Arabic

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Arabic letters change their shape according to their position in a word...

The Arabic script is essentially a cursive script, much like handwritten English. I.e. almost all the letters within a word are connected to each other. This necessitates certain changes in their shapes. If you write an English word cursively, then you will also make certain changes to the letters. For example, the letter “s” will be connected to the letter on the left with a diagonal stroke if that preceding letter is e.g. an “n”.

However, in Arabic these changes can be quite drastic. Take a look at the following table that summarizes the letters in the Arabic alphabet and their shapes according to whether they are:
1) on their own (isolated),
2) at the start of a word
3) in the middle of a word
or
4) at the end of a word.

The Arabic Alphabet

* The six letters marked with an asterisk (*) cannot be connected to the left.

You should write the letters a few times each to get a feeling for them.

 

If you want to learn how to read and write all the letters of the Arabic alphabet fast and without rote learning, then check out Arabic Genie’s The Magic Key To The Arabic Alphabet.

Pronouncing the Arabic sounds

Now that you’ve had a first glance at the Arabic alphabet, you’re ready to learn the pronunciation of the letters.

To hear the pronunciation of the Arabic letters you should head over to the Arabic letters application.

For simplicity let’s divide the letters into three groups, according to their difficulty.

Easy

In this group are all the letters that are more or less exactly pronounced as their English counterparts.

Easy Arabic sounds

Medium

These letters are still somewhat similar to English sounds, but already more difficult to pronounce.

Medium Arabic Sounds

Difficult

These Arabic letters can prove tough to pronounce for beginners. Keep at it, though, and listen to recordings of native speakers. Eventually, your throat will hurt and you’ll get it right!

Difficult Arabic Sounds

Greeting Words …

 

 

Arabic basic verbs (أفعال أساسية)

 

