Arabic Language

Sana'a Travel Blog

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This is how the script looks like without the vowel sounds ... like SMS or TXT.

Some of you will remember my impressions of the Arabic language as a true beginner last year.  Yes, its is like reading SMS (TXT message) written with beansprouts ... click here for link to the page from last year. 

Here are a few cuties:

  • In Arabic, when the phone is ringing, you say "the bell of the phone is knocking".  Cute!  But not as cute as in Chinese ... when we say "I'm going to make a phone call", in Chinese we say "I am going to hit the phone".

  • In Arabic, the word for box ("sunduq") and funds are the same ... I suppose one used to keep funds in a box right?  Imagine a hold up at a bank ... give me your sunduq ... and the teller hands over an empty box!

  • The Arabic word for taxi is "hujrah" .
    The little dashes on top or below of the main script indicates the vowels.
    .. which is the same as the word for fee. That is because it is a "car for a fee".  I tell my teacher that in today's world everything is a hujrah ... nothing is free and everything except happiness can be bought for a fee. 

English speakers shouldn't mock the language ... "mobile" in English can mean phone, drawers with wheels or the amusement over a baby's cot, right?

Here are the less amusing aspects ... in fact the frustrating aspects of the language.  The grammar is complex but fluent students say the rules are very consistent and as easy like some European languages ... I would say learn Malay (or Indonesian) instead ... the rules are simple AND consistent ... all the world's language problems would be solved if everyone learnt and spoke Malay instead  ;-)

  • There are masculine and feminine versions of numbers!  You use the masculine version when the object is feminine and vice versa .
    Aaah ... much better with the translation so I now what I'm reading.
    .. seems quite haram (forbidden) to me.  Or maybe it would be more haram to couple male numbers with male objects?

    This reminds me of the hotels in east coast Malaysia that display the sign "Berkhalwat akan ditangkap" ... my loose translation being "Adulterers will be caught".

  • The rules for indicating "posessive" are complex ... it varies by gender, whether singular vs dual vs plural.   Somewhat like English's his, her etc but these are effected by way of suffixes which don't resemble the first, second or third person.  In Malay we use a simple suffix "-nya".

  • Plurals are another headache ... in English we use "s" and in Malay you say the word twice!  Again in Arabic it depends on gender, whether singular vs dual vs plural. 

Trust me ... there's plenty more.  But here's another goodie:

  • In some writing styles, number "2" is written slightly different than the normal script ... which is fine ... but then number "3" is then written to like like number "2".  Somebody help me please.


pierre86 says:
keep learning....
Posted on: Jul 25, 2012
eejot says:
C'mon... Arabic is fun :D's not the like dialects vary from country to country ;)
Posted on: Apr 06, 2007
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This is how the script looks like …
This is how the script looks like…
The little dashes on top or below …
The little dashes on top or below…
Aaah ... much better with the tran…
Aaah ... much better with the tra…
photo by: alexchan