1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Arabic
  4. >
  5. The little circle over letter…


The little circle over letters...

Hi all,

I'm very curious about the little circle over a consonant in Arabic.

I understand that this means there is no vowel after that consonant. Okay, I don't understand why you just wouldn't just write the two consonants together without the circle.

I don't know how to write arabic on my keyboard, so I'll have to write this out.

Is "kibr" with the circle over the "b", at all different from just spelling "kibr" with a "b" followed by an "r"?

Also, when I look through books or dictionaries, I very very rarely see that little circle present. Why are we learning it?

And, also, in most books or dictionaries, you don't see the little slash marks, or other symbols that let us know if the sound is an "ah", "uu", "ih", doubled letters, etc. How do you tell how to pronounce words without these markers?

I know that's a lot of questions in one, but thanks so much!

November 10, 2019, 1:06 AM

1 Comment


Most arabic text don't use the little slashes and circles (diacritics) for vowels (or the lack thereof) since native speakers know how the word should be spoken even without them. The vowel diacritics are usually only used for learners, both foreigners and school children, so writing things without them should be fine. I think we'll eventually start recognising the words without the diacritics as well, it might just take a while... ;)

Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.