I hadn’t realised how long it’s been since I last did an Arabic Headline Analysis which—for those of you who don’t know—is where we go through a news headline in Arabic word-by-word to understand the vocabulary and grammar.
Seeing as this week’s choice is quite a short headline (and I couldn’t resist fitting some more cool vocabulary into this post), I’ll also be going through the first line of the news story.
root: ض-د-د / noun / plural: أَضْداد / definition: a word with two opposite meanings
So, we’ve all looked up Arabic words before where we’ve been greeted by a whole paragraph of definitions that we have to sift through. Pretty standard when dealing with Arabic dictionaries, right? But what about those words whose definitions are in fact… antonyms?
root: و-ص-ي / verbal noun of form II / plural: تَوصيات / definition: recommendation
So I finally gave in: I ordered the grammar book that’s been sitting in my Amazon basket for months. And while I can’t actually put this hefty 800-ish-page book on my already-overburdened bookshelf for fear of a catastrophic collapse, I have absolutely no regrets. Let me tell you why.
It’s time to add another post to the synonyms series! I know, I know, it’s very hard to maintain any trace of composure with this level of excitement surging through your neurons, but please remain in your seats—we have learning to do: this week we’ll be going through three different words you can use to express the meaning of “all of” and two different ways to use each word.
root: ء-د-ب / noun / plural: آداب / definition: literature
The shift from simplified pieces of writing in Arabic textbooks to your first encounter with an Arabic novel can will be intimidating. You’ll likely note (amidst your “mild” panic at the sheer amount of words between your hands that you’ll have to mentally decipher) the mass of completely alien vocabulary that almost renders your grammar of knowledge invalid when it comes to understanding. Almost.
So, to help alleviate any trepidation you may be feeling, I thought it might be useful to take a short excerpt from a piece of Arabic literature and go through the vocabulary and grammar word-by-word (similar to my headline analyses).
root: خ-د-م / verbal noun of form X / plural: اِستِخْدامات / definition: use
Previously, in this post, I mentioned that the verb أَصبَح / يُصبِح can mean “to become”. For example, “the man became a doctor” or “the situation became dire”—i.e. one thing becoming something else. But there’s another use of أصبح too.
root: غ-ل-ق / verbal noun of form IV / definition: lockdown, closing
Classes cancelled, study abroad plans put on hold, and your sanity left bouncing between the same four walls for weeks on end… Most of us, in this coronavirus era, are in some form of lockdown or another. Since everyone is naturally coping differently in these unprecedented times, I’ve put together lots of language-learning ideas that you can implement in this lockdown depending on how you’re feeling right now!
I might be stating the obvious here, but learning those Arabic words with multiple meanings is really advantageous. I mean, learning a single word that you can use in numerous contexts to give rise to different meanings? Yes, please.