Today, around 25 countries around the world recognize Arabic as an official language. In many other countries, the Arabic language is the second official language. In England, about 2 million people speak Arabic and practice either classical Arabic, or dialect Arabic, or even both. As a result, the number of people who use the Arabic alphabet daily is significant.
To become a competent Arabic speaker, you have to start by learning the basics. And this learning of the basics of the Arabic language, as with any language, begins with learning the Arabic alphabet.
This article will see different methods to learn the Arabic alphabet online or on a smartphone easily.
How to learn the letters of the Arabic alphabet and their variants
As we know, the Arabic alphabet is different from the modern Latin alphabet. There are 28 Arabic letters, with some variations, unlike the 26 letters of the modern Latin alphabet, which have almost no variations. Also, when it comes to Arabic, you should know that an Arabic letter is written in the form of calligraphy. Writing in Arabic is, therefore, quite an art!
As with any alphabet, it is imperative to know the 28 letters that compose it. Of course, each letter has its own phonetics. Some letters are more difficult to pronounce than others for English speakers. However, a few are relatively easy to pronounce.
Unlike the modern Latin alphabet, the Arabic alphabet has a characteristic of its own. Each letter of the alphabet has three variations. Thus, the letters change according to their place in the sentence. Different variations are depending on the different positioning of the letters in a sentence.
As a result, there is writing for each Arabic letter in isolation, at the beginning of the sentence, in the middle, and at the end of the sentence.
If we do the math, to fully master the Arabic alphabet, it is unnecessary to know only 28 letters. It is also necessary to know the 4 forms of each of these letters. So it’s 112 signs in all that you will need to know!
You can see below a table of the 28 letters of the alphabet with their name, their phonetics, and the 4 total variants of these letters.
Of course, it is possible to dispense with writing and learning the Arabic alphabet to speak it phonetically. However, if you want to progress, become bilingual and learn to read Arabic, you will have to learn all these letters and variations!
Learning the Arabic alphabet on your own can seem like a very daunting task. But you have to take it little by little, and if possible having as much fun as possible. This is why we have selected some useful resources for you to make this learning easier for you.
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The al Madina Center for Arabic is the first language school specializing in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers, based in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Websites for learning the Arabic alphabet
When learning new languages, many people turn to the internet for help. And this is quite normal since the resources are not lacking! There are many articles, sites, and Arabic lessons available to help you learn the Arabic alphabet.
You can easily find efficient methods on the internet to learn and assimilate letters as a beginner. Most of the sites we found offer exercises and explanations for both pronunciation and signwriting. You will also find that each letter’s derivatives follow a certain logic and resemble the isolated form of the letter.
The site is Al-Dirassa. You can find free Arabic lessons on this site designed for beginners. You will learn letters of the alphabet, short vowels, double vowels at the end of words, long vowels, no vowel, doubling letters, linking letters, and reading in Arabic.
For each part of the lesson, the method remains the same and practices both writing and pronunciation. You can listen to the pronunciation of a letter, consonant, vowel, or word to make sure you know the correct sound.
If you want to go further, the site offers you to learn literary Arabic, at a cost, of course. However, the offer does not seem very attractive, and it would be better to pay for a private lesson, at home or online.
Other sites exist, but this one will have to do the trick.
Read more: best tips to learn the Arabic alphabet.
- Arabic, the sacred language of Islam, is spoken in dozens of countries worldwide and by hundreds of millions of people.
- Learning Arabic can seem complex at first, and it is! It is easier to learn English or Spanish because we share the same alphabet. Everything has to do with the alphabet and writing Arabic, which is left to right.
- Knowing and mastering the Arabic alphabet is imperative to be able to write and read it. This is probably one of the most difficult around, but with time and patience, anything is possible. You need to know each letter and the 4 total variations of each.
- There are many sites online to help you memorize and understand the Arabic alphabet. We have only presented 3 of them, but these seem to be the most suitable for learning the alphabet. This is a great way to adapt to this new alphabet and this new language for some.
You can find many mobile apps on Android and iOS to help you complete your learning, whether you’re on the subway or at home. We have presented you with the 2 simplest and most complete applications according to us.
Finally, you can contact us to receive personalized support to allow you to learn Arabic and its alphabet in the best possible conditions. We would be happy to help you!
The Al Madina Center offers three months of intensive courses to learn Arabic for non-Arabic speakers in its institute in Medina, Saudi Arabia. If you would like to join our intensive course, please contact us.