Beginner - Where's Jameela?

April 5th, 2007 46 comments
In today's beginner lesson we teach you how to ask for people, whether it's on the phone or in person. As you can imagine, there is plenty of useful vocabulary associated with this topic.

Where do you think Jameela is? Is she down the beach or in the mall? Listen to find out!

  3.3/5 (274 votes)

Anonymous says chat
Mon 14th May 07@03:56 am

jorge salvetti wrote:
I am quite happy to find these excellent lesson on the web. The arab of the teachers is beautiful, and the explanations are clear and to the point. I hope the levels will continue. It's so easy to fall in love with arabic and so hard to conquer it. Thanks for this wonderful chance of not giving up. as-salam aleikun.
Ehab says chat
Mon 14th May 07@03:19 pm

Thanks a lot Jorge for your comment, it is very much appreciated.
As a sneak preview, in June we are going to start a few cool services, so keep an eye out for them.
Anonymous says chat
Fri 8th Jun 07@05:45 am

karen wrote:
Thanks for the lessons.
Sometimes I can't hear the Al, the word for the. Why so you think it just sounds like A alone, instead of AL.

Also which countries would I be most understood when speaking this Arabic?

Thank you
Moshaya says chat
Fri 8th Jun 07@02:20 pm

Hi Karen,

You're very welcome grin

In this conversation Al is used in the word Al-Sooq, which means "the mall". If 'Al' is following by the letter S then the sound changes to A-Sooq.

In our lessons, we teach the most common and sometimes classical Arabic or what I would call universal Arabic, so you would be understood in the entire Arab world. Our Arabic is similar to what you hear on Arabic Satellite channels. In Moroccan satellite TV for example, they use Universal Arabic and not Moroccan Arabic dialect so that they can reach a wider TV audience i.e. the whole world essentially that speaks Arabic.

Keep it up!
Ehab says chat
Sun 10th Jun 07@02:09 pm

Nice question Karen,, Thanks Moshaya for the explanation.
Here is a table shows more details about the letters those we should pronounce ‘L’ before them:

L is pronounced xxxxxxxx L is NOT pronounced
A: أ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx T: ت
B: ب xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx TH: ث
J: ج xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx D: د
7: ح xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx D’: ذ
7’: خ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx R: ر
3: ع xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Z: ز
3’: غ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx S: س
F: ف xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx SH: ش
Q: ق xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 9: ص
K: ك xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 9’: ض
M: م xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 6: ط
H: هـ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 6’: ظ
W: و xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx L: ل
Y: ي xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx N: ن

For example: Al-bab: الباب (The door), you pronounce the L ,, while Al-Thalj الثلج (The snow) you don’t pronounce L, and we often write it like: Athalj
Anonymous says chat
Tue 10th Jul 07@12:18 am

emma byk wrote:
Thank you for cool site,
Anonymous says chat
Thu 27th Dec 07@12:18 am

Hala wrote:
Why don't you say Ween instead of "Ayna" and Mab3rif? thats what jordinians say...?!
Moshaya says chat
Sat 29th Dec 07@10:51 am

Hi Hala,

True that’s what Jordanians say but they’re not used by many other Arab countries so we found it safer to use Ayna as it will be understood by anyone because of its classical roots while Ween is used in certain dialects.
Anatoli says chat
Tue 15th Jan 08@09:08 pm


Nice lessons, thanks very much.

I'd like to ask about the transcription conventions.

You often use letters 'o' and 'e' for '9amma and kasra, although classical Arabic only has 'u' (put) and 'i' (pin). Is it closer to colloquial pronunciation or just your method of transcribing?

Just a comment about "ath-thalj" الثلج and "as-suuq" السوق. I know many textbooks use doubled letters for the sun letters, which follow "al-". That way the actual pronunciation is rendered.

Keep at it, guys.
Ehab says chat
Wed 16th Jan 08@01:53 pm

Ahlan Anatoli;
Thanks for the nice and important comment, there is no default system in using 'i' or 'e' to be kasra or not, therefore it is totally up to the writer. Most of kasras in Arabic sound like 'i' therefore I prefer to use 'i' for kasra.
Using 'o' or 'u' instead of 9'amma can be difficult,, because 'u' in English can be pronounced as 'put' or 'cut'!! therefore I prefer using 'o' to represent the 9'amma.
I would remind everyone to practice the Arabic letters rather than reading from the English transcript, it might be hard in the beginning, but it gives you more ability to extend your level.
Anatoli says chat
Thu 17th Jan 08@04:24 am

Thanks, Ehab.

So, you actually pronounce most words in this course with kasra as 'i' (as in "city") and with 9'amma as 'u' (as in "put"). It's only the trasnliteration that varies?

