Treasures in Translation


root: ت-ر-ج-م / noun / plural: تَراجِم / definition: translation

Last week, a friend and I visited this charming little coffee shop in Central London. Maybe it was the dimly-lit, cosy atmosphere or maybe it was the ludicrously overpriced hot chocolate that elicited some serious life contemplation, but either way: as Arabic graduates, our conversation (like always) naturally drifted back to the language.

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How to Use (and Love) the Hans Wehr Dictionary


root: ق-م-س / noun / plural: قَواميس / definition: dictionary

If I had started this blog for the purpose of sharing only a single post, it would be this one.

You would only have to be studying Arabic for a short while before you’d hear the name “Hans Wehr” flying at you from all angles, and perhaps you’d wonder whether Professor Wehr is an elusive lecturer you have so far failed to bump into in the university corridors.

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The Hardest Advice to Give… And Take


root: ن-ص-ح / noun / plural: نَصائِح / definition: (piece of) advice

The hardest advice to give is probably the one that you have to give yourself—which is why I have (…reluctantly) forced myself to write this out and confront the truth eyes-to-screen.

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Four Simple Tips to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills in Arabic


root: ق-و-ل / noun / plural: مَقالات /definition: essay, article

So, you’ve studied Arabic for a while now. Simple sentences are old news (i.e. you’re silently pleading for your teacher not to go over jumlah ismiyyah yet again) and you’ve got a decent collection of relevant words all memorised. So you’re all set when your teacher asks you to write an essay about the topic in Arabic…right?

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How Should I Begin?


root: ب-د-ء / noun / plural: بدايات / definition: beginning, start

Starting is always the most difficult part, really: whether writing a blog or learning a language.

Thankfully, the days of using flashcards to learn the Arabic alphabet (and practising pronouncing ع and ح until my throat ached) are tucked away around five-years-deep in my vocab-cluttered memory.

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