Jeem as Sun or Moon Letter?

According to my MSA book, Jeem is a moon letter. But Harrell uses z with a caret in transliteration instead of j, and therefore treats it as a sun letter. Supposedly, so both author/scholars say, Darija pronounces jeem as the ‘s’ in pleasure, but my experience suggests it is not so cut and dried. In typing on an English keyboard, my wife uses ‘j’, not ‘z’ or any variation thereof. Thoughts? Insights? Explanations?

Salam :).

That’s a good question. Jeep is a moon letter in MSA: Aljamalo (the camel), Aljabalo (the mountain), etc. However, it switch to the Mediterranean weather while used in Moroccan Arabic, and becomes a sun letter: Jjml (the camel), jjbl (the mountain).

The first thing I noticed with the Harrell book users was the Z/j thing. It’s very confusing, because if you transcribe jeem as Z, with a caret or not, a Moroccan will read it as plain z (like in zebra). Imagine if you want to tell a Moroccan your amazing story about jbl (mountain) and you spell it as zbl, it becomes trash. (No seriously, zbl means trash!)
I don’t see what you mean by cut and dried, but jeem is really like s in pleasure. In real Arabic, it’s actually like the English J in James. I like it when I hear it like that in fus7a, but we don’t pronounce it as so in Darija.

Was that enough for an answer? Did I give a full insight? If I made you more confused (I sometimes do), please don’t hesitate to ask.

[quote= MalikRumi ]No, not confusing at all, and I will be careful not to call anyone’s camel trash! :wink:

When I said ‘cut and dried’, what I meant was when I ask, people are always clear that it is a j. They don’t think of it as an s or a z. But if you pronounce it like the s in pleasure, then of course that is more like a sun letter than a moon letter, which I suppose explains the transition.

I guess Harrell was thinking the s in pleasure sounds more like a z and so that is why he used it in transliteration, since the book is actually aimed at Westerners who don’t know Arabic script. But it obviously never caught on, adding to the confusion.[/quote]