Please click here to find resources for use during the school summer school, including instructions for typing in Arabic, links to online dictionaries, and selections of textbooks.
- 1 The Alphabet
- 2 Short vowels and diacritics
- 3 States and “cases”
- 4 Nouns and Adjectives
- 5 Construct State and Plurals
- 6 Pronouns
- 7 Demonstratives and Prepositions
- 8 The Verbal System and Dictionaries
- 9 The Perfect Tense Verb
- 10 The Imperfect Tense Verb
The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters. Although there are no capital letter forms, some of the letter shapes can vary depending on whether or not they are connected to letters that come before or after it. As the video below explains, some letters can only connect to letters within the same word that come before it, while others can connect with letters both before and after it.
Lesson 1: Learn the Alphabet
To get started with the Arabic alphabet, watch the video below. You can find a pdf of the presentation here.
For a handy schematic of how each letter of the Arabic alphabet is transliterated into a Latin alphabet (using the schema of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft), see the image below:
Click here to practice matching the letters of the Arabic alphabet with their names, and to practice matching words written in Arabic with their transliterations.
Short vowels and diacritics
In this lesson, you will learn the three short vowels in Arabic, as well as two important diacritics. You can find a pdf of the presentation here.
Click here to practice transliterating Arabic words with short vowels.
States and “cases”
In this lesson, you will learn about definite and indefinite states of nouns and adjectives (المَعرِفة وَالنَكِرَة) and about the three different “cases” (الإعراب). Click here for a pdf of the lecture.
Click here to practice identifying definite and indefinite nouns, and to practice identifying nouns with the different “case” endings (إعراب).
Nouns and Adjectives
This lesson introduces nouns, adjectives, and adjectival agreement. Click here for a pdf of the lecture.
Visit this link for a drill in identifying adjectives used as attributes and as predicates.
Construct State and Plurals
In this lesson, you will learn how to form so-called “إضافَة” constructions, as well as plurals of nouns and adjectives. Click here for a pdf of the lecture.
In this lesson, you will learn how to form pronouns (independent and enclitic), and you will learn about the verb كانَ. Click here for a pdf.
Click here for an exercise in identifying enclitic pronouns in the opening of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.
Demonstratives and Prepositions
In this lesson, you will learn about two types of demonstratives, as well as a range of prepositions and their uses. Click here for a pdf.
Click here for an exercise in identifying demonstratives and prepositions in the opening passage of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.
The Verbal System and Dictionaries
In this lesson, I give a birds’-eye overview of the verbal system in Arabic, and also give some advice for looking up words in an Arabic dictionary. Click here for a pdf.
Try deriving the root and looking up the following words in Hans Wehr’s Arabic dictionary (see the “Arabic Resources” link at the top of this page):
The Perfect Tense Verb
In this lesson, you will learn the forms and uses of the perfect tense verb (الفِعل الماضي) in Arabic. Click here for the pdf.
Click here for an exercise in identifying perfect tense verbs from a passage of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.
The Imperfect Tense Verb
In this lesson, you will learn the forms and uses of the imperfect tense verb (الفِعل المُضارع) in Arabic. Click here for the pdf.
Click here for an exercise in identifying imperfect tense verbs from a passage of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.