I am only asking to confirm that your recommended pronunciation in Arabic because "u" and "o", "i" and "e" are different sounds in European languages.

Agree about the Arabic letters. smile

What's Ta7eyyati? Is it تحية (regards)?
Ehab says chat
Thu 17th Jan 08@07:58 am

[What's Ta7eyyati? Is it تحية (regards)?]

Ta7eyya (تحية) is singular,, Ta7eyyat (تحيات) is plural, and Ta7eyyati (تحياتي) is MY regards where this 'ي' is a pronoun for MY.
Alright smile
Ta7eyyati again smile
Anatoli says chat
Thu 17th Jan 08@11:38 pm

Ah, shukran, ya Ehab, I thought it was singular with a kasra in the end. Thanks for clarifying. smile

Do you pronounce "ta7eyyati" with an "i" as in "pin" or with an "e" as in "pen". smile Sorry for being a nuisance. wink


Anatoli says chat
Thu 17th Jan 08@11:42 pm

Sorry, another question - the accent is on the long "aa" (-aati) in "ta7eyyati" like "al-mudarrisaat", isn't it?

I thought it was singular because I thought it was a short "a".
Ehab says chat
Fri 18th Jan 08@08:08 am

Yes, the (a) is long one, so I can re write it as (ta7eyyaatii).
This issue of deciding whether the (a) is a fat7a or alef is floating and there is no reference to it. We might do some decision around it like what we did with the letter (ذ) where we write it as (d')-see apg in share point- but I prefer people to learn the Arabic Alphabet rather than reading the pronunciation,, it is hard in the beginning, but it will make a big difference.
saj159 says chat
Thu 28th Feb 08@05:11 pm

salam.. i have heard the word wayn and fayn for where! where would these words be used most? shukran
Ehab says chat
Fri 29th Feb 08@08:16 am

Wa 3alaykom assalaam;
Wayn and fain are used as colloquial in most of the Arabic countries. no harm of using it if you speak to someone in the street. but if you are writing an article, then you have to use Ayn.
saj159 says chat
Fri 29th Feb 08@04:05 pm

thanks ehab... ehab do u think you could do a lesson on shisha? like to order a shisha and to talk about shisha flavours!
bkali320 says chat
Wed 19th Mar 08@01:11 am

Assalam Alaikum,
I would like to thank you for all your efforts. I have been trying to learn Arabic for a while. This is the type of program that I need to keep me studying the language. Jazakallahukayrn
abhishek says chat
Sat 2nd Aug 08@09:30 pm

Once again, Assallaam alaykum!
Um- what's the difference between La adriy and la aArifa? In which situations do you use which?
Ehab says chat
Sun 3rd Aug 08@09:29 am

"La a3ref" and "la adry" can replace each other except if it's followed by noun, then "la a3ref" ONLY can be used.
Like saying (I don't know the answer), you say (la a3refo alijaabah) but can NOT say (la adry alijaabah).
waziir13 says chat
Sat 20th Sep 08@08:56 pm

السلام عليكم In this lesson Ayna Jamila? in the number 2 متى satarja3 say? You can also say متى ستكن في البيت?
is correct?
Ehab says chat
Mon 22nd Sep 08@01:18 pm

It is (متى ستكون في البيت؟).
Yes, if you write it like that then it gives similar meaning which is (when is she going to be at home?).
waziir13 says chat
Sat 27th Sep 08@09:15 pm

طيب شكرا cool smile
akira3 says chat
Sun 7th Dec 08@05:52 am

Today was a good lesson,too.

See you.
maroot says chat
Sat 10th Jan 09@08:32 pm

Hi boys! I like very much your lessons.
But sometimes I am a little puzzled from the your arabic letters in the PDF transcripts wink
For example: the end form of l (lam) in الى(ela)... Is it just a special font or what?
Thank you very much. I felt love in arabic and you help me a lot to learn it!
maroot says chat
Sat 10th Jan 09@08:40 pm

And what is in the end of متى (mata)in the PDF? Is it really only t?
I am sorry for my questions, I am just a beginner...
Ehab says chat
Sun 11th Jan 09@01:00 am

This is a letter called (alef maqsoorah), here it is (ى), it looks like (ya - ي) but without the dots, however, you pronounce it as normal alef, so a word like متى is pronounced like (mata).
maroot says chat
Mon 12th Jan 09@08:28 pm

Thank you, Ehab!
And I had thought I know all arabic letters rolleyes
It is an unofficial letter, isn`t it?
Ehab says chat
Tue 13th Jan 09@01:02 am

It is really another form of the letter alef (أ), that's why you don't find it in the alphabet tables.
CHito13 says chat
Wed 18th Feb 09@12:49 am

