• Document: The Arabic Alphabet. Reading and Writing the Arabic Script. Saqib Hussain. Course Code: TAS001A
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Course Code: TAS001A The Arabic Alphabet Reading and Writing the Arabic Script Saqib Hussain © Saqib Hussain 2009. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, including photocopying, recording, Internet, or any storage or retrieval system without prior written permission from the copyright holder. Contents Introduction.....................................................................................................................................2 1 The Alphabet..................................................................................................................................3 A The Primary Letters..................................................................................................................3 B Pronunciation...........................................................................................................................4 C Supplementary Letters.............................................................................................................5 2 Writing...........................................................................................................................................7 3 The Vowels and the Sukūn..........................................................................................................10 A The Short Vowels and the Sukūn...........................................................................................10 B Long Vowels...........................................................................................................................10 C Diphthongs.............................................................................................................................11 D Shaddah / Tashdīd..................................................................................................................12 E Tanwīn / Nunation..................................................................................................................12 F Pausing when Speaking or Reading Aloud.............................................................................12 4 The Two Hamzahs.......................................................................................................................14 A The Permanent Hamzah.........................................................................................................14 B The Connecting Hamzah........................................................................................................16 5 Elision..........................................................................................................................................17 A The Sun and Moon Letters.....................................................................................................17 Appendix A....................................................................................................................................20 1 Introduction There are five free video lectures which accompany this text. They can be downloaded at www.arabic-studio.com. This course has been designed to teach the complete beginner how to read and write the Arabic script. It assumes no prior knowledge of Arabic. The course covers most of the rules a beginner needs to correctly read and pronounce Arabic. However, a few rules can only be fully understood and applied after learning some grammar, and these will be covered in the course Basic Arabic Grammar (TAS004A). In Appendix A at the end of this text, an alphabet cut-out has been provided, which the student can use to make alphabet cards. These can be used to practice letter recognition and for writing exercises, as explained in the accompanying video lectures. 2 1 The Alphabet A The Primary Letters There are twenty-eight letters in the Arabic alphabet, shown in the table below. For each letter, the table also gives the transliteration of its name, and an example English word which begins with the sound made by that letter. Some letters don't have a corresponding English sound; the correct pronunciation for these is given in §1B. Transliteration of the letter's English word which begins Letter name with the sound of this letter ‫ا‬ `alif (see §1C

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