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?

July 28, 2019


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 : .

Hope this helped. ^-^

July 28, 2019

Thank you brother. No, I did not see this. I will review the tips now. I was feeling let down... this is much better news.

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. :)

Is this the 'gutheral' sound that we hear about? I'll try youtube. Thanks Jenna.

Doesn’t show up in tips until 10th topic

10.) Phrases

3 = ع Today, you’ll hear a sound that we don’t have in English: ع ! Pronouncing ع can be a bit tricky at first. Some people compare its sound to the sound you make when you yawn, some say it’s the sound you make when you hurt yourself and it hurts real bad — some even say it sounds like a duck. You can try this: get close to a mirror, open your mouth wide and fog up the mirror with your breath. You should feel how tight your throat gets when you do this. Now, while doing this, say the vowel a as in cat. That’s about the right sound. Because this letter, when it’s not connected to another letter, looks like a reversed 3, we’ll write it as a 3 in English letters. For example, we write the word عَرَبِيّ as 3arabiyy.
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There's also a 2, btw.

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)

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