Dictionary Finds: أيِس

وَثائِقي root: و-ث-ق / adjective / definition: documentary I’ve spent the past few days furiously (and, sometimes, frustratedly) editing the mini documentary I have to submit for an Arabic assessment. I say “mini”, but creating a 30-minute video with footage from Jordan and videos I shot here in my flat of me speaking face-to-camera—with myContinue reading “Dictionary Finds: أيِس”

Leaving Amman

مُغادَرة root: غ-د-ر / verbal noun of form III / definition: leaving The sun, the great balcony view, the sleepy Ramadan atmosphere… all of that is behind me now, as I type this post from my home in London, where it has been grey and cloudy (or maybe just metaphorically?) since my return.

Dictionary Finds: لا تدمري

اِكتِشاف root: ك-ش-ف / verbal noun of form VIII / plural: اِكتِشافات / definition: a discovery, find There are certain words and phrases you’ll come across in the Arabic dictionary that’ll stick with you for some reason or other, despite you never having heard them uttered or seen them written down elsewhere. For me, theContinue reading “Dictionary Finds: لا تدمري”

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”

Immersed in Amman

اِنْغِماس root: غ-م-س / verbal noun of form VII / definition: immersion There must be something in the air in Amman that is infusing me with wakefulness—after walking around downtown Amman late last night, having an almost-all-nighter in our apartment, and sitting through intense classes from 9am-3:30pm today, I really should be more tired atContinue reading “Immersed in Amman”

To Amman!

سَفَر root: س-ف-ر / verbal noun of form III / definition: travel Apologies in advance for a very tired post (forgive any typos!) but I’ve spent the first half of the day travelling by train and tube for over three hours (with a packed-to-the-weight-limit suitcase and two bags) and the rest shopping for home decorContinue reading “To Amman!”

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”

Affinity to Quadriliterals

اِنْجِذاب root: ج-ذ-ب / verbal noun of form VII / definition: affinity, attraction I have such an affinity to Arabic quadriliterals (four-letter roots). Are there really that many in the dictionary that they can’t be ignored, or are my eyes just drawn to them whenever they’re present on the page? Either way, I usually taskContinue reading “Affinity to Quadriliterals”

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”

Reading Arabic Literature: Snippets From This Week

أُسبوع root: س-ب-ع / noun / plural: أَسابيع / definition: week Conveniently for this reading literature series, I’ve just started Arabic literature classes at university this term—which means lots more reading for me and lots more vocabulary for these posts!

Using عدم

عَدَم root: ع-د-م / noun / definition: nonexistence, absence, lack The word عَدَم is a noun meaning “nonexistence”, “absence”, or “lack (of)”. When it’s used in an إضافة with a following noun, it can often be translated as a prefix like non-, un-, or dis-. Let’s look at some examples…

One Term Down… And a Few New Languages

اِمْتِحان root: م-ح-ن / verbal noun of form VIII / plural: اِمتِحانات / definition: exam As of earlier today, I’ve officially finished all of my Arabic exams for the first term! Woo hoo! I have to say, the energy I’ve managed to build up since that gruelling four-hour drive to get to university in SeptemberContinue reading “One Term Down… And a Few New Languages”

Reading Arabic Literature: Vocabulary Finds

صَفحة root: ص-ف-ح / noun / plural: صَفَحات / definition: a page I brought so many books with me to university and I really thought I’d be spending a lot more time reading Arabic literature during this degree. Alas, my novels have been banished to the dark corner underneath my desk for around two monthsContinue reading “Reading Arabic Literature: Vocabulary Finds”

Listening Resource for Arabic Dialects

العامِّيّة root: ع-م-م / noun / definition: the colloquial language So I’m now seven weeks into this master’s course and we’ve just had our first عامية lesson. It sort of feels like being transported back to the first year of undergrad, except that the stakes are a bit higher now because in a matter ofContinue reading “Listening Resource for Arabic Dialects”

Arabic Vocabulary Resource for Students

مَورِد root: و-ر-د / noun / plural: مَوارِد / definition: resource It’s reading week already—which means this year is going entirely too fast and I’m mildly wildly panicking about what I’m going to do next September. At least, though, I finished writing the first essay that I actually enjoyed researching so far this year. Anyway,Continue reading “Arabic Vocabulary Resource for Students”

The Online Dictionary for Arabic Dialects

لَهْجة root: ل-ه-ج / noun / plural: لَهْجات / definition: dialect I can’t believe we officially hit the 200th-post mark with Wehr Wednesdays #99, where we looked at the phrase ضاح للشمس—a phrase which has been allocated to the “I love this bit of vocab and I can’t explain why” section of my brain (whereContinue reading “The Online Dictionary for Arabic Dialects”

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 entirelyContinue reading “Quadriliteral Active Participles in Arabic”

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!

Two of My Favourite Arabic Blogs

مُدَوَّنَة root: د-و-ن / noun / plural: مُدَوَّنات / definition: a blog The Arabic Pages certainly isn’t the only blog out there focused on the Arabic language, and I’ve come across so many brilliant online resources since I started studying Arabic. My intention is to (eventually) make a list of all the best Arabic resourcesContinue reading “Two of My Favourite Arabic Blogs”

Arabic Verb Forms XI-XV

أَكْثَر root: ك-ث-ر / comparative, superlative / definition: more, most As you can see, I couldn’t wait too long for another post about Arabic roots following our look at quadriliteral (four-letter-root) verb forms. But this time, we’re going back to triliteral (three-letter) verb forms and exploring the ones above X—i.e. forms XI-XV (yes, they exist!).