Root Exploration: ع-ر-ق


root: ز-م-ن / noun / plural: أَزمان / definition: stretch of time

It’s been a long time since our last post in the Root Exploration series. (In all honesty, though, it hasn’t felt long at all to me since I explore roots in the dictionary every day!)

I’ve had a few roots written down in my notes that I’d like to explore in this series but today I sat here—glasses on, laptop on desk, sweet sunshine outside the window to my right—and typed three letters into my Hans Wehr app: ع-ر-ق.

Continue reading “Root Exploration: ع-ر-ق”

Arabic Observations: Compound Quadriliteral Arabic Verbs


root: د-م-ج / verbal noun of form VII / definition: merging

I’m super excited as I begin this post, because not only is it part of my beloved Arabic Observations series, it’s all about quadriliteral roots!

Continue reading “Arabic Observations: Compound Quadriliteral Arabic Verbs”

Different Ways to Say “During” in Arabic


root: ف-ت-ر / noun / plural: فَتَرات / definition: interval, period

Sometimes it’s the little things, right? Like those little words you end up using all the time and you’re left craving some variety.

And here I bring you that variety—in the form of a small collection of Arabic synonyms, all meaning “during“.

Continue reading “Different Ways to Say “During” in Arabic”

كان Plus the Future Tense


root: ق-ب-ل / passive participle of form X / definition: future

On this blog, we’ve previously looked at combining كان with a past tense verb and with a present tense verb—but did you know we can place the future tense directly after كان too?

Continue reading “كان Plus the Future Tense”

Two of My Favourite Arabic Blogs


root: د-و-ن / noun / plural: مُدَوَّنات / definition: a blog

The Arabic Pages certainly isn’t the only blog out there focused on the Arabic language, and I’ve come across so many brilliant online resources since I started studying Arabic.

My intention is to (eventually) make a list of all the best Arabic resources so I don’t lose any in my scattered notes and the sea of tabs I have open on various devices. But while that’s on hold, I really wanted to share with you two Arabic blogs that I love reading.

Continue reading “Two of My Favourite Arabic Blogs”

Seven Arabic Verbs Meaning “to Happen”


root: ح-د-ث / noun / plural: أَحْداث / definition: event, occurrence

*Inhaling the scent of dictionary pages* Ahh… vocabulary! You’ve got no choice but to love expanding your mental lexicon, and learning synonyms of words you already know and use is a great way to do it!

So here we have seven Arabic verbs for “to happen, occur, take place”, starting with…

Continue reading “Seven Arabic Verbs Meaning “to Happen””

Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #7


root: ء-ل-ف / noun / plural: مُؤَلِّفون / definition: author, writer

We’re adding to the literature translation series this week—it’s been a while!—with a short excerpt from عائد إلى حيفا (Returning to Haifa) by غسان كنفاني (Ghassan Kanafani).

Continue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #7”

Academic Pursuits


root: س-ع-ي / noun / plural: مَساعٍ / definition: pursuit, endeavour

It’s been over a year since my last update about my language learning journey, where I wrote about all the uncertainties surrounding my return to the formal study of Arabic.

And the reason I haven’t given any updates until now is that my plans—like the rest of the population’s—were much too dependent on there not being a pandemic. Ah, the complacency!

Very, very fortunately, I finally have a really exciting update…

Continue reading “Academic Pursuits”