The Arabic Alphabet is so attractive it looks like art – and is often used as art to decorate buildings, castles and mosques. A trip to the south of Spain or any Arab city in the world will let you see this alphabet used to decorate a large number of historic and modern buildings.

Knowing the Arabic Alphabet is a crucial step in learning how to communicate in Arabic.

Although Arabic only has 29 letters, things a a bit complicated because some of these letters change shape depending on where they are placed in the word (if they are at the start, middle or end of the word, or if they are sitting on their own with no letters either side of them).

In addition, Arabic vowels are indicated by writing small signs above and below the main letters.

A great first step in learning to read and write Arabic is learning the names of letters. A song such as the one above is a great memory aid. In addition to learning the names of the letters, you need to get down and dirty and learn how to write and read the letters based in all their forms.

Some information on the Arabic Alphabet:

The Arabic Alphabet:

  • Has 29 letters:

ا ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن و هـ ي ء

  • Is written from right to left:

كتبت ثلاثة كتب اليوم قبل الفطور

  • Has short vowels written above and below the letters:

أّدْرُس الْلُغَة الْعَرَبِيَة مُنْذُ سَنَة

  • Has letters that look different depending on where they are placed in the word:

تتكلم البنت كثيراً

  • Has some letters that join to the letter that comes after them in the word, and other letters that prefer to keep to themselves:

زار البيت