Zā '

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Za in isolated form
connected shapes
ـظ ـظـ ظـ
from the right both sides to the left

Zā ' ( Arabic ظاء, DMG Ẓāʾ ) is the 17th letter of the Arabic alphabet . The numerical value 900 is assigned to it.


Unlike most other Arabic letters, the Za did not emerge directly from a Phoenician letter. In the early days of the Arabic language, the diacritical points were still missing, Za was written exactly like the Ṭa . A point was later added to the Za to distinguish the two letters.

Sound value and transcription

The Za belongs to the four so-called emphatic sounds and has no equivalent in German. The point of articulation is either the same as in the Zay (= voiced "s") or as in the Dhal (= voiced "th"), but the speaking apparatus is slightly tense and the back of the tongue is raised towards the roof of the mouth. In the DMG inscription, Za is reproduced with a dotted z (ẓ). In non-scientific transcription, “z” is mostly used, whereby the distinction from zay is lost.

In all dialects is ض( Dād ) withظ (Zā) originally to ظ(Zā) [ ðˁ ] collapsed. In urban and rural dialects, on the other hand, all interdentals were shifted to dentals, thus [ðˁ] to [ ]. In order to make the dialectically lost distinction betweenض and ظTo preserve, the pronunciation [ ] for was used in urban and rural dialectsظ. Therefore, depending on the prestige pronunciation, the pronunciations [zˁ] (Egypt, Levant) and [ðˁ] (Iraq, Gulf) exist forظ. The pronunciation rules of the Koran still require [ðˁ].

The Za is a sun letter , i.e. i.e., a preceding al- (definite article) is assimilated.

Za in Unicode

Unicode codepoint U + 0638
HTML & # 1592;
ISO 8859-6 0xd8