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”
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).
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).
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”
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).
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.
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”
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”