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1. Hello & Goodbye

2. Counting

3. Meeting people

4. In the hotel

5. In the restaurant

6. Writing Arabic

7. part 2

8. part 3

9. part 4

10. My name is Issam

11. My local coffeeshop

12. Swedish women

13. Alexandria's beaches

14. Fixing cars

15. Islam & Christianity

16. Quit smoking?

17. Mountains of cookies

18. My marriage

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Grammar 6
Writing Arabic, part 1

yawm- (one) day. This word is made out of three letters, y', ww and mm. But as you see in the Latin translitteration, there is a forth letter coming through: 'a'. This is the short a, unlike the long a, as in 'alif above. In Arabic this is the source of frustration for beginners: Short vowels are not written. That is, there is a way of writing the three short vowels, is small curls above or under the letter it follows, but beyond sometimes religious works, and school books, these are omitted.
The 3 short vowels are: a, u, i. And that's it!
There is a system to how these vowels are used,- Arabic is a very organised language. For now, just settle with learning the sound of each word. That is the best.

'umm- my mother. With this word, you should note the following: The double letters of mm, are not written each by themselves, they are written as one letter. There is a curl to indicate just this, but at this beginner's level, the same rule applies as for the short vowels: Learn the sound for each word.
Note that the suffix of a y', is the straightforward way of indicating "mine", "my", or "of "me". When putting y' at the very end of a word, pronouncing and writing it as one word, you can't go wrong.

wathaba- to jump, to leap This is a verb. Note that it really means "he jumped, he leaped", as masculin singular past, is presented as the core form for a verb.
Arabic verbs are declined stricly according to 1., 2., or 3. person, gender, and singular, dualis (!!!) and plural. But the good news is: Only two tenses: Perfect (past) and Imperfect (now), while Futurum is simply made by adding the prefix "sa-" to the Imperfect form.

tba- to repent. Surprise, surprise! One letter becomes another one!!
One of the more time consuming challenges students of Arabic will have to face, is getting a hold on the many irregularities that occur when one of these 3 letters are found in a verb:

'alif, ww and/or y'
Sometimes they are transformed into one of the others, sometimes they disappear.
But for now: Forget all about it. And save your strength until we get there.

wahaba- to give. Puh! This time, nothing special happened to the ww, but when declining this verb, unpleasant things will become evident.

By Tore Kjeilen