Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #10

سِكّين root: س-ك-ك / noun / plural: سَكاكين / definition: knife As September swept in, I made a resolution to read more in both English and Arabic. Novels, specifically, because I miss getting lost in them as I used to. And I’ve now, for various reasons, found myself in a situation where I have multipleContinue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #10”

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?”

Meanings of منذ

رِحْلة root: ر-ح-ل / noun / plural: رِحلات / definition: a trip My mini summer getaway is just around the corner… and my dissertation deadline is almost just as close. I’ll try not to stress just yet, but with roughly 10,000 words left to write, I’m sure that the adrenaline will come in handy whenContinue reading “Meanings of منذ”

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”

Root Exploration: م-د-ن

مُصابَة root: ص-و-ب / passive participle of form IV (feminine) / definition: afflicted, ill After more than two years of successfully dodging Covid, it finally caught me—and my parents—out. At least there’s some solidarity. That annoying cough is still plaguing me as I type this and, over the weekend, I was suffering the worst soreContinue reading “Root Exploration: م-د-ن”

The Case of امّحق: Form VII Assimilation

مُماثَلة root: م-ث-ل / verbal noun of form III / definition: assimilation (phonology) There’s less than three weeks until my study abroad module begins which means I’ll be jetting off very soon for a relaxing break an intensive period of Arabic study in Jordan. It really can’t come soon enough because I’ve forgotten almost allContinue reading “The Case of امّحق: Form VII Assimilation”

Root Exploration: د-ل-ه-م

ضَحْك root: ض-ح-ك / verbal noun of form I / definition: laughter After two hours and countless retakes, my classmate and I finally managed to record 20 minutes of Arabic conversation today for an assessment. Yes, that’s two hours of attempts for 20 minutes of usable footage. Honestly though, most of the retakes started soonContinue reading “Root Exploration: د-ل-ه-م”

Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #9

حَقيقة root: ح-ق-ق / noun / plural: حَقائِق / definition: reality, truth Well, well, well… it’s been quite a while since we had a literature translation post, hasn’t it? (On consulting the calendar, that “while” appears to be nearly six months—time must have taken a shortcut somewhere…) Time anxiety aside, in this post we’ll beContinue reading “Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #9”

The False/Adjective إضافة

إضافة root: ض-ي-ف / verbal noun of form IV / definition: addition, genitive construction So we all know the إضافة, right? It’s a construction where nouns are put together, with certain rules, to indicate possession. Well… Did you know we can actually use adjectives inside إضافة constructions? I know this probably sounds contradictory to everythingContinue reading “The False/Adjective إضافة”

The Meaning of لم يكن لـ

إبْداعي root: ب-د-ع / adjective / definition: creative I was tempted to write another literature-inspired post this week (especially considering I just completed my first piece of creative writing Arabic homework which was so fun to do!), but how long can we go without some good old grammar?! A long while ago, when I wasContinue reading “The Meaning of لم يكن لـ”

“Once Upon a Time” in Arabic

قِصّة root: ق-ص-ص / noun / plural: قِصَص / definition: story Once upon a time… It’s the typical opening of the stories I’m sure most of us used to read when we were younger. But what’s the Arabic equivalent of this phrase? And how does it make sense grammatically?

Diminutives in Arabic

صَغير root: ص-غ-ر / adjective / definition: small A diminutive is a modified word used to express smallness. Think of the English word duckling, derived from duck. In Arabic, the diminutive is referred to as التَّصغير—a verbal noun meaning “to make smaller”. So how can we recognise and form diminutives in Arabic?

Using مهما

فَصْل دِراسيّ root: ف-ص-ل / noun phrase / definition: academic term, semester It’s officially the final week of term 1 and I’m in that position where, on one hand, I can’t believe a whole term has passed and, on the other hand, I wish I could fast forward past this final wave of deadlines andContinue reading “Using مهما”

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”

What Does مما كان عليه Mean?

حالة root: ح-و-ل / noun / plural: حالات / definition: state, case, condition In the post Treasures in Translation, I used a quote from an article to illustrate a cool translation point—the quote being: وما ينذر بالسوء أن درجة حرارة الأرض أصبحت الآن أعلى مما كانت عليه خلال عصر الهولوسين …and the translation point beingContinue reading “What Does مما كان عليه Mean?”

What Does إذ Mean and How Do We Use It?

سَبَب root: س-ب-ب / noun / plural: أَسْباب / definition: reason, rationale So many milestones! It’s been two years now since my first post on this blog, where I was pretty much writing for an audience of one (thanks Mum <3). In this time, I’ve received so many messages from you guys—blog readers and fellowContinue reading “What Does إذ Mean and How Do We Use It?”

How to Form Words with the “Re-” Prefix in Arabic

تَشْكيل root: ش-ك-ل / verbal noun of form II / definition: forming, formation I’ve never been great when it comes to time perception. But I do know that it feels like ages since we last had a grammar post on here (the last was Quadriliteral Active Participles in Arabic, it seems). I can’t stay away fromContinue reading “How to Form Words with the “Re-” Prefix in Arabic”

Arabic Headline Analysis #7

جامِعة root: ج-م-ع / noun / plural: جامِعات / definition: university So I’m finally here, at university (!), after a four-hour drive which depleted my already-sunken energy levels and temporarily numbed my arm that had the misfortune of being the support pillar of a precariously-balanced bag. But who cares about the fatigue, the six hillsContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #7”

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”