Arabic Alphabet Guide for Beginners

Arabic Alphabet

Is it so difficult to learn the Arabic alphabet? It is not even that challenging. or at least not as challenging as you might think! We will discuss some of the most significant facts concerning the Arabic Alphabet. There are only a few guidelines you must follow, a lot of different new letters which are written in a different direction, but it’s unquestionably doable, we promise.


Overview of the Arabic Alphabet

The study of the letters of the Arabic language is the basis from which it starts when learning the Arabic language. Whoever wants to learn the Holy Quran; needs to learn the language in which this Holy book was revealed, which is the Arabic language, so we will explain the meanings of each letter. It’s not as difficult as it seems to read and write in Arabic using the Arabic alphabet. The foreign Arabic characters can be unsettling for English speakers.


The Arabic Alphabet

The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad has 28 letters, all of which stand for consonants. Alif (ا), waw (و), and yaa (ي) are three letters that, in some instances, can also stand in for long vowels. The alphabet does not include short vowels.


Introduction to Arabic Letters

Arabic is written using a variety of characters in addition to the alphabetic letters. Some of these symbols are not recognized to be part of the alphabet. A strange shape-shifting consonant called hamza is among them, along with different spellings, short vowel markers, and many other markers of pronunciation, and Arabic grammar. While some of these characters are necessary for proper writing, others are usually optional in texts and are rarely used.


 Detailed Breakdown of Each Arabic Letter (with pronunciation)

Now, we will study the Arabic letters in detail with their pronunciation in Arabic and English language

The isolated letter Pronunciation in English Transliteration Pronunciation in Arabic
ا Like A in ant Āalif أَلِف
ب Like B in Boy bāĀ بَاء
ت Like T in Tall tāĀ تَاء
ث Like the Th in Three ThāĀ ثَاء
ج  like the G in Good or like the G in engine Jīm جِيم
ح Like the h in he but light in pronunciation HāĀ حَاء
خ Like the Ch in the of name Bach ḰāĀ خَاء
د Like the D in Door dāl دَال
ذ Like the Th in The ḏāl ذَال
ر Like the R in Rat rāĀ رَاء
ز Like the Z in zoo zāy زَاي
س Like the S in Sea sīn سِين
ش Like the Sh in She šīn شِين
ص Like the S in Sad but heavier in pronunciation Sād صَاد
ض Like the D in Dead but heavier in pronunciation Dād ضَاد
ط Like the T in Dead but heavier in pronunciation TāĀ طَاء
ظ Like the Z in Zorro but heavier in pronunciation DhāĀ ظَاء
ع Like A sound in the name Ali 3ayn عَينٍ
غ Like the Gh in Ghandi ğhayn غَين
ف Like the F in Foot fāĀ فَاء
ق Like the Q in Queen qāf قَاف
ك Like the C in Cat kāf كَاف
ل Like the L in Life lām لاَم
م Like the M in Moon mīm مِيم
ن Like the N in No nūn نُون
ه Like the H in Hat hāĀ هَاء
و Like the W in WAW! wāw وَاو
ي Like the Y in You yāĀ يَاء


read more about what are Sun and Moon Letters


 Arabic Letters Without an English Equivalent

There are some letters in the Arabic language that have no equivalent in the English language:

  • The a’ (3ayn ع)

It is created by repositioning the epiglottis so that it is nearly touching the back of the throat. This sound is always light so do not mix between the (ع) and the (ء) as,

Aziz عزيز

Samie سميع

  • The ha’ (Hā ح)

It is created, though not as much as in the (ع), by bringing the epiglottis to the rear wall of the throat. As a result, the epiglottis will not make contact with the throat’s back wall. we notice that the sound of the (ح)is different because the sound of the (ح) is produced by the air coming out as,

Halim حليم  

Rahim رحيم 

  • The a’ (ghayn غ)

It is created by touching the tongue’s root against the soft palate, especially the uvula as,

Ghafur غفور

Almaghdub المغضوب

  • The kha’ (khā خ)

It is also created by placing the tongue’s root against the soft palate. We do not apply as much pressure to the uvula as we do in the (غ) because the (خ)is a little lower than the (غ).

Khaliq خالق 

‘akhadh أخذ 

  • The (ص Sād): 

Do not raise your lower lip like some readers do; instead, make the (ص) heavy and give it its hams and whistles as,

Alsala الصلاة 

Sarf   صرف  

  • The (ض Dhād)

It is made by pressing on the left, right, or both sides of the tongue’s margins as they touch the gum of the upper molars as,

aldaraa’ الضراء

Alard الأرض 


Writing Arabic Letters

The writing system for Arabic and several other Asian and African languages is known as the Arabic script. After the Latin alphabet, it is the second most extensively used alphabetic writing system worldwide.

here’s a video list of how to write letters in Arabic

The Direction of Arabic Writing

Arabic is written and read horizontally from right to left, as are all Semitic languages.

The Cursive Nature of Arabic Writing

Depending on where they are in the word and whether they are connected to a letter before them, Arabic letters take on distinct shapes. All letters can join from the right side, or to the letter that comes before them, but some cannot connect from the left side, or to the letter that comes after them. 

Every letter can therefore be categorized as either a connector—a letter that connects on both sides—or a non-connector—a letter that does not connect to the letter after it. Only six letters are non-connectors, the majority of which are connectors. In the middle of a word, they create a pause. 

