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).
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 downContinue reading “Root Exploration: ع-ر-ق”
مُؤَلِّف root: ء-ل-ف / noun / plural: مُؤَلِّفون / definition: author, writer We’re adding to the literature translation series this week—it’s been a while!—with a short excerpt from عائد إلى حيفا (Returning to Haifa) by غسان كنفاني (Ghassan Kanafani).
شَهر root: ش-ه-ر / noun / plural: أَشهُر or شُهور / definition: month Seeing as it’s the first week of Ramadan (!رمضان مبارك)—and hopefully it still is by the time I finish this post—I’ve chosen a fitting headline to analyse in our latest addition to the series. Let’s begin our word-by-word vocabulary and grammar explanationContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #6”
شاعِر root: ش-ع-ر / noun / plural: شُعَراء / definition: poet For today’s addition to the literature translation series, I’ve chosen some lines from a poem that really had an impact on me the first time I read it. And that’s because the poet’s words are not confined to a poem. Instead, they unsettlingly foreshadowContinue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #6”
بَسيط root: ب-س-ط / adjective / definition: simple What can we get from the root of a word as simple as “water”? In Arabic, quite a lot! Here we are, with the second post in the Root Exploration series, and this time we’re taking a look at the root م-و-ه.
نِقابة root: ن-ق-ل / noun / plural: نِقابات / definition: syndicate, union It’s been a while since the last instalment in the Arabic Headline Analysis series, so we’re back today with another headline from the Project Syndicate website to analyse. (Take a look at this post to find out why this news website is greatContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #5”
شَمس root: ش-م-س / noun / plural: شُموس / definition: sun Welcome back! For our fifth post in the literature translation series, we’re taking a look at an excerpt from the famous novel رجال في الشمس (Men in the Sun) by the Palestinian writer غسان كنفاني (Ghassan Kanafani).
جَذْر root: ج-ذ-ر / noun / plural: جُذور / definition: root I feel a very nerdy rush of excitement as I begin this post, because it’s the first in the new Root Exploration series! In this series of posts, we’re going to take a single Arabic root and explore all of its different forms, derivatives,Continue reading “Root Exploration: ك-ش-ف”
اِستِعارة root: ع-و-ر / noun / plural: اِستِعارات / definition: metaphor And… we’re back with the fourth post in the literature translation series! This time, we’re going through an excerpt from another poem: مَسرَح (Theatre) by الصادق الرضي (Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi), whose poetry I previously mentioned in this post.
عُنْوان root: ع-ن-و-ن / noun / plural: عَناوين / definition: title, headline This week, we’re embarking on another Arabic Headline Analysis—exploring the vocabulary and grammar of a recent news headline and concluding with the resulting translation. Our Arabic headline this week is taken from an article posted on the Project Syndicate website. I really recommendContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #4”
قَصِيدَة root: ق-ص-د / noun / plural: قَصائِد / definition: poem You may remember me mentioning Badr Shakir al-Sayyab previously, when I used a quote from a poem of his to exemplify one of the Four Synonyms for “to Begin to” in Arabic. And—unsurprisingly, I suppose, considering my dissertation was centred around his poetry—al-Sayyab’s works wereContinue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #3”
بِيئَة root: ب-و-ء / noun / plural: بِيئات / definition: environment 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 isContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #3”
رِوايَة root: ر-و-ي / noun / plural: روايات / definition: novel Note: this is part two of the previous Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation, so if you haven’t read that one yet, you might want to start with that first! We’ll keep this introduction short because it’s safe to assume this will be a very longContinue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #2”
أَدَب 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)Continue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation”
خَبَر root: خ-ب-ر / noun / plural: أخْبار / definition: news It’s safe to say that most of us are following the news more than ever now, now that we’re in the middle of an accelerating pandemic. And while headlines seem to be overwhelming in number, I’ve decided to pick a recent Arabic headline toContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #2”