Letters in the Arabic alphabet are written from right to left. In total, there are 28 letters in the alphabet. All the letters denote consonant sounds e.g b, d, t etc., with the exception of the letter «Alif» which we will discuss later. To view a chart with the alphabet, press the button:
In the following few lessons we will go over each letter if Allah wills.
The pronunciation of Arabic letters is slightly different from the pronunciation of Russian letters, so if you want to pronounce them correctly, you will need to put in the effort. Learning them on your own is quite a difficult challenge, that is why we strongly recommend taking lessons from a live teacher.
As an example, let’s have a look at the second letter of the alphabet:
This letter, like all the other letters of the alphabet, has a name and it is called «ba». In the text «ba» is pronounced as «b». This is similar to how in the Old Church Slavonic alphabet letters «a» , «b» , «v» , had names «az» , «buki», «vedi» etc.
It is also important to know that words cannot consist of only consonants. For instance, the words «car» or «alphabet» without vowels will be «cr» and «lphbt». It is the same in Arabic. There are 3 short vowel sounds in total in Arabic: «a» , «i» , «u» and no others besides these three. They are written on top and underneath the consonant letters and look like this:
There could be any other letter instead of «ba» here. The signs highlighted in red are vowels. Each vowel has a name:
But it may also happen that a letter does not have a vowel. In this case, a small circle is placed on the top of a letter – «sukun». Here's what it looks like:
Another interesting characteristic of the Arabic alphabet is that the letters are written differently at the
The letters highlighted in red indicate the position of the letter «ba» in a word. Here is what they stand for:
This is how the forms of writing of other letters will be signified hereafter.
An example of an Arabic word with «ba» in it (highlighted in red):
All four forms have to be memorized but try not to lose courage, nor be frightened as millions of non-Arabs have already learned them, including the elderly and children.
The good news is that Arabic does not have uppercase and lowercase letters like in other alphabets (uppercase letters are also called «capital letters» and they are bigger than lowercase versions).
That is it. It was an introductory lesson in which we got to know some features of the Arabic alphabet. In the following lessons, we will look at all the letters in more detail, and also learn how to connect letters into words and even sentences, if Allah wills.
What have we learned in this lesson?
1. Letters in the Arabic alphabet are written from right to left.
2. There are 28 letters in the alphabet and all of them are consonant except for «Alif»
3. There are only three vowels in Arabic: fathah — a, kasrah — i, dammah — u/ou.
4. If a letter does not have a vowel, «sukun» is placed on top of it.
5. Each letter has 4 variants of writing depending on their position in a word.
6. Arabic does not have uppercase and lowercase letters like in other alphabets (uppercase letters are also called «capital letters» and they are bigger than lowercase versions).
1. Get a new copybook for doing homework. You will need it to make notes of what you have learned in this lesson.
2. Make a brief summary of this lesson. It will also be necessary to take notes for the following lessons.