Arabic script

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Arabic script
Script type
(abugida or true alphabet in some adaptations)
Time period
400 CE to the present
Directionright-to-left script Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesSee below
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Inspired the N'Ko alphabet and the Hanifi script
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Arab, 160 Edit this on Wikidata, ​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.

The Arabic script is a writing system used for writing Arabic and several other languages of Asia and Africa, such as Persian (Farsi/Dari), Uyghur, Kurdish, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balti, Balochi, Pashto, Lurish, Urdu, Kashmiri, Rohingya, Somali and Mandinka, among others.[1] Until the 16th century, it was also used to write some texts in Spanish. Additionally, prior to the language reform in 1928, it was the writing system of Turkish.[2] It is the second-most widely used writing system in the world by the number of countries using it and the third by the number of users, after the Latin and Chinese scripts.[3]

The Arabic 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 basic letter form remains unchanged. In most cases, the letters transcribe consonants or consonants and a few vowels, so most Arabic alphabets are abjads. It does not have capital letters.[4]

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, with some versions, such as Kurdish, Uyghur and old Bosnian being abugidas or true alphabets. It is also the basis for the tradition of Arabic calligraphy.

Worldwide use of the Arabic script
Arabic alphabet world distribution
Countries where the Arabic script:
 →  is the only official script
 →  is the only official script, but other scripts are recognized for national or regional languages
 →  is official alongside other scripts
 →  is official at a sub-national level (China, India) or is a recognized alternative script (Malaysia)


The Arabic alphabet is a derivative of the Nabataean alphabet[5][6] or (less widely believed) directly from the Syriac alphabet[7] which are both derived from the Aramaic alphabet, which descended from the Phoenician alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet gave rise to among others the Arabic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet and the Greek alphabet (and therefore Cyrillic, and the Latin alphabet this article is originally written in).


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,[8][9] 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.[10] 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
ḫā’ /
ḥā’ gīm ṯā’ /
tā’’ bā’ ’alif
ص ش س ز ر ذ د
ṣād’ šīn /
sīn zāj /
rā’ ḏāl’ /
ق ف غ ع ظ ط ض
qāf fā’ ġajn’ /
‘ajn’ ẓā’ / ḍhā’ ṭā’ ḍād’
ي و ه ن م ل ك
jā’ wāw hā’ nūn mīm lām kāf
(see below for other alphabets)

The Arabic script has been adapted for use in a wide variety of languages besides 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]

