Arabic script

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arabic script
Script type primarily, alphabet
Time period
4th century CE to the present[1]
DirectionRight-to-left script Edit this on Wikidata
Official script

Co-official script in:

10 sovereign states
LanguagesSee below
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Hanifi script
Persian alphabet
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Arab (160), ​Arabic
Unicode alias
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
Worldwide use of the Arabic and Perso-Arabic script
Arabic alphabet world distribution
Arabic alphabet world distribution
Countries where the Arabic or Perso-Arabic script is:
 →  the sole official script
 →  official alongside other scripts
 →  official at a provincial level (China, India, Tanzania) or a recognized second script of the official language (Malaysia, Tajikistan)

The Arabic script is the writing system used for Arabic and several other languages of Asia and Africa. It is the second-most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world (after the Latin script),[2] the second-most widely used writing system in the world by number of countries using it, and the third-most by number of users (after the Latin and Chinese scripts).[3]

The script was first used to write texts in Arabic, most notably the Quran, the holy book of Islam. With the religion's spread, it came to be used as the primary script for many language families, leading to the addition of new letters and other symbols. Such languages still using it are: Persian (Farsi and Dari), Malay (Jawi), Cham (Akhar Srak),[4] Uyghur, Kurdish, Punjabi (Shahmukhi), Sindhi, Balti, Balochi, Pashto, Lurish, Urdu, Kashmiri, Rohingya, Somali, Mandinka, and Mooré, among others.[5] Until the 16th century, it was also used for some Spanish texts, and—prior to the script reform in 1928—it was the writing system of Turkish.[6]

The script is written from right to left in a cursive style, in which most of the letters are written in slightly different forms according to whether they stand alone or are joined to a following or preceding letter. The script does not have capital letters.[7] In most cases, the letters transcribe consonants, or consonants and a few vowels, so most Arabic alphabets are abjads, with the versions used for some languages, such as Sorani, Uyghur, Mandarin, and Serbo-Croatian, being alphabets. It is the basis for the tradition of Arabic calligraphy.


The Arabic alphabet is derived either from the Nabataean alphabet[8][9] or (less widely believed) directly from the Syriac alphabet,[10] which are both derived from the Aramaic alphabet (which also gave rise to the Hebrew alphabet), which, in turn, descended from the Phoenician alphabet. In addition to the Aramaic script (and, therefore, the Arabic and Hebrew scripts), the Phoenician script also gave rise to the Greek alphabet (and, therefore, both the Cyrillic alphabet and the Latin alphabet used in America and most European countries.).


In the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, northern Arab tribes emigrated and founded a kingdom centred around Petra, Jordan. These people (now named Nabataeans from the name of one of the tribes, Nabatu) spoke Nabataean Arabic, a dialect of the Arabic language. In the 2nd or 1st centuries BCE,[11][12] the first known records of the Nabataean alphabet were written in the Aramaic language (which was the language of communication and trade), but included some Arabic language features: the Nabataeans did not write the language which they spoke. They wrote in a form of the Aramaic alphabet, which continued to evolve; it separated into two forms: one intended for inscriptions (known as "monumental Nabataean") and the other, more cursive and hurriedly written and with joined letters, for writing on papyrus.[13] This cursive form influenced the monumental form more and more and gradually changed into the Arabic alphabet.


the Arabic alphabet
خ ح ج ث ت ب ا
khā’ ḥā’ jīm tha’ tā’ bā’ alif
ص ش س ز ر ذ د
ṣād shīn sīn zāy /
rā’ dhāl dāl
ق ف غ ع ظ ط ض
qāf fā’ ghayn ‘ayn ẓā’ ṭā’ ḍād
ي و ه ن م ل ك
yā’ wāw hā’ nūn mīm lām kāf
أ آ إ ئ ؠ ء
alif hamza↑ alif madda alif hamza↓ yā’ hamza↑ kashmiri yā’ hamza rohingya yā’
ى ٱ ی ە ً ٌ ٍ
alif maksura alif wasla farsi yā’ ae fathatan dammatan kasratan
َ ُ ِ ّ ْ ٓ ۤ
fatha damma kasra shadda sukun maddah madda
ں ٹ ٺ ٻ پ ٿ ڃ
nūn ghunna ttā’ ttāhā’ bāā’ pā’ tāhā’ nyā’
ڄ چ ڇ ڈ ڌ ڍ ڎ
dyā’ tchā’ tchahā’ ddāl dāhāl ddāhāl duul
ڑ ژ ڤ ڦ ک ڭ گ
rrā’ jā’ vā’ pāḥā’ kāḥā’ ng gāf
ڳ ڻ ھ ہ ة ۃ ۅ
gueh rnūn hā’ doachashmee hā’ goal tā’ marbuta tā’ marbuta goal kirghiz oe
ۆ ۇ ۈ ۉ ۋ ې ے
oe u yu kirghiz yu ve e yā’ barree
(see below for other alphabets)

