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Typing in Arabic

edited August 2012 in Arabic
I've got to share one link that I've found to be tremendously helpful. Here's a virtual Arabic keyboard that you'll find very useful. You'll see that we've also built our own virtual Arabic keyboard, and it's smart enough to recognize as correct answers things like:

وَلَدْ (all the short vowels and diacritics)
ولد (none of them)
وَلَد (some of them)

Of course all of these are walad (boy), and they're all correct. As a beginning student, you should use all of your short vowels especially, until you're familiar enough with the language to leave them out.


  • As you get more comfortable in the language, it becomes more efficient to add the Arabic keyboard to Windows. You can use the stickers that tell you which Arabic letter/symbol corresponds to which key on the English keyboard or you can print a cheat sheet and keep it near the keyboard (this is the method I used) until you learn them.

    When I need to type in Arabic, I only need to L-Shift + L-Alt to switch the keyboard and start typing. You will quickly learn the most common letters are in the center of the keyboard and letter that are similar (س, ش, ص, ض, etc.) are grouped together. Since Arabic does not have upper and lower case, Shift is primarily used to add short vowels and other special characters above or below the text.

    The Arabic keyboard can also be added to mobile devices using iOS and Android.
  • Hi All:

    Which should I use as a beginner?  The virtual keyboard that Christopher refers to, or the Arabic windows keyboard? 

  • For me, the virtual keyboard is easier. I can just type things out, and then copy and paste them where they need to be. As a beginner, I'm not writing very long pieces.

    I think the Arabic keyboard will be essential for anything longer.

  • edited November 2012
    To me all this sounds like Arabic! Mi sembra arabo! (It is an Italian expression to say "It is too complicated")
  • Grazie, or rather shukran, yaa maasiimuu!

  • Mi sembra arabo!  I love how every language has one of these expressions.  In English, it's "It's Greek to me!"  I wonder what it is in Greece...  Maybe, "It's Italian to me!" :)

    That virtual keyboard is quite cool.  I think it's a great way to learn the characters too, because it's very phonetic, with the English sounds on the keyboard too.  Thanks Chris.
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