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Mr. _____ wishes to know whether there is any guidance in the Bahá'í Writings about the style of pronunciation which Bahá'ís should adopt when learning to speak Arabic.

The Research Department has found nothing in the Bahá'í Writings which refers to the "proper" pronunciation of Arabic. However, we provide the following observations for Mr. _____'s consideration:

Bahá'ís who are neither Arabs nor Persians have generally picked up a pronunciation similar to that of the Persians because they have learned it from Persian Bahá'ís, but there is no constraint on them to follow this pattern if they are familiar with Arabic and wish to pronounce Arabic words in the Arabic manner. This could, however, present them with some practical difficulties unless they are in an Arab country. If, for example, when in America, Mr. _____ pronounces "Ridvan" in the Arabic manner, it may puzzle those who will hear the majority of their fellow Bahá'ís, Persian and American, using the Persian pronunciation or an approximation to it.

Transliteration and Pronunciation

Text of a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, dated 8 August 1995: