Modern Standard Arabic

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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ﴿

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3. The alphabet ٣) الْحُرُوفُ الْأَبْجَدِيَّةُ

Initial position

Medial position

Final position

Independent position

Transliteration

Name of the letter

ا

ـا

ـا

ا

ā

Alif

بـ

ـبـ

ـب

ب

b

Bā’

تـ

ـتـ

ـت

ت

t

Tā’

ثـ

ـثـ

ـث

ث

th

ā’

جـ

ـجـ

ـج

ج

j

Ǧīm

حـ

ـحـ

ـح

ح

ā’

خـ

ـخـ

ـخ

خ

kh

ā’

د

ـد

ـد

د

d

Dāl

ذ

ـذ

ـذ

ذ

dh

āl

ر

ـر

ـر

ر

r

Rā’

ز

ـز

ـز

ز

z

Zāy

سـ

ـسـ

ـس

س

s

Sīn

شـ

ـشـ

ـش

ش

sh

Šīn

صـ

ـصـ

ـص

ص

ād

ضـ

ـضـ

ـض

ض

ād

طـ

ـطـ

ـط

ط

ā’

ظـ

ـظـ

ـظ

ظ

Ẓā’

عـ

ـعـ

ـع

ع

‛Ain

غـ

ـغـ

ـغ

غ

gh

Ġain

فـ

ـفـ

ـف

ف

f

Fā’

قـ

ـقـ

ـق

ق

q

Qāf

كـ

ـكـ

ـك

ك

k

Kāf

لـ

ـلـ

ـل

ل

l

Lām

مـ

ـمـ

ـم

م

m

Mīm

نـ

ـنـ

ـن

ن

n

Nūn

هـ

ـهـ

ـه

ە

h

Hā’

و

ـو

ـو

و

w, ū

Wāw

يـ

ـيـ

ـي / ـى

ي / ى

y, ī

Yā’

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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ﴿

١

  • The first letter of the alphabet is Hamza. However, since Alif is usually the chair of the Hamza, it comes first in the alphabet. Hamza chairs can also be ؤ (Wāw) or ئـ / ـئـ / ئ (Yā’). Hamza can also occur independently ء.

  • However, Hamza can also occur independently: أَنْتَ ‘anta (you), أُمّ ‘umm (mother), إِنْ ‘in (if).

  • In this textbook for methodological reasons the Hamza vocalized with Fatḥa and sitting on Alif as chair is always written أَ, except for the Hamzat waṣl (↑L2).

  • Alif at the end of a word may also indicate the accusative and should be read »–an« zu lesen: šukran شُكْرًا (Thank you).

  • This textbook does not consider Hamza in the initial position when transliterating Arabic words. Thus, words like أَنْتَ، أُمّ، إِنْ are written umm, anta, in and not ‘umm, ‘anta, ‘in.

  • At the end of a word Yā’ (ى) without the two dots below may also express a long ā. Thus, in order to differentiate it from Yā’, pronounced as ī, it is usually written with the two dots in the final position: ي.

  • Allāh (God) is always written in the form الله. The Shadda above the Lām shows the doubling of the Lām; the small Alif above the Shadda (dagger Alif) indicates the pronunciation of a long ā. Reading Arabic calligraphy requires some experience. The following images stand for In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate:

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