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Letter of the Week (ذ) thaal Posted by on Apr 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

Moving on to our ninth letter of the Arabic alphabet (ذ), we will look at various words beginning with (ذ) along with an Arabic Bedouin film titled ذيب, and lastly, how the letter ذ is pronounce in Levantine Arabic.

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

Initial ذ‎, as in the word “ذِرَاع” meaning “arm”.

Medial ـذ‎ ‍, as in the word “تَذْكرة” meaning “ticket”.

Final ـذ‎, as in the word “لَذيذ” meaning “delicious”.

Compared to other letters, you may not find as many words beginning with ذ, but can you try and think of any before looking at the following words?

ذِكرة: memory

.لَدي الكثير مِن ذِكريات الطفولة الجَميلة        I have many nice childhood memories.

Note: The verb “to remember” is تَذكّر and “memory” as in the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information, is ذاكِرة.

ذَهَب: gold   .مَولود وفي فَمه مِلعقة ذَهَب   He was born with a golden spoon in his mouth.

ذَهَبَ: to go    .ذهبوا إلى مَطعم لُبناني في وَسْط المَدينة

They went to a Lebanese restaurant downtown.

ذَكِيّ: smart   .إنها ذَكية جِداً بالِنسبة لِعُمرها   She is very smart for her age.

ذَلِك : that   .كُنتُ مَريضة في ذَلك الوَقت ولم أستطع الذهاب إلى العَمل

I was sick at that time and couldn’t go to work.

ذَوق: taste     .أحبُ ذوقك في الموسيقى      I like your taste in music.

In Modern Standard Arabic, the word for “wolf” is ذِئْبٌ. For example, the story “Little Red Riding Hood” in Arabic is translated to ليلى والذئب  meaning “Laila and the Wolf”.


Unless you’re watching a documentary, most Arabic films are in spoken Arabic. If you are interested in watching an Arabic film where you can hear the Bedouin dialect اللهجة البدوية, then the film Theeb ذيب is a very well made and thrilling مُثير movie to watch. (7.2/10 on IMBD)

Image by Hussein Alazaat on

I personally enjoyed it. ذيب‎, meaning “wolf” in Bedouin dialect, it is a period drama thriller film written and directed in Jordan. It focuses on a young Bedouin boy, named ذيب‎, who must survive in the wide-open Wadi Rum desert. The film takes place in 1916 during World War I, in the wake of the Great Arab Revolt الثورة العربية الكبرى against the ruling Ottoman Empire الإمبراطورية العُثمانية.

Here is the trailer. 🎥😊

THEEB Movie TRAILER (2015)

Here is an article in Arabic talking about the making and success of the film ذيب.

فيلم “ذيب” الأردني

Levantine Arabic:

Many words in Modern Standard Arabic that begin with ذ are pronounce with a د or a ز instead. There really is no rule to know which to use. That comes with practicing the dialect.

Here are some examples:

ذَهَب meaning gold would be pronounced دَهَب

تَذْكرة meaning ticket would be pronounced as تَزكرة

لَذيذ meaning delicious would also be pronounced as لَزيز


Till next time, 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.

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