Four Arabic Verbs Meaning “to Listen”

أُذن

root: ء-ذ-ن / noun / plural: آذان / definition: ear


A few months ago, we took a look at a plethora of Arabic words that all mean “to look at”. Now, we’re adding to the synonyms series by exploring another common verb related to one of the senses: “to listen“!

Continue reading “Four Arabic Verbs Meaning “to Listen””

Quadriliteral Active Participles in Arabic

اِسم فاعِل

root: ف-ع-ل / phrase / definition: active participle


If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have told you that I lead a somewhat minimalist life—I hate having *things* cluttering up spaces around me which could very well be left empty. (This is, of course, ignoring my book-filled shelves and surfaces—books are entirely different to things.)

But packing up my stuff to move to university—which starts in less than three weeks!—has made me question that. Because all of a sudden, my room is populated with two stuffed suitcases, kitchen pots and utensils, and a scattering of half-packed bags plopped on the floor.

Anyway, anyway… I digress.

Continue reading “Quadriliteral Active Participles in Arabic”

Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #8

سيرة

root: س-ي-ر / noun / plural: سِيَر / definition: biography


For this post in the literature translation series, we’ll be going word-by-word through a non-fiction excerpt, taken from بغداد: سيرة مدينة (Baghdad: Biography of a City) by the Iraqi writer نجم والي (Najem Wali).

Continue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #8”

How to Say “Both” in Arabic

اِثنانِ

root: ث-ن-ي / noun / definition: two


We might know of some different ways to say “all of“, but do we know how to say “both” when we’re dealing with dual nouns in Arabic? Let’s take a look at how it’s done!

Continue reading “How to Say “Both” in Arabic”

The Grammar of Using Arabic Numbers

عَدَد

root: ع-د-د / noun / plural: أَعْداد / definition: number


I remember learning the grammar for using Arabic numbers at university. It seemed fairly simple as there were essentially three sets of rules: one for the numbers 3-10, one for 11-99, and another for whole hundreds, thousands, etc.

But when I looked a little deeper, I realised that there were a few little exceptions and special cases! Well, now’s a good a time as ever to delve into the details…

Continue reading “The Grammar of Using Arabic Numbers”

Root Exploration: ع-ر-ق

زَمَن

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

اِندِماج

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

فَترة

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”