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Lesson 1 – Arabic Alphabet

A very important starting points for beginners is to learn the Arabic alphabet. Here is a comprehensive list of all Arabic letters and how they are written. We should notice the different shapes of each letter, and also the sounds. Learn them well so that you can start recognizing the letters in any word in Arabic. One way to refer to the Arabic writing system is “Abjad“, which refers to how each Arabic letter corresponds to a consonant sound.

In general, there are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet (alif baa taa). In addition, it is necessary to learn a number of additional characters or letter combinations, such as:

  • Hamzah (sounds as a glottal stop, as in the expression uh-oh) ء
  • alif with hamzah above or below أ إ
  • alif with maddah آ
  • taa2 marbootah ة ـة
  • alif layyenah ى ـى
  • laam-alif لا لأ

In this lesson, we will cover the core 28 letters of Arabic, in addition to these extended characters and combinations. The lesson will show these Arabic letters in English writing to make it easier for beginners.

Arabic Alphabet to English
A list of the letters of the Arabic alphabet, showing the name of each Arabic letter in English. Some of the sounds are not in English, so numbers where used instead. Some letters have an emphatic sound, so the letter corresponding to the main sound is repeated.

Arabic Alphabet – Letter by Letter


With this material, you should be able to know all the letters of Arabic, and recognize each letter, character, or character combination in any word in Arabic. In the coming lessons, we will introduce the diacritics, which are important to learn in order to pronounce Arabic words. For now, you can do the quiz below in order to practice what you have just learned. Make sure to subscribe to the email list below to be notified with all the exciting updates.

You may also want to check our course on Udemy: Basic Arabic Reading

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