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!

Two Arabic Verbs Meaning “to Harbour Feelings”

شُعور root: ش-ع-ر / noun / plural: مَشاعِر / definition: feeling, emotion After writing a 4000-word essay in a matter of days and sleepily submitting it at midnight, I’m finally feeling ready to jump into term two at university! And speaking of feelings (…smooth transition there), this week I wanted to show you two ArabicContinue reading “Two Arabic Verbs Meaning “to Harbour Feelings””

“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?

Three Ways to Say “Bloodshed” in Arabic

دَم root: د-م / noun / plural: دِماء / definition: blood Yes, yes, I know this word seems quite specific compared to the others in the synonyms series, but that’s why I was so interested when I found three Arabic phrases for the English term “bloodshed”. And—in all honestly, and quite unfortunately—with the topics universitiesContinue reading “Three Ways to Say “Bloodshed” in Arabic”

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?”

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”