A friend gave me this site was helping me with the Arabic language we are in juarez chihuahua mexico, he told me that these letters
2 ق
3 ع
5 خ
6 ط
7 ح
8 ص
9 ء
4 ض
Were used for these numbers but I see that you use other used anymore and that my friend gave me, I can use that make me feel better right? grin
Ehab says chat
Wed 18th Feb 09@01:18 am

There is no one standard to use those numbers, we at ArabicPod have chosen our current style as it is widely used more than all other methods. You will get used to it.
Good luck.
maroot says chat
Mon 7th Sep 09@09:32 pm

Hi guys... I still learn arabic from yours lessons - they are great really... and I sometimes return to previously lessons. So now (wow) I have fekrah jayeda (good idea) - to my question from the January - alef maqsoorah is using just as the end form of alef ... is it truth? Sorry... I didn`t understand it a long time and now I hope I take it grin
Ehab says chat
Tue 8th Sep 09@11:35 am

That is right Maroot. If you know that Alef Maq9oorah (ى) comes only at the end of the word, and it sounds just like the normal Alef (أ) but without the Hamza (ء) part.
Hamza (ء) is usually pronounced at the beginning of letter Alef (أ) which sounds like the A letter in (Absolutely), and the (ا) part is the vowel sound (like letter A in CAT) which is the same sound that Alef Maq9oorah makes.
Wed 4th Nov 09@06:09 pm

to Maroot:

At the end of some words ‘alif appears as ‘alif maq9oora (shortened ‘alif) to which there is no certain rule, it is more like a tradition. It is pronounced as a short ‘a’. Some examples are such female names as Layla, Huda, Salwa, Yumna. Another popular example would be Eid Al Adha.
sharby says chat
Fri 2nd Apr 10@03:58 am

you said Thahabat ela alsooq going to town,what about almadinah?
Ehab says chat
Fri 2nd Apr 10@10:59 am

It is just in English people use the word (Town) to mean (Market), however your understanding is right, Madina literally means City/Town and you can say (Thahabat ela almadina).
Desmond says chat
Fri 2nd Apr 10@03:43 pm

There's no need to employ the word "town" here since "souk" is widely used in English. If you search the BBC's website you'll find scores of examples such as the following: "Stalls in the souk have new wooden shutters and new lamp posts have been erected." (BBC 18.11.2008) Even the word "hafla" is now used in English, though it is much less common than "souk". Example: "the festival includes an evening hafla, a souk and a bazaar." (BBC 2.2.2010)
DAS Architect
Sun 3rd Oct 10@03:48 pm

it was the best arabic site I've ever seen
jazzakumullah khoiron katshiro
Rumeysa says chat
Thu 5th May 11@06:02 pm

Esselamu aleykum
I'm a new member of this great site smile
These lessons are really helpful. Jazakallahu khayr smile
You are doing an amazing job!!
Martr164 says chat
Sun 10th Jul 11@05:47 am

Teaching style rocks! Thanks so much smile
efsun says chat
Sat 25th Aug 12@01:35 pm

a quick question ;

you use 'at' in different positions for these two words ; 'Thahabat' and 'Satrje3', even if you say both of them refers to female . One is used at the end of the word and the other is used at the begining of the word . Can you explain why it is ?

Moshaya says chat
Sat 25th Aug 12@09:09 pm


Thahabat is a past tense verb

ذهبت - d'ahabat - She went

In past tense verbs, the last letter indicates who is doing the action. If it's the 'at' sound, it refers to 'she' e.g.
أكلت - Akalat - She ate
أكل - Akala - He ate
أكلوا - Akaloo - They ate

The other word you mentioned is a present tense verb, and in present tense verbs the first letter specifies the subject

ترجع - Tarje3 - She returns or you return
يرجع - Yarje3 - He returns
أرجع - Arje3 - I return

This will become clearer after listening to our podcasts for a while. I recommend you listen to the podcast titled "The Arabic Root System", and perhaps search the lesson pages for "Grammar".
efsun says chat
Sun 26th Aug 12@01:16 pm

jeez ! It's getting more confusing ..

the female subject ,the 'at' sound , doesn't change whether it is used in present tense or past but the other subjects change in these both tenses ; cuz you don't put anything at the end of the word AKALA in past tense for male but you put ' ya ' sound at the beginging of the YARJE3 in present tense . Am I missing sth. , Do I get it right ?
Imraan says chat
Sat 10th May 14@09:16 am


Can you say wa laa adry instead of la adry (i donot know)?
chazyouwin says chat
Sat 10th May 14@11:29 pm

@Imraan, The sentence would read: "And I don't know." I have heard it more common than in English to start sentences with "and." So my guess would be that to start with "wa" would be common and understood and therefore correct.
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