Lesson 5



Note Make sure you go through the new Arabic Language Frequently Asked Questions section (FAQs). It has a growing list of common questions selected from hundreds of visitors and students of Arabic language.

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Now, you should be wondering about the letter "Hamza" that was the last letter in the table back in lesson 1, well.. this lesson is all about it:

The "Hamza" is one of the three kinds of vowels in Arabic (vowel marks were explained in the previous lesson). It may be the most complicated subject in Arabic scripting, I think that it needs a tutorial on its own (even some Arab natives can't get it right in dictation in some cases). Anyway I'll try to make it as easy as possible giving only the basics, so here we go:

First, the "Hamza" is the pronunciation of "U" Listen to the pronunciation of Hamza as in "UGH" (that was the first appropriate word that came to my mind) where ever it is used in a word, this means that the word should be cut at the "Hamza" and an "U" should be pronounced whenever it appears. Let's have an example on this:

Click to listen to the word:Listen to the pronunciation

This word is pronounced as "Sa-al" (which means "Asked") this means that you should cut the word when you pronounce it into two parts. You pronounce the part before the "Hamza" then you pronounce the second part as another word (there is no similar case in English as far as I know. You may consider the word above as two separate words when they are pronounced). If you are from the USA, then this example might help (thanks PJ): pronouncing Hamza is very similar to pronouncing "Hawai-ai" in its original way (a little pause at the end. That's how the natives say it). Another example is: "Uh-oh"! (as in "Uh-oh, here comes trouble!).

There are four forms of the "Hamza" which is decided by the "Tashkeel" of the "Hamza" itself and the "Tashkeel" of the letter that comes just before it whether it is a "Fat-ha", "Dhamma", "kasra" or "Sukun". The following table has an example for each form of the four forms:

The example Pronunciation
Listen to the pronunciation
means ( Woman ) Mar-aa
means ( Pearls ) lu-u-lu-u
Listen to the pronunciation
means ( well -as for water- ) Bi-er
Listen to the pronunciation
means ( Warmth ) Dif-e

Info Notes:

By now you should have learned all the basics of Arabic language script and some words and sentences, and you should be able to read or write some Arabic words. Now, what is left for you to do is learn Arabic vocabulary and some grammar to be able to create sentences. These tasks need more than a simple on-line tutorial, they need some time and work from you! For vocabulary, I highly recommend getting an Arabic electronic dictionary.

If you have any questions on something included in this tutorial (or not !!) just send me a message and I'll be happy to answer them as soon as possible. If you have any thoughts, questions or ideas just tell me about them.

You can now practice some Arabic scripts by doing the following:

1- Try writing your name using the the Arabic alphabets forms in the table in lesson 2. Just copy and paste the letters in any image editor and you will have Arabic words as GIF files ,unless you have Arabic fonts installed in your system).

2- You can add Arabic fonts to non-Arabic Windows95/98/2000/XP, just follow these simple steps:
  1. Get your hands on some Arabic fonts (many free Arabic fonts are available here).
  2. From "Windows Start button" choose "Settings" then "Control Panel" then "Fonts".
  3. From the "File menu" choose "Install New Font".
  4. Locate the fonts you downloaded and press "OK".

    Arabic Keyboard

    Now , your system should accept Arabic fonts in most applications (Word Pad, MS Word, Outlook Express and many more. Just select the Arabic text then select the Arabic font to apply, and there you have it, Arabic text on a non-Arabic system). Now you would need an Arabic Keyboard to be able to type Arabic on your PC or laptop. I recommend you buy either an Arabic keyboard for your PC/laptop or Arabic Stickers for your Keyboard (I recommend you get the full Arabic keyboard for your PC/laptop as stickers tend not to last long).

InfoWhere to go from here? If you want to expand your Arabic beyond the beginners level. I highly recommend you do the following.. Lots of the people who used this tutorial since 1999 were able to improve their Arabic language skills up to an amazing level after participating in an Arabic Language Course in Syria. I was amazed by the level of improvement of all the Americans, Europeans and Asian people after that. For an excellent overview of how, why and where and more details click here.

One final and very useful advice.. While learning Arabic or if you are traveling to an Arab country, I suggested getting an Arabic electronic dictionary. I spent some time browsing the Internet looking for a good one. I ended up choosing the Language Teacher by ECTACO. It is like having your own Arabic teacher on the move. It is very well worth its cost.

I also highly recommend you check these blogs and websites if you're interested in studying Arabic abroad (which is usually the best way to learn):

Recommended books By public demand, I added some recommended books and software on learning Arabic. Check them out. They are mostly recommended for non-native Arabic language students (and for a more expanded collection of Advanced Arabic Resources, visit my Arabic Resources Store - powered by Amazon.com):

Test your Arabic skills..

One of the best Arabic Grammer sources for Modern Standard Arabic:

Another excellent book on Modern Standard Arabic..

Full Arabic Course

Get familiar with Arabic verbs..

Another good Arabic grammer book for beginnrs
A must have Arabic dictionary..
Fun and simple book on Arabic

Watch News in Arabic

more on the Arabic Alphabets

Type in Arabic like a pro

Arabic keyboard

Arabic for Children..

A simple grammer book

Spoken Arabic, this should be your next step:

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If you liked this tutorial, and you have the time and capabilities of translating it into your own language, then please contact me now. It is already available in English, Spanish, Deutsch, French, Portuguese, Italian, Indonesian and Greek. I look forward to seeing it in other languages.

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. HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THIS ARABIC LANGUAGE COURSE? Do you hate huge paper dictionaries as much as I hate them? While learning Arabic or if you are traveling to an Arab country, I highly recommend getting an Arabic language electronic dictionary. I spent some time browsing the Internet looking for a good one. I ended up choosing the Language Teacher by ECTACO. I was really startled by the value! They make dictionaries in more than 20 languages (including Arabic) and in various price categories. I recommend these dictionaries to anyone who intend traveling to Arab countries or wants to learn Arabic on the move. They also make great gifts! You can familiarize yourself with such dictionaries here. Make your time learning Arabic easier - you have no idea how much help you can get from a tiny handheld device. I guarantee you'll be as amazed as I was.

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Fadi's Arabic Tutorial. 1999 (Fadi S.)

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