Write any Arabic word
After three lessons in writing in Arabic, we are very familiar with the overall principle:
- Arabic letters connect
- Arabic letters have different forms
Now it is time to pinpoint this principle. And after that we will have the knowledge to write any Arabic word.
In the previous lesson we wrote the Arabic words heart and before. Both of them start with the letter q:
We already know the characterisitics of the letter q:
- It has four different forms.
- The isolated form is used when it stands by itself.
- The initial form has a tail to the left, to connect it to the next letter.
- The medial form has tails on both sides, to connect it to the previous and the next letter.
- The final form has a tail to the right, to connect it to the previous letter.
The letter q and the other letters we have learned so far are dual joining.
That means that they want to connect with the letter before and the letter after, provided there are any letters to connect with.
Dual joining letters have four different forms, because there are four situations that can occur:
- There are no letters to connect with: the isolated form is used.
- There is only a letter after to connect with: the initial form is used.
- There are letters on both sides to connect with: the medial form is used.
- There is only a letter before to connect with, the final form is used.
All dual joining letters have four forms. If you look at this table of the Arabic alphabet you will find that most letters are dual joining.
Most letters in the Arabic alphabet are dual joining, the others are right joining.
Let's look at one of the right joining letters, the letter d:
Right joining letters only want to connect with the letter to the right. Hence the name! Since Arabic is written from right to left, right joining letters only want to connect with the letter before it.
You can se that the letter d only have two forms. That is true for all right joining letters.
In the isolated form, the letter d is not connected to any other letter. Use the isolated form when:
- There are no letters to connect with.
- There is only a letter after (because d will refuse to connect with it).
In the final form, d has a tail to the right to connect it to the letter before. Use the final form when:
- There are letters on both sides (because d will connect with the letter before, but refuse to connect with the letter after).
- There is only a letter before to connect with.
These rules are true for all right joining letters. Let's practice them by writing to new Arabic words. Time to put our best foot forward!
The Arabic word for foot is pronounced "qadam".
It starts with our dual joining letter q. We know that we use the initial form in the begining of a word:
Next is our right joining letter d. It wants to connect to the letter to the right (in other words, the letters before it). We therefore choose the final form which has a tail to connect to the right.
Let's connect them.
Last is the Arabic letter m which is a dual joining letter.
Normally we would use the final form in the end of a word.
But the final form is only used if there is a letter before to connect with. Now there is the letter d, but d is right joining and therefore refuses to connect with the letter after.
What do do? Since there is no letter before that is willing to connect, and no letter after, we choose the isolated form instead:
And here is the word:
We can add the vowels if we want. We know that the short vowel a in Arabic is just a line above the consonant.
Our Arabic word for foot is complete! Note how the letters q and d are connected, while there is a small space between the letters d and m.
Now we know the rules for both dual joining and right letters, and we have practiced how to apply them. But some more practice is never wrong, so we end this final writting lesson with a word that contains two right joining letters.
The Arabic word for lesson is pronounced "dars".
The word starts with our familiar right joining letter d:
The letter will be placed in the beginning of the word, so there there will be a letter after (to the left). But since right joining letters like d refuse to connect to the left, we will choose the isolated form:
The next letter will be the Arabic letter r which also is right joining:
Normally when a right joining letter is placed in the middle of a word, we use the final form:
But the letter before it is the right joining d that refuses to connect to the left. Therefore, we choose the isolated form instead:
Let's connect them:
Not that the letters are not joined, there is a small space between them.
The last letter is the dual joining letter s:
Maybe you remember it from the lesson where wrote our first Arabic word easy.
We know that we normally use the final form in the end of a word.
But the letter before is right joining and refuses to conenct. (If you remember, it was the same situation with the last letter of the word for foot.) We therefore choose the final form instead:
Now we can connect all three letters.
And we have a word where none of the letters are joined! That's not so common in Arabic.
As you know, the vowel a is optional. But if you want to write it, it is just a short line above the consonant.
Now we have written the Arabic word for lesson and the lesson is over!
The next step
We know that Arabic letters are either dual joining or right joining, and we have learned the principles for both types of letters. We can now apply the principles to write any Arabic word.
Here are some suggestions on what you might want to do next:
Look at this table of the Arabic alphabet. There you can see all letters and all their forms. And you can click on each of the letters to see examples of words where the differnt forms of the letter is used.
Are letters boring? Start directly with Arabic words instead. Beacuse most words have a helpful letter table, you can see each of the letters in the word, their forms and what form that is used in that particular word. So you can learn the Arabic letters and writing as you learn new words!
Are words boring? Start directly with Arabic sentences instead. Because every sentence has information about every word it contains, and a link to the word. And when you visit the word's page, you have the helpful letter table!
Are sentences boring? Start directly with Arabic poems instead. Because you can click on each line in each poem, to get to the page about that sentence. And every sentence has information about every word, and almost every word has information about every letter.
Everything on this website is connected – letters, words, sentences, poems – so you can start anywhere you want. If you are hungry maybe you should start with some food.