The Arabic script has been adapted for use in a wide variety of languages aside from Arabic, including Persian, Malay and Urdu, which are not Semitic. Such adaptations may feature altered or new characters to represent phonemes that do not appear in Arabic phonology. For example, the Arabic language lacks a voiceless bilabial plosive (the [p] sound), therefore many languages add their own letter to represent [p] in the script, though the specific letter used varies from language to language. These modifications tend to fall into groups: Indian and Turkic languages written in the Arabic script tend to use the Persian modified letters, whereas the languages of Indonesia tend to imitate those of Jawi. The modified version of the Arabic script originally devised for use with Persian is known as the Perso-Arabic script by scholars.[citation needed]

When the Arabic script is used to write Serbo-Croatian, Sorani, Kashmiri, Mandarin Chinese, or Uyghur, vowels are mandatory. The Arabic script can, therefore, be used as a true alphabet as well as an abjad, although it is often strongly, if erroneously, connected to the latter due to it being originally used only for Arabic.[citation needed]

Use of the Arabic script in West African languages, especially in the Sahel, developed with the spread of Islam. To a certain degree the style and usage tends to follow those of the Maghreb (for instance the position of the dots in the letters fāʼ and qāf).[14][15] Additional diacritics have come into use to facilitate the writing of sounds not represented in the Arabic language. The term ʻAjamī, which comes from the Arabic root for "foreign", has been applied to Arabic-based orthographies of African languages.[citation needed]

Wikipedia in Arabic script of five languages

Table of writing styles[edit]

Script or style Alphabet(s) Language(s) Region Derived from Comment
Naskh Arabic,
& others
& others
Every region where Arabic scripts are used Sometimes refers to a very specific calligraphic style, but sometimes used to refer more broadly to almost every font that is not Kufic or Nastaliq.
Nastaliq Urdu,
& others
& others
Southern and Western Asia Taliq Used for almost all modern Urdu and Punjabi text, but only occasionally used for Persian. (The term "Nastaliq" is sometimes used by Urdu-speakers to refer to all Perso-Arabic scripts.)
Taliq Persian Persian A predecessor of Nastaliq.
Kufic Arabic Arabic Middle East and parts of North Africa
Rasm Restricted Arabic alphabet Arabic Mainly historical Omits all diacritics including i'jam. Digital replication usually requires some special characters. See: ٮ ڡ ٯ‎ (links to Wiktionary).

Table of alphabets[edit]

