to speak = كَلَّم

كَلَّم (kallama) is to speak. It is transitive, so we would say, for example, كَلَّمْتُه I spoke to him, and we wouldn’t use a preposition like إِلَى to ل to translate to, but instead have a direct object. The classical Arabic equivalent of the phrase I spoke to him face to face, is literally I spoke to him his mouth to my mouth, i.e. كَلَّمْتُهُ فَاهُ إِلَى فِيَّ . The word for mouth, فَمْ (fam), is one of the Five Nouns which are declined when they occur as possessed nouns (mudaf) by using long vowels at their end. فَمْ is further unusual even within the Five Nouns in that we drop the م when it is possessed. Note that in the aforementioned phrase, the first فَم is accusative (and hence declined using an ا , i.e. فَاه ). Another meaning of كَلّم is to wound someone, showing that the Arabs knew well the fallaciousness of the phrase “but words will never hurt me”!