Lesson 1

The Arabic alphabet is composed of letters “harfs” (consonants) and signs “harekets” (short vocals or vowels) that come above or under the (harf) consonants. In our first lesson we are going to learn the signs or the short vocals, i.e. vowels. There are three short vocals/vowels: E, I, U. and they always come above a letter, and when that happens you should first read the letter and then the short vocal/vowel. An exception of this rule is the letter Aleph which is not read, you only read the short vocal/vowel that came on it. These vocals /vowels also have their own names: (E – fetha), (I – kesra), (U – damma). In the flash animation of the first lesson we are going to see how they look like (fetha, kesra and damma), how they are pronounced. The horizontal line in the examples represents any of the harfs.
REMEMBER:    Short vocals or vowels are always pronounced with a short sound!
Except these three short vocals/vowels in the Arabic alphabet we often have a sign in a shape of a small circle ( o ) which comes above the harfs and its name is SUKUN. It is used to mark a letter without a vocal/vowel and then you only pronounce the letter, and you don’t pronounce the sukun.

LETTERS THAT JOIN ON THE RIGHT SIDE
In the following lessons we are going to learn about the letters that that can be joined only from the right side when they are in a word and under the condition that they are placed next to a letter that can be joined from its left side. There are six of these letters (harfs) and they can never be joined on their left side which means they can’t be joined with the letters from the group they belong to. We usually join two letters using a shorter or longer horizontal line.
THE FIRST LETTER OF THE ARABIC ALPHABET
The first letter or harf in the Arabic alphabet is Aleph which looks like a horizontal line (see Flash lesson No 1 and 2), it is the first in the group of letters that can be joined only from their right side. The pronunciation of this letter when it is alone, ie. (with the sukun) is similar to the half sound heard before our word “route” thus we can say tha taleph with the sukun is not read at all. When we add some of the signs for short vocals on the aleph or under it we only pronounce that vocal (See Flash animation No 1 and 2).
NOTE: To properly learn the Arabic alphabet it is necessary to thoroughly go through all of the offered flash animated lessons and practice well.
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