The Short Vowel Sounds:
Short vowel sounds are indicated by fatha (aa) kasra (ii/ee) and dhamma (oo).
Fatha is indicated with a diagonal stroke above the consonant.
Kasra is indicated with a diagonal stroke below the consonant.
Dhamma is idicated with a tiny "waw" above the consonant.
You will not find these indicators in most Arabic writing! They are found in the Qur'an to insure proper pronounciation of every word. Seasoned Arabic readers don't need fatha, kasra and dhamma to know the sounds in what they read - we beginners are lost without them!
Now, make a practice page (like you did for the long vowel sounds) with the Arabic letters in a column along the right side of your page. Add three columns beside each letter with the fatha, kasra and dhamma indicators for each letter.
The difference in the sound of a short ba'a with fatha and a long ba'a with 'alef is the length you hold the vowel sound - short for short vowels and long for long vowels. So for example (remembering that Arabic is read right to left), ba'a 'alef would sound like baaaa and ba'a with fatha would sound like baa.........
It took me a long time to get this just from reading about Arabic because I had the notion of short and long English vowels in my head (ie. 'a' as in rat and 'a' as in rate). Once I had a real Arabic speaking person to teach me, I finally figured out that short and long Arabic vowels are not like short and long English ones - so, dump that idea out of your head and keep in mind the tip in blue above!
Again, I urge anyone who knows better or who has good tips or advice to please add them to these threads!
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~