عَيْن 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 landContinue reading “Arabic Observations: The Eye and Other Water Sources”
Category Archives: arabic observations
Arabic Observations: الإتباع
إتباع 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 exampleContinue reading “Arabic Observations: الإتباع”
Arabic Observations: Arabic Plurals
الجَمْع root: ج-م-ع / noun / definition: the plural I’m back from my little Venice getaway and straight back to working on my dissertation. Well… I mean, of course I took a day’s rest because, you know… jet lag, or something. I think those few days away from my laptop were worth the extra stressContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Arabic Plurals”
Arabic Observations: The Essence of Failure
فَشَل root: ف-ش-ل / noun / definition: failure If you’ve studied Al-Kitaab, you’ll have learnt the word (well, one of the words) for failure: فَشَل.
Arabic Observations: More Word Twins
مَزيد root: ز-ي-د / noun / definition: more Over two years ago, I wrote about a phenomenon which I like to call “word twins” in an Arabic Observations post. In summary: […] there are some Arabic words you’ll find that have essentially the same meaning, but they differ by a single letter. Sometimes it’ll beContinue reading “Arabic Observations: More Word Twins”
Arabic Observations: Distance and the Future
مَسافة root: س-و-ف / noun / plural: مَسافات / definition: distance Have you ever had those moments when you finally make the connection between two words from the same root? I mean, I knew مَسافة (“distance”) and سَوفَ (the particle indicating future tense) were both from the root س-و-ف, but they’d clearly been floating aroundContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Distance and the Future”
Arabic Observations: “Diamonds” and the Definite Article
قِراءة root: ق-ر-ء / verbal noun of form I / definition: reading As I was doing my reading for yesterday’s literature class, I came across a familiar word: الأَلماس. I instantly recalled that it meant “diamond”… but then I remembered another word for “diamonds” that I had learnt: الماس. So, I headed to the HansContinue reading “Arabic Observations: “Diamonds” and the Definite Article”
Form I Verb Vowelling Patterns
حَرَكة root: ح-ر-ك / noun / plural: حَرَكات / definition: vowel Have you ever come across some information about Arabic, long after you began studying, and you’re just like: how did I not know this before?! Well, that’s how I felt reading Arabic for Nerds‘ post “What does the vowel on the second root letterContinue reading “Form I Verb Vowelling Patterns”
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!
Arabic Observations: Time of Day and “to Become” Synonyms
وَقْت root: و-ق-ت / noun / plural: أَوْقات / definition: time The first post in the synonyms series was Four Common Words for “to Become” in Arabic. By definition, the verb “to become” is inherently linked to time—it indicates that something first wasn’t and then came to be afterwards. But the synonyms of “to become” inContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Time of Day and “to Become” Synonyms”
Arabic Observations: the Abstract Noun of a Question?
تَأنيث root: ء-ن-ث / verbal noun of form II / definition: feminisation You might know that, in order to create an abstract noun in Arabic, you can simply feminise a regular noun with the typical ـِيّة ending. Examples include: إنسانِيّة – humanity (derived from إنسان, human) اِشتِراكِيّة – socialism (derived from اِشتِراك, participation) لاشَيئِيّة –Continue reading “Arabic Observations: the Abstract Noun of a Question?”
Arabic Observations: Same Root Letters, Different Sequence
تَرْتيب root: ر-ت-ب / verbal noun of form II / plural: تَرْتيبات / definition: order, sequence I just couldn’t resist another post in the Arabic Observations series this week! (But an in-demand post about the Hans Wehr dictionary is coming soon! Can you guess what it might be?) For this post, we’re taking things downContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Same Root Letters, Different Sequence”
Arabic Observations: Duplicated Roots with Reduplicated Forms
مُلاحَظة root: ل-ح-ظ / noun / plural: مُلاحَظات / definition: observation The title might appear somewhat complex, but this topic is just plain cool. If you’ve been keeping up with the Arabic Observations series, you might remember the post Arabic Observations: Doubled Roots, where we looked at the properties and meanings of roots such as ع-س-ع-سContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Duplicated Roots with Reduplicated Forms”
Arabic Observations: Words with Antonymic Meanings
ضِدّ 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 definitionsContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Words with Antonymic Meanings”
Arabic Observations: Doubled Roots
مُزْدَوِج root: ز-و-ج / active participle of form VIII / definition: double I really love writing these Arabic Observations posts, because the way the Arabic language reveals its beautiful complexities—no matter how “small” they may be—deserves to be recorded.
Arabic Observations: Root Derived From Phrase
جَذْر root: ج-ذ-ر / noun / plural: جُذور / definition: root Flick through to page 1016 of the Hans Wehr dictionary (4th ed.) and you’ll find something really intriguing.
Arabic Observations: Word Twins
تَوْأَم root: ت-و-ء-م / noun / plural: تَوائِم / definition: twin You notice many things when you look at the pages of Hans Wehr more than you see daylight. And time and time again, I’ve noticed this one phenomenon which I call (in my head) “word twins”.
Treasures in Translation
تَرجَمة 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, ourContinue reading “Treasures in Translation”