Monday, June 29, 2009

Twitter is Great for Arabic Practice!

I'm so rusty! But I joined Twitter a while back, and recently I've discovered that it's great for Arabic practice. By subscribing to Arabic language Twitter accounts, I see little Arabic snippets pop up in my feed throughout the day. They're manageable (140 characters max.), they help refresh my vocabulary, help me get back in the habit of using Arabic sounds and pronunciation (when I read news headlines out loud to myself, for instance), encourage me to look up words I don't know, etc. After just a few days I'm finding I can read and understand a lot of headlines, again!

These help w/ daily practice doses: @arabiclanguage (this is the account for BYKI's Arabic blog---see blog list at sidebar), @BBCArabicNews, @AJArabic (Al Jazeera), @arabic_poems, @arabic_quotes, @Al_Arabiya_Ar

Here's another example of how Twitter can be helpful. This account isn't all-Arabic, but this little blog link was interesting, & good practice for my Arabic reading.
@globalvoices: MJ Death Reaction in Kuwait: a mixture...
Sorry this isn't much of a post. I know I haven't kept my promise to this blog. But I'm not giving up on it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm Such a Slacker

I'm sorry everyone (or at least, I'm sorry, The Four of You Who've Shown Some Interest In This Blog.) I've been incredibly negligent lately, I know. I promise that I'm semi-wracked with guilt and self-loathing because of it. I really don't want to lose my Arabic, I've worked so hard on it over the last several years. It's just really hard to stay motivated with so many things on my plate right now. But I'm going to get back to it soon, I even have a reference grammar on order. Good times!

PS---What do you think of the new template?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good to Know: Basic Grammar Terms *** مصطلحات القواعد

Grammar القَواعِد

Fun, fun, fun! As you can see, I'm avoiding the real work (case marking, the imperative, the dual, hollow verbs---ick) by reviewing the very basics. Just one of my many tried and true procrastination methods. But it's good to start at the beginning, right? This is where you nod, sympathetically.

The word for "the plural" is الجُمْع, so "plural" is abbreviated here by
The word for "the singular" is المُفْرَد , but singular nouns won't be marked here. Since Arabic is written from right to left, you'll see the singular on the right and the plural on the left.

Word كَلِمة ج. كَلِمات

Sentence جُملة ج. جُمَل

Noun إِسْم ج. أَسْماء

Adjective صِفة ج. صِفات

Verb فِعْل ج. أَفْعال

Infinitive/Verbal Noun مَصْدَر ج. مَصادِر (~gerund)

Pronoun ضَمير ج. ضَمائِر

Plural الجُمْع

Singular المُفْرَد

Feminine (gender) مُؤَنَّث

Masculine (gender) مُذَكَّر

Definite مُعَرَّف

Indefinite غَيِّر مُعَرَّف ("not definite")

Preposition حَرْف جَرّ ج. حُروف جَرّ

ُRoot الجَذْر ج. الجَذور

Pattern الوَزْن ج. الأَوْزان (example letters = ف ع ل )

Subject المُبْتَدَأ (nominal sentence)

Predicate الخَبَر ("news")

Subject الفاعِل (verbal sentence)

Object المَفْعول بِهِ (verbal sentence)

Nominal/ Noun Sentence جُمْلة إِسْمية

Verbal Sentence جُمْلة فَعْلية

Case Marking الإِعْراب

State or condition الحال (~Adverb)

Specification التَّمْييز


ُTo be continued...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moods of the Present Tense

Honestly speaking, I don't fully understand the nature of "moods," but I do know that the Arabic present tense has three of them.

المُضارِع المَرفوع The Standard Present Tense / Al-MuDaariع Al-Marfuuع

This is the "general use" mood, and it's also used for the future tense (with a prefix or preceding word). It's marked by a
ُُ ضَمّة Damma (short vowel "u") on the final consonant of the verb:

المُضارِع المَنْصوب The Subjunctive / Al-MuDaariع Al-ManSuub

The subjunctive is marked by a
َ فَتْحة fatHa (short vowel "a") on the final consonant:

It's used following several particles. The three most common of these are:

أَنْ "To"
As in: "I want to," "I need to," "I like to," etc.

أُريدُ أَنْ أَجْلِسَ I want to sit (Ureedu an ajlisa)

المُضارِع المَجْزوم The Jussive / Al-MuDaariع Al-Majzuum

Work in progress : )

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Verbs, Verbs, Verbs الأَفعال

Arabic has three basic "tenses"---actually, I think it's more complicated than that, but we'll call them tenses here.

الماضي The Past (Perfect) / Al-MaaDee

المُضارِع The Present (Imperfect) / Al-MuDaariْع

المُسْتَقْبَل The Future / Al-Mustaqbal
----------Formed by adding the prefix سَ (sa) or the word سَوْفَ (sowfa) to the standard present tense

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