In the cases of Bosnian, Kurdish, Kashmiri and Uyghur writing systems, vowels are mandatory. The Arabic script can therefore be used in both abugida and abjad forms, 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). 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 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 Hausa, Yoruba, Swahili West Africa Arabic Abjad
Aljamiado 28 Old Spanish, Mozarabic, Ladino, Aragonese, Old Galician-Portuguese Southwest Europe Arabic 8th-13th centuries for Mozarabic, 14th-16th centuries for the other languages
Arebica 30 Bosnian Southeastern Europe Perso-Arabic Latest stage with full vowel marking
Arwi alphabet 41 Tamil Southern India, Sri Lanka Perso-Arabic
Belarusian Arabic alphabet 32 Belarusian Eastern Europe Perso-Arabic 15th / 16th century
Berber Arabic alphabet(s) Various Berber languages North Africa Arabic
Burushaski 53 ݳ ݴ څ ݼ ڎ ݽ ڞ ݣ ݸ ݹ ݶ ݷ ݺ ݻ
(see note)
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(s) 32 Chagatai Central Asia Perso-Arabic
Galal 32 Somali Horn of Africa Arabic
Jawi 36 ݘ ڠ ڤ ݢ ڽ ۏ Malay Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and part of Borneo Perso-Arabic Since 1303 AD (Trengganu Stone)
Kashmiri 44 أ ٲ إٳ وٗۆۄےٚؠ Nastaliq Kashmiri South Asia Perso-Arabic
Kazakh Arabic alphabet 35 Kazakh Central Asia, China Perso-Arabic
/ Chagatai
Since 11th century, now official only in China
Khowar 60 Khowar South Asia Perso-Arabic
Kyrgyz Arabic alphabet 33 Kyrgyz Central Asia Perso-Arabic Now official only in China
Kuryan alphabet 44 Korean East Asia, South Korea Perso-Arabic Invented by Korean Muslim in the 2000s
Pashto 45 پ ټ‎ ځ‎ ݘ څ‎ ډ‎‎ ړ‎‎‎ ژ ږ ښ‎ ګ‎ ڼ‎ ۀ‎ ې‎‎ ی‎‎ ۍ‎‎ ئ‎ Pashto South-West Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan Perso-Arabic
Pegon script 35 Javanese, Sundanese South-East Asia (Indonesia) Perso-Arabic
Persian 32 پ ݘ ژ گ Nastaliq or Naskh Persian (Farsi) West Asia (Iran etc. ) Arabic
Saraiki 45 Saraiki South-West Asia (Pakistan) Perso-Arabic
Shahmukhi 41+
(see note)
ࣇ ݨ Usually Nastaliq Punjabi South-West Asia (Pakistan) Perso-Arabic Similar to Urdu; 58[citation needed] letters including digraphs for aspirated consonants.
Sindhi 64 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-like Sindhi South-West Asia (Pakistan) Perso-Arabic
Sorabe 33 Malagasy Madagascar Arabic
Soranî 33 Central Kurdish Middle-East Perso-Arabic Vowels are mandatory, i.e. abugida
İske imlâ 35 Tatar Chagatai / Perso-Arabic Before 1920
Ottoman Turkish 32 Ottoman Turkish Ottoman Empire Perso-Arabic Official until 1928
Urdu 39+
(see notes)
پ ژ ݘ
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 پ ݘ ژ گ ڭ ئو ئۇ ئۆ ئۈ ۋ ئې ئى Uyghur China, Central Asia Perso-Arabic
/ Chagatai
Vowels are mandatory, i.e. abugida
Wolofal 28 Wolof West Africa Arabic
Xiao'erjing 36 Sinitic languages China, Central Asia Perso-Arabic
Yaña imlâ 29 Tatar Russia Perso-Arabic
/ Chagatai
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]

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,[38] 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.[39]



Central Asia and Caucasus[edit]

South and Southeast Asia[edit]

Middle East[edit]


As of Unicode 14.0, 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 (Indo-European) Iranian (Indo-European) Arabic (Semitic) Germanic
Language/script Jawi Pegon Arwi Ottoman Uyghur Tatars Sindhi Punjabi Urdu Persian Balochi Kurdish Pashto Moroccan Tunisian Algerian Egyptian Najdi Hijazi Israeli Levantine Iraqi Gulf Afrikaans
/p/ ڤ ڣ پ پ / ب پ
/g/ ݢ گ ګ ڭ / گ ڨ / ڧـ ـڧـ ـٯ / ق ج ق چ / ج ك / ج گ / ك ق / گ گ
/t͡ʃ/ چ چ ڜ تش چ
/v/ ۏ ف و ۋ و ڤ ڥ / ڢ / ف ڤ / ف ڤ
/ʒ/ ژ ژ ج چ / ج ج ژ
/ŋ/ ڠ ڭ ڱ ن٘ ڠ
/ɳ/ ڹ ڻ ݨ ن ڼ
/ɲ/ ڽ ۑ ݧ ڃ نج
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 is not used in most Arabic varieties (except Mesopotamian and Gulf) and it is normalized as /b/; e.g., pepsi > bibsi. 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 "ц" voiceless dental affricate /t͡s/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+0684 none 2 dots
ح ج
ڃ ڃـ ـڃـ ـڃ represents the "ћ" 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 "ђ" 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 _
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 _
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 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, 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
ࢴـ ـࢴـ ـࢴ Gaf, represents a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ in the Pegon script of Indonesian. U+08B4 none 1 dot ك ك
ڭ ڭـ ـڭـ ـڭ Ng, used to represent the /ŋ/ phone in Ottoman Turkish, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uyghur, and to 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 ں ﮿ 1 dot ring 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 _
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/[43] U+08C7 ◌ؕ small ط none ل ل
لؕ لؕـ ـلؕـ ـلؕ U+0644 U+0615
ڥ ڥـ ـڥـ ـڥ Vi, used in Algerian and Tunisian when written in Arabic script to represent the sound /v/. 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. U+06C9 ◌ٛ V pointing up none و و
ݩ ݩـ ـݩـ ـݩ represents the "њ" 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 "љ" palatal lateral approximant /ʎ/ phoneme in Bosnian. U+06B5 ◌ٚ V pointing down none ل ل
اٖى اٖىـ ـاٖىـ ـاٖى represents the "и" 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.[44] while a variant form of ي referred to as baṛī yē ے is used at the end of some words.[44]

