Arabic Alphabet Made Easy – Learn All The Forms For Ra and Zayn

Arabic letters made easier than you think in this breakdown of Ra and Zayn. Arabic alphabet pronunciation, words and formation right here

Arabic Alphabet Made Easy – Learn All The Forms For Ra and Zayn

The Arabic alphabet is a journey of its own. Pronunciation and formation of the Arabic letters depend on whether it is in the sentence and what tashkeel is present for the pronunciation to occur accordingly. Today’s lesson is all about the twin sisters Ra and Zayn. They both look almost exactly the same if it wasn’t for a dot that essentially created all the difference in pronunciation in Arabic and usage. 

Ra ر

If ten is your lucky number, then Ra is your lucky letter. You probably already guessed it, but the Arabic Ra is the English R letter. This is a strong letter and many find it difficult to pronounce properly because it uses the tongue-induced vibration to create the sound. 

Let’s take a look at the initial, medial, final, or isolated form as follows:

Notice that this letter has no writing criteria for the initial or medial position. On the other hand, it connects from one part in the in the final, and stands alone when isolated.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Initialرسم/rasam/(He) drew
Medialهاري/Haary/Harry (name)
Finalذكر/thakar/Male
Isolatedدار/daar/Home

To write this letter correctly, you place the pen on the starting position, make a curve to go around for three quarters, and stop.

See the following illustration of the letter Ra:



Let’s take a look at the four tashkeel’s fatha, damma, kasra, and sokoon for the letter Ra:

fathaرَبيع/rabee’/Spring
dammaرُبع/rubi’/Quarter
kasraطرِيق/tareeq/Way/Street
sokoonكُرهْ/korh/Hate


Zayn ز

Here’s a fun fact: Ra and Zayn are sisters! They can almost be considered identical twins if it wasn’t for the dot on top of the Zayn. The Arabic Zayn is the English Z letter. This is an even stronger sound than the Ra.  

Let’s take a look at the initial, medial, final, or isolated form as follows:


Similarly to the Ra, this letter has no writing criteria for the initial or medial position. On the other hand, it connects from one part in the in the final, and stands alone when isolated.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Initialزرع/zara’a/(He) planted
Medialمنزل/manzil/House
Finalكنز/kanz/Treasure
Isolatedكرز/karaz/Cherry

To write this letter correctly, you do exactly what you do in writing the Ra: Place the pen on the starting position, make a curve to go around for three quarters, and then place that last dot on top.  

See the following illustration of the letter Zayn:



Let’s take a look at the four tashkeel’s fatha, damma, kasra, and sokoon for the letter Zayn:

fathaزَنجبيل/zanjabeel/Ginger
dammaزُجاج/zujaj/Glass
kasraزِئبق/zi’bak/Mercury
sokoonخبزْ/khobz/Bread

These banana shaped letters are both sun letters, meaning, they both eliminate the /l/ sound when placed next to the article /al/.

The two following examples showcase this:

الزجاج /azujaj/

الربيع /arrabee’/

Both these words, meaning glass and spring respectively, have had the article /al/ added, but would eliminate the /l/, almost pressing it into the word where it is no longer pronounced.


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