Hello and welcome to our blog where today we continue our series on the Arabic alphabet with the letter ق /qaaf/.
ق /qaaf/ is a consonant letter with a sound similar to the letter ك /k/, and though it is represented by the letter q, it does not have a sound equivalent to q or any other Roman letter.
As a result, don’t get them confused. ق /qaaf/ is pronounced as either a voiceless velar stop or by closing the back of the tongue against the uvula (the punching bag thing that hangs at the back of your throat).
The difference in pronunciation is important as it will save you a lot of apologizing when you accidentally call someone كَلْبي /kalbee/“my dog” when you meant to call them Arabic قَلْبي/qalbee/“my heart”.
ق /qaaf/ takes on several shapes depending on where it falls in the word – that is, it changes shape if it comes at the beginning of the word (initial), the middle of the word (medial), or the end of the word (final).
We’ll start with the shapes of ق /qaaf/ by looking at its stand-alone shape (ق). Notice it looks like a small circle with a long tail that curls to the left with two dots over the shape. It is very similar to the letter ف/faa’/“f” with the exception of having two dots instead of one and a rounder tail.
When it comes at the beginning of a word (or the “initial” position) as in the word قَلْب /qalb/ (which again, means “heart”)
ق /qaaf/ the circle’s “tail” being straight and connected to the second letter (if that letter is connectable).
When ق /qaaf/ comes in the middle of a word (or anywhere except the first or last letters) two things can happen:
In the first case, ق /qaaf/ is connected on both sides as in حَديقَة /Hadeeqah/ “garden”
where it’s a small circle with two dots over top and sits above a flat line.
In the second case, it is disconnected from the right side as in رقم /raqam/ which means number
Here, you’ll notice it looks very much like the ق /qaaf/ in the initial position as mentioned above.
When ق /qaaf/ comes at the end of a word, again, two things can happen:
If it falls at the end while being connected to the previous letters in the word as in حَريق /Hareeq/Fire.
(The ق/qaaf/ here looks like a small circle with two dots atop, preceded by a straight line and the long curved tail following to the left.
If it falls At the end and is disconnected from the previous letters in the word as in أَزرَق/’azraq/“blue”
then it takes the same shape as it does when it stands alone, as mentioned above.
Speaking of all of these connections, it’s important to know that some Arabic letters can only be connected from the right side. These letters are:
Likewise, there are some Arabic letters that can be connected from both sides. They are:
As seen above, ق /qaaf/ is disconnected from the right when it is preceded by letters from the first group. For example, in رقم /raqam/, the letter ر /raa’/“r” falls within the first group.
Likewise, ق /qaaf/ falls into a group that can be connected from both sides. As a result, we can also conclude that ق /qaaf/ can be connected from the right when it is preceded by letters from the second group, again, as in حَديقَة /Hadeeqah/ “garden” where ي "y"/yaa’/ falls in the second group.
See the table below for a summary:
So, that was it for the letter ق/qaaf/.
As you can see, learning the Arabic alphabet can be as easy as ABC, especially when you’re learning Arabic the right way with the Kaleela Arabic language learning app.
Find out by downloading our app and subscribing to our service today and get your first seven days free!
You can watch the YouTube video about the letter qaaf here