Learn To Read Arabic Online

Learn To Read Arabic Online – If you are learning Egyptian Arabic, you must have thought about it: do I need to learn to read Arabic?

A valid question – especially if you speak a language very different from your mother tongue. Because Arabic sure looks tough.

Learn To Read Arabic Online

Fortunately, it’s really not that complicated. Sure, it can LOOK scary. But the truth is that learning to read Arabic (especially Egyptian Arabic) is relatively simple.

Arabic Alphabet: All The Letters Explained

While there are certainly some complex parts to standard Arabic (which I will discuss), the basics of reading Egyptian Arabic are very accessible.

As you probably already know, Arabic is read from right to left. Unlike some Asian scripts, it is also read horizontally.

This means that you read the entire first line of text from right to left before moving on to the next line. Because of this, written materials (especially books and magazines) start from “back” and move to “front”.

As a Westerner, it can be confusing at first. I remember the first time I was on a flight to Cairo. I saw someone reading a book in Arabic, and it looked (to the untrained eye) quite strange. Turn the pages back!

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It takes some getting used to, but like any new linguistic concept, it eventually becomes quite normal. Also, if you have studied anything from a Basic Arabic book (fus7a), you are already well versed in this feature of reading Arabic. Not too hard after a few weeks!

One thing that is interesting about the Arabic alphabet is that the letters change depending on where they are placed in a word. There are basically four versions of each letter: the letter by itself, the letter when it is the first letter of a word, the letter when it is the last letter, and the letter when it is placed somewhere in the middle .

And since Arabic has 28 letters, that’s… 112 different letters to remember, right? Well… not really. Don’t have a heart attack yet, because this Arabic reading system is actually quite manageable.

While the details of this “letter swap” are the subject of another post, I’ll just say this: only a few letters look completely different depending on where they are in the word. Four to be exact.

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Of course, some letters are trickier than others. This can make the initial stages of learning to read Arabic frustrating. Why can’t the letters be the same in any word like my native language?

But the truth is that this “changing of letters” is not difficult at all. Learn the basics of the alphabet and it starts to become second nature.

Of course, if you want to read Arabic, you should know “franco.” Franco (or Franco-Arabic) is basically a system that uses the Latin alphabet and numbers to approximate Arabic words. Franco’s origins are actually quite interesting.

In the early 90s, when texting technologies became common (computers, mobile phones, the Internet), Arabic writing was not yet an option. This meant that the Arabs needed to use these technologies to communicate with each other. use the Latin alphabet.

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And for Arabic letters that had no close equivalent in the Latin alphabet? That’s where the numbers come in.

Seeing the combination of letters and numbers can be a bit intimidating. Also, there is no really strict writing system (apart from the numbers and letters they represent).

This means that “correct spelling” can often be debated. However, it is precisely this lack of strict system that makes Franco relatively easy (at least easier than the entire Arabic alphabet) to pick up. There is no wrong answer if it is “close enough”.

If you know the Latin alphabet (and you do if you are reading this article), theoretically you can already write many Arabic words in French. Once you figure out which numbers represent which Arabic letters, and you’re good to go!

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Of course, this assumes you already have a vocabulary of Egyptian Arabic. Perhaps most importantly, Franco’s teaching opens the doors to communication.

If you use WhatsApp to communicate with Egyptian friends or are friends with them on social media, it is actually sometimes quite rare to see them writing in the standard Arabic alphabet.

So if you want to learn to read Arabic, learning Franco is a kind of “important step 2” in that process. And doing it in that order is helpful. If you force yourself to write messages to your Egyptian friends in Arabic instead of Franco, the alphabet stays in your mind.

Plus, as I’ll say at the end, it makes learning Egyptian Arabic a bit easier in general.

Arabic Reading Book: For Beginners. Learn Arabic Alphabet And Articulation Points Of Arabic Letters. Read The Quran Or Any Book Easily. (available In E Book And Paperback Format). By Soulayman De Kerdoret |

Now the more complicated part. Keep in mind that this mostly applies to Standard Arabic. If you’re learning to read Arabic, you’ve probably come across tashkeel (sometimes called tashkeel).

These are basically tiny characters above or below a letter that help with correct pronunciation. As annoyingly complicated as tashkeel are (and trust me, they are), they are essential to Standard Arabic. Because tashkeel not only help you with the correct pronunciation – they also change the meaning of the word.

Take one word, add one small character, and suddenly it’s a different word. Weird, I know. This tashkeel business is particularly important to Koranic Arabic. In fact, there are even competitions in the Arab world to see who can read Koranic texts with the best pronunciation and intonation.

That’s right – tashkeel. While mastering Tashkeel can take years of practice (and often does), there is good news: Tashkeel is rarely used when native speakers write in their dialect.

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This is really important to keep in mind if you are learning Egyptian Arabic. I never bothered with them when I went to Cairo. I used either Arabic without any characters (important, as said, for beginners) or Franco.

Never learn a complicated version of tashkeel. Of course, this does not mean that tashkeel does not have its place. Because they have. If you are studying Arabic for academic purposes or want (as mentioned) to fully understand the Qur’an, they are essential.

But what about Egyptian Arabic? You really don’t have to worry about them. Is this a controversial opinion? Absolutely. There will always be those “Arab purists” who insist that plain Arabic is the way to go. From this it follows (according to them) that tashkeel is necessary.

But they are the same people who claim that plain Arabic is “your ticket to communicate with the Middle East.” And let’s just say, based on my experience communicating with Egyptians on fus7a when I first arrived in Cairo…definitely not the case!

Ways To Learn Arabic

Learning to read standard Arabic can be, and often is, difficult. Learning to read Egyptian Arabic? A very different story.

So, the last question: is it really worth it to learn to read Arabic? Do you really need to know all the letters? Short answer: it depends on how important learning Arabic is to you.

If you want to learn a few words here and there and it doesn’t matter too much to reach a relatively high level, reading Arabic is probably not too important. Also, as we have already seen, since you clearly know the Latin alphabet, Franco is always an option.

But the longer answer? Reading Arabic if you are serious about the language is essential. And it’s not just me who is a “high-minded language snob” (because I know the difficulties of learning to read a new language).

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Quite frankly, there are a few very important reasons why learning to read Arabic is worth your time.

First, it makes learning the language much easier. So many educational materials (although these materials are hard to find in Egyptian Arabic) are written in Arabic script.

And with more and more reading in Arabic dialects, understanding the alphabet is even more important. Go ahead and do it. Trust me!

You will understand the memes that are circulating, and you may even meet the occasional Egyptian or two (I did) who prefer to publish in Arabic rather than Franc. It’s rare – but it happens.

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As an added bonus, the Egyptians will certainly appreciate the fact that you know their alphabet. That was certainly my experience. Third, it allows you to actually travel to the area without too much trouble.

It is sure. But here’s the thing: it’s pretty rare that Franco gets written off of text messages and social media.

If you want to travel to Egypt and are going to read that sign at the airport, the menu at the restaurant or the map with driving directions… you need to know how to read Arabic. In other words – traveling effectively in the Arab world (especially in areas where English is not so common) requires Arabic. No surprise!

Finally, learning to read Arabic is actually not that difficult. If you are going to learn Egyptian Arabic, learning Tashkeel is not a problem.

Arabic Reading Book: For Beginners, Learn Arabic Alphabet And Articulation Points Of Arabic Letters. Read The Quran Or Any Book Easily. By Soulayman De Kerdoret

Learning to read Arabic only takes a little practice. No reason why it should be too complicated!

In short: you can learn to read Arabic, it’s relatively simple, and it’s useful for Egyptians