How to Learn Arabic Writing


Learning to speak Arabic is very difficult, but learning to write Arabic is perhaps the easier part of this challenge. The beauty of the Arabic script is the focus of much Islamic art and calligraphy, and is also apparent in the everyday written word. Developing Arabic handwriting can take years, but with regular practice and perseverance, grasping the basics will only take a few weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • "Alif Baa" by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
  • Purchase "Alif Baa" by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi. It's available online or in the Languages section of most large-scale book stores. This book is widely used as an introductory text in college Arabic courses. It comes with a DVD that helps to teach the letters, sounds, relevant words, short phrases, and points of culture. It also teaches different "slang" ways of writing including connecting dots and stacking letters. There is a seemingly endless amount of books claiming to teach the Arabic alphabet, but "Alif Baa" is a high quality text, and thus very popular among Arabic teachers.

  • Work through the "Alif Baa" book. Perhaps you could learn one letter per day, or complete a chapter each week. Make sure to take advantage of the DVD which will be vital in learning the correct sounds and pronunciation of letters and words.

  • Practice saying letters with a language buddy. This could be an Arabic speaking friend, or someone that you find on a website like or These websites match up language partners who would like to practice their partner's native language. Both sites are free, and you can use the voice chat function to make sure that you are pronouncing letters and words correctly with a native Arabic speaker who wants to learn English.

  • Practice your Arabic writing often. You could offer to write friends' names in Arabic, or just rewrite words from online Arabic newspapers like or If you plan on continuing to learn the Arabic language, purchase "Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya Part One" by the same authors as Alif Baa. This book is the next in the series after Alif Baa and teaches more complicated grammar and vocabulary. If you plan to do this, it is advisable to also enroll in an Arabic course, as a teacher is a vital part of your learning this challenging language.

Tips & Warnings

  • There is also an "Alif Baa" answer key available to purchase online. This would be especially helpful to you if you are learning to write Arabic on your own and have no one to track your progress. The answer key can be purchased relatively cheaply on sites like
  • Photo Credit Photo: Aieman Khimji,
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