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The short vowels

There are small markings above and below Arabic letters that show the three ‘short’ vowels, which roughly equate to ‘a’, ‘o’ and, ‘i’. There is also one extra symbol when there is no short vowel.

These vowels are short compared to the longer vowels which we will introduce later.

On their own and at the beginning of words, the short vowels are placed on or below a silent support: أ or إ . Think of them as shy little vowels that need a bit of support!

Sound
Short vowel alone
‘Short’ vowel
with أ
a
َ
أَ
o
ُ
أُ
i
ِ
إِ
no vowel
ْ
أْ

You can add these same short vowels to first the letter we have just learnt, namely ب or the sound ‘b’.

Sound
Short vowel with ب
ba
بَ
bo
بُ
bi
بِ
b
بْ

You can see this in the video below:

We will give you a video with these short vowels for every new letter we introduce so you will hopefully know them off by heart by the end of the course.

If you would like to know the Arabic names of each short vowel, please see the table below. This is an optional extra.

Sound
‘Short’ vowel
with أ
Short vowel alone
Name
a
أَ
َ
fat7a
فَتْحَة
o
أُ
ُ
Damma
ضَمَّة
i
إِ
ِ
Kasra
كَسْرَة
no vowel
أْ
ْ
sokoon
سُكُون

All of this is summarised in the video below:

Exercise 1: Dictation

Please listen to the recording below and write out the letter ب with the correct short vowel marking above it. 

[Recording coming coon!]

Answers

  1. بَ
  2. بِ
  3. بُ
  4. بْ
  5. بُ
  6. بَ