The Arabic Alphabet

Welcome to our lesson the Arabic alphabet! If the letters just look like squiggles at the moment, don’t worry. We’re going to start at the beginning, and keep it nice and simple. Soon it won’t be long until you know the entire Arabic alphabet!

Resources for further reading:

Introducing the Arabic Alphabet

Now it's time to get into the Arabic alphabet! Let's start with an overview of the complete alphabet before diving into the different forms of each letter.

There are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet, and each letter has a name and a sound. Some of these letters sound very similar to English letters, and some of them have sounds that might be completely new to you!

Cursive & Capitals

Arabic is written from right to left, and the words are formed by joining the letters together in a seamless cursive flow. There is no such thing as capital or lowercase letters in Arabic. However, letters are sometimes written slightly differently when they appear alone, or in the beginning, middle or end of a word.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Usually, letters written in isolation or at the end of a word would look very similar. Similarly, a letter written in the beginning and middle of a word would look mostly the same. Don’t get overwhelmed though! We’ll explain it all in detail as we look at each letter in these lessons.

Friendly & Unfriendly Letters

One interesting point to keep in mind when learning to write in Arabic is that some letters don’t like to join other letters. We call these “unfriendly letters,” as they don’t connect with the letter that comes after it. “Friendly letters” however, will happily join with other letters before and after them.

Vowels

In Arabic, short vowels are not standalone letters. Instead, they are “diacritics” (or symbols) that have the ability to change the pronunciation of each letter if written together. We’ll explain the whole concept of vowels to you in a later lesson!

The Alphabet

For today’s lesson, we want you to see the whole alphabet in order and hear what each letter sounds like. We’ll go into more detail for each of the letters later. Try to imitate the sound of each letter as you see them. Let’s get started!

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

Rocket Record lets you perfect your Arabic pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!

ا

alif

ب

bih

ت

tih

ث

thih

ج

gīm

ح

ḥa

خ

kha

د

dāl

ذ

zāl

ر

rih

ز

zayn

س

sīn

ش

shīn

ص

ṣād

ض

ḍād

ط

ṭah

ظ

ẓah

ع

‘ayn

غ

ghayn

ف

fih

ق

qāf

ك

kāf

ل

lām

م

mīm

ن

nūn

ه

hih

و

waw

ي

yih

ء

hamza

So that’s the whole alphabet! It's also all for today. Make sure you come back to this lesson as your point of reference if you need to work on reciting your alphabet!

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!