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 ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ 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 10
"spell my name in arabic"