  1. alif ( أ )
  2. waw ( و )
  3. dal ( د )
  4. dhal ( ذ )
  5. raa ( ر )
  6. zay ( ز )



Different Forms of Arabic Letters (Isolated, Initial, Medial, and Final)

Each letter of the Arabic letters has four forms:

  • when it is written Isolated by itself
  • When it comes in the word-initial position
  • When it comes in the word-medial position
  • When it comes in the word-final position
Transliteration of the Arabic letter When it is written Isolated When it comes in the word-initial position When it comes in the word-medial position When it comes in the word-final position
Āalif ا ـا
bāĀ ب بـ ـبـ ـب
tāĀ ت تـ ـتـ ـت
ThāĀ ث ثـ ـثـ ـث
Jīm ج جـ ـجـ ـج
HāĀ ح حـ ـحـ ـح
ḰāĀ خ خـ ـخـ ـخ
dāl د ـد
ḏāl ذ ـذ
rāĀ ر ـر
zāy ز ـز
sīn س سـ ـسـ ـس
šīn ش شـ ـشـ ـش
Sād ص صـ ـصـ ـص
Dād ض ضـ ـضـ ـض
TāĀ ط طـ ـطـ ـط
DhāĀ ظ ظـ ـظـ ـظ
3ayn ع عـ ـعـ ـع
ğhayn غ غـ ـغـ ـغ
fāĀ ف فـ ـفـ ـف
qāf ق قـ ـقـ ـق
kāf ك كـ ـكـ ـك
lām ل لـ ـلـ ـل
mīm م مـ ـمـ ـم
nūn ن نـ ـنـ ـن
hāĀ ه هـ ـهـ ـه
wāw و ـو
yāĀ ي يـ ي ـي


Applying the Arabic Alphabet 

It is the time to learn how to apply the Arabic letters and start to form words. In Arabic, word formation is the process and way of creating words from letters by adding suffixes, prefixes, and infixes to the root of the word. Forming new words may also by changing the diacritical marks which are like Arabic short vowels. 


Forming Words in Arabic

Take the Arabic word root (لَعَبَ he plays) which is a verb.

By adding the prefix مَـ to it and changing the diacritical marks, it becomes(مَلْعَبٌ) which is a noun.

By adding the infix ـا to it and changing the diacritical marks, it becomes (لَاعِبٌ player) which is a noun.


Common Arabic Words for Practice 

What would be the first thing you learn in a new language, as you presumably already know? The greetings, goodbyes, thank-yous, and so forth. To help you get started learning, we’ve put up a collection of brief and frequently used Arabic words.

Transliteration Arabic
Hello  marhaban مرحبًا
Welcome  ahlan أهلًا
Ok  hasanan حسنًا
Sorry  alma’thirah المعذرة
Yes  ‘ajal  نعم
No  Laa  لا
Father  Ab  أب
Mother  Um أم
Brother  Akh أخ
Sister  ukht أخت
Baby  tifl طفل
Life  hayaah حياة
Good  jayid جيد
Bad  sayi سيئ
Happy  sa’eed سعيد
Help  musaa’dah مساعدة


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The Importance of Learning the Arabic Alphabet

Although learning Arabic letters seems somewhat tiring at the beginning, their learning is very important and essential to progress in the process of learning the language, and therefore it is good to buy a book specialized in that.


The Unique Aspects of the Arabic Alphabet

There are some unique aspects of the Arabic alphabet:

  • Words are created by joining letters together.
  •  Uppercase or capital letters are not used in the Arabic script.
  • Certain letters have dots on them.
  • One of the no-fuss tricks of Arabic pronunciation is that you can determine the correct pronunciation merely by looking at the spelling of the word.
  • There are numerous print formats, font varieties, and writing styles used in Arabic, but the most popular are “normal writing” (n-naskh) and “r-ruqa.” It is recommended that an elementary or intermediate reader or learner utilize the /n-naskh/ writing form.


Differences Between Arabic and English Alphabets

There are many differences between Arabic and English alphabets:

  • The Arabic alphabet’s structure is unique compared to that of other languages.
  • Arabic words are written and read from right to left.
  • Arabic words are created by joining letters together.
  • Arabic letters can be written in three distinct ways depending on where they are in the letter position: initial, medial, and final.
  • Some Arabic letters do not directly correspond to English sounds, which might be difficult for English speakers. One such is the frequently used Arabic letter (Dhad ض), which is absent from other languages. Arabic is frequently referred to as “the language of Dhad” because of this well-known letter.


Practical Exercises

After we learned the Arabic letters and the way words are formed, let’s do some exercises to make sure of our understanding of the above.

 Pronunciation Practice

How to pronounce the following words?

  • جيد
  • مساعدة
  • حسنًا

Writing Practice 

 Form words from the following word roots?

  • كَتَبَ
  • سَمَعَ
  • لَعَبَ

Reading Practice

How to read the following words?

  • أب
  • نعم
  • سعيد


 Conclusion paragraph

Now that you have it, you are well on your way to learning Arabic. You have now learned a lot about how to begin reading and writing in Arabic, even though it might not be as simple as memorizing a single set of Arabic letters. The Arabic language is elegant and sophisticated. And the Arabic writing system is so beautiful that it is almost like art. What is the best way to learn Arabic and become fluent?


Discover the Beauty of the Arabic Alphabet with Kalimah Center

Diving into the intricacies of the Arabic alphabet can be both enchanting and challenging. But with Kalimah Center’s online Arabic course, you’re not just learning letters; you’re experiencing a rich tapestry of linguistic history and culture. Our dedicated instructors at Kalimah Center are passionate about bringing the Arabic script to life, ensuring that each student grasps the nuances and beauty of each letter. Whether you’re a beginner eager to start your journey or someone looking to refine your skills, our comprehensive course is tailored to meet your needs. Join us at Kalimah Center and unlock the door to a world of linguistic wonder. Your journey into the heart of the Arabic language starts here. start a free lesson now

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