* Demotic 7 c. BCE
* Meroitic 3 c. BCE
* Proto-Sinaitic 19 c. BCE
* Ugaritic 15 c. BCE
* Epigraphic South Arabian 9 c. BCE
* Ge’ez 5–6 c. BCE
* Phoenician 12 c. BCE
* Paleo-Hebrew 10 c. BCE
* Samaritan 6 c. BCE
* Paleohispanic (semi-syllabic) 7 c. BCE
* Aramaic 8 c. BCE
* Kharoṣṭhī 4 c. BCE
* Brāhmī 4 c. BCE
* E.g. Tibetan 7 c. CE
* Canadian syllabics 1840
* Hebrew 3 c. BCE
* Pahlavi 3 c. BCE
* Avestan 4 c. CE
* Palmyrene 2 c. BCE
* Syriac 2 c. BCE
* Nabataean 2 c. BCE
* N\'Ko 1949 CE
* Sogdian 2 c. BCE
* Orkhon (old Turkic) 6 c. CE
* Old Hungarian c. 650 CE
* Old Uyghur
* Mongolian 1204 CE
* Mandaic 2 c. CE
* Greek 8 c. BCE
* Etruscan 8 c. BCE
* Latin 7 c. BCE
* Cherokee (syllabary; letter forms only) c. 1820 CE
* Runic 2 c. CE
* Coptic 3 c. CE * Gothic 3 c. CE * Armenian 405 CE * Georgian (origin uncertain) c. 430 CE * Glagolitic 862 CE
* Cyrillic c. 940 CE
* Old Permic 1372 CE
* v * t * e
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS ARABIC TEXT . Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols .
Countries that utilise the
The ARABIC ALPHABET (
Originally, the alphabet was an abjad, with only consonants , but it is now considered an "impure abjad ". As with other abjads, such as the Hebrew alphabet , scribes later devised means of indicating vowel sounds by separate vowel points.
* 1 Consonants
* 1.1 Alphabetical order
* 1.1.1 Abjadī * 1.1.2 Hijā’ī
* 1.2 Letter forms
* 2 Vowels
* 3 Additional letters
* 3.1 Regional variations
* 3.2 Non-native letters
* 3.3 Used in languages other than
* 4 Numerals
* 4.1 Letters as numerals
* 5 History
* 6 Computers
* 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links
Many letters look similar but are distinguished from one another by dots (i‘jām ) above or below their central part (rasm ). These dots are an integral part of a letter, since they distinguish between letters that represent different sounds. For example, the Arabic letters transliterated as b and t have the same basic shape, but b has one dot below, ب, and t has two dots above, ت.
Both printed and written
There are two main collating sequences for the
The original abjadī order (أَبْجَدِي), used for lettering ,
derives from the order of the
The hijā’ī (هِجَائِي) or alifbā’ī (أَلِفْبَائِي) order, used where lists of names and words are sorted, as in phonebooks, classroom lists, and dictionaries, groups letters by similarity of shape.
The abjadī order is not a simple historical continuation of the
earlier north Semitic alphabetic order, since it has a position
corresponding to the Aramaic letter samekh / semkat ס, yet no letter
Common abjadī sequence غ ظ ض ذ خ ث ت ش ر ق ص ف ع س ن م ل ك ي ط ح ز و ه د ج ب ا
gh ẓ ḍ dh kh th t sh r q ṣ f ‘ s n m l k y ṭ ḥ z w h d j b ā
28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01
This is commonly vocalized as follows: abjad hawwaz ḥuṭṭī kalaman sa‘faṣ qarashat thakhadh ḍaẓagh.
Another vocalization is: abujadin hawazin ḥuṭiya kalman sa‘faṣ qurishat thakhudh ḍaẓugh
Maghrebian abjadī sequence (probably older) ش غ ظ ذ خ ث ت س ر ق ض ف ع ص ن م ل ك ي ط ح ز و ه د ج ب ا
sh gh ẓ dh kh th t s r q ḍ f ‘ ṣ n m l k y ṭ ḥ z w h d j b ā
28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01
This can be vocalized as: abujadin hawazin ḥuṭiya kalman ṣa‘faḍ qurisat thakhudh ẓaghush
Modern dictionaries and other reference books do not use the abjadī order to sort alphabetically; instead, the newer hijā’ī order is used wherein letters are partially grouped together by similarity of shape. The hijā’ī order is never used as numerals.