Table of Letter Components[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mahinnaz Mirdehghan. 2010. Persian, Urdu, and Pashto: A comparative orthographic analysis. Writing Systems Research Vol. 2, No. 1, 9–23.
  2. ^ "Exposición Virtual. Biblioteca Nacional de España". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  3. ^ "Arabic Alphabet". Encyclopædia Britannica online. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  4. ^ Ahmad, Syed Barakat. (11 January 2013). Introduction to Qur'anic script. ISBN 978-1-136-11138-9. OCLC 1124340016.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Healey, John F.; Smith, G. Rex (2012-02-13). "II - The Origin of the Arabic Alphabet". A Brief Introduction to The Arabic Alphabet. Saqi. ISBN 9780863568817.
  7. ^ Senner, Wayne M. (1991). The Origins of Writing. U of Nebraska Press. p. 100. ISBN 0803291671.
  8. ^ "Nabataean abjad". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  9. ^ Naveh, Joseph. "Nabatean Language, Script and Inscriptions" (PDF).
  10. ^ Taylor, Jane (2001). Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans. I.B.Tauris. p. 152. ISBN 9781860645082.
  11. ^ "Sayad Zahoor Shah Hashmii".
  12. ^ "|Baluchi Language Protection Academy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-18. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  13. ^ Sarlak, Riz̤ā (2002). "Dictionary of the Bakhtiari dialect of Chahar-lang".
  14. ^ Iran, Mojdeh (5 February 2011). "Bakhtiari Language Video (bak) بختياري ها! خبری مهم" – via Vimeo.
  15. ^ "Ethnologue". Retrieved Feb 1, 2020.
  16. ^ "Pakistan should mind all of its languages!".
  17. ^ "Ethnologue". Retrieved Feb 1, 2020.
  18. ^ "Ethnologue". Retrieved Feb 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Khadim. "Balti to English".
  20. ^ "The Bible in Brahui". Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  21. ^ "HUNZA DEVELOPMENT FORUM". 30 April 2012.
  22. ^ "Rohingya Language Book A-Z". Scribd.
  23. ^ "Ida'an".
  24. ^ urangCam. "Bông Sứ".
  25. ^ "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".
  26. ^ Brustad, K. (2000). The syntax of spoken Arabic: A comparative study of Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian, and Kuwaiti dialects. Georgetown University Press.
  27. ^ "The Coptic Studies' Corner". Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  28. ^ "--The Cradle of Nubian Civilisation--".
  29. ^ "2 » AlNuba egypt". 19 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012.
  30. ^ "Zarma".
  31. ^ "Tadaksahak".
  32. ^ "Lost Language — Bostonia Summer 2009".
  33. ^ "Dyula".
  34. ^ "Jola-Fonyi".
  35. ^ "Ibn Sayyid manuscript". Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  36. ^ "Muhammad Arabic letter". Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  37. ^ "Charno Letter". Muslims In America. Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  38. ^ Alphabet Transitions – The Latin Script: A New Chronology – Symbol of a New Azerbaijan, by Tamam Bayatly
  39. ^ Sukhail Siddikzoda. "Tajik Language: Farsi or Not Farsi?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2006.
  40. ^ "Brief history of writing in Chechen". Archived from the original on December 23, 2008.
  41. ^ p. 20, Samuel Noel Kramer. 1986. In the World of Sumer: An Autobiography. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ a b "Urdu Alphabet". Retrieved 4 May 2020.

External links[edit]