Alphabet Letters Additional
Script or Style Languages Region Derived from:
(or related to)
Arabic 28 ^(see above) Naskh, Kufi, Rasm, & others Arabic North Africa, West Asia Aramaic,
Ajami script 33 ٻ تٜ تٰٜ Naskh Hausa, Yoruba, Swahili West Africa Arabic Abjad | documented use likely between the 15th to 18th century for Hausa, Mande, Pulaar, Swahili, Wolof, and Yoruba Languages
Aljamiado 28 Maghrebi, Andalusi variant; Kufic Old Spanish, Andalusi Romance, Ladino, Aragonese, Valencian, Old Galician-Portuguese Southwest Europe Arabic 8th–13th centuries for Andalusi Romance, 14th–16th centuries for the other languages
Arebica 30 ڄ ە اٖى ي ڵ ںٛ ۉ ۆ Naskh Serbo-Croatian Southeastern Europe Perso-Arabic Latest stage has full vowel marking
Arwi alphabet 41 ڊ ڍ ڔ صٜ ۻ ڣ ڹ ݧ Naskh Tamil Southern India, Sri Lanka Perso-Arabic
Belarusian Arabic alphabet 32 Naskh Belarusian Eastern Europe Perso-Arabic 15th / 16th century
Balochi Standard Alphabet(s) 29 ٹ ڈ ۏ ݔ ے Naskh and Nastaliq Balochi South-West Asia Perso-Arabic, also borrows multiple glyphs from Urdu This standardization is based on the previous orthography. For more information, see Balochi writing.
Berber Arabic alphabet(s) 33 چ ژ ڞ ݣ ء Various Berber languages North Africa Arabic
Burushaski 53 ݳ ݴ ݼ څ ڎ ݽ ڞ ݣ ݸ ݹ ݶ ݷ ݺ ݻ
(see note)
Nastaliq Burushaski South-West Asia (Pakistan) Urdu Also uses the additional letters shown for Urdu.(see below) Sometimes written with just the Urdu alphabet, or with the Latin alphabet.
Chagatai alphabet 32 ݣ Nastaliq and Naskh Chagatai Central Asia Perso-Arabic ݣ is interchangeable with نگ and ڭ.
Dobrujan Tatar 32 Naskh Dobrujan Tatar Southeastern Europe Chagatai
Galal 32 Naskh Somali Horn of Africa Arabic
Jawi 36 ڠ ڤ ݢ ڽ ۏ ى Naskh Malay Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and part of Borneo Perso-Arabic Since 1303 AD (Trengganu Stone)
Kashmiri 44 ۆ ۄ ؠ ێ Nastaliq Kashmiri South Asia Urdu This orthography is fully voweled. 3 out of the 4 (ۆ, ۄ, ێ) additional glyphs are actually vowels. Not all vowels are listed here since they are not separate letters. For further information, see Kashmiri writing.
Kazakh Arabic alphabet 35 ٵ ٶ ۇ ٷ ۋ ۆ ە ھ ى ٸ ي Naskh Kazakh Central Asia, China Chagatai In use since 11th century, reformed in the early 20th century, now official only in China
Khowar 45 ݯ ݮ څ ځ ݱ ݰ ڵ Nastaliq Khowar South Asia Urdu, however, borrows multiple glyphs from Pashto
Kyrgyz Arabic alphabet 33 ۅ ۇ ۉ ۋ ە ى ي Naskh Kyrgyz Central Asia Chagatai In use since 11th century, reformed in the early 20th century, now official only in China
Pashto 45 ټ څ ځ ډ ړ ږ ښ ګ ڼ ۀ ي ې ۍ ئ Naskh and occasionally, Nastaliq Pashto South-West Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan Perso-Arabic ګ is interchangeable with گ. Also, the glyphs ی and ې are often replaced with ے in Pakistan.
Pegon script 35 ڎ ڟ ڠ ڤ ڮ ۑ Naskh Javanese, Sundanese South-East Asia (Indonesia) Perso-Arabic
Persian 32 پ چ ژ گ Naskh and Nastaliq Persian (Farsi) West Asia (Iran etc. ) Arabic Also known as
Shahmukhi 41 ݪ ݨ Nastaliq Punjabi South Asia (Pakistan) Perso-Arabic
Saraiki 45 ٻ ڄ ݙ ڳ Nastaliq Saraiki South Asia (Pakistan) Urdu
Sindhi 52 ڪ ڳ ڱ گ ک
پ ڀ ٻ ٽ ٿ ٺ
ڻ ڦ ڇ چ ڄ ڃ
ھ ڙ ڌ ڏ ڎ ڍ ڊ
Naskh Sindhi South Asia (Pakistan) Perso-Arabic
Sorabe 28 Naskh Malagasy Madagascar Arabic
Soranî 33 ڕ ڤ ڵ ۆ ێ Naskh Kurdish languages Middle-East Perso-Arabic Vowels are mandatory, i.e. alphabet
Swahili Arabic script 28 Naskh Swahili Western and Southern Africa Arabic
İske imlâ 35 ۋ Naskh Tatar Volga region Chagatai Used prior to 1920.
Ottoman Turkish 32 ئە ی Ottoman Turkish Ottoman Empire Chagatai Official until 1928
Urdu 39+
(see notes)
ٹ ڈ ڑ ں ہ ھ ے
(see notes)
Nastaliq Urdu South Asia Perso-Arabic 58 [citation needed] letters including digraphs representing aspirated consonants.
بھ پھ تھ ٹھ جھ چھ دھ ڈھ کھ گھ
Uyghur 32 ئا ئە ھ ئو ئۇ ئۆ ئۈ ۋ ئې ئى Naskh Uyghur China, Central Asia Chagatai Reform of older Arabic-script Uyghur orthography that was used prior the 1950s. Vowels are mandatory, i.e. alphabet
Wolofal 33 ݖ گ ݧ ݝ ݒ Naskh Wolof West Africa Arabic, however, borrows at least one glyph from Perso-Arabic
Xiao'erjing 36 ٿ س﮲ ڞ ي Naskh Sinitic languages China, Central Asia Chagatai Used to write Chinese languages by Muslims living in China such as the Hui people.
Yaña imlâ 29 ئا ئە ئی ئو ئۇ ئ ھ Naskh Tatar Volga region İske imlâ alphabet 1920–1927 replaced with Cyrillic

Current use[edit]

