In the previous lesson
, you learn why a word in Arabic that is composed of the same letters can have multiple different meanings. The word سلم
is composed of س
, then ل
, and finally م
. Their shape in isolation is slightly different from their shape in a word. In this lesson, you will learn about how Arabic letters are put together to form actual words.
Arabic Writing Strokes
Unlike Romance languages, such as English and French, Arabic is a right-to-left; that is, it is written from right to left. In the table above, you can see that the strokes go from right to left. For example, if we take the first word on the right, you can see that ك
are connected by a horizontal line between them. When added after or before the letter, the letter shape changes to suit this horizontal line.
When a line ـ
is added after ك
, its shape changes to كـ
; when ت
is added after this line, its shape changes to ـت
; and as another line ـ
is added after it so that it can easily join with the subsequent letter, its shape further changes to ـتـ
; and finally the last letter changes shape to be ـب
to join to this line. These changes in letter shapes which is forced by the connecting horizontal line make them join easily to form word, hence كتب
Looking at the right-to-left stroke drawing in the table, you can see that before and/or after each letter in black
there is a short (dash-like) connecting line in orange
. These short lines are clearly visible in decomposed words. These short lines merge into a single line to successively connect the letters together to form whole words. Once the letters are connected, the dots are added, and then the diacritical marks are assigned.
So, to reiterate, as you put pen to paper with the first letter, remember that it (except the semi-joining ones) will be followed by a short joining line, so its shape must change in order to join properly with this line. This short line will, in turn, join with another letter so this letter must change shape to easily join with the preceding letter. To join this second letter with another after it, a short line must be added after it. This line will further change the shape of this letter and cause the shape of the third letter to change. This process is repeated until a whole word is duly written. Once it is completely written, add the dots as needed, and finally assign the diacritics. Et voila, you are now able to write a word easily. Remember, practice makes perfect.