Common hijā’ī order ي و ه ن م ل ك ق ف غ ع ظ ط ض ص ش س ز ر ذ د خ ح ج ث ت ب ا
y w h n m l k q f gh ‘ ẓ ṭ ḍ ṣ sh s z r dh d kh ḥ j th t b ā
Another kind of hijā’ī order was used widely in the
Maghrebian hijā’ī order ي و ه ش س ق ف غ ع ض ص ن م ل ك ظ ط ز ر ذ د خ ح ج ث ت ب ا
y w h sh s q f gh ‘ ḍ ṣ n m l k ẓ ṭ z r dh d kh ḥ j th t b ā
* v * t * e
Table Of Basic Letters
For other uses, see
ABJADī HIJā\'ī ABJADī HIJā\'ī FINAL MEDIAL INITIAL
1. 1. 1. 1. ’alif ألف ā / ’ (also ʾ ) various, including /aː/ ـا ا
2. 2. 2. 2. bā’ باء b /b / ـب ـبـ بـ ب
22. 3. 22. 3. tā’ تاء t /t / ـت ـتـ تـ ت
23. 4. 23. 4. thā’ ثاء th (also ṯ ) /θ / ـث ـثـ ثـ ث
3. 5. 3. 5. jīm جيم j (also ǧ, g ) /d͡ʒ / ـج ـجـ جـ ج
8. 6. 8. 6. ḥā’ حاء ḥ /ħ / ـح ـحـ حـ ح
24. 7. 24. 7. khā’ خاء kh (also ḫ, ḵ ) /x / ـخ ـخـ خـ خ
4. 8. 4. 8. dāl دال d /d / ـد د
25. 9. 25. 9. dhāl ذال dh (also ḏ ) /ð / ـذ ذ
20. 10. 20. 10. rā’ راء r /r / ـر ر
7. 11. 7. 11. zayn / zāy زاي z /z / ـز ز
15. 12. 21. 24. sīn سين s /s / ـس ـسـ سـ س
21. 13. 28. 25. shīn شين sh (also š ) /ʃ / ـش ـشـ شـ ش
18. 14. 15. 18. ṣād صاد ṣ /sˤ / ـص ـصـ صـ ص
26. 15. 18. 19. ḍād ضاد ḍ /dˤ / ـض ـضـ ضـ ض
9. 16. 9. 12. ṭā’ طاء ṭ /tˤ / ـط ـطـ طـ ط
27. 17. 26. 13. ẓā’ ظاء ẓ /ðˤ / ـظ ـظـ ظـ ظ
16. 18. 16. 20. ‘ayn عين ‘ (also ʿ ) /ʕ / ـع ـعـ عـ ع
28. 19. 27. 21. ghayn غين gh (also ġ, ḡ ) /ɣ / ـغ ـغـ غـ غ
17. 20. 17. 22. fā’ فاء f /f / ـف ـفـ فـ ف
19. 21. 19. 23. qāf قاف q /q / ـق ـقـ قـ ق
11. 22. 11. 14. kāf كاف k /k / ـك ـكـ كـ ك
12. 23. 12. 15. lām لام l /l / ـل ـلـ لـ ل
13. 24. 13. 16. mīm ميم m /m / ـم ـمـ مـ م
14. 25. 14. 17. nūn نون n /n / ـن ـنـ نـ ن
5. 26. 5. 26. hā’ هاء h /h / ـه ـهـ هـ ه
6. 27. 6. 27. wāw واو w / ū /w /, /uː / ـو و
10. 28. 10. 28. yā’ ياء y / ī /j /, /iː / ـي ـيـ يـ ي
* ^A Alif can represent many phonemes:
CONTEXT FORM VALUE
Without diacritics ا
* initially: a, i /a, i/ or sometimes silent in the definite article ا ل (a)l- * medially or finally: ā /aː/
With hamzah over أ
* initially: ʾa, ʾu /ʔa, ʔu/ * medially or finally: aʾ /ʔa/
With hamzah under إ
* initially: ʾi /ʔi/ * doesn't appear medially or finally (see hamza )
With maddah آ ʾā /ʔaː/
* ^B See the section on non-native letters and sounds ; the letters ⟨ ك ⟩ ,⟨ ق ⟩ ,⟨ غ ⟩ ,⟨ ج ⟩ are sometimes used to transcribe the phoneme /g / in loanwords, ⟨ ب ⟩ to transcribe /p / and ⟨ ف ⟩ to transcribe /v /. Likewise the letters ⟨ و ⟩ and ⟨ ي ⟩ are used to transcribe the vowels /oː / and /eː / respectively in loanwords and dialects. * ^C ج is pronounced differently depending on the region. See Arabic phonology#endnote 6 . * ^D See the section on regional variations in letter form.