English Standard Arabic Transliteration Egyptian Arabic Transliteration
to be (not used in present tense) كان – يكون (كون) kaana – yakuunu (koon) kaan – yikuun (koon)
to do; to make فعل – يفعل (فعل) fa3ala – yaf3alu (fa3l) عمل – يعمل 3amal – yi3mil (3amal)
to work عمل – يعمل (عمل) 3amala – ya3milu (3amal) اشتغل – يشتغل (سغل) ištaġal – yištaġil (šuġl)
to bring, fetch أحضر – يحضر (احضار) aHDara – yuHDiru (iHDaar) جاب – يجيب (جيبان) gaab – yigiib (gayabaan)
to take أخذ – يأخذ (أخذ) axada – ya’xudu (axd) خد – ياخد (اخد) xad – yaaxud (axd)
to put وضع – يضع (وضع) waDa3a – yaDa3u (waD3) حطّ – يحطّ (حطّ) HaTT – yiHoTT (HaTT)
to become أصبح – يصبح (اصباح) aSbaHa – yuSbiHu (iSbaaH) بقى – يبقى ba’a – yib’a
to change (s.t.) غيّر – يغيّر (تغيير) ġayyara – yuġayyiru (taġyiir) ġayyar – yiġayyar (taġyiir)
to count عدّ – يعدّ (عدّ) 3adda – ya3uddu (3add) 3add – yi3idd (3add)
to go (to) ذهب – يذهب (ذهاب) إلى dahaba – yadhabu (dahaab) ila راح – يروح (مرواح | روحان) raaH – yiruuH (mirwaaH/rawaHaan)
to walk مشى – يمشي (مشي) maša – yamši (mašy) مشي – يمشي (مشي) miši – yimši (mašy)
to run جرى – يجري (جري) jara – yajri (jary) geri – yigri (gary)
to come جاء – يجئ (جيئة) jaa’a – yajii’u (jii’a) جه – يجي (مجي) geh – yiigi (migiyy)
أتى – يأتي (اتي) ata – yaa’ti (aty)  
to return رجع – يرجع (رجوع) إلى raja3a – yarja3u (rujuu3) rigi3 – yirga3 (ruguu3)
عاد – يعود (عودة) إلى 3aada – ya3uudu (3awda)  
to arrive وصل – يصل (وصول) إلى waSala – yaSilu (wuSuul) ila وصل – يوصل (وصول) wiSil – yiwSil (wuSuul)
to sit جلس – يجلس (جلوس) jalasa – yajlisu (juluus) قعد – يقعد (قعاد) ‘a3ad – yu’3ud (‘u3aad)
to get up, rise قام – يقوم (قيام) qaama – yaquumu (qiyaam) ‘aam – yi’uum (‘iyaam)
to fall وقع – يقع (وقوع) waqa3a – yaqa3u (wuquu3) وقع – يوقع (وقوع) wi’i3 – yiw’a3 (wu’uu3)
سقط – يسقط (سقوط) saqaTa – yasquTu (suquuT)  
to go up طلع – يطلع (طلوع) Tala3a – yaTla3u (Tuluu3) Tili3 – yiTla3 (Tuluu3)
to go down نزل – ينزل (نزول) nazila – yanzilu (nuzuul) nizil – yinzil (nuzuul)
to cook طبخ – يطبخ (طبخ) Tabaxa – yaTbuxu (Tabx) Tabax – yiTbux (Tabx)
to eat أكل – يأكل (أكل) akala – yaa’kulu (akl) كل – ياكل (أكل) kal – yaakul (akl)
to drink شرب – يشرب (شرب) šariba – yašrabu (šurb) širib – yišrab (šurb)
to wake up صحى – يصحو (صحو) SaHa – yaSHu (SaHw) صحي – يصحى (صحو) SaHa – yiSHa (SaHw)
استيقظ – يستيقظ (استيقاظ) istayqaZa – yastayqiZu (istiiqaaZ)  
to sleep نام – ينام (نوم) naama – yanaamu (nawm) naam – yinaam (noom)
to wash غسل – يغسل (غسل) ġasala – yaġsilu (ġasl) ġasal – yiġsil (ġasl/ġasiil)
to clean نظّف – ينظّف (تنظيف) naZZafa – yunaZZifu (tanZiif) naZZaf – yinaZZaf (tanZiif)
to study درس – يدرس (دراسة) darasa – yadrusu (diraasa) daras – yidris (diraasa)
to learn تعلّم – يتعلّم (تعلّم) ta3allama – yata3allamu (ta3allum) اتعلّم – يتعلّم (تعلّم) it3allim – yit3allim (ta3allum)
to understand فهم – يفهم (فهم) fahima – yafhamu (fahm) fihim – yifham (fahm)
to know عرف – يعرف (معرفة) 3arafa – ya3rifu (ma3rifa) 3irif – yi3raf (ma3rifa)
