Arabic and Hebrew are sister Semitic. languages. Here are some words to give you the feel of how the languages are related .
The Hebrew "o" is sounded as a long "o" but shorter than the o in "dote" Almost everyone is familiar with "Shalom" (goodbye and peace in Hebrew) - that is how "o" is pronounced.
There is no "o" sound in Arabic
The Hebrew "a" is usually pronounced as in "art." The Arabic "a" varies.
This is a guttural similar to the ch in the Scottish "loch" but much lighter, made at the back of the throat. In Hebrew, this letter is the first letter of the word " 'haver," which means "friend." Arabic words that use this letter and may be familiar to Westerners are 'humous and 'hamas.
In Arabic there is a sound like the 'ha'a that is harsher and closer to ch. This sound is sometimes transliterated as "ch" or "kh" like the chaf (Xa'a in Arabic) but it is not a chaf.
"ch" or "kh" (chaf in Hebrew, Xa'a in Arabic ) is a harder sound like Khrushchev (not K!)
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The Language of Modern Israel
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