12 Things You Need to Know About the Arabic Alphabet

Thouria Benferhat
3 min readDec 21, 2021
  1. The Arabic alphabet is not as complicated as you may think!
  2. Arabic is written (and read) right to left. Keep this in mind while reading this article!
  3. There are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet. Notice how several letters have similar bodies (in the same color). Once you learn how to write one, you know how to write one, or two more; buy 1 letter, you get 1 (or 2) free! You just need to remember how many dots to use and where they go.

4. There are other symbols that are not in the official alphabet you need to know to read and write Arabic.

5. Most letters are connectors, which means that they will connect with the next letter in a word, and therefore usually change shape in different positions (isolated, initial, medial, final).

6. Six letters in the alphabet never connect with the following letter.

7. Non-connectors keep the same shape in all positions (isolated, initial, medial, final):

8. Arabic has three short vowels a, u and i. Short vowels are written above or below consonants.

9. Arabic has a symbol called “sukuun” (silence), resembling a zero, which is written on top of a consonant to mean “zero vowel on this consonant”.

10. Short vowels, which are written above or below consonants, do not usually appear in regular books and newspapers. Click here to see this in Arabic newspapers online!

11. Arabic has three long vowels that are pronounced in the same manner as the short vowels, but longer (aa, uu, ii):

12. Long vowels are written AFTER consonants:

Click here to listen to the Arabic Alphabet!