Arabic Language Blog

Letter of the Week (ج) jeem Posted by on Mar 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

Moving on to our second letter of the Arabic alphabet (ج), we will look at various words and phrases beginning with (ج) along with more culture/language related facts.

Let’s begin with looking at your basic forms of the letter ج.

Initial جـ‎, as in the word “جِسْر” meaning “bridge”.

Medial ـجـ‎ ‍, as in the word “حَجَر” meaning “stone/rock”.

Final ـج‎, as in the word “زُجاج” meaning “glass”.

Before looking at the following words and phrases, can you think of a name, thing, and place beginning with ج?

I’m sure one of the first Arabic words you learned was جَميل to mean beautiful. Arabic speakers also use it to say that something is nice/pretty or if something good or wonderful happens, we say !جَميل.

  • جَريدة: newspaper (another word for newspaper is صَحيفة )

Image via Pixabay

قصة إنسان | بائع جرائد على الرصيف يلقي محاضرات داخل جامعة لبنانية

“A human story| A newspaper seller on the sidewalk gives lectures at a Lebanese university”

This clip shows a 72 year old man named أحمد محمد الخطيب who began selling newspapers جَرائِد/صحف on a sidewalk next to a Lebanese university جامِعة لُبنانية. He then moved on to selling books as well. He’s known throughout the university as a very cultured مُثَقَف and intellectual فِكري man and has been asked by professors to share his experiences and knowledge مَعْرِفة with students.


  • Food that begins with ج:

(جَزَر: carrots, جَوز الهِنْد: coconut, جُبْنة: cheese, جَوْز: walnuts)

  • There are different types of جُبْنة that is eaten in the Middle East. Here are a few:

جُبنة عربية: Soft white cheese found all over the Middle East.

جُبنة عكاوي:  Made from cow’s milk, originated in the Aker region of Palestine.

جُبنة نابلسية: White cheese originated in Nablus, Palestine.

  • جِدّي: serious   .هذا جِدي This is serious. .أنا جادٌ  I’m serious.
  • جَوارِب: socks    هَل مازال يَرتدي جَوارب وَردية؟  Does he still wear pink socks?
  • جِسْم: body  .تشكّل المياه 60% مِن جِسم الإنسان   The human body is 60% water.
  • جُثّة: corpse .تمَ اكتشاف الجُثة بَعد يَومين The corpse was discovered two days later.
  • جِلْد: skin/leather   .أريدُ أن أشتري جاكيت جِلد  I want to buy a leather jacket.
  • جُرْح: cut/wound/injury  .قام الطَبيب بِتَنظيف الجُرح  The doctor cleaned up the wound.
  • عَمَلِيّة جِراحيّة: surgery/operation  .سَوفَ يَحتاج هذا الجُرح إلى عَملية جِراحية This wound will need an operation.


  • جَزَاكُمُ اللَّهُ خَيْراً

Jazakum Allah Khayran is an Islamic expression of thanks that is used pretty often. It means “May Allah reward you with blessings or goodness.”, to show appreciation for someone’s favor. One can respond by saying “Wa Iyyakum (وإياكُم)” meaning “And goodness to you also” or “Wa antum Fa Jazakum Allah Khayran” (وَأَنْتُمْ فَجَزَاكُمُ اللَّهُ خَيْراً) meaning “And in fact to you, may Allah reward you in goodness also.”

  • الجَنَّة: heaven  .هذا المَكان هو جَنة على الأرض.   This place is heaven on earth.
  • جُزْء: part/segment/piece  .هذا أهَم جُزء بِكُل المَشروع

This is the most important part of the project.

  • جِسْر: bridge .يَجِب عَلينا عبور الجِسر قَبل الزِحام 

We must cross the bridge before the traffic.

  • الجُغْرافيا: geography .كنتُ دائِماً جَيداً في الجُغرافيا ويُمكِنَني تَحديد مَوقِع أي بَلَد على الخَريطة

I was always good at geography and could locate any country on the map.

  • جَنوب: south .يَقَع الأردن جُغرافياً جَنوب سوريا وغَرب العِراق وشَرق فِلَسطين

Jordan is located geographically to the south of Syria, west of Iraq, and east of Palestine.

  • جَزيْرة: island  .البَحرين هي الدولة العَرَبية الوَحيدة التي هي جَزيرة

Bahrain is the only Arab country that is an island.

Image via Pixabay

I’m sure you have heard of the Qatari news channel Al Jazeera الجَزيرة‎, literally “The Island”, though referring to the Arabian Peninsula. الجَزيرة also has a website for learning Arabic for all levels! I urge you to check it out. 🤩Here is the link:


  • جَبَل: mountain .تَسَلَقتُ الجَبَل لِرؤية المَنظَر  I climbed the mountain to see the view.
  • جَو: weather/atmosphere (another word for weather is طَقْس)
  • جافّ: dry  .الجَو جاف اليَوم   The weather is dry today.
  • جَدْوَل: schedule  .أحتاجُ إلى وَضع جَدوَل حتى أتَمَكَن مِن إنهاء كُل شَيء في الوَقت المُحَدَد

I need to make a schedule so I can finish everything on time.

  • جامِعة: university
  •  جامِع: mosque (another word for mosque is مَسْجِد)
  •  جَمْعِيّة: association/club/society/organization
  •  يَوْم الجُمْعة: Friday

Image via Pixabay

You’ve probably noticed the similarity between جامِعة,جامِع,الجُمْعة and جَمْعِيّة. They all have the same root جَمَعَ which means “to gather”. جامِعة and جامِع were named as such because people gather in these places for knowledge and worship. جَمْعِيّة is also a place where people gather for meetings and activities. يَوْم الجُمْعة is the day of week when Muslims gather in the جامِع for “Friday prayer”.

Till next week, happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.