Arabic Alphabet


The Arabic alphabet evolved from the Nabataean letter, the basis of which was Aramaic, and it, in turn, went from phoenician. The oldest inscription found dates back to the fourth century. Most likely it was some sort of transitional form. In 651, with the help of the Arabic alphabet, the Quran was compiled.

The Arabic alphabet was spread with Islam, and eventually became one of the most famous alphabets. It can be seen in the regions of Western and Central Asia, Africa, as well as ethnic communities in East Asia, Europe and America. Arabica was used to write many languages: Persian, Pashto, Urdu and others. In particular, it was accepted by those peoples who already had their own written language. Tatars, Kazakhs, Bashkirs and others, used the Arabian graphics for many centuries.

27 of the 28 Arabic letters stand for consonant sounds. Short vowels are depicted using superscripts and subscripts (diacritics). The three long vowel sounds are transmitted with the letters alif, yau, ya. The writing goes from right to left.

One of the main features of the Arabic script is a different type of letters depending on where the words (at the beginning, at the end, or in the middle) are located. Besides, there is an isolated form in case the word consists of one letter.