Resource: Arabic Literature Podcast


root: ح-ل-ق / noun / plural: حَلَقات / definition: episode

I’m rushed off my feet this week and to top it off, I have an important deadline lying menacingly in wait on the footstep of Friday evening when it will, assuredly, catch me off-guard and drag me into the lair of panic that I’ve frequented so often, it has several caffeinated drinks waiting for me.

Still, it’s never too busy for a (short) blog post.

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Verbal Nouns of Hollow Roots


root: ص-د-ر / noun / plural: مَصادِر / definition: verbal noun, source

Back in June, when we looked at the different types of Arabic roots, we mentioned that hollow roots are those with either و or ي as the middle letter. Like ق-و-ل and غ-ي-ر.

Verbal nouns (مصادر) derived from hollow roots sometimes follow a different pattern to those derived from sound (regular) roots.

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The Verb يتسبّب and its Prepositions


root: ن-و-ع / active participle of form V / definition: various

In one of the examples in Arabic Observations: Words with Antonymic Meanings, we saw how changing the preposition following a verb could produce two completely opposite meanings.

While the meaning of the form V verb تَسَبَّبَ / يَتَسَبَّبُ doesn’t change that drastically, it still shifts depending on the accompanying preposition/s.

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Distance and Perspective


root: ب-ع-د / noun / plural: أَبْعاد / definition: distance, dimension

So I’m back from my one-week solo trip to Istanbul which was perfect on all fronts. To feel so immersed in history, culture, spirituality… and to be there with my thoughts alone… was simply unbeatable.

With every step I took through the palaces, museums, and mosques, and across the bridges over the Golden Horn, and with every breathtaking sweeping view from the city’s rooftops, I felt as though I was stepping back to look at my own life.

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Arabic Observations: The Eye and Other Water Sources


root: ع-ي-ن / noun / plural: عُيون أو أَعْيُن / definition: eye, spring

Here we are with another post in the Arabic Observations series, and this one starts with the word عَين (“eye”).

When you look up عَين in the dictionary and scoot your finger across a little from its first definition, you’ll land on another meaning: “spring (of water)”.

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Form I Active Participles of Geminate Roots


root: ض-ع-ف / passive participle of form II / definition: doubled, geminate

As we saw in the post Arabic Roots: the Different Types, geminate roots are those whose final two letters are the same. Like م-س-س or ح-ر-ر.

When it comes to the form I active participle of geminate roots then, we might expect its pattern to be the same as that of regular, sound roots (i.e. فاعِل)—hence we might expect حارِر as an active participle. But that’s not the case.

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Arabic Observations: الإتباع


root: ت-ب-ع / verbal noun of form IV / definition: to make something follow something else

It was a long time ago when I first realised that a linguistic phenomenon that occurs in various languages—like my heritage language, Turkish—can also be found in Arabic.

Now I wish I could remember the exact Arabic example I came across all that time ago, but… alas.

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Dictionary Finds: ناهيك


root: ن-ه-ي / form I active participle / definition: prohibitive

Under certain words in the dictionary, we find a list of their various usages—some collocations, some phrases.

ناهٍ—which is a form I active participle from a defective root, ن-ه-ي (hence the kasratayn ending)—is one example of this.

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Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #11


root: و-ص-ل / verbal noun of form III / definition: continuation

This week we’re continuing on from last week’s literature translation where we went through the first part of our extract:

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Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #10


root: س-ك-ك / noun / plural: سَكاكين / definition: knife

As September swept in, I made a resolution to read more in both English and Arabic. Novels, specifically, because I miss getting lost in them as I used to.

And I’ve now, for various reasons, found myself in a situation where I have multiple novels on the go—an unintentional fulfilment of my resolution, I suppose—including some in Arabic.

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