Arabic

Resources
Please click here to find resources for use during the school summer school, including instructions for typing in Arabic, links to online dictionaries, and selections of textbooks.

The Alphabet

The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters. Although there are no capital letter forms, some of the letter shapes can vary depending on whether or not they are connected to letters that come before or after it. As the video below explains, some letters can only connect to letters within the same word that come before it, while others can connect with letters both before and after it.

Lesson 1: Learn the Alphabet

To get started with the Arabic alphabet, watch the video below. You can find a pdf of the presentation here.

For a handy schematic of how each letter of the Arabic alphabet is transliterated into a Latin alphabet (using the schema of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft), see the image below:

Drills

Click here to practice matching the letters of the Arabic alphabet with their names, and to practice matching words written in Arabic with their transliterations.

Short vowels and diacritics

Lesson 2

In this lesson, you will learn the three short vowels in Arabic, as well as two important diacritics. You can find a pdf of the presentation here.

Drill

Click here to practice transliterating Arabic words with short vowels.

States and “cases”

Lesson 3

In this lesson, you will learn about definite and indefinite states of nouns and adjectives (المَعرِفة وَالنَكِرَة) and about the three different “cases” (الإعراب). Click here for a pdf of the lecture.

Drill

Click here to practice identifying definite and indefinite nouns, and to practice identifying nouns with the different “case” endings (إعراب).

Nouns and Adjectives

Lesson 4

This lesson introduces nouns, adjectives, and adjectival agreement. Click here for a pdf of the lecture.

Drill

Visit this link for a drill in identifying adjectives used as attributes and as predicates.

Construct State and Plurals

Lesson 5

In this lesson, you will learn how to form so-called “إضافَة” constructions, as well as plurals of nouns and adjectives. Click here for a pdf of the lecture.

Pronouns

Lesson 6

In this lesson, you will learn how to form pronouns (independent and enclitic), and you will learn about the verb كانَ. Click here for a pdf.

Drill

Click here for an exercise in identifying enclitic pronouns in the opening of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.

Demonstratives and Prepositions

Lesson 7

In this lesson, you will learn about two types of demonstratives, as well as a range of prepositions and their uses. Click here for a pdf.

Drill

Click here for an exercise in identifying demonstratives and prepositions in the opening passage of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.

The Verbal System and Dictionaries

Lesson 8

In this lesson, I give a birds’-eye overview of the verbal system in Arabic, and also give some advice for looking up words in an Arabic dictionary. Click here for a pdf.

Drill

Try deriving the root and looking up the following words in Hans Wehr’s Arabic dictionary (see the “Arabic Resources” link at the top of this page):

  1. الزُهدِ
  2. َالشَباب
  3. الدينِ
  4. الرَغبَةِ

The Perfect Tense Verb

Lesson 9

In this lesson, you will learn the forms and uses of the perfect tense verb (الفِعل الماضي) in Arabic. Click here for the pdf.

Drill

Click here for an exercise in identifying perfect tense verbs from a passage of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.

The Imperfect Tense Verb

Lesson 10

In this lesson, you will learn the forms and uses of the imperfect tense verb (الفِعل المُضارع) in Arabic. Click here for the pdf.

Drill

Click here for an exercise in identifying imperfect tense verbs from a passage of the Arabic Barlaam and Josaphat narrative.