I am VERY new to Arabic, can anyone help me please? I don't understand exactly why there is a dot and dash under the first letter. Could someone explain to me why?
The dot is part of the letter b...the dash is a vowel mark. Words in Arabic are made up of root letters (consonants), and both long and short vowels. The long vowels are part of the regular spelling of a word, but the short vowels are mostly used in children’s books, and for learning purposes. People who know the language can tell how to pronounce a word (...what short vowels to use) from the context, and don’t need the extra marks.
This may all seem really confusing when you are brand new to the language, and there isn’t a heap of introductory material here, but Arabic really only has 3 vowels that come in both long and short versions, so don’t let it get you down!
An additional note, in case it helps anyone trying to understand better how the language works: words that have more than 3 letter roots do exist in Arabic, but they are not of Arab origin. Many of them are Persian.
Welcome to Arabic!
Jelff2’s answer covered it well. Keep at it. Arabic is wonderful
Okay so, can you add an accent mark under any letter? Because I knew that was B, but the accent mark confused me because Duolingo doesn't exactly explain it... So an accent below adds an "i" but an accent above adds an "a"? Because "مَ" makes the noise "ma". But then there is the little circle above some of the words and that makes the noise "u" right?
hmm, بِسِم is wrong, it should be silenced on the middle letter. but you kind of picked one advanced word to learn to read, this is a very special way to write the word "in the name of"... the 101 way to write it simply: بِاسم it appears as بِسْم in the Quran, here it is: http://tanzil.net/#1:1 (play with options on the side menu)