Today Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China are the main non-Arabic speaking states using the Arabic alphabet to write one or more official national languages, including Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Brahui, Persian, Pashto, Central Kurdish, Urdu, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Punjabi and Uyghur.[citation needed]

An Arabic alphabet is currently used for the following languages:[citation needed]

Middle East and Central Asia[edit]

East Asia[edit]

South Asia[edit]

Southeast Asia[edit]



Former use[edit]

With the establishment of Muslim rule in the subcontinent, one or more forms of the Arabic script were incorporated among the assortment of scripts used for writing native languages.[38] In the 20th century, the Arabic script was generally replaced by the Latin alphabet in the Balkans,[dubious ] parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, while in the Soviet Union, after a brief period of Latinisation,[39] use of Cyrillic was mandated. Turkey changed to the Latin alphabet in 1928 as part of an internal Westernizing revolution. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many of the Turkic languages of the ex-USSR attempted to follow Turkey's lead and convert to a Turkish-style Latin alphabet. However, renewed use of the Arabic alphabet has occurred to a limited extent in Tajikistan, whose language's close resemblance to Persian allows direct use of publications from Afghanistan and Iran.[40]



Central Asia and Caucasus[edit]

South and Southeast Asia[edit]

Middle East[edit]


As of Unicode 15.1, the following ranges encode Arabic characters:

Additional letters used in other languages[edit]

Assignment of phonemes to graphemes[edit]

∅ = phoneme absent from language
Language family Austron. Dravid Turkic Indic Iranian[a] Germanic
Language/script Jawi Pegon Arwi Azeri Ottoman Tatar Uyghur Sindhi Punjabi Urdu Persian Balochi Pashto* Kurdish Afrikaans
/t͡ʃ/ چ
/ʒ/ ژ
/p/ ڤ ڣ پ
/g/ ݢ ؼ ق گ
/v/ ۏ و ۋ و ڤ
/ŋ/ ڠ ڭ ڱ ن ڠ
/ɲ/ ڽ ۑ ݧ ڃ ن
/ɳ/ ڹ ڻ ݨ ن ڼ
  1. ^ There are broadly two standards for Pashto orthography, the Afghan orthography in Afghanistan and the Peshawar orthography in Pakistan where /g/ is represented by ګ‎ instead of the Afghani گ‎.

