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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    Arrow " P" and " B" in Arabic

    In the name of the Merciful Allah,
    Hi there, English letters " p" and "b" are parallel to one letter in Arabic. This Arabic letter is pronounced much more like the English letter " b". However, many people around me when they refer to one of those two English letters in speaking, they usually say the Arabic letter described as light _ if they mean " b"_ or heavy _ if they mean "p". To me this is so strange, because I can feel that saying "p" in words like " apple" or " open" is not pronounced powerfully like " b" as in "big" or " brown". Why English teachers here in Egypt and many others of common people say so? Is there a reason for this in English language? Thanks ahead.
    Last edited by Egyption Arrow; 21-Feb-2010 at 21:57.

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    #2

    Re: " P" and " B" in Arabic

    Hi,there, I m Egyptian too.I can understand you more than others.
    Look 'p' is voiceless but 'b' is voiced.So we can say that 'p' is light pronounced and not 'b'. But in English we don't say light or heavy 'b' 'p'
    but we say 'p' for pen or 'b' for book.

    To sum up,'b' has stronger sound than 'p'.

    Am I clear my Egyptian brother?

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: " P" and " B" in Arabic

    Yes, you used the exact words to describe the vocal characteristics of " p" and "b". But In Egypt people refer to "b" as light and "p" as heavy. This inspires the opposite of these vocal characteristics. I wonder why? This is my question.

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    #4

    Re: " P" and " B" in Arabic

    They seem to be using light/heavy here as a way of distinguishing allophones of /l/ in Arabic, so could it be a transfer of that term to English?
    http://www.arabization.org.ma/downlo.../50/pdf/40.pdf (section 4.1)

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