Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to Read & Write Arabic 20: faa

Today's post is the letter faa, a far easier letter to say than the past couple of posts. To say faa, think of the pronunciation of the 'f' in the English word, 'feather' and you shouldn't have many problems getting it right.

Writing Faa
This week we'll change the layout of the blog posting a little. I'll introduce each of the four forms: independent, inital, medial and final {see wgaw archive: baa} of the letter faa, and then highlight how it's written in the following photographs.

Not only is faa easy to say, it's also pretty easy to write, with each of the four forms staying more or less the same.


Now try to find the independent form of faa in the photographs below:

The initial form of faa looks like this:

Now try to find the initial form of faa in the photographs below:

As you will no doubt know, Arabic was developed hundreds of years ago as a handwritten script.  Consequently there are a couple of special combinations of letters, called ligatures, which add complications to the written form and this particular letter.

When faa occurs at the beginning of a word and yaa (two dots under the line) is the next letter {see future wgaw blog archive} , another form of the letter occurs. In the printed form, faa sits on top of the following letter, like so:

Medial faa, or faa in the middle of a word is written like this:

Now try to find the meidal form of faa in the photographs below:


When faa occurs at the end of a word, it looks like this:

Now try to find the final form of faa in the photographs below:

HIde & Seek
Now see how many faas you can find in the five photos below:

What's Next?
The next letter to be introduced in this series will be the letter qaaf, a letter very similar to faa, but with two dots on top.


Jaz said...

I LOVE your blog. Where do you find all these road signs? I am looking for some to create my Learn Egyptian Arabic blog but I can never find any! Thanks for posting :)

wgaw said...

Thanks for the great comments ;-)

It seems I've become a bit of a 'train spotter' with road signs and have taken hundreds of the things over the past 5 years.

Was very excited when husband announced a business trip to Iraq in April - at last a photo of the city signin Arabic for Baghdad. Unfortunately as he was taking the photo he got arrested and taken to the police station to explain himself - the cops thought he was a terrorist.

Good luck with your Egyptian Arabic blog site :-)