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”

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”

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”