Table of additional letters in other languages
Letter or Digraph [A] Use & Pronunciation Unicode i'jam & other additions Shape Similar Arabic Letter(s)
U+ [B] [C] above below
پ پـ ـپـ ـپ Pe, used to represent the phoneme /p/ in Persian, Pashto, Punjabi, Khowar, Sindhi, Urdu, Kurdish, Kashmiri; it can be used in Arabic to describe the phoneme /p/ otherwise it is normalized to /b/ ب e.g. پول Paul also written بول U+067E none 3 dots ٮ ب
ݐ ݐـ ـݐـ ـݐ used to represent the equivalent of the Latin letter Ƴ (palatalized glottal stop /ʔʲ/) in some African languages such as Fulfulde. U+0750   ﮳﮳﮳ ‎  none 3 dots
ٮ ب
ٻ ٻـ ـٻـ ـٻ B̤ē, used to represent a voiced bilabial implosive /ɓ/ in Hausa, Sindhi and Saraiki. U+067B none 2 dots
ٮ ب
ڀ ڀـ ـڀـ ـڀ represents an aspirated voiced bilabial plosive // in Sindhi. U+0680 none 4 dots ٮ ب
ٺ ٺـ ـٺـ ـٺ Ṭhē, represents the aspirated voiceless retroflex plosive /ʈʰ/ in Sindhi. U+067A 2 dots
none ٮ ت
ټ ټـ ـټـ ـټ Ṭē, used to represent the phoneme /ʈ/ in Pashto. U+067C ﮿ 2 dots ring ٮ ت
ٽ ٽـ ـٽـ ـٽ Ṭe, used to represent the phoneme (a voiceless retroflex plosive /ʈ/) in Sindhi U+067D 3 dots
none ٮ ت
ٹـ ـٹـ ـٹ Ṭe, used to represent Ṭ (a voiceless retroflex plosive /ʈ/) in Punjabi, Kashmiri, Urdu. U+0679 ◌ؕ small
none ٮ ت
ٿ ٿـ ـٿـ ـٿ Teheh, used in Sindhi and Rajasthani (when written in Sindhi alphabet); used to represent the phoneme /t͡ɕʰ/ (pinyin q) in Chinese Xiao'erjing. U+067F 4 dots none ٮ ت
ڄ ڄـ ـڄـ ـڄ represents the "c" voiceless dental affricate /t͡s/ phoneme in Bosnian U+0684 none 2 dots
ح ج
ڃ ڃـ ـڃـ ـڃ represents the "ć" voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate /t͡ɕ/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+0683 none 2 dots ح ح ج
چ چـ ـچـ ـچ Che, used to represent /t͡ʃ/ ("ch"). It is used in Persian, Pashto, Punjabi, Urdu, Kashmiri and Kurdish. /ʒ/ in Egypt. U+0686 none 3 dots ح ج
څ څـ ـڅـ ـڅ Ce, used to represent the phoneme /t͡s/ in Pashto. U+0685 3 dots none ح ج خ ح
ݗ ݗـ ـݗـ ـݗ represents the "đ" voiced alveolo-palatal affricate /d͡ʑ/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+0757 2 dots none ح ح
ځ ځـ ـځـ ـځ Źim, used to represent the phoneme /d͡z/ in Pashto. U+0681 ◌ٔ Hamza none ح ج خ ح
ݙ ݙ ـݙ used in Saraiki to represent a Voiced alveolar implosive /ɗ̢/. U+0759 small
2 dots
د د
ڊ ڊ ـڊ used in Saraiki to represent a voiced retroflex implosive //. U+068A none 1 dot د د
ڈ ڈ ـڈ Ḍal, used to represent a Ḍ (a voiced retroflex plosive /ɖ/) in Punjabi, Kashmiri and Urdu. U+0688 ◌ؕ small ط none د د
ڌ ڌ ـڌ Dhal, used to represent the phoneme /d̪ʱ/ in Sindhi U+068C 2 dots none د د
ډ ډ ـډ Ḍal, used to represent the phoneme /ɖ/ in Pashto. U+0689 ﮿ none ring د د
ڑ ڑ ـڑ Ṛe, represents a retroflex flap /ɽ/ in Punjabi and Urdu. U+0691 ◌ؕ small ط none ر ر
ړ ړ ـړ Ṛe, used to represent a retroflex lateral flap in Pashto. U+0693 ﮿ none ring ر ر
ݫ ݫ ـݫ used in Ormuri to represent a voiced alveolo-palatal fricative /ʑ/, as well as in Torwali. U+076B 2 dots
none ر ر
ژ ژ ـژ Že / zhe, used to represent the voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ in, Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, Urdu, Punjabi and Uyghur. U+0698 3 dots none ر ز
ږ ږ ـږ Ǵe / ẓ̌e, used to represent the phoneme /ʐ/ /ɡ/ /ʝ/ in Pashto. U+0696 1 dot 1 dot ر ز
ڕ ڕ ـڕ used in Kurdish to represent rr /r/ in Soranî dialect. U+0695 ٚ none V pointing down ر ر
ݭ ݭـ ـݭـ ـݭ used in Kalami to represent a voiceless retroflex fricative /ʂ/, and in Ormuri to represent a voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative /ɕ/. U+076D 2 dots vertically none س س
