The Arabic Script:
Arabizi / Chat Alphabet

In the previous lesson you learned the Arabic alphabet, but did you know you could write Arabic with Latin letters AND numbers? This way of writing is called Arabizi (a combination of the Arabic words for Arabic - ^arabi, and English - ingiliizi), and is frowned upon by a lot of people (mainly, in academia) but it is, nonetheless, a phenomenon that, regardless of whether we frown upon it or not, will probably be there for years to come.

It is mainly used when sending text messages or chatting online. Sometimes, even if an Arabic keyboard is available, a person would decide to use what is called Arabizi because he types faster in English, for example, or because it appears hip or 'cool' to write like that.


Below are the Arabic letters that are represented by numbers in Arabizi, and corresponding examples. Notice that some of the Arabizi representations actually look quite like their Arabic counterparts.

Arabic Arabizi in Arabic in Arabizi meaning
ء
hamza
2 مؤتمر mu2tamar, or just m2tmr conference
ع
^ayn
3 عيب 3ayb or 3eeb shame
غ
ghayn
3' غرب 3'arb or just 3'rb West
ح
Haa
7 محمد mu7ammad or just m7md Mohammed
خ
xaa
7'or 5 اخوان i7'wan or i5wan brothers
ص
Saad
9 صباح 9abaa7 morning
ض
Daad
9' الرياض 2lriyaa9' Al-Riyadh (the Saudi capital)
ط
Taa
6 مطعم ma63am or m63m restaurant
ظ
DHaa
6' أبو ظبي abu 6'abi Abu Dhabi (the UAE capital)

TEST YOUR ARABIZI >> (Available to members only.)