Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to Read & Write Arabic 9: DAAL

As today is Thursday we'll return to learning the alphabet and will contemplate the eighth letter of the Arabic alphabet, 'daal'.

In the very first posting for, 'How to Read and Write Arabic' we stated there are six letters in the Arabic alphabet which are non-connectors. Daal is the second non connector you have come across in this series and both letters, daal and alif never, ever, ever connect with any letter which follows them.

So, the letter daal looks like this:

Writing the Letter Daal
Writing daal is easy (no dots, nothing under the line you write on), just an acute angle and a single line.  Daal is written like this:

The photograph above shows daal in its 'independent' form.  When you write a daal which joins with the preceeding letter it's written in its 'final' form like this:

Because daal is a non-connector these two forms shown above are the only forms of daal which can be written.

There is no medial form (because it never joins with the following letter) and there is also no initial form (because it never joins with the following letter).  If a 'daal' does occur at the beginning of a word, it always takes the independent format.

Making the Daal Sound
Daal has a very similar pronunciation to the English 'd' in 'dentist' or 'do', but not at all like the 'd' in 'puddle'. Say the two words, 'dentist' and 'puddle' one after the other several times and you'll begin to hear the difference between the two.

When you say the 'd' as part of the word, 'dentist' your tongue is at the top of your mouth and the sound is hard, whereas when you say the word, 'puddle' you'll find your tongue is located towards the bottom of your mouth and the sound is softer.

The three photos below show the letter 'daal' in its final form.

When you've found and contemplated the daals, see how many and in which format the letter 'baa' occurs.

The following photos show daal in its independent form:

Hide & Seek
Look at the two photos below and find the two daals in each photo.  Each photo has one connecting daal and one independent daal.
In addition, try and work out how many 'alifs' and 'Haas' occur in each photo:

Practice/ Homework
Should you wish to practice writing the letter 'daal':
Complete the hide and seek activities in the article above
Using lined paper write the letter 'daal' in its two different forms, as many times as you can; final and independent. Because daal is a non connector you'll have to write one of the other letters you already know before the daal in order to connect it. A minimum of 20 repetitions is suggested, always remembering to write the lines first, then the dots.
Re-read the previous wgaw blog posts {wgaw subject/ labels 'How to Read and Write Arabic} and try to find all the daals, in the photos, in those postings. Then decide if the daal is in an independent format or a final format.


1. The eighth letter of the Arabic alphabet is called 'daal'
2. The are only two different forms of the letter daal; independent and final
3. Daal is one of the six non-connectors and never-ever-ever connects with the letter which follows it, even if it occurs in the middle of a word.

What's Next?

Next week we’ll look at the letter 'dhaal' a letter very similar to daal in both shape and sound.  And maybe because it is so similiar, it's unsurprisingly another non-connector.

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