* See the article
Romanization of Arabic for details on various
transliteration schemes; however,
* alone: ء * with a carrier: إ أ (above or under a alif), ؤ (above a wāw), ئ (above a dotless yā’ or yā’ hamzah).
In academic work, the hamzah (ء) is transliterated with the modifier letter right half ring (ʾ), while the modifier letter left half ring (ʿ) transliterates the letter ‘ayn (ع), which represents a different sound, not found in English.
* Letters lacking an initial or medial version are never linked to the letter that follows, even within a word. The hamzah has a single form, since it is never linked to a preceding or following letter. However, it is sometimes combined with a wāw, yā’, or alif, and in that case the carrier behaves like an ordinary wāw, yā’, or alif.
The following are not individual letters, but rather different
contextual variants of some of the
CONDITIONAL FORMS NAME TRANSLIT. PHONEMIC VALUE (IPA)
ISOLATED FINAL MEDIAL INITIAL
آ ـآ آ alif maddah ā /ʔaː/
tā’ marbūṭah h or t / h / ẗ /at/, /ah/
alif maqṣūrah ā / á / ỳ /aː/
Components of a ligature for "Allah": 1. alif 2. hamzat waṣl (همزة وصل) 3. lām 4. lām 5. shadda (شدة) 6. dagger alif (أل ف خنجرية) 7. hāʾ
The use of ligature in
CONTEXTUAL FORMS NAME
FINAL MEDIAL INITIAL ISOLATED
ﻼ ﻻ lām + alif
A more complex ligature that combines as many as seven distinct components is commonly used to represent the word Allāh .
The only ligature within the primary range of
* lām + alif ل ا
* U+0640 ARABIC TATWEEL + lām + alif ـل ا
* U+FEFC ARABIC LIGATURE LAM WITH ALEF FINAL FORM ﻼ
This is a work-around for the shortcomings of most text processors,
which are incapable of displaying the correct vowel marks for the word
* lām + lām + hā’ لل ه or لل ه * alif + lām + lām + hā’ الل ه or الل ه * alif + lām + lām + U+0651 ARABIC SHADDA + U+0670 ARABIC LETTER SUPERSCRIPT ALEF + hā’ اللّٰ ه (DejaVu Sans and KacstOne don't show the added superscript Alef)
An attempt to show them on the faulty fonts without automatically adding the gemination mark and the superscript alif, although may not display as desired on all browsers, is by adding the U+200d (Zero width joiner) after the first or second lām
Further information: Shadda
Gemination is the doubling of a consonant. Instead of writing the
0651 ّ ّ shaddah (consonant doubled)
Main article: Nunation
Short vowels may be written with diacritics placed above or below the
consonant that precedes them in the syllable, called ḥarakāt. All
Short vowels (fully vocalized text) NAME NAME IN ARABIC SCRIPT TRANS. VALUE
064E َ fatḥah فتحة a /a/
064F ُ ḍammah ضمة u /u/
0650 ِ kasrah كسرة i /i/
In the fully vocalized
The table below shows vowels placed above or below a dotted circle replacing a primary consonant letter or a shaddah sign. For clarity in the table, the primary letters on the left used to mark these long vowels are shown only in their isolated form. Please note that most consonants do connect to the left with alif, wāw and yā’ written then with their medial or final form. Additionally, the letter yā’ in the last row may connect to the letter on its left, and then will use a medial or initial form. Use the table of primary letters to look at their actual glyph and joining types.
Long vowels (fully vocalized text) NAME TRANS. VALUE
0627 064E اَ fatḥah alif ā /aː/
0649 064E ىَ fatḥah alif maqṣūrah ā / á / ỳ
0648 064F وُ ḍammah wāw ū /uː/
064A 0650 يِ kasrah yā’ ī /iː/
In unvocalized text (one in which the short vowels are not marked), the long vowels are represented by the vowel in question: alif ṭawīlah/maqṣūrah, wāw, or yā’. Long vowels written in the middle of a word of unvocalized text are treated like consonants with a sukūn (see below) in a text that has full diacritics. Here also, the table shows long vowel letters only in isolated form for clarity.
Long vowels (unvocalized text) NAME TRANS. VALUE
0627 ا (implied fatḥah) alif ā /aː/
0649 ى (implied fatḥah) alif maqṣūrah ā / á / ỳ
0648 و (implied ḍammah) wāw ū / uw /uː/
064A ي (implied kasrah) yā’ ī / iy /iː/
In addition, when transliterating names and loanwords, Arabic language speakers write out most or all the vowels as long (ā with ا alif, ē and ī with ي ya’, and ō and ū with و wāw), meaning it approaches a true alphabet.
The diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/ are represented in vocalized text as follows:
Diphthongs (fully vocalized text) NAME TRANS. VALUE
064A 064E ـيَ fatḥah yā’ ay /aj/
0648 064E ـوَ fatḥah wāw aw /aw/
* open: CV (long or short vowel) * closed: CVC (short vowel only)
A normal text is composed only of a series of consonants plus vowel-lengthening letters; thus, the word qalb, "heart", is written qlb, and the word qalab "he turned around", is also written qlb.
To write qalab without this ambiguity, we could indicate that the l is followed by a short a by writing a fatḥah above it.
To write qalb, we would instead indicate that the l is followed by no vowel by marking it with a diacritic called sukūn ( ْ ), like this: قلْبْ.
This is one step down from full vocalization, where the vowel after the q would also be indicated by a fatḥah: قَلْبْ.
The Qur’ān is traditionally written in full vocalization.
The long i sound in some editions of the Qur’ān is written with a kasrah followed by a diacritic-less y, and long u by a ḍammah followed by a bare w. In others, these y and w carry a sukūn. Outside of the Qur’ān, the latter convention is extremely rare, to the point that y with sukūn will be unambiguously read as the diphthong /aj/, and w with sukūn will be read /aw/.
For example, the letters m-y-l can be read like English meel or mail,
or (theoretically) also like mayyal or mayil. But if a sukūn is added
on the y then the m cannot have a sukūn (because two letters in a row
cannot be sukūnated), cannot have a ḍammah (because there is never
an uy sound in
Vowel marks are always written as if the i‘rāb vowels were in fact pronounced, even when they must be skipped in actual pronunciation. So, when writing the name Aḥmad, it is optional to place a sukūn on the ḥ, but a sukūn is forbidden on the d, because it would carry a ḍammah if any other word followed, as in Aḥmadu zawjī "Ahmad is my husband".
Another example: the sentence that in correct literary
Of course, if the correct i‘rāb is a sukūn, it may be optionally written.
0652 ْ sukūn (no vowel with this consonant letter or diphthong with this long vowel letter) ∅
0670 ٰ alif above ā /aː/
The sukūn is also used for transliterating words into the Arabic script. The Persian word ماسک (mâsk, from the English word "mask"), for example, might be written with a sukūn above the ﺱ to signify that there is no vowel sound between that letter and the ک.
Some letters take a traditionally different form in specific regions:
ISOLATED FINAL MEDIAL INITIAL
ڛ ـڛ ـڛـ ڛـ A traditional form to denotate the sīn س letter, rarely used in areas influenced by Persian script and former Ottoman script .
ڢ ـڢ ـڢـ ڢـ A traditional Maghrebi variant (except for Libya and Algeria) of fā’ ف.
ڧ/ٯ ـڧ/ـٯ ـڧـ ڧـ A traditional Maghrebi variant (except for Libya and Algeria) of qāf ق. Generally dotless in isolated and final positions and dotted in the initial and medial forms.
ک ـک ـکـ کـ An alternative version of kāf ك used especially in Maghrebi under the influence of the Ottoman script or in Gulf script under the influence of the Persian script .
Notably in Egypt, Sudan (
Nile Valley ) and sometimes Maghreb,
ي is dotless in the isolated and final position. Visually
identical to alif maqṣūrah
ى . The use in handwriting resembles
See also Arabic script#Special letters for languages other than Arabic.
Some modified letters are used to represent non-native sounds of Arabic. These letters are used in transliterated names, loanwords and dialectal words.
LETTER VALUE NOTE
ڥ Used in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
ڜ /t͡ʃ / Used in Morocco.
/ɡ / Used in Israel, for example on road signs.
گ Used in northwest Africa and west Asia.
ڭ Used in Morocco.
ڠ Rarely used in Persian Gulf.
