Arabic/LearnRW/fatHa

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We have learnt about some Arabic letters so far, and have been transliterating using only consonants. In this lesson, we will learn about the Arabic fatḥah: what it looks like, its purpose, its usage and its sound.

What it looks like[edit]

The fatḥah resembles an acute accent such as a French accent aigu or an Irish fada; sometimes horizontal but usually slanted, it is a line over a letter.

A fatḥah is never vertical or beneath a letter.

Its purpose[edit]

The fatḥah indicates a short vowel sound, pronounced with the letter on which it is written.

Example of what is meant by pronounced with: with كَ (ka), the a is pronounced right after the k. The fatḥah represents the sound of the a.

Its Usage[edit]

The fatḥah is a short vowel diacritic; its main use is to ensure a reader pronounces unfamiliar words correctly.

In most books and newspapers the fatḥah (as with the other Arabic short vowels) is not written; the reader is expected to be able to know the word and its meaning from its context within a sentence.

Sound[edit]

it makes the short "a" sound.

What is meant by "the short "a" sound". It is meant that it is pronounced for a shorter amount of time. Make sure you don't pronounce it "aa". And make sure you don't pronounce it so that it rhymes with "bay" or "OK" or "say". Pronounce it so it rhymes with "umbrella".


If you see a fatḥah on a letter pronounce the fatḥah sound right after the letter. kaaf +fatHa = "ka"


  • َك + َ = ك

Go over all letters you are familiar with. Draw each one. Add a fatḥah. Instead of pronouncing the letter's name, pronounce it with the fatḥah (example: instead of "kaaf", say "ka").