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Archive for September, 2018

Basic Arabic: Essential Topical Words and Phrases (1) Posted by on Sep 29, 2018

This post provides a list of basic words and phrases that can be used by beginning learners of Arabic as a metalanguage in the course of their learning. Education  تَعْلِيْم ta‘liim اِبْتِدَائِي ibtidaa’ii elementary اِخْتِبَار ikhtibaar test اِمْتِحَان imtiHaan exam فَحْص faHS test/exam/quiz إِعْدَادِي ’i‘daadii preparatory تَخَصُّص takhaSSuS major/specialization ثَانَوِي thaanawii secondary جَامِعَة jaami‘ah university…

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Basic Arabic: The Noun and Its Forms Posted by on Sep 27, 2018

A word in Arabic can be a noun اِسْم, a verb فِعْل, or a particle حَرْف. The Noun الاِسْم al-ism stands for something that can be concrete or abstract. It can be indefinite or definite; singular, dual, or plural; masculine or feminine. In a sentence, it functions as a subject (of verbal and nominal sentences)…

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Everyday (cultural) phrases in colloquial Egyptian Arabic: ‘Hope for the best’ (3) Posted by on Sep 26, 2018

Welcome to the third and the last part of this blog post where we’re looking at a song called تفائلوا بالخير ‘wish for the best’ by the Egyptian singer Yasmin Ali. As mentioned in the first and second part of the blog, the song is interesting in terms of the several cultural phrases included in…

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Basic Arabic: Diacritical Marks Posted by on Sep 25, 2018

In an earlier post, you learned that short vowels الحَرَكَات القَصِيْرَة in Arabic are not represented by letters; rather, they are diacritical marks that are placed over or below regular consonant letters. These short vowels are the fatHah الفَتْحَة, the kasrah الكَسْرَة, and the DHammah الضَّمَّة. In addition, there are two other essential marks: the…

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Tricky Prepositions Posted by on Sep 24, 2018

Prepositions can be a very tricky aspect of learning a foreign language. Often, we find correspondence between languages in the basic meaning and usage of certain prepositions, e.g. in Arabic (في) usually translates into (in) in English and (على) usually translates into (on) in English. However, this is not always the case, as there are…

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Basic Arabic: The Alphabet Posted by on Sep 20, 2018

الأَبْجَدِيَّة العَرَبِيَّة al-abjadiiyah al-‘arabiiyah, i.e. the Arabic Alphabetical System, includes twenty-eight letters. In addition to the alif ا and the alif al-madd آ, they are thirty.  Nearly all these letters are consonants. Vowels are two types: long and short. Long vowels are represented by letters, while the short ones are represented by diacritical marks. Each…

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Everyday (cultural) phrases in colloquial Egyptian Arabic: ‘Hope for the best’ (2) Posted by on Sep 19, 2018

Welcome to the second part of this blog post where we’re looking at a song called تفائلوا بالخير ‘wish for the best’ by the Egyptian singer Yasmin Ali. s mentioned in the first part of the blog, these phrases are culturally interesting and thus can sound somewhat funny if were translated literally. It’s for this…

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