Strangeness and a Summer of Reading

غَريب root: غ-ر-ب / adjective / definition: strange Orhan Pamuk’s A Strangeness in My Mind has been sitting on the tiny, just-enough-space-for-tea-and-a-book shelf beside my bed, having remained unopened for far too long after I’d got into it and read a decent amount. I’m not sure why it’s hard for me to pick it backContinue reading “Strangeness and a Summer of Reading”

Imperatives of Sound Form I Verbs

سَجّادة root: س-ج-د / noun / plural: سَجاجيد / definition: carpet On the weekend, I returned from an expectation-exceeding week-long stay in beautiful Baku, Azerbaijan. And I would jump on the five-and-a-half hour flight again in a heartbeat, even just to get my hands on the perfect xalça that I didn’t have time to shopContinue reading “Imperatives of Sound Form I Verbs”

Dictionary Finds: Collocations of شقّ

جَوّ root: ج-و-و / noun / plural: أَجْواء / definition: air, atmosphere I try to evoke, in my physical spaces, an air of refreshing minimalism. My bedroom walls, for example, are washed in white and bare, save the two (white) floating shelves and narrow (white) floating desk that quite subtly jut out along one side.Continue reading “Dictionary Finds: Collocations of شقّ”

Arabic Observations: “Seeking” in Arabic and Turkish

لُغَويّ root: ل-غ-و / nisba adjective / definition: linguistic I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this Arabic Observations post for a while, but I was unsure whether it’s too small of an observation to be added to this series. I’ve since concluded, however, that no linguistic observation is too small to be noted.Continue reading “Arabic Observations: “Seeking” in Arabic and Turkish”

The End, the Middle, and the Beginning

أُفُق root: ء-ف-ق / noun / plural: آفاق / definition: horizon Today, I was conducting the Arabic oral exams for my second-year students and it became apparent that I have some residual anxiety from my undergraduate days as I felt nervous for them. They seemed chilled in comparison, which I’m happy about. This sort ofContinue reading “The End, the Middle, and the Beginning”

Arabic Words for “Eternity”

جَزيرة root: ج-ز-ر / noun / plural: جُزُر / definition: island I’ve spent the past week reconnecting with my home from home: backpacking around Majorca and reacquainting myself with its beaches and towns, and visiting the school I once attended for a year in our village in the south of the island. Ah, those irresistibleContinue reading “Arabic Words for “Eternity””

The Plural of Few and the Plural of Many

قِلّة root: ق-ل-ل / noun / definition: few I’m writing this post in between kneading and leaving-to-rise the Cypriot hellimli zeytinli I’m making in the kitchen, and the smell of black olives is stirring up hunger pangs despite the fact fasting is over (!عيد مبارك). But this post isn’t about halloumi or olives, it’s aboutContinue reading “The Plural of Few and the Plural of Many”

Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #12

طَبيعة root: ط-ب-ع / noun / definition: nature My appointment to reconnect with nature is approaching and it can’t come soon enough. I’ve been feeling sort of anxiously suspended between buildings and roads here in London and—whilst local parks have been somewhat of a refuge from all things grey—sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and sunshine areContinue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #12”

Unearthed Vocabulary

مَهجور root: ه-ج-ر / passive participle of form I / definition: abandoned Anyone who’s visited the Vocabulary page on this blog recently may have found themselves feeling as though they’d stumbled upon a long-abandoned site, with the ominously-hopeful message “More vocabulary lists coming soon!” an echo of a curious past that makes you wonder whatContinue reading “Unearthed Vocabulary”