ب , ت , ث , ف
Remember to read from right to left when reading Arabic letters.
The letters written above are called (starting from the right) baa, taa, thaa, and faa. Now don't get confused, the first three do look similar, but are different letters because of the dots. The first letter up there has one dot underneath. The second one has two dots on top. The third has three dots snuggled up in a triangle shape. And the fourth letter has a different shape and only one dot.
The pattern is that all letters are named with the sound they make at the beginning of their names. All letters make consonant sounds.
- Baa (ب) makes the [b] sound like the first sound in "boy".
- Taa (ت) makes the [t̪] sound. This is very similar to the 't' sound in English; however, there are some slight differences that will be imperceptible to English speakers. The sound is made with the tip of the tongue moved slightly forward. Also it is not aspirated. It is exactly the same as the 't' in French.
- Thaa (ث) makes the [θ] sound. This is like "th" in "think", not the one in "they". Arabic has another letter for that sound.
- Faa (ف) makes the [f] sound, like 'f' in "feel" or 'ph' in the name "Phil".
All of these letters have the same tail. They connect to letters after them, within a word. Remember, every letter has four forms.