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Notable Features

The Arabic Language

O The type of writing system is abjad
O The number of letters in Arabic is 28

O Additional letters, however, can be used to

represent sounds that do not occur in

Standard Arabic such as /g/

Arabic Vowels
O There are six vowels in Arabic
O The long vowels /a:/, /i:/ and /u:/ are

represented by the letters 'alif, yā' and wāw respectively
O Short vowels are marked with special


Arabic Writing
O Direction of writing is from right to left
O Numbers are written from left to right O Many different languages use the Arabic

script: Äynu, Azeri, Baluchi, Beja, Bosnian, Brahui, Crimean Tatar, etc.
O Most letters change form depending on

where they appear in a word

Varieties of Arabic
O There are over 30 varieties of colloquial

O Egyptian O Algerian O Moroccan O Sudanese O Najdi O Levantine