More beginning Arabic, meal included

Consonant and vowel info thanks to Ethnologue:

  • The Arabic alphabet contains 28 letters. Some additional letters are used in Arabic when writing places names or foreign words containing sounds which do not occur in Standard Arabic, such as /p/ or /g/.

  • Words are written in horizontal lines from right to left, numerals are written from left to right

  • Most letters change form depending on whether they appear at the beginning, middle or end of a word, or on their own. (see below)

  • Letters that can be joined are always joined in both hand-written and printed Arabic. The only exceptions to this rule are crossword puzzles and signs in which the script is written vertically.

  • The long vowels /a:/, /i:/ and /u:/ are represented by the letters ‘alif, yaa and waaw respectively.

  • Short vowels are not usually marked, except in poetry, textbooks for foreign learners, children’s books and the Qur’an (Koran). When short vowels are marked, /a/ is written with a horizontal line (fat’haa) over the consonant letter, /i/ is written with a horizontal line (kasraa) below the consonant letter, and a little hook (damnaa) is used to write /u/.

  • A shadda, which looks like the letter siin without its tail, is used to indicate the doubling of a consonant.

  • A small circle (sukuun) is used to indicate the absence of a vowel.

Arabic vowels

The short vowels (a, i, u) and the diacritics attached to the long vowels are usually written only in poetry, textbooks for foreign learners, children’s books and the Qur’an (Koran)

Here are some words that you probably already know how to pronounce in Arabic:

Hummus: حمّص‎
Yummy dip made from mashed chickpeas, mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

Hummus, or Himmus also means “chickpeas.” The Arabic word for hummus dip, mixed with tahini, is حمّص بطحينة (ḥimmaṣ bi ṭaḥīna).

Baba Ganouj: بابا غنوج bābā ġanūj): Roasted, mashed Eggplant mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic

Tahini or sesame paste: طحينه‎

(short etymology about Tahini via wiki: طحينة [tˤaħiːnaː], or more accurately ṭaḥīnīa طحينية, is derived from the root طحن ṭ-ḥ-n which as a verb means ‘to grind’,[2] the same root as طحين [tˤaħiːn] ‘flour’.

Khubz, khoubz or khobz (Arabic: خبز), a flatbread that’s served with these dips.

These dips and bread are best with the herb mix Zatar: زَعْتَر‎

Ok, that’s the lesson and meal for today..

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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