Reading arabic - easy made
Marhaban ! Welcome to my little Arabic Class !

Though the headline says "arabic",   you shouldn't take this so literary. Here is meaned "arabic" in contrary to "roman" or "chinese". We also talk about some letters of maroccain, older-turkish, persian, afghan or urdu (arabic-hindi) origin.

The headline further says "reading", that means you won't learn the exact pronounciation. The purpose of these pages is to teach you the system and the structure of this writing, then this knowledge should suffice to read a traffic sign (f.e. the name of a town), to use a dictionary or to identify stamps   (section of an egyptian newspaper, size 180KB, click here).

The headline further states "easy made", this means I will leave out the many rules and especially the exceptions of those. This means that I have to be a bit inaccurate. If you already got a dictionary at your hand, please put it aside for now - this only spoils the fun.
All the rules appear early enough...;-)

For example, your arabic dictionary won't contain a "p". It only exists in old-turkish and asian languages; the arabic will substitute it with "b".

Some very simple reading examples : :
The word "post" is "post" in iranic and afghan language as well.
But because the "o" is a short vowel, it is not written, leaves "p s t".
P(o)st t s p

n  a  r  -  i  a  t  s  p  
P(o)st Iran = Iranic Post - the same, written flat
Note: 1) the letters "a" and "i" melt to the sound "i"
2) arabic is also written flat or fleeting, the socalled "Zenadi" style.

The arabic word for "post" is "barid".
As you know, the short "a" is not written, leaves "brid".
b(a)rid d i r b
As you see, the i-dots (actually j-dots, see alphabet) are shifted to the bottom. There are some other stiles, yet this word is easy to recognize.
Interesting to philatelists: :
The stamp with duressed additional postage from Jordania 1947 became a normal stamp in 1956 just by overprinting the word "barid" , the same to the tax stamp of Syria from 1945.


al-b(a)rid al-suri
(spoken : "as- surij")

al-b(a)rid al-suri

al-b(a)rid al-suri
(upper line)

The Article "al" :
Proper names normally begin with the article    *al-   ( *a / *e see alphabet)
(also pronouced *el-, *as-, *es-, *am- etc, depending on the following consonant).
The " l " is interconnected with the following word. Examples :

the post =
al- b (a) r i d
the Libya =
al- l i b i -ah
the Iraq =
al- **araq
**) this special letter we will learn later, with the alphabet

translations are made with kindly assistance by Thomas Otto
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