USED IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ARABIC
Most common non-Classical
(Indo-European) IRANIAN (INDO-EUROPEAN)
LANGUAGE/SCRIPT JAWI ARWI UYGHUR SINDHI PUNJABI URDU PERSIAN BALOCHI KURDISH PASHTO IRAQI HEJAZI EGYPTIAN ALGERIAN TUNISIAN MOROCCAN
/ɲ / ڽ ݧ Ø Ø Ø
Western (Maghreb, Europe) Central (Mideast) Eastern (Persian, Urdu)
0 ٠ ۰
1 ١ ۱
2 ٢ ۲
3 ٣ ۳
4 ٤ ۴
5 ٥ ۵
6 ٦ ۶
7 ٧ ۷
8 ٨ ۸
9 ٩ ۹
10 ١٠ ۱۰
There are two main kinds of numerals used along with
LETTERS AS NUMERALS
Main article: Abjad numerals
In addition, the
History of the Arabic alphabet
Later still, vowel marks and the hamzah were introduced, beginning some time in the latter half of the 7th century, preceding the first invention of Syriac and Hebrew vocalization . Initially, this was done by a system of red dots, said to have been commissioned in the Umayyad era by Abu al-Aswad al-Du\'ali a dot above = a, a dot below = i, a dot on the line = u, and doubled dots indicated nunation . However, this was cumbersome and easily confusable with the letter-distinguishing dots, so about 100 years later, the modern system was adopted. The system was finalized around 786 by al-Farāhīdī .
ARABIC PRINTING PRESSES
In 1514, following Gutenberg 's invention of the printing press in
1450, Gregorio de Gregorii, a Venetian, published an entire
Between 1580 and 1586, type designer
Robert Granjon designed Arabic
typefaces for Cardinal Ferdinando de\' Medici , and the Medici press
published many Christian prayer and scholarly
Maronite monks at the Maar Quzhayy Monastery in Mount Lebanon
published the first
A goldsmith (like Gutenberg) designed and implemented an
Arabic-script movable-type printing-press in the Middle East. The
Each letter has a position-independent encoding in
Arabic Presentation Forms-A range encodes contextual forms and
ligatures of letter variants needed for Persian, Urdu, Sindhi and
Central Asian languages. The
Arabic Presentation Forms-B range encodes
spacing forms of
See also the notes of the section on modified letters .
Keyboards designed for different nations have different layouts so proficiency in one style of keyboard, such as Iraq's, does not transfer to proficiency in another, such as Saudi Arabia's. Differences can include the location of non-alphabetic characters.
To encode a particular written form of a character, there are extra
code points provided in
There are competing online tools, e.g. Yamli editor, which allow
The prototype enables the user to write
Wikimedia Commons has media related to ARABIC ALPHABET .
* ^ A B (in Arabic) Alyaseer.net ترتي
الموضوعية Ordering entries and cards in subject indexes
Discussion thread (Accessed 2009-October–06)
* ^ Rogers, Henry (2005). Writing Systems: A Linguistic Approach.
Blackwell Publishing. p. 135.
SIL International : This simplified style is often preferred
for clarity, especially in non-
This article contains major sections of text from the very detailed
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* v * t * e
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ETHNIC / RELIGIOUS
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* v * t * e
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* Writing systems
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* Chinook writing
* Ersu Shaba
New Epoch Notation Painting
CHINESE FAMILY OF SCRIPTS
* Simplified * Traditional * Oracle bone script * Bronze Script
* Seal Script
* large * small * bird-worm
* Jurchen * Khitan large script * Sui * Tangut
* Akkadian * Assyrian * Elamite * Hittite * Luwian * Sumerian
* Anatolian * Bagam * Cretan * Isthmian * Maya * Proto-Elamite * Yi (Classical)
* Celtiberian * Northeastern Iberian * Southeastern Iberian * Khom
* Afaka * Bamum * Bété * Byblos * Cherokee * Cypriot * Cypro-Minoan * Eskayan * Geba * Great Lakes Algonquian syllabics * Iban
* v * t * e
French-ordered scripts (see for more)
* Bulgarian * Burmese * Cambodian * Cantonese * Catalan * Chinese (Mandarin, mainland) * Czech * Dutch * Dzongkha (Bhutanese) * English (Unified English ) * Esperanto * Estonian * Faroese * French * Georgian * German * Ghanaian * Greek * Guarani * Hawaiian * Hebrew * Hungarian * Icelandic * Inuktitut (reassigned vowels) * Iñupiaq * IPA * Irish * Italian * Kazakh * Kyrgyz * Latvian * Lithuanian * Maltese * Mongolian * Māori * Nigerian * Northern Sami * Persian * Philippine * Polish * Portuguese * Romanian * Russian * Samoan * Scandinavian * Slovak * South African * Spanish * Tatar * Taiwanese Mandarin (largely reassigned) * Thai border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">
* Algerian Braille (obsolete)
* Japanese * Korean * Two-Cell Chinese
SYMBOLS IN BRAILLE
OTHER TACTILE ALPHABETS
* v * t * e
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* Hebrew * Aramaic * Syriac