In this article, you have a detailed course about Moroccan Arabic Transcription used by Moroccans with pronunciation. Knowing about the transcription is useful in DARIJA classes, to be able to exchange text messages in DARIJA with your Moroccan friends or family, and may also be helpful to read and understand some advertisement phrases outside in the street or on TV…etc.
Moroccan Arabic Transcription:
Moroccan Arabic (Darija) is a mix of Arabic, Berber, French, and Spanish. In fact, there is no standard Darija Chat Alphabet. Some Moroccans use Arabic Letters in text messages, but most Moroccans write Darija using Latin alphabets with the influence of the French language in the way they write and read words. For English speakers, there are just some basics to know and then, everything will become easy.
For the majority of the Arabic letters, there are their equivalents Latin letters used by Moroccans and they also combine two letters or they use numbers to express some sounds with no equivalent in the Latin alphabet like KH, GH, 3, 7, 9, and 2.
DARIJA Transcription Basics:
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y, Z. + (CH , KH , GH , 7 , 3, 9 et 2)
Letter A :
A is used as in Cat
Letter E :
E is used as in Check ( is not really an important sound in DARIJA )
Chejra: Tree ( if you write Chjra the word stay the same with the same sound)
Letter H :
H is always pronounced like the Arabic letter ” ه ” except when it is combined with C, G, and K (GH, KH, and CH).
Nta Hbil: you are crazy ( addressing a man )
Nti Hbila: you are crazy ( addressing a woman )
Letter I :
I is equal to the ” E ” sound in English;
Letter O :
O is used as in Omlet
Ostad: Teacher ( Male )
Ostada: Female Teacher
NB: Check the Course about the Feminine form in Moroccan Arabic.
Letter Q / 9 :
The equivalent letter in the Arabic letter = ” ق “.
You can use Q or 9 for the same sound.
Sou9 / SouQ = Market;
9erd / Qerd = Monkey;
Tri9 / TriQ = Road.
Letter Y :
Yeh: Yes (you may also hear ” AH ” and also “ WAH ” in the oriental regions like Oujda for example)
Yassine: Male name
There is also the sound ” AY ” like in the verb ” stay “.
Chahrayn: 2 Months
3amayn: 2 years
Tnayn w 3chrin: 22
Letter CH :
CH is like in the french language and is the equivalent of the ” SH ” sound in English.
Letter KH :
KH is like the letter ” J ” in the Spanish language.
The equivalent letter in Standard Arabic is ” خ “.
Letter GH :
GH is like the letter ” R ” in the French language.
The equivalent letter in the Arabic letter is ” غ “.
Ghaba: Forest: Menthe
Letter 7 :
7 = ح
S7our: The meal before the sunrise of a fasting day for Muslims.
7anout: the convenience store
Letter 3 :
3 = ع
Letter 2 :
2 = ء
it marks a stop.
Some Other Useful Links:
If you have any questions about Moroccan Arabic transcription, do not hesitate to leave a comment and you can also check the following lessons:
- How to introduce yourself in DARIJA?
- How to pronounce Countries and Moroccan cities in Darija?
- Numbers in Moroccan Arabic