ݜ ݜـ ـݜـ ـݜ used in Shina to represent a voiceless retroflex fricative /ʂ/. U+075C 4 dots none س ش س
ښ ښـ ـښـ ـښ X̌īn / ṣ̌īn, used to represent the phoneme /x/ /ʂ/ /ç/ in Pashto. U+069A 1 dot 1 dot س ش س
ڜ ڜـ ـڜـ ـڜ Unofficially used to represent Spanish words with /t͡ʃ/ in Morocco. U+069C 3 dots 3 dots س ش س
ڨ ڨـ ـڨـ ـڨ Ga, used to represent the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ in Algerian and Tunisian. U+06A8 3 dots none ٯ ق
گ گـ ـگـ ـگ Gaf, represents a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ in Persian, Pashto, Punjabi, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Kurdish, Uyghur, Mesopotamian Arabic, Urdu and Ottoman Turkish. U+06AF line horizontal line none گ ك
ګ ګـ ـګـ ـګ Gaf, used to represent the phoneme /ɡ/ in Pashto. U+06AB ﮿ ring none ک ك
ݢ ݢـ ـݢـ ـݢ Gaf, represents a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ in the Jawi script of Malay. U+0762 1 dot none ک ك
ڬ ڬـ ـڬـ ـڬ U+06AC 1 dot none ك ك
ؼ ؼـ ـؼـ ـؼ Gaf, represents a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ in the Pegon script of Indonesian. U+08B4 none 3 dots ک ك
ڭ ڭـ ـڭـ ـڭ Ng, used to represent the /ŋ/ phone in Ottoman Turkish, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uyghur, and to unofficially represent the /ɡ/ in Morocco and in many dialects of Algerian. U+06AD 3 dots none ك ك
أي أيـ ـأيـ ـأي Ee, used to represent the phoneme // in Somali. U+0623 U+064A ◌ٔ Hamza 2 dots اى أ + ي
ئ ئـ ـئـ ـئ E, used to represent the phoneme /e/ in Somali. U+0626 ◌ٔ Hamza none ى ي ی
ىٓ ىٓـ ـىٓـ ـىٓ Ii, used to represent the phoneme // in Somali and Saraiki. U+0649 U+0653 ◌ٓ Madda none ى ي
ؤ ؤ ـؤ O, used to represent the phoneme /o/ in Somali. U+0624 ◌ٔ Hamza none و ؤ
ۅ ۅ ـۅ Ö, used to represent the phoneme /ø/ in Kyrgyz. U+0624 ◌̵ Strikethrough[D] none و و
ې ېـ ـېـ ـې Pasta Ye, used to represent the phoneme /e/ in Pashto and Uyghur. U+06D0 none 2 dots vertical ى ي
ی یـ ـیـ ـی Nārīna Ye, used to represent the phoneme [ɑj] and phoneme /j/ in Pashto. U+06CC 2 dots
(start + mid)
none ى ي
ۍ ـۍ end
X̌əźīna ye Ye, used to represent the phoneme [əi] in Pashto. U+06CD line horizontal
none ى ي
ئ ئـ ـئـ ـئ Fāiliya Ye, used to represent the phoneme [əi] and /j/ in Pashto, Punjabi, Saraiki and Urdu U+0626 ◌ٔ Hamza none ى ي ى
أو أو ـأو Oo, used to represent the phoneme // in Somali. U+0623 U+0648 ◌ٔ Hamza none او أ + و
ﻭٓ ﻭٓ ـﻭٓ Uu, used to represent the phoneme // in Somali. ‎ + ◌ٓU+0648 U+0653 ◌ٓ Madda none و + ◌ٓ
ڳ ڳـ ـڳـ ـڳ represents a voiced velar implosive /ɠ/ in Sindhi and Saraiki U+06B1 horizontal
2 dots گ ك
ڱ ڱـ ـڱـ ـڱ represents the Velar nasal /ŋ/ phoneme in Sindhi. U+06B1 2 dots + horizontal
none گ ك
ک کـ ـکـ ـک Khē, represents // in Sindhi. U+06A9 none none none ک ك
ڪ ڪـ ـڪـ ـڪ "Swash kāf" is a stylistic variant of ك ‎ in Arabic, but represents un- aspirated /k/ in Sindhi. U+06AA none none none ڪ ك or ڪ
ݣ ݣـ ـݣـ ـݣ used to represent the phoneme /ŋ/ (pinyin ng) in Chinese. U+0763 none 3 dots ک ك
ڼ ڼـ ـڼـ ـڼ represents the retroflex nasal /ɳ/ phoneme in Pashto. U+06BC ﮿ 1 dot ring ں ن
ڻ ڻـ ـڻـ ـڻ represents the retroflex nasal /ɳ/ phoneme in Sindhi. U+06BB ◌ؕ small ط none ں ن
ݨ ݨـ ـݨـ ـݨ used in Punjabi to represent /ɳ/ and Saraiki to represent /ɲ/. U+0768 1 dot + small ط none ں ن
ڽ ڽـ ـڽـ ـڽ Nya /ɲ/ in the Jawi script. U+06BD 3 dots none ں ن
ۑ ۑـ ـۑـ ـۑ Nya /ɲ/ in the Pegon script. U+06D1 none 3 dots ى ى
ڠ ڠـ ـڠـ ـڠ Nga /ŋ/ in the Jawi script and Pegon script. U+06A0 3 dots none ع غ
