So, you’ve mastered the letters of the Arabic alphabet? Awesome! Now you’re ready to move on to the vowels.
As you’ve already learned Arabic, the Arabic alphabet is not really an alphabet, but is what is known as an abjad - a type of writing system that uses symbols or “glyphs” instead of letters. Moreover, in an abjad, the letters represent consonants and leave it up the reader, to decide where the vowels go. However, Arabic is known as an impure abjad. In other words, it uses marks to show the reader where the vowels in Arabic go and the sounds they make.
First, the vowels are not letters. Rather, they are diacritical marks that are placed over or below regular consonant letters. vowels in Arabic are the fatHah الفَتْحَة, the kasrah الكَسْرَة, and the DHammah الضَّمَّة. Furthermore, they also include waw و, alif ا and ya (ي). Much like they do in English, for instance, these are letters that can act as both consonants and vowels.
Finally, a less common diacritical mark is the tanween التَّنْوِيْن which is like a doubling of vowels in Arabic, but really just adds an "n" or ن sound to the end of the word. Today you will learn everything you need to know about diacritical marks in Arabic through the exercises below: