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					                                 A Description of Arabic

Spelling in English can be confusing even for native speakers of English, and especially
for foreigners learning English. This is in part because English has words derived from
many different languages with many different spelling systems--such as French, German,
Latin and Greek. So in English we have spellings like: kn in know ,gh in laugh , ph
elephant , sometimes a "c" is pronounced like a "k" and sometimes like an "s." the "sh"
sound is written as two letters instead of as one.
    • Arabic has one letter for each sound--so spelling is a lot easier than in English.
        You hear the sound; you know which letter to use. In Arab countries schools,
        they don't give spelling tests, because spelling is not a problem with the Arabic
        language. If you can pronounce a word in Arabic, you can spell it. And if you
        can read it, you can pronounce it. (Unlike in English.)
    • The Arabic alphabet is written from right to left and there are 28 letters in the
        Arabic alphabet. English has both printing and writing, but Arabic has only
        writing; it is a cursive alphabet, meaning the letters always connect to one
        another. There are no capital letters in Arabic. Arabic letters can have as many
        as 4 different shapes, depending on where the letter occurs in the word. This may
        sound complicated, but it's really not. In English we have capital, or upper case,
        and lower case letters, and then we have printing and writing. So we can have as
        many as 4 letter shapes in English, too. For example a capital G looks nothing
        like a lower-case g.
    • Lastly, Arabic, like Hebrew and other Semitic languages, has long vowel sounds
        and short ones. Arabic does not consider the short vowels to be real letters, and
        they are usually not used in writing. In a newspaper, for example, they are
        usually not printed. So although Arabic has only 28 actual letters, there are also a
        number of other symbols used in writing which are not considered letters.

   Arabic vs. English Phonological System

The Arabic and English phonological systems vary extensively, not only in the range of
sounds used, but also in the relative importance of vowels and consonants in expressing
meaning. While English has 22 vowels and diphthongs to 24 consonants, Arabic has only
eight vowels and diphthongs to 32 consonants.

While there are no similarities between the Arabic and English writing systems, Arabic
spelling within its own system is simple and virtually phonetic. Letters stand directly for
their sounds. Arabic speakers attempt, therefore, to pronounce English words using the
same phonetic methodology. Add to this the salience of consonants in Arabic and you get
severe pronunciation problems caused by the influence of the written form: 'istobbid' for
stopped (the 'p' sound does not exist in Arabic) 'forigen' for foreign.

http://www.lerc.educ.ubc.ca/LERC/courses/489/worldlang/Abdulmanan/description.html




                                                                                          1
                                 A Description of Arabic

Word Order:
   •   In formal written Arabic the verb comes first followed by the subject. This
       convention is followed more in writing than in speech, and may transpose to
       English writing:
   •   e.g. Decided the minister yesterday to visit the school.


Questions and Negatives; Auxiliaries
   •   The auxiliary "do" has no equivalent in Arabic. Where no specific question word
       is used, a question is marked only by its rising intonation:
   •   e.g. You went to London?
       You like coffee?
   •   Note that the Arabic for "where?" is "wayn?", which is often confused with
       "when".
   •   Negatives are formed by putting a particle (laa or maa) before the verb:
   •   e.g. He not play football.

The Verb to Be
   •   There is no verb "to be" in Arabic in the present tense. The copula (am, is, are) is
       not expressed. It is therefore, commonly omitted in English by Arabic speakers,
       particularly in present progressive forms:
   •   e.g. He teacher.
       The boy tall.
       He going to school.

Pronouns

   •   Arabic verb forms incorporate the personal pronouns, subject and object, as
       prefixes and suffixes. It is common to have them repeated in English as part of the
       verb:
   •   e.g. John he works there.




Excerpt from:
http://www.lerc.educ.ubc.ca/LERC/courses/489/worldlang/Abdulmanan/description.html




                                                                                              2
                                 A Description of Arabic


Articles

   •   There is no indefinite article in Arabic, and the definite article has a range of use
       different from English. The indefinite article causes particular problems as it is
       commonly omitted with singular and plural countable:
   •   e.g. This is book or This book (for This is a book)
       He was soldier
   •   When the English indefinite article has been learned by the Arabic speaker, it
       tends to be used wherever the definite article is not used:
   •   e.g. There are a books. I want a rice.
   •   There is a definite article form in Arabic, though it takes the form of a prefix (al-).
       It is used, as in English, to refer back to indefinite nouns previously mentioned,
       and also for unique reference (the sun, on the floor, etc.)
   •   The most common problem with the definite article arises from interference from
       the Arabic genitive construction:
   •   English-Arabic John's book. (or The book of John.)Book John. A man's work.
       (or The work of a man.)Work man. The teacher's car. (or The car of the teacher.)
       Car the teacher.
   •   Most errors of word order and use of articles in genitive constructions are
       interference of this kind:
   •   e.g. This is the book the teacher. This is the key door.
   •   It follows that Arabic speakers have great difficulties with the Saxon genitive
       construction.
   •   The special cases in which English omits the article, e.g. in bed, at dawn, on
       Thursday, for breakfast, etc. usually take the definite article in Arabic:
   •   e.g. At the sunset we broke our fast.

Adjectives and Adverbs
   •   Adjectives follow nouns in Arabic and agree in gender and number. This may
       cause beginners to make mistakes: e.g. He is man tall. for (He is a tall man.)
   •   Adverbs are used less commonly in Arabic than in English and, except for
       adverbs of time; do not have a fixed pattern. Adverbs of manner are often
       expressed in a phrase: quickly is expressed "with speed", and dangerously as "in a
       dangerous way." There is frequent confusion between the adjective and adverb
       forms in English, and the adjective form is usually overused:
   •   e.g. He drives very dangerous.

