Fight to revitalise Arabic language learning begins with children’s books

When Maitha Al Khayat was a young pupil, she often stood at the back of the classroom, during Arabic lessons, hoping she would not be chosen to read out loud. Now an acclaimed children’s book author, she said she struggled to stay engaged because the classes were overly focused on grammar and they studied books [...]

By |2020-04-09T17:10:01+00:00April 9th, 2020|Arabic language|0 Comments

How English words entered Arabic through the British empire in Iraq

The British “Mesopotamian Campaign” of the First World War took almost three years to get to Baghdad – and the occupying force faced many challenges once it arrived. In fact, Britain’s overwhelming predominance over Iraq from 1917 to 1947 was a time of rough and violent political and economic “communication”. But the large number of [...]

By |2018-11-02T18:01:11+00:00November 2nd, 2018|Arabic language, Iraq|0 Comments

Israeli woman invents new typeface combining Arabic and Hebrew to promote co-existence

Aravit, a new typeface which manages to merge Hebrew and Arabic letters together, is being billed as a language of peace - and it’s not hard to see why. Liron Lavi Turkenich, a 32-year-old Israeli graphic designer and researcher, was inspired to see if she could combine the two languages by the bilingual road markings [...]

Arabic translators did far more than just preserve Greek philosophy

In European antiquity, philosophers largely wrote in Greek. Even after the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean and the demise of paganism, philosophy was strongly associated with Hellenic culture. The leading thinkers of the Roman world, such as Cicero and Seneca, were steeped in Greek literature; Cicero even went to Athens to pay homage to the [...]

By |2016-11-22T22:28:49+00:00November 23rd, 2016|Arabic language, Philosophy, Translation, Translators|0 Comments

How One Translator Unlocks Arabic Books for French Readers

Arabic literature is notoriously difficult to translate — not only for the complexity of the language but also for the variety of dialects and the challenge of making the prose accessible to Western readers. Arabic literary translators are few and far between, and the Arabic-to-English translators have become, in their world, akin to rock stars, [...]

Arabic Is Fastest-Growing Language In US As Immigration From Middle East, North Africa Spikes

Nearly a quarter of people living in the United States speak a foreign language at home, and the fastest-growing languages are Arabic and Urdu, census data from 2014 found, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies. In a four-year period, Arabic speakers in the U.S. jumped 29 percent, while speakers of Urdu, [...]

By |2015-10-14T12:32:44+00:00October 14th, 2015|Arab-American, Arabic language, Immigration, Languages, US|0 Comments

Is Beirut the codeswitching capital of the world?

At this high-end organic farmer’s market in downtown Beirut, buyers and sellers speak a mishmash of languages, usually Arabic and English or French. Pia Bou Khater is at the market with me. At the juice stand, she switches too. “Oh, I think I have change,” she says in English, before she continues in Arabic, “3000.” [...]

How the ‘Panchatantra’ travelled the world thanks to Persian and Arabic narrators

In the year 570 CE, a Persian physician named Burzoy or Burzoya (Burzawayh in Arabic) living in the Sassanid kingdom of Persia travelled to India in search of a book of wisdom: a book greatly sought by then King of Persian Khusroy I (Anoshagruwa or “the immortal”) who ruled from 531 to 579 CE. Burzoy [...]

Abu Dhabi professors publish first Emirati Arabic textbook

The first modern standard Arabic language textbook for the Emirati dialect has been published by two New York University Abu Dhabi professors. Ramsah, which means “talk” in Emirati Arabic, is a 352-page workbook and audio guide that aims to serve as a resource for educators and students. “Arabic is the sixth most commonly spoken language [...]

By |2015-09-15T14:12:37+00:00September 15th, 2015|Arabic language, Emirati Arabic, Middle East, UAE|0 Comments