Learning Arabic Through Poetry

شِعْر

root: ش-ع-ر / noun / plural: أَشْعار / definition: poetry


In the course of my language learning journey, I’ve found that going through Arabic texts and looking up each unfamiliar word is a really great way to pick up vocabulary.

And what helps is if you encounter those pieces of vocabulary in interesting contexts.

One type of context that might spark your interest is poetry.

There are so many places where you can access Arabic poetry, but I just wanted to share two websites I found that allow you to explore (a limited number of) poems along with their English translations.

The first one is the Poetry Translation Centre and the second is Poetry International. I recommend you check them both out.

The great thing about the latter, is that many of the poems come with an audio too. For example, have a read of/listen to كل شيء (“Everything”) by الصادق الرضي. (I personally love this poem, and how the poet recites it. On that note—I recently purchased his bilingual Arabic-English poetry collection that I can’t wait to get into.)

There is a slight drawback with the two aforementioned websites in that they are only home to a limited number of Arabic poems at the moment, but I think (and hope) that these are being added to.

If Arabic poetry is something that you want to delve more into, you might want to check out the post Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #3 (where we go through the vocabulary and grammar of a short passage of an Arabic poem) and the Literature vocabulary list (which includes poetry-specific Arabic terms).

For next week’s post, I plan to do a requested grammar explanation—so I hope to see you then too.

!مع السلامة


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2 thoughts on “Learning Arabic Through Poetry

  1. I studied Arabic for around 5 years and during the initial stages I read poetry translated. However, now after reading it in Arabic, in its original form, I believe it should always be read in it original language.

    Will check out the websites you mentioned.

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