The 10 Most Interesting Facts about Christmas in Arabic!

Posted on 21. Dec, 2014 by in Arabic Language, Culture, Current Affairs, Language

Marhaba! It’s that time of the year again!! To borrow from a famous song, ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas!!’ It’s somewhat impossible not to come across Christmas decorations, lights, presents, hundreds of candy choices, and people all around rushing to buy gifts and enjoy this beautiful festive season in most parts of this globe.

YouTube Preview Image

Today I am sharing what I think are the 10 most interesting facts about Christmas. To make it extremely beneficial for your learning, I have translated these facts to Arabic. I’ve also added some Christmas songs sung by the great Fairouz! Make sure you numbers 7 and 8 below! So next time make sure you impress your friends or family with one or all of these facts by discussing them in Arabic.

1) Many of the customs traditionally associated with Christmas originated with ancient pagan festivals.
الكثير من العادات المرتبطة تقليدياً بعيد الميلاد نشأت من احتفالات وثنيَّة قديمة
2) The first Christmas was celebrated on December 25, AD 336 in Rome.
إحتُفِلَ بأول عيد ميلاد في الخامس والعشرين من كانون الاول سنة 336 م. في روما
3) St. Nicholas, the real person on whom Santa Claus is based, lived in the 4th century AD.
مار نيقولا, الشخصية الحقيقية التي تأسّست عليها شخصية بابا نويل, عاش في القرن الرابع م
4) The modern Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century.
شجرة الميلاد الحديثة نشأت في المانيا في القرن السادس عشر

 

Christmas Trees Everywhere by miffyto | Flickr

Christmas Trees Everywhere by miffyto | Flickr

5) Some Christian denominations celebrate Christmas on January 6.
بعض الطوائف المسيحية تحتفل بعيد الميلاد في ستة كانون الثاني
6) Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
شجر الميلاد عادة ينمو حوالى خمسة عشر سنة قبل أن يُباع
7) The most popular Christmas Song ever is We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
أشهر أغنية لعيد الميلاد هي “نتمنى لكم ميلاد مجيد

YouTube Preview Image 

8) The famous song ‘Jingle Bells’ was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas.
الاغنية المشهورة “أجراس العيد” كُتبَت لعيد الشكر وليس الميلاد

YouTube Preview Image
9) The earliest known Christmas tree decorations were apples.

أقدم زينة معروفة لشجرة الميلاد هي التفاح
10) More than three billion Christmas cards are sent annually in the United States.
أكثر من ثلاث مليارات بطاقة معايدة لعيد الميلاد تُبعَث سنوياً في الولايات المتحدة الاميركية

Christmas Cards by Anastasia Annie Wahalatantiri | Flickr

Christmas Cards by Anastasia Annie Wahalatantiri | Flickr

Stay tuned for upcoming posts.

Have a nice day!

نهاركم سعيد

 

Sibawayh

Posted on 19. Dec, 2014 by in Arabic Language, Culture

In this post, we get to know a very famous grammarian of the Arabic language. He is the author of the first grammar of Arabic.

YouTube Preview Image

Abū Bishr ʿAmr ibn ʿUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Baṣrī (أبو بشر عمرو بن عثمان بن قنبر البصري‎), commonly known as Sībawayh (سيبويه), was an influential grammarian of the Arabic language. His seminal work Al-Kitab was the first written grammar of the language. Despite his significance to the development of the Arabic language and linguistic tradition, Sibawayh was an ethnic Persian and wasn’t a native speaker of Arabic, having learned the language later in life. He has been referred to as the greatest of all Arabic linguists and one of the greatest linguists of all time in any language

Sibawayh was born ca. 760 in Hamadan in modern day Iran. He was a student of Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi and Yunus ibn Habib, two eminent grammarians. He died in Shiraz, in Fars, around (796/797).

Sibawayh, a non-Arab, was the first to write on Arabic grammar and to explain Arabic grammar from a non-Arab perspective. Both Sibawayh and his teacher al-Farahidi are historically the earliest and most significant figures in respect to the formal recording of the Arabic language. Much of the impetus for this work came from the desire for non-Arab Muslims to understand the Qur’an properly and thoroughly.

Sibawayh’s al-Kitab was the first book on Arabic grammar ever written, and it set the standard of explaining rather than merely describing grammar that all subsequent grammarians of Arabic have followed. Each chapter started with the definitions of the new concepts which were to be introduced. Sibawayh would most often support his claims and points with verses from Arabic poetry.

While predominantly a book of grammar, Sibawayh did touch on the topic of Arabic phonology, prohibiting deviations from the standard pronunciation of the Arabic alphabet. He even disagrees with al-Farahidi, one of his teachers and the author of the first Arabic dictionary (Kitab al-‘Ayn), contradicting the latter’s classification of Arabic letters into groups. He also touched on the topic of ethics. In Sibawayh’s view, speech was like all other human behaviors and was thus governed by right and wrong; correct and incorrect grammatical forms were described by him with the same terms of “right” and “wrong” used in morality.

The Kitab is held in high esteem by linguists as the earliest written source on Arabic grammar, as well as a very long, detailed one.

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nizar Qabbani; “River of Sorrows”

Posted on 17. Dec, 2014 by in Arabic Language, Culture, Language, Literature, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

    Ahlan أهــْــلاً Arabic lovers! Today, I am presenting a very beautiful love poem by the great Arab poet Nizar Qabbani نــِــزَار قــَــبــَّــانــِــي . The poem is entitled; “River of Sorrows نــهــرُ الأحــزان“. It reflects the suffering that the poet finds in his love. I have also posted a youtube video of Nizar Qabbani reciting the whole poem in Arabic so that you can listen to the poem as long as reading it in both Arabic and English. There is also the youtube song of the poem sung by Khalid Al-Sheikh خــالــد الـــشــيــخ . I made the English translation for the poem and I hope you will love it.

