by Aramaic to also produce ج as [g] (though this is, I admit, a rather pointless question). But if we take the above evidence into account and entertain the notion that ج had a [g] realisation in Classical Arabic, it becomes rather redundant to postulate South Arabian influence on Yemani.

    6. As far as the descriptions of the letter's sound in classical texts, I must confess that I am not familiar with them and I bow before greater authorities. However, in the light of my points 2 and 3 it would be a good idea to put a lot of pressure on these descriptions and come up with precise realisations that also account for these points. Also, in the light of my point 1, we must consider precisely at what time these texts are written. As I said, I am not familiar with them so I will no go any further than these suggestions.

    It also seems that this thread has been merged with an earlier one - I have not perused the earlier thread, so if the answers to all this already lie before us, I apologise.
     
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    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    3. We also know that in classical times foreign words with the [g] sound were imported into Arabic with the letter ج. As you have noted, in modern dialects that lack a /g/ like sound such as Levantine, [g] is represented with غ as that is the closest sound they have available to them. This would imply that in classical times the realisation of ج was closer to [g] than any other Arabic letter.
    Do you know any examples where [g] was imported as ج? If Middle Persian ruzig was borrowed into Arabic as رزق then does that mean at least in this case [g] was imported as ق?
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    Do you know any examples where [g] was imported as ج? If Middle Persian ruzig was borrowed into Arabic as رزق then does that mean at least in this case [g] was imported as ق?
    I believe this was imported via Aramaic (though I'm not sure, others can correct me) and Arabic took the /q/ in this word from there. But as for words where [g] is imported with ج, there are many. Off the top of my head we have of course Hebrew גבריאל -> Arabic جبريل/جبرائيل and Latin magus -> Arabic مجوس.
     

    Ghabi

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    Sibawayhi gives the examples جُرْبُز/آجُرّ/جَوْرَب when talking about Persian loanwords containing "the letter between kaaf and jiim" (الحرف الذي بين الكاف والجيم). I suppose he means /g/. He also mentions that some people use the qaaf instead of the jiim for these words. (§525)
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Since some of you quoted Persian loanwords, what about گزاف which became جزاف in Arabic? Here, the g sound sound became j in Arabic while it could have become a ق (and be pronounced with a q sound or the bedouin ق which is a g sound). Or that may merely be a transcription using the ج letter while the sound remained g? I'm faaaar from being an expert but shouldn't we remain careful to avoid confusing sounds and their transcriptions and by the way, the letters used to transcribe those sounds?

    As for the transcription of the g sound into Arabic, I think that in ancient times (and it's a shot in the dark), Arabic may have used ج to transcribe the g sound since some Arabs used to pronounce this letter as a g in their dialect and this may have become a "standard rule". Now, if we compare this to the current situation, a similar phenomena occurs: correct me if I'm wrong but:

    In Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, the Arabian peninsula (except some Yemeni/Omani places may be) and in bedouin dialects speaking places (whatever the country), the ق is used to transcribe the g sound.
    In Morocco, Mauritania (probably a Moroccan influence for this latter) and Iraq, the ك is used for this purpose.
    In الشام it seems that the غ is used.
    In Egypt and some Yemeni/Omani places, the ج is used.

    I wonder if it's not the same thing which happened a while ago: to transcribe g sound containing words, Arabs may have resorted to use the ج under dialectal influence?
     
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    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    Sibawayhi gives the examples جُرْبُز/آجُرّ/جَوْرَب when talking about Persian loanwords containing "the letter between kaaf and jiim" (الحرف الذي بين الكاف والجيم). I suppose he means /g/. He also mentions that some people use the qaaf instead of the jiim for these words. (§525)
    Here's a thought. I believe some sources describe classical ق as voiced; would it therefore be farfetched to suggest that the dominant pronunciations in classical times had ق as [ɢ] and ج as [ɟ], and that when a foreign word with [g] was imported into Arabic the sound would be approximated with either ق or ج, being the two closest voiced plosives?
     

    Mickey2019

    New Member
    Arabic & English
    Hello everyone,

    My question is regarding Modern Standard Arabic.

    Some people say that the ج should be pronounced like g as in "Age" or "Montage". I mean it should be either soft or hard j.

    Why the president Mubarak pronounce it like g as in "good". Presidential speeches must be reviewed so why didn't anyone told him about this mistake. He speaks like that in all his speeches and nobody noticed.

    We can't say that this is the Egyptian Arabic (Dialect or colloquial Arabic) because Egyptian Arabic is totally different from what he speaks. He speaks Modern Standard Arabic with different pronunciation of the ج so why does this happen? Why does not he follow the standard pronunciation and grammar rule?
     
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    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Please read the previous posts before continuing with the disucssion, so as to avoid unnecessary repetitions.

    As a quick note: Most Egyptians pronounce the ج as g, even when reading/speaking fuS7a.
     

    Mickey2019

    New Member
    Arabic & English
    As a quick note: Most Egyptians pronounce the ج as g, even when reading/speaking fuS7a.
    I already read the previous discussion but I'm still confused because some people told me that fuS7a (Modern Standard Arabic) has no accents or varieties because it's "standard". Now, it turns out to be that there is the Egyptian accent of the Modern Standard Arabic.

    I also figured out that they produce:
    - Soft ع sound (Not strong).
    - Sometimes, the ق is also weak or soft.
    - Sometimes, they pronounce ذ as ز
    - They pronounce ث (th) as س (s).

    So, do you think that each country speaks Modern Standard Arabic with its own accent or let's say "Features" or "characteristics" ?
     
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