Thursday, January 22, 2009

How to Read & Write Arabic; o3 TAA

Having said I'd be posting 'How to Read and Write Arabic' every Saturday, I've decided to change the day to a Thursday.

There are various reasons for the change of mind, but the main reason is so it sits at the top of the blog page for longer; I don't write a post on Fridays as it's the weekend in the Gulf {see wgaw blog archive: time} and the longer the post is at the top of the blog, the easier it is for readers to find. Appologies to everyone who waited until Saturday to read this installment.

So on to the next letter, 'taa'.

Taa is pronounced exactly as you would pronounce the 't' in the English word, 'teeth'; keep your tongue behind your upper teeth and say the letter ‘t’. When taa is written as an independent letter it is written with two dots below the line, like this:

Don’t forget - the lines are always written before the dots

Taa: Reading and Writing
As we said in last week's update Arabic letters change their form slightly depending on where they occur in the word (initial, medial, or final). And, like the letter 'baa', the letter 'taa' will keep it's basic format no matter where it occurs in a word. A taa is easy to spot, it always has two dots and at least one vertical line above the line you write on.

Below you'll see the letter taa in each of the three positions, initial, medial and final, with arrows to indicate the order and the direction your pen should move. Remember, as with baa, always draw the lines first, then the dots:




As you now know there are six letters which never connect to the following letter. In this sign for the youth hostel the ‘taa’ follows a non-connector and so takes the independent form like this;

TASK 1: find two alif's and three 'baa's in the photo above

We can now join 'taa' with 'baa' and almost write the word bait [bay-t] meaning house. The letter which sits between the 'baa' and the 'taa' is a ‘yaa’ which we will cover in a later lesson.

Here’s the signpost for 'Bait al Qur'an', (House of the Qur'ans), a private collection of illuminated antique Qurans, open to the general public and located in Bahrain, opposite the Diplomat Hotel and National Museum.

In the word 'bait' we write three letters:
1. baa, initial form; because it starts the word
2. yaa, medial form; because it follows on from and connects with the letter baa
3. taa, final form; because it ends the word

Examples of the Letter 'taa':

In the two examples below, 'taa' starts the word:

Below are a couple of examples of the letter 'taa' placed in the middle of a word.

TASK 2: How many alif's can you find in the photos above? In what form do they occur; initial, medial or final?

In the following example taa is written in the final form and can be found at the end of the word ‘Next’.


TASK 3: find the initial, medial and independent forms of the letter, 'taa' in the photos below:

1. The third letter of the Arabic alphabet is called taa
2. The are four different forms of the letter taa; independent, initial, medial and final
3. The letter taa changes its form depending on its location in the word, but the basic structure is always the same; two dots above the line and at least one vertical line above the line.

Should you wish to practice writing the letter 'taa':
1. Complete the three tasks in the article above
2. Using lined paper write the letter 'taa' in all four forms, as many times as you can; initial, medial, final and independent. Because taa is a connector you'll be able to connect 'taa' initial, followed by taa medial, and completed by taa final. A minimum of 20 repetitions is suggested, always remembering to write the lines first and then the dots.
3. Re-read wgaw blog posts, 'How to Read and Write Arabic'

What's Next?
The next letter of the Arabic alphabet to be explained is the letter 'thaa'

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