ݪ ݪـ ـݪـ ـݪ used in Marwari to represent a retroflex lateral flap /ɺ̢/, and in Kalami to represent a voiceless lateral fricative /ɬ/. U+076A line horizontal
none ل ل
ࣇ‍ ‍ࣇ‍ ‍ࣇ – or alternately typeset as لؕ ‎ – is used in Punjabi to represent voiced retroflex lateral approximant /ɭ/[44] U+08C7 ◌ؕ small ط none ل ل
لؕ لؕـ ـلؕـ ـلؕ U+0644 U+0615
ڥ ڥـ ـڥـ ـڥ Vi, used in Algerian Arabic and Tunisian Arabic when written in Arabic script to represent the sound /v/ (unofficial). U+06A5 none 3 dots ڡ ف
ڤ ڤـ ـڤـ ـڤ Ve, used in by some Arabic speakers to represent the phoneme /v/ in loanwords, and in the Kurdish language when written in Arabic script to represent the sound /v/. Also used as pa /p/ in the Jawi script and Pegon script. U+06A4 3 dots none ڡ ف
ۏ ۏ ـۏ Va in the Jawi script. U+06CF 1 dot none و و
ۋ ۋ ـۋ represents a voiced labiodental fricative /v/ in Kyrgyz, Uyghur, and Old Tatar; and /w, ʊw, ʉw/ in Kazakh; also formerly used in Nogai. U+06CB 3 dots none و و
ۆ ۆ ـۆ represents "O" /o/ in Kurdish, and in Uyghur it represents the sound similar to the French eu and œu /ø/ sound. It represents the "у" close back rounded vowel /u/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+06C6 ◌ٚ V pointing down none و و
ۇ ۇ ـۇ U, used to represents the Close back rounded vowel /u/ phoneme in Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uyghur. U+06C7 ◌ُ Damma[E] none و و
ێ ێـ ـێـ ـێ represents Ê or É /e/ in Kurdish. U+06CE ◌ٚ V pointing down 2 dots
(start + mid)
ى ي
ھـ ـھـ ـھ
Do-chashmi he (two-eyed hāʼ), used in digraphs for aspiration /ʰ/ and breathy voice /ʱ/ in Punjabi and Urdu. Also used to represent /h/ in Kazakh, Sorani and Uyghur.[F] U+06BE none none none ھ ه
ە ە ـە Ae, used represent /æ/ and /ɛ/ in Kazakh, Sorani and Uyghur. U+06D5 none none none ھ إ
ے ـے end
Baṛī ye ('big yāʼ'), is a stylistic variant of ي in Arabic, but represents "ai" or "e" /ɛː/, // in Urdu and Punjabi. U+06D2 none none none ے ي
ڞ ڞـ ـڞـ ـڞ used to represent the phoneme /tsʰ/ (pinyin c) in Chinese. U+069E 3 dots none ص ص ض
ط طـ ـطـ ـط used to represent the phoneme /t͡s/ (pinyin z) in Chinese. U+0637 ط ط
ۉ ۉ ـۉ represents the "o" open-mid back rounded vowel /ɔ/ phoneme in Bosnian. Also used to represent /ø/ in Kyrgyz. U+06C9 ◌ٛ V pointing up none و و
ݩ ݩـ ـݩـ ـݩ represents the "nj" palatal nasal /ɲ/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+0769 ◌ٚ 1 dot
V pointing down
none ں ن
ڵ ڵـ ـڵـ ـڵ used in Kurdish to represent ll /ɫ/ in Soranî dialect. U+06B5 ◌ٚ V pointing down none ل ل
ڵ ڵـ ـڵـ ـڵ represents the "lj" palatal lateral approximant /ʎ/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+06B5 ◌ٚ V pointing down none ل ل
اٖى اٖىـ ـاٖىـ ـاٖى represents the "i" close front unrounded vowel /i/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+0627 U+0656 U+0649 ◌ٖ Alef none اى اٖ  +  ى
  1. ^ From right: start, middle, end, and isolated forms.
  2. ^ Joined to the letter, closest to the letter, on the first letter, or above.
  3. ^ Further away from the letter, or on the second letter, or below.
  4. ^ A variant that end up with loop also exists.
  5. ^ Although the letter also known as Waw with Damma, some publications and fonts features filled Damma that looks similar to comma.
  6. ^ Shown in Naskh (top) and Nastaliq (bottom) styles. The Nastaliq version of the connected forms are connected to each other, because the tatweel character U+0640 used to show the other forms does not work in many Nastaliq fonts.

