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Decoding the Arabic Dictionary

Once you progress to using an Arabic-Arabic dictionary, the entry layout can be a little confusing. Here’s a key for the verb dhahaba taken from al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, and annotated to show what information is being given (click to see full size image):

Decoding the Arabic Dictionary

I offered Arabic Lessons to Prince Charles


Prince Charles

A few weeks ago, I came across a some news reports that Prince Charles was trying to learn Arabic. Always up for a challenge, I decided I’d offer my services to His Royal Highness. I got out my finest writing pad […]

special = khass | Word of the Day


Associated verb to single out خَصّ


باب قول الله تعالى : { وصل عليهم } ومن خص أخاه بالدعاء دون نفسه Chapter concerning God Most High’s saying “And pray for them”, and whoever singles out his brother in […]

Word of the Day, Issue #070 – “ground, floor, the Earth = al-ard”

ground, floor, the Earth = (ard) الأَرْض

Associated verb: أَرُضَ (يَأْرُضُ) – أَرَاضَة to be thriving (said of land); to be humble, of a good disposition (said of a person)
Plurals: أَرَاضٍ ، أَرْضُوْنَ


الله الّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَمِنَ الْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنّ يَتَنَزّلُ الْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنّ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنّ الله عَلَى كُلّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنّ الله […]

How to Study Arabic Grammar – Part 1: Syntax (Nahw)

I’ve discussed how and when an Arabic student should formally begin to study Classical Arabic Syntax, as developed and codified by the medieval Arabic grammarians, (known as Nahw), in the article How to Learn Arabic.  Below is an annotated translation from Shawkani’s Adab al-Talab, in which he discusses how to go about studying the various […]

Word of the Week, Issue #009 – “Revolution”

Revolution = ثَوْرَةٌ

The word for “revolution” in Arabic is ثَوْرَةٌ (thawrah). It comes from the root verb ثَارَ , which has the meanings to become roused, provoked; to be stirred up, spread (dust); to flow, gush forth (water). As such, the […]

Word of the Week, Issue #007 – “Bride”

Bride = عَرُوْسٌ

The word for “bride” in Arabic is عَرُوْسٌ (‘aroos). However, it can also mean bridegroom. In modern Arabic the word for bride is عَرُوْسَةٌ , and so is made distinct from bridegroom by the addition of the

Arabic Intensive, Bury, UK

This is the last week to register for the double-weekend Arabic intensive in Bury, UK!

Arabic Intensive

Hello world!

bi ismi ‘llahi al-rahman al-rahim.

Welcome to the blog! You should find here the Word of the Week archive, and random musings on Arabic literature and language. I hope you enjoy reading it!