to remember تذكر – يتذكر (تذكر) tadakkara – yatadakkaru (tadakkur) افتكر – يفتكر (افتكار) iftakar – yiftikir (iftikaar)
to forget نسي – ينسى (نسي) nasiya – yansaa (nasi) nisi – yinsa (nasi)
to describe وصف – يصف (وصف) waSafa – yaSifu (waSf) وصف – يوصف (وصف) waSaf – yiwSif (waSf)
to try, test (s.t) جرّب – يجرّب (تجريب) jarraba – yujarribu (tajriib) garrab – yigarrib (tagriib)
to try, attempt to do s.t. حاول – يحاول (محاولة) أن Haawala – yuHaawilu (muHaawala) an
to be able to do s.t. قدر – يقدر (قدرة) أن qadara – yaqdiru (qudra) an ‘idir – yi’dir (‘odra)
استطاع – يستطيع (استطاعة) أن istaTaa3a – yastaTii3u (istiTaa3a) an  
to read قرأ – يقرأ (قراءة) qara’a – yaqra’ (qiraa’a) قرأ – يقرأ (قراية) ‘ara – yi’ra (‘iraaya)
to write كتب – يكتب (كتابة) kataba – yaktubu (kitaaba) katab – yiktib (kitaaba)
to translate ترجم – يترجم (ترجمة) tarjama – yutarjimu (tarjama) targam – yitargim (targama)
to talk (reflexive) تكلّم – يتكلّم (كلام | تكلّم) takallama – yatakallamu (kalaam/takallum) اتكلّم – يتكلّم (كلام) itkallim – yitkallim (kalaam)
تحدّث – يتحدّث (تحدّث) taHaddata – yataHaddatu (taHaddut)  
to say, tell قال – يقول (قول) qaala – yaquulu (qawl) ‘aal – yi’uul (‘awl)
to ask (a question) سأل – يسأل (سؤال) sa’ala – yas’alu (su’aal)
to request طلب – يطلب (طلب) Talaba – yaTlubu (Talab)
to reply, answer (to) أجاب – يجيب (اجابة) على ajaaba – yujiibu (ijaaba) 3ala agaab – yigiib (igaaba) 3ala
ردّ – يردّ (ردّ) على radda – yarudd (radd) 3ala
to thank شكر – يشكر (شكر) šakara – yaškuru (šukr) šakar – yiškur (šukr)
to complain (about) شكى – يشكو (شكوى) من šaka – yašku (šakwa) min اشتكى – يشتكي (شكوى) من ištaka – yištiki (šakwa) min
to promise وعد – يعد (وعد) بـ wa3ada – ya3idu (wa3d) bi وعد – يوعد (وعد) wa3ad – yiw3id (wa3d) bi
to see رأى – يرى (رؤية) ra’a – yara (ru’ya) شاف – يشوف (شوفان | شوف) šaaf – yišuuf (šawafaan/šoof)
to look at نظر – ينظر (نظر) إلى naZara – yanZuru (naZar) ila بصّ – يبصّ (بصّ | بصصان) على baSS – yibuSS (baSS/baSaSaan) 3ala
to look for بحث – يبحث (بحث) عن baHata – yabHatu (baHt) 3an دوّر – يدوّر (تدوير) على dawwar – yidawwar (tadwiir) 3ala
to find وجد – يجد (وجود) wajada – yajidu (wujuud) لاقى – يلاقي laa’a – yilaa’i (la’ayaan)
to lose (s.t.) ضيّع – يضيّع (تضييع) Dayya3a – yuDayyi3u (taDyii3)
to organize نظّم – ينظّم (تنظيم) naZZama – yunaZZimu (tanZiim)
to organize, tidy up رتّب – يرتّب (ترتيب) rattaba – yurattibu (tartiib)
to smoke (in general) دخّن – يدخّن (تدخين) daxxana – yudaxxinu (tadxiin)
to happen حدث – يحدث (حدوث) Hadata – yaHdutu (Huduut) حصل – يحصل (حصول) HaSal – yiHSal (HuSuul)
to watch شاهد – يشاهد (مشاهدة) šaahada – yušaahidu (mušaahada) اتفرّج – يتفرّج على itfarrag – yitfarrag 3ala
to hear سمع – يسمع (سمع | سماعة) sami3a – yasma3u (sam3/samaa3a) simi3 – yisma3 (sama3)
to listen to استمع – يستمع (استماع) إلى istama3a – yastami3u (istimaa3) ila سمع – يسمع (سمع) simi3 – yisma3 (sama3)
to give أعطى – يعطي (اعطاء) a3aTa – ya3aTi (i3Taa’) ادّى – يدّي (مدّية) idda – yiddi (middiyya)
to carry حمل – يحمل (حمل) Hamala – yaHmilu (Haml) شال – يشيل (شيل | شيلان) šaal – yišiil (šeil/šayalaan)
