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Reading & Writing Arabic

Arabic Alphabet

What is this Tutorial About?

Successive lessons on Arabic require reading knowledge of the language. This tutorial will kick-start your reading and writing knowledge in order that you may carry on to the grammar, morphology, and other advanced topics. Proper reading and writing come with time and much practice; this tutorial gives you the tools you need for this.

Introduction

Arabic is read from right to left. Its alphabet consists of 29 letters, most of which are consonants, that are appended together in order to form strings of letters. For example, below we take three of the 29 letters and string them together.

 

جلس

=

س

+

ل

+

ج

JLS

=

S

+

L

+

J

 

But strings of consonants cannot be pronounced; try pronouncing “jls”.  What we need is vowels in order to make syllables. In Arabic, vowels are not letters; they are ticks atop or beneath a letter. We have three short vowels in the language: A, I, and U. If we assign each letter in the above string of letters the A vowel, it becomes a word and we can pronounce it:

 

جَلَسَ

=

سَ

+

لَ

+

جَ

JALASA

=

SA

+

LA

+

JA

 

Although letters in Arabic are neither capital nor small, they do have different forms based on how they’re appended to the rest of a word.

 

LearnArabicOnline.com’s sister site has a very comprehensive tutorial on reading and writing Arabic. It covers all of the following aspects:

 

·         all the letters: their order, their names, pronunciation

·         all the vowels: short vowels, long vowels, doubled vowels, absence of vowel

·         how to join letters to form words

·         reading and writing practices

 

Although the above tutorial is very comprehensive, some of the topics are designed for beginners. As a result, we have expanded on those aspects and we present advanced discussions here. Below is a list of topics upon which we have expanded.

 

·         Rules for Writing Hamza

·         Cluster Reduction

 



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