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Learn Arabic

Assalam-Alaikum!

 
 In the Name of Allah,
Most Gracious
Most Merciful

The Arabic Alphabet

In the Arabic alphabet, we have 29 letters three of which are long vowels. The rest of the letters are consonants. Each letter is given a name which contains the letter itself.

ث

ت

ب

ا

ثاء thaa

تاء taa

باء baa

الف alif

th

t

b

ă

 

خ

ح

ج

خاء khaa

حاء haa

جيم jeem

kh

h``

j

 

ز

ر

ذ

د

زاء zaa

راء raa

ذال zaal

دال daal

z`

r

dh

th

 

ض

ص

ش

س

ضاد dhaad

صاد saad

شين sheen

سين seen

dh``

s`

sh

s

 

غ

ع

ظ

ط

غين ghein

عين ein

ظاء zaa

طاء thaa

gh

 ---

z``

th``

 

ك

ق

ف

كاف kaaf

قاف qaaf

فاء faa

k

q

f

 

ه

ن

م

ل

هاء haa

نون noon

ميم meem

لام laam

h`

n

m

l

 

ي

ء

و

ياء yaa

همزة hamza

واو  waow

y

a`

w

Syllables are the building blocks of speech and they come in three types; 1) consonant vowel, 2) vowel consonant, and 3) consonant vowel consonant. That is to say, a syllable may be formed by having a consonant followed by a vowel, such as in the word 'TO', a vowel followed by consonant, such as in the word 'OF', or two vowels with a consonant in between, such as in the word 'FOR'. In Arabic, we use only types one and three.

Since the Arabic alphabet has no letters which are vowels, there are symbols that are placed either above or beneath the consonants and these act as vowel sounds. They are three.

Furthermore, towards the end of words, the vowels may be doubled. When a vowel is doubled i.e. two of the symbols for that vowel are placed atop or underneath the letter, the sound of the word ends with an 'N'. Click on the vowels in the charts to hear the demonstrations. The long vowels will be discussed in chapters to come.

Note that each vowel has a name, the vowels collectively have a name, the letters which contain a vowel have a name, letters are named specifically depending on which vowel they hold, and doubled vowels are also given names. The first row of the charts contain the examples, the second rows show the individual names of the vowels, the third rows show the adjective used to describe the letter which is attributed with the given vowel, the fourth rows show the English equivalents, and the columns to the right show the collective name for the group.

Click on the letter with the vowel to hear a demonstration of the sound the vowel makes, and click on the name of the vowel to hear what it is called. Finally, note that a letter has been chosen at random to demonstrate the vowels; this is because vowels don't simply appear by themselves, they must be associated to a letter.

ءِ

ءَ

ءُ

 

كسرة kasra

فتحة fathha

ضمة dhamma

harakaat حركات

مكسور maksoor

مفتوح maftooh

مضموم madhmoom

mutaharrik متحرك

e, i

a

o, u

 

 

ءٍ

ءً

ءٌ

 

كسرتين kasratein

فتحتين fathhatein

ضمتين dhammatein

تنوين tanween

مكسور maksoor

مفتوح maftooh

مضموم madhmoom

منون munawwan

en, in

an

on, un

 

The entire alphabet is presented with the first vowel atop the letter. Click on each letter to hear what it sounds like when coupled with this vowel. After the alphabet is a serious of practice questions. These questions are a series of small, selected letters designed for practice purposes.

To start, recall that this first short vowel is known as the dhamma. The letter which holds the dhamma is known as madhmoom. The dhamma is one of the three harakaat and the letter which holds one of these harakaat is known as mutaharrik. The dhamma is the English equivalent of the letter 'O' and 'U'. For example, the letter 'baa' with its dhamma will be pronounced 'bu' with a long 'U'.

One should have memorized the Arabic alphabet. In this lesson, please make an effort to become acquainted with the sounds vowels make. In the next many lessons, each of the vowels will be targeted for practice; take this opportunity to become familiar with reading Arabic script, and attaching vowels. Note that the letter 'hamza' has bee transfered from the end of the alphabet to atop the letter 'alif'.

ثُ

تُ

بُ

أُ

 

دُ

خُ

حُ

جُ

 

ضُ

صُ

شُ

سُ

زُ

رُ

ذُ

 

كُ

قُ

فُ

غُ

عُ

ظُ

طُ

 

يُ

وُ

هُ

نُ

مُ

لُ

 

Practice

Try to pronounce each combination of letters below. These are not actual words, but they have been selected to assist in the learning of these vowels.

شُيُبُ

كُفُنُ

رُوُنُ

ذُهُبُ

عُقُلُ

دُخُلُ

ضُعُفُ

جُزُءُ

حُسُنُ

طُغُتُ

قُصُصُ

بُيُعُ

حُلُقُ

بُخُلُ

قُرُنُ

 
La ILaha IL ALLAH

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