YouTube Preview Image

عـيـنـاكِ كـنـهـري أحــزانِ

Your eyes are like two rivers of sorrow

نـهـري مـوسـيـقـى .. حـمـلانـي

Two rivers of music .. that took me

لـوراءِ ، وراءِ الأزمــانِ

Far, beyond the times

نـهـرَي مـوسـيـقـى قـد ضـاعـا

Two music rivers that were lost

سـيـّـدتـي .. ثـمَّ أضـاعــانـي

O, Mistress .. then they lost me

الـدمـعُ الأسـودُ فـوقـهـمـا

Black tears over them

يـتـسـاقـطُ أنـغـامَ بـيــانِ

Fall like clear tunes

عـيـنـاكِ وتـبـغـي وكـحـولـي

Your eyes, my tobacco, my alcohol

والـقـدحُ الـعـاشـرُ أعـمـانـي

And the tenth glass has blinded me

وأنـا فـي الـمـقـعـدِ مـحـتــرقٌ

And I am in the chair, burning

نـيـرانـي تـأكــلُ نـيــرانـي

My fires eat my fires

أأقــولُ أحـبـّــكِ يـا قـمـري؟

Shall I say that I love you, my Moon?

آهٍ ، لــو كـانَ بـإمـكــانـي

Oh, if only I could,

فـأنـا لا أمـلكُ فـي الـدنـيــا

As I have nothing in this world

إلا عـيـنـيــكِ وأحــزانـي

Except for your eyes and my sorrows

سـُــفـنـي فـي الـمـرفـأ بـاكـيــةٌ

My ships are in the harbor crying

تـتــمــزّقُ فـوقَ الـخــلـجــانِ

Being torn over the bays

وَ مـصــيـري الأصـفــرُ حــطــّــمـنـي

And my yellow fate has destroyed me

حـطــّــمَ فـي صـدري إيـمـانـي

It has destroyed the faith in my chest

أأســافــرُ دونــكِ لـيـلـكــتــي؟

Shall I travel without you, my Lilac?

يـا ظـِــلَّ الله بـأجـفــانـي

O, you; the shadow of God in my eyes

  يـا صـيـفـي الأخـضــرَ ، يـا شـمـسـي 

O, you; my green summer, my sun

يـا أجـمــلَ .. أجـمــلَ ألــوانـي

O, you most beautiful of my colors

هـل أرحــلُ عـنـكِ وَ قـصــّــتــنــا

Shall I leave you and our story

أحـلـى مـن عـودةِ نـيـســانِ؟

Is sweeter than the return of April?

أحـلـى مـن زهـرةِ غـارديـنـيــا

Sweeter than the gardenia

فـي عــُــتــمــةِ شـعـــرٍ إسـبــانـي

In the darkness of Spanish hair

يـا حـبــّـي الأوحـدَ .. لا تـبــكـي

O, my only love .. don’t cry

فــدمــوعــُــكِ تـحـفــرُ وجـــدانـي

Because your tears dig in my heart

إنـي لا أمـلـكُ فـي الـدنـيــا

I have nothing in the world

إلا عـيـنـيــكِ  .. وَ أحــزانـي

Except for your eyes .. and my sorrows

أأقــولُ أحــبــكِ يــا قــمـــري؟

Shall I say that I love you, my Moon?

آهٍ ، لــو كــان بــإمــكــانـي

Oh, if I could

فــأنـــا إنــســانٌ مـفــقـــودٌ

I am a lost human

لا أعــرفُ فـي الأرضِ مـكـانـي

I don’t know my place on earth

ضــيــّــعــنـي دَربــي .. ضــيــّــعــَــني

My road has lost me

ضــيــّــعــَــني إسـمــي ..

My name has lost me

 ضـيــَّــعــني عــنــوانـي

My address has lost me

تــاريــخــي! مـا لـيَ تـاريــخٌ

My history! I have no history

إنــي نـسـيــانُ الـنـســيــانِ

I am the oblivion on oblivion

إنــي مــرســـاةٌ لا تــرســُـــو

I am an anchor that never comes ashore

جــُـــرحٌ بـمـلامـِــحِ إنــســـانِ

A wound with the features of a human

مـَــاذا أعــطــيـــكِ؟ أجــيــبــيــنـي

What should I give you? Answer me

قـلـقــِــي؟ إلـحــادي؟ غــثــيــانـي؟

My worry? My atheism? My sickness?

مــاذا أعــطــيـــكِ ســوى قــدرٍ

What should I give you but a destiny

يــرقـــصُ فـي كــفِّ الــشــيــطــانِ

That dances in the hands of Satan

 أنــا ألـــفُ أحــبــّـــكِ .. فــإبــتــعــدي 

I love you a thousand times .. so keep away

عــنــّـي .. عــن نــاري ودُخــانــي

From me .. from my fire and smoke

فــأنــا لا أمــلــكُ فــي الــدنــيـــا

As I have nothing in the world

إلا عــيــنــيـــكِ … وَ أحـــزانــي  

Except for your eyes .. and my sorrows

YouTube Preview Image

*****

Check us back Soon 

Peace  ســـلام /Salam/