Excerpt from:
http://www.lerc.educ.ubc.ca/LERC/courses/489/worldlang/Abdulmanan/description.html




                                                                                             3
                                 A Description of Arabic


Vocabulary
   •   The acquisition of vocabulary is particularly difficult for Arab learners of English.
       Only a minimal number of words in English are borrowed from Arabic. A small
       range of mainly technical words, such as computer, radar, helicopter, and
       television, have been taken into Arabic, but these are common to most languages.
       Arabic speakers have very few aids to reading and listening comprehension by
       virtue of their first language, and they should not be expected to acquire English
       at anything like the same pace as European learners.


Writing System
   •   Arabic orthography is a cursive system, running from right to left. Only
       consonants and long vowels are written. There is no upper and lower case
       distinction, nor can the isolated forms of letters normally be juxtaposed to form
       words.

Punctuation
   •   Arabic punctuation is now similar to western style punctuation, though some of
       the symbols are inverted or reversed, e.g. a reversed question mark and comma.
       The use of full stops and commas is much freer than in English, and it is common
       to begin each new sentence with And or So. Connected writing in English tends
       therefore to contain long, loose sentences, linked by commas and "ands."
   •   NOTE: The markings on top and underneath the writing sample provided should
       not be confused with punctuation. They are, in fact, the short vowels.


Excerpt from:
http://www.lerc.educ.ubc.ca/LERC/courses/489/worldlang/Abdulmanan/description.html




                                                                                           4
                           Did You Know?


Some famous Arab-Americans include:

Politics
Ralph Nader--Consumer advocate, and the first Arab-American presidential
candidate
Spencer Abraham --Secretary of Energy and former Senator from Michigan
Donna Shalala--Secretary of Health and Human Services under President
Clinton, and the first Arab-American to hold a cabinet position
George Mitchell--Former Senator from Maine, U. S. negotiator of Northern
Ireland peace accords, now Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiator.
John Sununu--Former Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief
of Staff under President Reagan
Not to mention several other members of Congress...

Sports
Doug Flutie--Football great and Heisman Trophy winner.
Rony Seikaly - Center for the New Jersey Nets--"The Pride of Lebanon"
and definitely the tallest Arab I've ever seen...
Former UCLA basketball coach Jim Harrick

Business
Jacques Nasser--President of Ford Motor Company
And too many others to mention...

Entertainers
Paul Anka--Famous singer
Danny Thomas, and his daughter Marlo - Both actors
Tiny Tim--Singer, whose real name was Herbert Khaury
Frank Zappa--Rock 'n' Roll genius
Tiffany--Famous pop star
Paula Abdul--Famous pop star
Casey Kasem--Radio star, founder of "American Top 40" and the original
voice of "Scooby Doo."
Jamie Farr--Actor, known for his starring role in "M.A.S.H"
Kathy Najimy--TV and movie star



                                                                         5
Salma Hayek--Lebanese-Mexican-American actress
Tony Shalhoub--Actor, star of the movie "The Big Night"
F. Murray Abraham--Oscar winner for the movie "Amadeus"....the "F" stands
for "Farid."
Wendy Malick--TV actress
Many behind-the-scenes people, writers, directors and others in Hollywood

Scientists, Educators, Doctors
Dr. Michael DeBakey--Pioneering heart doctor
Dr. Ahmed Zewail won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1999, and Dr. Elias
Corey won it in 1990 (2 of them !!!)
Dr. Farouk el-Baz, an Egyptian-American, worked at NASA planning
the Apollo moon landings.
Christa McAuliffe--The teacher who died in Space Shuttle Challenger
disaster in 1983
Jack Shaheen--Commentator for CBS news
David Adamany--President of Temple University

You can it in the document "Arab-Americans: Making a Difference,"
authored by Casey Kasem himself. It is at the Arab American Institute's
website: http://www.aaiusa.org/about_arab_americans.htm#Casey Kasems
Brochure




                                                                            6
                         Summarizer
                           3-2-1

3 things that interested you
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2 things you’d like to know more about
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
1 component of this presentation that you found interesting/ you
did not find effective


______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________




                                                               7
                                   Arabic Conversation

          Person I                                                       Person II
       1- Hello Marhabah                                             1- Hello- Marhabah

  2- How are you? kheif halak? (m) kheif halek (f)                  2-   Very well- Ham-di-llah

  3-What is your name? Ma ismak (f) maismek (m)                     3- My name is..      Ismee...

4- Do you speak English? ta-ta-ka-lam Ingleesi?                    4- I don't understand: anna mush
                                                                       fahim(m) fahmeh (f)

5- Please: min fadlak (m) Min fadlek (f)

  Who is this? Min hayda? Min(haydeh)                    5- My son- ibneh My daughter- binteh
                                                            My friend sah- bee(m) sa- hib-tee (f)
  6-Thank you-   shukran                             6-You are welcome: Tis-lam(m) Tis- la- mee (f)



  7- Good Bye: ma   sala’ama                                   7- Good Bye: ma sala’ama




                                                                                                    8
                          Venn Diagram
                                               Differences   English Language
Differences   Arabic Language
                                Similarities




                                                                                9
               Map of the Arabic-Speaking Countries   www.mideastinfo.com/maproom/middleeast.htm



                                                                       1
                                                                       8
                                          2                        9
                                          0


                                1                                              6


                     12                                                                 2
Sahrawi Arab                                                               7       8
Democratic                                1
Republic                                  0
                                                          5                                      2
       15                                                                          1   14
                                                                                                 1       1
                                                                                   6
                                                                                                         3
                     1
                     1                          3

                                                                                            22

                                                          17
                                                                                            4        1
                                                                                                     9




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