Arabic Class

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Word of the day: اسم (ism, “name”)

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اسم (ism) means “name”.

Also part of the all time language learning classic “What’s your name?”: ما اسمك؟ (maa ismak, maa ismik)*

To name: سمى (samma) – same letters, different order (and the م mim is doubled).

*use “maa ismak” when speaking to a man, “maa ismik” when speaking to a woman.


Written by klaasvanschelven

January 31, 2008 at 6:32 am

Hello (السلام عليكم, as-salaamu 3alay-kum)

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Learning the basics of greeting people is a rewarding exercise in any language, and even more so in Arabic, because meeting and greeting takes such a central part in the culture.

A number of Arabic greetings have a fixed reply, for example “peace be upon you” must always be answered with “and upon you be peace”.

Saying hello:

السلام عليكم (as-salaamu 3alaykum), literally meaning “peace be upon you”.

وعليكم السلام (wa-3alaykum as-salaam), literally meaning “and upon you be peace”.

Welcoming people:

أهلا وسهلا (ahlan wa-sahlan, means “welcome”)

أهلا بك (ahlan bik, is the reply to a man)

أهلا بك (ahlan biki, is the reply to a woman)

Open questions to me:

  • Many Arabic greetings have origins in القرآن (al-quraan), although I must admit I do not know exactly where. It would be nice to have a bit more background on that.
  • I vaguely remember that اهلا وسهلا (ahlan wa-sahlan, welcome) is an abbreviation of something, but forgot the details.

Written by klaasvanschelven

January 6, 2008 at 9:37 am