Arabic/LearnRW/Row 3 and 1

ه, ك, م, ي

The letters written above are called (again from the right) Haa, Kaff, Miim, and Yaa.

  • Haa (ه) makes the [h] sound like the first sound in "hat". It is never silent.
  • Kaaf (ك) makes the [‎k] sound. This is almost the same as the 'k' in "kill" or the 'c' in "cap".[1]
  • Mem (م) makes the [m] sound like the first sound in "mom".
  • Yaa (ي) makes the [j] sound. This is not the normal English 'j' (as in 'jam'). It is like the 'j' in "fjord". In English this is usually written with the letter 'y'; [j] is the first sound in "you" and "yes".

The unique thing about ه (haa) is that in most styles of writing all its forms look different. Recall that every Arabic letter has 4 forms (usually only 2 significantly differing forms).


Thrice Twice End Middle Start Alone Name Phonetic
ههه هه ـه ـهـ هـ ه Haa [h]
ككك كك ـك ـكـ كـ ك Kaaf [k]
ممم مم ـم ـمـ مـ م Mem [m]
ييي يي ـي ـيـ يـ ي Yaa [j]



  1. The only difference is that it is not aspirated. Normal English speakers can't tell the difference and it's unlikely Arabic speakers can either