Transliteration of Qaf


Assalamu-alaikum Amira, I was wondering why the words with the letter Qaf, are written without the Q when transliterated into English. For example, pen, is qalam in Arabic, but it was transliterated as alam, and sometimes as 2alam. And sometimes, the q is replaced with just an apostrophe (waqt, meaning time, is transliterated as wa't) Which leads me to my next question: Is the 2 used for both the letters hamza and qaf? Sometimes I see the 2 and sometimes I don't. For example, in lesson 7.6 under language & culture I see "before that" spelled as "abl kida" but it's written with a qaf in Arabic. Whereas I see aleph with hamza on top of it written as 2oda (under the writing lesson "aleph, beh, teh, theh"). Thanks for clearing up the confusion (Sorry if that was too long), Aasim


Wa'alaykum salam Aasimsindhi, In Egyptian Arabic we don't actually pronounce the Qaf, it's more like a hamza which is commonly written as 2 (since is looks like ء) or just a ' . So you will see the word written in Arabic as "قلم" but transliterated as 2alam or 'alam. The same goes for the letter jeem ج - in standard Arabic it sounds like a "j" but in Egyptian we say it as "g" instead. So "جىد" is actually pronounced "gayyid". Let me know if you need more help with this!


How disappointing!  I was really happy to have successfully mastered the Qaf with help of my Lebanese uncle, and now I will never get a chance to use it!




Expand your horizons....then you'll be able to use it LOL  :)

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