Letter construction[edit]

Most languages that use alphabets based on the Arabic alphabet use the same base shapes. Most additional letters in languages that use alphabets based on the Arabic alphabet are built by adding (or removing) diacritics to existing Arabic letters. Some stylistic variants in Arabic have distinct meanings in other languages. For example, variant forms of kāf ك ک ڪ ‎ are used in some languages and sometimes have specific usages. In Urdu and some neighbouring languages, the letter Hā has diverged into two forms ھ dō-čašmī hē and ہ ہـ ـہـ ـہ gōl hē,[45] while a variant form of ي referred to as baṛī yē ے ‎ is used at the end of some words.[45]

Table of letter components[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniels, Peter T.; Bright, William, eds. (1996). The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press, Inc. p. 559. ISBN 978-0195079937.
  2. ^ "Arabic Alphabet". Encyclopædia Britannica online. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. ^ Vaughan, Don. "The World's 5 Most Commonly Used Writing Systems". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 29 July 2023. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  4. ^ Cham romanization table background. Library of Congress
  5. ^ Mahinnaz Mirdehghan. 2010. Persian, Urdu, and Pashto: A comparative orthographic analysis. Writing Systems Research Vol. 2, No. 1, 9–23.
  6. ^ "Exposición Virtual. Biblioteca Nacional de España". Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  7. ^ Ahmad, Syed Barakat. (11 January 2013). Introduction to Qur'anic script. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-11138-9. OCLC 1124340016.
  8. ^ Gruendler, Beatrice (1993). The Development of the Arabic Scripts: From the Nabatean Era to the First Islamic Century According to Dated Texts. Scholars Press. p. 1. ISBN 9781555407100.
  9. ^ Healey, John F.; Smith, G. Rex (13 February 2012). "II - The Origin of the Arabic Alphabet". A Brief Introduction to The Arabic Alphabet. Saqi. ISBN 9780863568817.
  10. ^ Senner, Wayne M. (1991). The Origins of Writing. U of Nebraska Press. p. 100. ISBN 0803291671.
  11. ^ "Nabataean abjad". Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  12. ^ Naveh, Joseph. "Nabatean Language, Script and Inscriptions" (PDF).
  13. ^ Taylor, Jane (2001). Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans. I.B.Tauris. p. 152. ISBN 9781860645082.
  14. ^ "Zribi, I., Boujelbane, R., Masmoudi, A., Ellouze, M., Belguith, L., & Habash, N. (2014). A Conventional Orthography for Tunisian Arabic. In Proceedings of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), Reykjavík, Iceland".
  15. ^ Brustad, K. (2000). The syntax of spoken Arabic: A comparative study of Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian, and Kuwaiti dialects. Georgetown University Press.
  16. ^ "Sayad Zahoor Shah Hashmii".
  17. ^ Sarlak, Riz̤ā (2002). "Dictionary of the Bakhtiari dialect of Chahar-lang".
  18. ^ Iran, Mojdeh (5 February 2011). "Bakhtiari Language Video (bak) بختياري ها! خبری مهم" – via Vimeo.
  19. ^ "Ethnologue". Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Pakistan should mind all of its languages!". June 2011.
  21. ^ "Ethnologue". Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Ethnologue". Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  23. ^ "The Bible in Brahui". Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  24. ^ "Rohingya Language Book A-Z". Scribd.
  25. ^ "Ida'an".
  26. ^ "The Coptic Studies' Corner". Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  27. ^ "--The Cradle of Nubian Civilisation--". Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  28. ^ "2 » AlNuba egypt". 19 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012.
  29. ^ "Zarma".
  30. ^ "Tadaksahak".
  31. ^ "Lost Language — Bostonia Summer 2009".
  32. ^ "Dyula".
  33. ^ "Jola-Fonyi".
  34. ^ "African Arabic-Script Languages Title: From the 'Sacred' to the 'Profane': the Yoruba Ajami Script and the Challenges of a Standard Orthography". ResearchGate. October 2021.
  35. ^ "Ibn Sayyid manuscript". Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Muhammad Arabic letter". Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  37. ^ "Charno Letter". Muslims In America. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  38. ^ Asani, Ali S. (2002). Ecstasy and enlightenment : the Ismaili devotional literature of South Asia. Institute of Ismaili Studies. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 124. ISBN 1-86064-758-8. OCLC 48193876.
  39. ^ Alphabet Transitions – The Latin Script: A New Chronology – Symbol of a New Azerbaijan Archived 2007-04-03 at the Wayback Machine, by Tamam Bayatly
  40. ^ Sukhail Siddikzoda. "Tajik Language: Farsi or Not Farsi?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2006.
  41. ^ "Brief history of writing in Chechen". Archived from the original on 23 December 2008.
  42. ^ p. 20, Samuel Noel Kramer. 1986. In the World of Sumer: An Autobiography. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
  43. ^ J. Blau. 2000. Hebrew written in Arabic characters: An instance of radical change in tradition. (In Hebrew, with English summary). In Heritage and Innovation in Judaeo-Arabic Culture: Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the Society For Judaeo-Arabic Studies, p. 27-31. Ramat Gan.
  44. ^ Lorna Priest Evans; M. G. Abbas Malik. "Proposal to encode ARABIC LETTER LAM WITH SMALL ARABIC LETTER TAH ABOVE in the UCS" (PDF). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  45. ^ a b "Urdu Alphabet". Archived from the original on 11 September 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2020.

External links[edit]