Why am I seeing the number 3?
Frustrated... as I can't continue not being able to read this. I submitted a bug report. I'm seeing it in IOS and Chrome via Mac.
Anyone else seeing this?
Someone else answered correctly. It's called an "ayn" (or a'yn or 3ain, etc.) and resembles a backwards 3. You can YouTube it for the proper pronunciation. It's like the "ah" sound made in the back of your throat when the doc uses a tongue depressor or you stub your toe really hard. :)
The letter (ع) doesn't exist in the English alphabet, and there are no letters in the English alphabet close to its pronunciation, so Arabs had to find a way to type this letter using an English alphabet. Then some clever guy realised that if you flip the letter (ع) it looks like a 3 so why not use a three to replace it. So yeah.
It isn't too clear in the lessons but they've got it in the tips :https://duome.eu/tips/en/ar .
Hope this helped. ^-^
A heads-up that this is not the only number used to represent Arabic letters when writing using an English keyboard. There is a list of numbers used to represent various letters and sounds that the whole now has a name of its own:
Arabizi (Arabic-English --> Araby-Englizi --> Arabizi)
This is usually used when having an informal chat with family/friends using a program and/or device that doesn't support the Arabic alphabet. At least this is how it started. Lots of people still use these forms even when they can write with Arabic letters just because they got used to it.
Although I have to admit only a handful of these are actually used on a wide scale, like 2, 3, 5, 7, and ... (not quite sure)