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Introduction to Arabic
Introduction to Arabic

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2 Long vowels and issues with reading and writing

In Week 1 you were introduced to Arabic vowels. In this week you will learn about long vowels in addition to ‘At-Tāʾ al-marbūah and ‘Hamza’, which are also crucial for reading and meaning-making. As a reminder, have a look at the table from the last week:

Table 4 Vowels in Arabic (repeated from Week 1)
Examples in words Examples with independent letters Pronunciation Vowels
عِلْم - حَقِيبَة عِ - قِ I


below the letter

لُب - نُمُور لُ - نُ U


above the letter

جَمَل - ثَعْلَب جَ - ثَ A


above the letter

مَفْهُوم - عَمَلْ فْ - لْ indicates the consonant


above the letter

Long vowels:

Long vowels in Arabic can appear in three forms:

  1. Fatḥa followed by Alif : ā
  2. Kasra followed by yāʾ: ī
  3. ḍamma followed by wāw: ū

Examples: listen to the following audio and repeat to practice the long vowels in Arabic.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 4
Audio 4
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
Table 5 Examples of long vowels in Arabic
1 Fatḥa followed by Alif : ā زَرَافَة - خَالد - مَاجِد
2 Kasra followed by yāʾ: ī عَلِيم - جَدِيد - طَبِيب
3 ḍamma followed by wāw: ū خَرُوف - ضُمُور - زُهُور

Activity 2

Timing: 15 minutes







The correct answers are b and c.