Arabic is largely a phonetic language. The word structure in Arabic language is based on consonant-vowel patterns. Having a good knowledge about these patterns is of utmost importance before learning the Arabic vocabulary or providing Arabic to English translation services. In addition knowing these patterns also helps in improving the pronunciation of Arabic words.
Proper pronunciation can greatly influence the depth of communication one has with an Arabic speaker and also shows a respect towards the language, respect which Arabic not only deserves because of it's beautiful history and rich heritage, but also because it is one of the most influential languages of the world and is spoken by more than 400 million people in the Arab world alone. Knowledge of pronunciation is also essential for any kind of English to Arabic transliteration.
Accuracy in pronouncing Arabic sounds is not difficult to achieve, even for Non Arabic English speakers. However as with vocabularies of all languages, understanding the differences between different alphabets and the way they are used helps in mastering the Arabic vocabulary and to translate English to Arabic documents as well.
This image below shows the 28 letters of Arabic alphabet. The letters start from the upper right hand corner, read from right to left, which is also the way Arabic is written and read. The first letter is called "alif".
Below image shows fourteen extra alphabetical symbols of the Arabic language, that act as short vowels, pronunciation symbols, grammatical endings, spelling variants and consonant. These fourteen extra alphabetical symbols function as short vowels, pronunciation markers or markers of grammatical functions.
In subsequent articles we will discuss more about the different alphabets in Arabic language.