Writing Arabic is much easier than you would imagine.

Arabic uses an alphabet, not hieroglyphs or pictograms. And there are far fewer shapes to master in Arabic than in those languages that are based on the ‘Latin alphabet’. These distinguish, for example, between capital and small letters as well as between print letters and joined up handwriting.

In Arabic, there is really only one basic shape for each of the 28 letters of the alphabet – no capitalization, and not really a distinction between print and handwriting.

Look at the following table, telling you the names of the letters and showing you the shape of each letter. Imagine that if there was a line, the first four letters would be sitting on the line, part of the following three letters would be below the line. – Now read the alphabet starting on the right with alif being the first letter in the alphabet and yaa’ being the last.

raa’ dhal daal khaa’ Haa’ jeem thaa’ taa’ baa’ alif
ر ذ د خ ح ج ث ت ب أ
r dh d kh H j th t b a
faa’ ghain 3ayn Zaa’ Taa’ Daad Saad sheen seen zay
ف غ ع ظ ط ض ص ش س ز
f gh 3   Z T D S sh s z
yaa’ waw haa’ nuun meem laam kaaf qaaf
ي و ه ن م ل ك ق
y w h n m l k q

When writing Arabic, you need to master three important techniques.

Writing from right to left
In many ways it is a more natural movement to be pushing the pen than pulling it, certainly for someone who is right-handed. And if you are left-handed, Arabic is the language for you: You will never smudge your paper again. However, for both left-handers and right-handers the basics are the same.

Holding the pen
Even if you have bad handwriting in your own language, there is no reason why your Arabic handwriting should not be excellent. You are starting afresh with good habits from the start. Firstly, to hold the pen you must have finger-tip control. It is better to hold the pen or pencil with the fingers well away from the point.

Flexibility of the wrist
This is something that textbooks never tell you. The basic movement in writing Arabic is making clockwise loops. Try it: Start making clockwise loops from right to left on a piece of paper. 

To find out more about writing Arabic, you can purchase our workbook: A Guide to Writing Arabic. This is available as an eBook or as a printed workbook.


Thank you for visiting ArabicOnline.Eu. Our award winning interactive courses of Modern Standard Arabic have been developed for anyone with a genuine interest in Arabic, whether for private, educational or professional reasons and are specially designed for self-study. Our website and our language courses are free from advertisements and we don't share any personal details of our visitors or registered members with third parties. Nor do we sell data for targeted advertising. We believe passionately that learning should be free from commercial distractions. For this reason we rely on subscriptions to fund the development of our products. Click here to find out more about our Beginner to Intermediate Arabic courses.