Studio Arabiya Blog

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Learning Arabic Takes Time

This article was originally published June 2, 2012.   As I was browsing the Internet last night, I was surprised at the many websites - for teaching Arabic as well as other languages - claiming that they can teach you a language in an amazingly short time.  Some claim that in just a few days or weeks, you could KNOW the language.  I ...
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Appreciating Arabic: Three Letter Roots

This article was originally published May 27, 2012.   One of the many neat things a student of Arabic will first learn about the language is that many of its words can be traced back to a triliteral root.  This means that there are usually three base letters from which different words emanate and are derived.  The words that share th...
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The Beauty of Arabic

This article was originally published April 27, 2012. Learning Arabic can be an amazing experience.   For Muslims, one of its greatest benefits is in helping one understand the sacred words of the Quran, the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as well as a treasure-trove of scholarly works from Islamic history. &nb...
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A 'Native Speaker' Doesn't Guarantee a Good Teacher

This article was originally published March 19, 2012.   Searching for the right language teacher for your Arabic studies can, at first, seem very easy.  Search online and you'll see Arabic classes taught by 'Native Speakers' all over the place, ready to teach you the language.  Because there are over 300 million native Arabic speaker...
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From Right to Left

Studying Arabic comes with many new experiences for the Westerner - from learning new sounds that you've never pronounced before, to learning the interconnections of Arabic letters and roots - and even includes writing in a brand new direction... from right to left! I never thought much about the significance of writing from right to left in Arabic...
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Some Learning Arabic Humor

So many different forms!!
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"We Have Revealed to you an Arabic Quran..."

Isn't it amazing how many times Allah describes the Quran as an Arabic book, i.e., a book in the Arabic language?  He, `azza wajal (May He be praised and exalted) says for example, " And thus have We revealed to you an Arabic Quran , that you may warn the mother city (Makkah) and those around it, and that you may give warning of the day of gat...
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Arabic: A Sugar House with a Steel Door

The 'sugar house' of Arabic with a steel door ( via ) Sh. `Uthaymeen, a contemporary Saudi scholar, gives an interesting analogy for studying Arabic in his Sharh al-`Ajrumiyyah : "From the benefits of learning the Arabic language is correction of the tongue with the Arabic tongue which the speech of Allah was revealed in.  Because of this, und...
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Salah - A Means of Humility, A Connection

As we discussed in an earlier post , Arabic words often have a family of related and root words that give an amazing breadth and fullness to their meanings.  One such word is salah (the word used for the ritual prayer performed daily by Muslims.)     One of the words related to salah refers to burning, and especially to heating a twi...
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Between Praise and Gratitude: The Meanings of Hamd & Shukr

Between Praise and Gratitude: The Meanings of Hamd & Shukr Hamd vs. Thana and Madh There are three words that have the general meaning of ‘praise’ in the Arabic language: madh [مدح], thana [ثناء], and hamd [حمد], but we find the term hamd constantly used in the Quran and the Prophetic Tradition for praising Allah, such as in  ‘Alhamdu...
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Five Arabic Quotes: On Ignorance & Learning

This is the first post in a new series on the Studio Arabiya blog, in which I hope to share with you some interesting and inspiring Arabic quotes on different themes. Reading these types of quotes, excerpts and aphorisms can help us put our Arabic studies into practice, and also appreciate how far we've come in our understanding of the la...
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Lost in Translation

A few weeks ago, I read an article  called "15 Wonderful Words with No English Equivalent" that describes cool words and phrases found in other languages that are hard to render into English.   There are many, many words like this in the Arabic language, as anyone who has studied both Arabic and English can tell you!  Here are some o...
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Finding the Beauty Placed in Difficulty

by Shazia Ahmad The famous poet Ahmad Shawqi said in a well-known line from one of his works:  إنَّ الذي مَلأَ اللُّغاتِ مَحاسِنا جَعَلَ الجَمالَ وَسِرَّهُ في الضَّاد Verily, the One who filled all languages with beauty Put beauty itself, and its secret, in ad-Dhaad. In these lines, Shawqi refers to the Arabic language as  'ad-Dhaad' .&nb...
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