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    Lesson 6 Part I

    The Basics of Arabic
    Rules of Transliteration
    This is Arabic
    01 Hello & Goodbye
    02 Counting
    03 Meeting People
    04 In the Hotel
    05 In the Restaurant
    06 Writing Arabic Part I
    07 Writing Arabic Part II
    08 Writing Arabic Part III
    09 Writing Arabic Part IV
    10 My Name is Issam
    10B Word List
    11 Local Coffee Shop
    11b Word List
    12 Fixing Cars
    12b Word List
    13 Cookies
    13b Word List
    14 My Marriage
    14b Word List
    01 Bonus Vocabulary (A)
    02 Bonus Vocabulary (B)
    03 Bonus Vocabulary (C)
    04 Bonus Vocabulary (D)
    05 Bonus Vocabulary (E)



    6. Writing Arabic, part I

    Click on Arabic letters to play sound.

    'a/'u/i/ ('alif)

    b (bā')

    t (tā')

    th (thā')

    m (mīm)

    w/ (wāw)

    h (hā')

    y/ (yā')






    The little secret to understand writing Arabic, is thinking of it as handwriting. Just like you connect letters together when you write, so you will connect letters when you write Arabic. Their shapes will change in order to adjust to the writing of other letters, so that it becomes possible to write without lifting the pen up from the paper.

    Of course, when marking the dots, you will have to lift your pen, but this is usually done after the basic shapes of the letters have been written. The dots are added to each letter in one process.

    22 of the 28 Arabic letters have 4 variants:


    1. Standing alone.
    2. As the first letter in a word.
    3. Inside the word, between two other letters.
    4. As the last letter in a word, joining to the letter in front.


    As for the remaining 6, they never join to the succeeding letter, even when they are inside a word. This means that the writer has to lift his pencil, and even if he is inside the same word. The following letter will have to be written as if it was the first in a word. Examples of these odd 6, see 'alif and ww.

    Examples and Grammar

    yawm- (one) day. This word is made out of three letters, y', ww and mm. But as you see in the Latin transliteration, there is a forth letter coming through: 'a'. This is the short a, unlike the long a, as in 'alif above. In Arabic this is the source of frustration for beginners: Short vowels are not written. That is, there is a way of writing the three short vowels, is small curls above or under the letter it follows, but beyond sometimes religious works, and school books, these are omitted.
    The 3 short vowels are: a, u, i. And that's it!
    There is a system to how these vowels are used,- Arabic is a very organised language. For now, just settle with learning the sound of each word. That is the best.

    'umm- my mother. With this word, you should note the following: The double letters of mm, are not written each by themselves, they are written as one letter. There is a curl to indicate just this, but at this beginner's level, the same rule applies as for the short vowels: Learn the sound for each word.
    Note that the suffix of a y', is the straightforward way of indicating "mine", "my", or "of "me". When putting y' at the very end of a word, pronouncing and writing it as one word, you can't go wrong.

    wathaba- to jump, to leap This is a verb. Note that it really means "he jumped, he leaped", as masculin singular past, is presented as the core form for a verb.
    Arabic verbs are declined stricly according to 1., 2., or 3. person, gender, and singular, dualis (!!!) and plural. But the good news is: Only two tenses: Perfect (past) and Imperfect (now), while Futurum is simply made by adding the prefix "sa-" to the Imperfect form.

    tba- to repent. Surprise, surprise! One letter becomes another one!!
    One of the more time consuming challenges students of Arabic will have to face, is getting a hold on the many irregularities that occur when one of these 3 letters are found in a verb:

    'alif, ww and/or y'

    Sometimes they are transformed into one of the others, sometimes they disappear.
    But for now: Forget all about it. And save your strength until we get there.

    wahaba- to give. Puh! This time, nothing special happened to the ww, but when declining this verb, unpleasant things will become evident.


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