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Arabic word formation help

So, I am a bit confused with why people pronounce peace in Arabic as "salam" it is spelled سلام , but that means it spells out the letters "Slam" when really they are forgetting an alif right? Shouldn't it be spelt like this: س ا ل ا م ? Or do they just add the accent above so that it looks like this: سَلام If you anyone could help, that would be great!

November 22, 2019



Diacritics are an important part of the Arabic language but they are not usually written so native speakers would guess the pronunciation of the word without them. If a long vowel (ا، و، ي) is not written then there must be a short vowel there (a diacritic). In the case of the word peace, it should be (in my opinion) latinized 'Salaam' so to differentiate between the short and long vowel. Hope this was helpful.


yes I completely understand, but this doesn't prove that there should be an alif after the S, so it should be سالام to be Salaam. But people still say Salaam/Salam even though it is written سلام .... There is no A after the S


In the case of the word peace, it should be (in my opinion) latinized 'Salaam'

Mirriam-Webster also spells it that way, salaam.

I've seen salām as well.

My arabic textbook spells it saláam.


Hello, I'm a native Arabic speaker, in our language there's no one way to pronounce a word (I can compare this to British & American English) same words, same letters & a slightly different pronunciation, it's very common to pronounce it 'Slam' but it's also okay to say 'Salam' and for the writing, the Alef is never written, instead a Fatha accent is used. Hope I've helped!

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