The letter ya

The letter ya is a part of the Arabic alphabet. Here you will learn how to pronounce and write ya.

How ya is pronounced

The Arabic letter ya is pronounce y like in the English word 'yellow'.
The letter ي can also function as a vowel. It functions as a vowel when it is preceded by the vowel kasra (i) and does'nt have an vowel of its own. Then, the pronunciation is a long ii.
We can see the difference using the Arabic word for orphan that is written يَتِيم and pronounced yatiim . The first letter ي is pronounced j while the second ي blends with the vowel i to form the long vowel ii.

In the phonetic alphabet, the pronunciation of ya is written [j]. On this website, I write the pronunciation y.

How ya is written

The letter ya has four shapes: isolated, initial, medial and final.

finalmedialinitialisolerad
ـﻲـﻴـﻳـ

Which of the shapes to use depends on the letter's position in the word and surrounding letters. Do not forget that Arabic is written from right to left.

The letter ya is dual joining. That means that it wants to connect to both right and left. If there is a letter before, that also is dual joining, then ya will connect with it. If there is a letter after, then ya will connect with it. How to write with Arabic dual joining letters.

ya isolerad form

This is how the Arabic letter ya is written in its isolerad form:

This form is used in the following situations:

ya alone

When ya stands by itself, the isolated form is used.

ya in the end after right joining letter

When ya is the last letter of a word and comes after a right joining letter, the isolated form is used. It is free to the right since the letter before it does not connect to the left. It is also free to the left since there is no letter after.

ya initial form

This is how the Arabic letter ya is written in its initial form:

ﻳـ

This form is used in the following situations:

ya in the beginning of words

When ya is the first letter of a word, the initial form is used. It is free to the right and has a tail to the left to connect with the letter after it.

ya in the middle after right joining letter

When ya is in the middle of a word and follows a right joining letter, the initial form is used. It is free to the right since the letter before it does not connect to the left, and it has a tail to the left to connect with the letter after.

ya medial form

This is how the Arabic letter ya is written in its medial form:

ـﻴـ

This form is used in the following situation:

ya in the middle of words

When ya is in the middle of a word, e.g. when ya is neither the first nor the last letter, the medial form is often used. It has tails in both directions to connect with both the letter before it and the letter after it.

ya final form

This is how the Arabic letter ya is written in its final form:

ـﻲ

This form is used in the following situation:

ya in the end of words

When ya is the last letter of a word, the final form is often used. It has a tail to the right to connect with the letter before it, and it is free to the left since there is no letter after.

Conclusion: how ya is written

The letter ya has four forms.
The isolated form is used when ya stands by itself and in the end of words (after a right joining letter). In other words: When there is no letter before that wants to connect and there is no letter after.
The initial form ﻳـ is used in the beginning of words and in the middle of words (if the letter before is right joining). In other words: When there is no letter before that wants to connect and there is a letter after.
The medial form ـﻴـ is used in the middle of words (if the letter before is not right joining). In other words: When there is a letter before that wants to connect and there is a letter after.
The final form ـﻲ is used in the end of words (if the letter before is not right joining). In other words: When there is a letter before that wants to connect and there is no letter after.

That's it!
The rules you have learned can be applied to all Arabic dual joining letters, which is most of them.

ya is a moon letter

You get the definite form of a word by putting the definite article al in front of it.

اَل

The Arabic letter ya is a moon letter. That means that the definite article is pronounced al and nothing else. The letters that are not moon letters are called sun letters, and they are assimilated with the definite article al.

For example the Arabic word for day is pronounced yawm and written ﻳَﻮﻡ. In definite form, it is pronounced alyawm and written اَل‍ﻳَﻮﻡ.

Read more about definite form

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