to love أحبّ – يحبّ (حبّ) aHabba – yuHibbu (Hubb) حبّ – يحبّ (حبّ) Habb – yiHibb (Hubb)
to hate كره – يكره (كره | كراهة) kariha – yakrahu (karh/karaaha) karah – yikrah (karh/karaaha)
to be born وُلد – يُولد (ولادة) wulida – yuuladu (wilaada) اتولد – يتولد itwalad – yitwalad
to live عاش – يعيش (معيشة) 3aaša – ya3iišu (ma3iiša)
to live (in a place) سكن – يسكن (سكن) في sakana – yaskunu (sakan) fi
to die مات – يموت (موت) maata – yamuutu (moot)
to pass away توفّي – يتوفي (وفاة) tuwuffiya – yutawaffayu (wafaah) اتوفى – يتوفي (وفاة) itwaffa – yitwaffi (wafaah)
to wait انتظر – ينتظر (انتظار) intaZara – yantaZiru (intiZaar) استنى – يستني istinna – yistinni
to buy اشترى – يشتري (شراء) ištara – yaštari (širaa’) ištara – yištiri
to sell باع – يبيع (بيع) baa3a – yabii3u (bii3)
to pay; to push دفع – يدفع (دفع) dafa3a – yadfa3u (daf3) dafa3 – yidfa3
to push   زق – يزق (زق) za” – yizu” (za”)
to open (s.t.) فتح – يفتح (فتح) fataHa – yaftaHu (fatH) fataH – yiftaH (fatH)
to close (s.t.) غلق – يغلق (غلق) ġalaqa – yaġliqu (ġalq) قفل – يقفل ‘afal – yi’fil
to begin, start (s.t.) بدأ – يبدأ (بدء) bada’a – yabda’u (bad’) bada’ – yibda’
to end (reflexive) انتهى – ينتهي (انتهاء) intaha – yantahi (intihaa’)
to stop (reflexive); to stand up وقف – يقف (وقف | وقوف) waqafa – yaqifu (waqf/wuquuf) wi’if – yiw’af (wa’f)
to finish (s.t.) خلّص – يخلّص (تخليص) xallaSa – yuxalliSu (taxliiS) xallaS – yixallaS (taxliiS)
  شطّب – يشطّب (تشطيب) šaTTab – yišaTTab (tašTiib)
to stop (reflexive); to stand up وقف – يقف (وقف | وقوف) waqafa – yaqifu (waqf/wuquuf) wi’if – yiw’af (wa’f)
to play لعب – يلعب (لعب) la3aba – yal3ibu (li3b)
to use (s.t.) استخدم – يستخدم (استخدام) istaxdama – yastaxdimu (istixdaam)
استعمل – يستعمل (استعمال) ista3mala – yasta3milu (isti3maal)
to enter دخل – يدخل (دخول) daxala – yadxulu (duxuul) daxal – yudxul
to go out خرج – يخرج (خروج) xaraja – yaxruju (xuruuj) xarag – yixrag
to leave غادر – يغادر (مغادرة) ġaadara – yuġaadiru (muġaadara) ساب – يسيب saab – yisiib
to ride (ex. a taxi) ركب – يركب (ركوب) rakiba – yarkabu (rukuub) rikib – yirkab
to send أرسل – يرسل (ارسال) arsala – yursilu (irsaal) بعت – يبعت ba3at – yib3at
to receive استلم – يستلم (استلام) istalama – yastalimu (istilaam) istalam – yistilim (istilaam)
to think (about s.t.) فكّر – يفكّر (تفكير) fakkara – yufakkiru (tafkiir) fakkar – yifakkar (tafkiir) fi
to think (that) ظنّ – يظنّ (ظن) أن Zanna – yaZunnu (Zann) anna افتكر – يفتكر iftakar – yiftikir
to believe (that) اعتقد – يعتقد (اعتقاد) i3taqada – ya3taqidu (i3tiqaad) anna
to need (s.t.) احتاج – يحتاج (احتياج) إلى iHtaaja – yaHtaaju (iHtiyaaj) ila iHtaag – yiHtaag
to want (to) أراد – يريد (ارادة) araada – yuriidu (iraada) an عايز – عايزة 3aayiz/3aayza (or 3aawiz/3aawza) – active participle
to succeed نجح – ينجح (نجاح) najaHa – yanjaHu (najaaH) nagaH – yingaH (nagaaH)
to fail فشل – يفشل (فشل) fašila – yafšalu (fašal)

 

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