The two suggested terms are pronounced:
The “Glossaries” link on the left side of this page is your best resource for a dictionary look up of a term with no context (like “woman – a person”).
But if you need help with a term that you wish to use in a definable context, then you will find KudoZ to be a uniquely efficient resource that dictionaries cannot match. When using this resource, you can almost guarantee useful answers (specific to your need, with minimal guessing about the intended use) when you include sufficient information about the term in question:
- How you intend to use the term: Will it be used as a title for a work of art, as a name of a product, a callout in a diagram, or will it be part of a specific sentence? Notice the different ways the word “woman” is used in the following sentences:
1. Jane is a gifted woman.
2. That woman gives me the creeps.
3. A woman’s hair should complement, not distract from, her face.
4. Corazon Aquino was the 1986 Time Magazine Woman of the Year.
5. The year 1992 was called the “Year of the Woman.”
6. “I am woman, hear me roar.” - Helen Reddy
7. You can’t understand this; it’s a woman thing.
- Will you be saying the word or writing it? If we write it out for you in Arabic letters, can you display Arabic text on your computer, and if so, can you vocalize the word, or do you need a pronunciation guide?
- If you intend to use the term in conversation, what is your target dialect? Are you familiar with Arabic regional differences?
Lack of explanation almost guarantees either aimless guessing of the intended usage, or multiple answers for you to choose from, with little guidance on how to do that.
Risking oversimplification, here is some guidance that should help a bit. The two suggestions given above are suitable for formal use in a context using classical Arabic. If the context is conversational, then you would use a vernacular term. Vernacular terms vary according to the dialect. Examples: In Eastern Saudi Arabia, we say MARA, in many other regions they say SITT, in the Sudan they say ZOLA, etc.
Suggestion 1 (IMRA’A) is a singular term referring to a woman, as in sentence 1 in the above 7 examples.
Suggestion 2 (AL-MAR’A) is most suitable for contexts where the reference is to “womankind,” as in sentence 5.
In both terms, the apostrophe represents a glottal stop.