Dictionary Finds: ماخِرة

عام root: ع-و-م / noun / plural: أَعْوام / definition: year We’re some days into 2023 now, around the time where resolutions begin to break down and the glossy new year starts to feel like any other. Except, of course, for those who didn’t bother with resolutions, determined to avoid failure at all costs. ButContinue reading “Dictionary Finds: ماخِرة”

Morocco, Darija, and Tifinagh

الدّارِجة root: د-ر-ج / noun / definition: colloquial language spoken in North Africa I’ve just returned from my one-week holiday in Agadir, and I’m slowly and reluctantly adjusting to the notable lack of heat and sunshine in London, with my already-fading tan and henna sweet reminders of my Moroccan stay. While I managed to tickContinue reading “Morocco, Darija, and Tifinagh”

Reading Arabic Literature: An Interesting (?) Structure

تَرْكيب root: ر-ك-ب / verbal noun of form II / plural: تَراكيب / definition: (grammatical) construction If it seems like the last post in the Reading Arabic Literature series was almost a year ago… that’s because it was, unfortunately. (January, apparently?!) And this doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading any Arabic literature—because as you mightContinue reading “Reading Arabic Literature: An Interesting (?) Structure”

Resource: Arabic Literature Podcast

حَلْقة root: ح-ل-ق / noun / plural: حَلَقات / definition: episode I’m rushed off my feet this week and to top it off, I have an important deadline lying menacingly in wait on the footstep of Friday evening when it will, assuredly, catch me off-guard and drag me into the lair of panic that I’veContinue reading “Resource: Arabic Literature Podcast”

Verbal Nouns of Hollow Roots

مَصْدَر root: ص-د-ر / noun / plural: مَصادِر / definition: verbal noun, source Back in June, when we looked at the different types of Arabic roots, we mentioned that hollow roots are those with either و or ي as the middle letter. Like ق-و-ل and غ-ي-ر. Verbal nouns (مصادر) derived from hollow roots sometimes followContinue reading “Verbal Nouns of Hollow Roots”

The Verb يتسبّب and its Prepositions

مُتَنَوِّع root: ن-و-ع / active participle of form V / definition: various In one of the examples in Arabic Observations: Words with Antonymic Meanings, we saw how changing the preposition following a verb could produce two completely opposite meanings. While the meaning of the form V verb تَسَبَّبَ / يَتَسَبَّبُ doesn’t change that drastically, it stillContinue reading “The Verb يتسبّب and its Prepositions”

Distance and Perspective

بُعْد root: ب-ع-د / noun / plural: أَبْعاد / definition: distance, dimension So I’m back from my one-week solo trip to Istanbul which was perfect on all fronts. To feel so immersed in history, culture, spirituality… and to be there with my thoughts alone… was simply unbeatable. With every step I took through the palaces,Continue reading “Distance and Perspective”

Arabic Observations: The Eye and Other Water Sources

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”

Form I Active Participles of Geminate Roots

مُضَعَّف root: ض-ع-ف / passive participle of form II / definition: doubled, geminate As we saw in the post Arabic Roots: the Different Types, geminate roots are those whose final two letters are the same. Like م-س-س or ح-ر-ر. When it comes to the form I active participle of geminate roots then, we might expect itsContinue reading “Form I Active Participles of Geminate Roots”

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”

Dictionary Finds: ناهيك

ناهٍ root: ن-ه-ي / form I active participle / definition: prohibitive Under certain words in the dictionary, we find a list of their various usages—some collocations, some phrases. ناهٍ—which is a form I active participle from a defective root, ن-ه-ي (hence the kasratayn ending)—is one example of this.

What’s the Difference Between ابن and بن?

اِبْن root: ب-ن / noun / plural: أَبْناء or بَنون / definition: son Having finished my master’s, I took myself to the Tate Modern last week and wandered around the galleries and the exhibitions I’d booked to see. I was clearly inspired by the trip because I picked up my paintbrush again a few eveningsContinue reading “What’s the Difference Between ابن and بن?”

Master’s, Completed

التَّسليم root: س-ل-م / verbal noun of form II / definition: submitting, submission Yesterday I submitted my dissertation and, with it, completed my master’s degree in Advanced Arabic! The dissertation deadline was actually today, so I wasn’t scrambling to finish like I thought I might be. I realised I was thankfully cruising through to submissionContinue reading “Master’s, Completed”

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”

Active Participles of Defective Roots

مُمارَسة root: م-ر-س / verbal noun of form III / definition: practice So I got the chance to practise speaking Arabic today and it’s safe to say that I’m… rusty. I shouldn’t be overly surprised seeing as it’s somehow been three and a half months since my final Arabic oral exam in Jordan, and I’veContinue reading “Active Participles of Defective Roots”

Seats of the Hamza (ء)

هَمْزة root: ه-م-ز / noun / plural: هَمَزات / definition: the letter ء, the glottal stop This is a post I’ve been meaning to make for a while—for my own sake as well as yours, fellow Arabic nerds. I’m sure we’ve all noticed that the hamza (ء) sometimes appears independently in a word and, atContinue reading “Seats of the Hamza (ء)”

Arabic Roots: the Different Types

نَوْع root: ن-و-ع / noun / plural: اَنْواع / definition: type I’ve thought about writing a book about Arabic grammar for a long time. Just because I love it so much. I thought that maybe I’d start off with a small one about Arabic verbs, focusing on the forms perhaps, but when I start makingContinue reading “Arabic Roots: the Different Types”

Passive Form I Quadriliteral Verbs

رُباعي root: ر-ب-ع / adjective / definition: quadriliteral Quadriliterals… we meet again. And this time, we’re looking at how to transform form I quadriliteral verbs from active to passive.

The Causative بـ

ذاكِرة root: ذ-ك-ر / noun / definition: memory Ahh, finally, a grammar post! My brain feels at least somewhat refreshed now that I’ve had a week of doing nothing (except what we can call passive learning: watching Lebanese and Iraqi TV series and having الجزيرة on in the background every day while I play solitaireContinue reading “The Causative بـ”