The Beginner’s Guide to Arabic

June 10, 2016

Here is an excerpt from book:

The Arabic Alphabet

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Alphabet

Arabic is read from right to left.

Almost all the letters in an Arabic word are joined together like hand writing.

Some letters can’t join because of their shape, but we’ll see them as they come.

There are 29 letters in the Arabic alphabet.

There is no such thing as capital letters versus small letters.

There is no such thing as printing versus hand writing, Arabic is all hand writing.

All the letters in the alphabet are consonants.

Vowels are separate marks that go on top or underneath these letters.

The letters are shown below

 Each letter has 4 forms (which look very similar to each other)
1. When you write the letter by itself.
2. When it comes in the beginning of a word.
3. When it comes in the middle of a word.
4. When it comes at the end of a word.
 The forms you saw in the chart above are when the letter is by itself.

Here’s an example of the letter Baa in all 4 forms

These are the vowels in the language

The Letters

The first letter of the Arabic alphabet is Aleph.
Remember that all 29 letters in the alphabet are consonants... well, this is not exactly true for Aleph. Aleph doesn’t have its own sound; it is used to stretch the short A vowel to form the long
AA vowel
This is how the Aleph looks in the four cases

Notice that the Aleph cannot connect to the letter after it. There will be a small gap between the Aleph and the next letter.
 Aleph is one of 6 letters that cannot connect to the following letter. The other 5 will be
discussed later.
 The next letters of the Arabic alphabet are Baa, Taa and Thaa.
 We are grouping these letters together because the basic shape of the letters looks the same;
only the dots are different.
 Baa corresponds to the English B.
 Taa corresponds to the English T, but it’s softer.
 Thaa corresponds to the combination TH, as in “thank.”
 The 4 forms of these letters are the same; the only difference is the number and position of dots.

The next letters are Jeem, Haa and Khaa

Jeem corresponds to the English J

Haa corresponds to the English H, but it’s much more throaty

Khaa corresponds to the combination KH

In writing, Jeem, Haa and Khaa each have the same body, as follows

The next letters of the alphabet are Daal and Dhaal
Daal sounds like the letter D in English, but softer
Dhaal sounds like the combination TH, as in “that”
This is how these two letters look in their 4 forms.
Notice that Daal and Dhaal do NOT connect to the following letter

The next letters of the alphabet are Raa and Zeiy
 Raa sounds somewhat like the letter R in English
 Zeiy sounds like the letter Z in English
 The name of the letter Zeiy is sometimes pronounced Zeiy (“Zaa-ee”) or even Zayen (“Zaa-yen”)
 Raa and Zeiy have the same body
 Raa and Zeiy do NOT connect to the following letter


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