Glimpses of the Egyptian transformations of the Arabic language


some examples:

hamza elimination: صحراء => صحرا, أنا جئت => أنا جيت
substitution of diacritics: تَكتُبُ => تِكتِبْ
change of pronouns:,
elimination of dual mode
negation: ما جيتش
conjugation: بتشجع اي فريق؟

other good resources:

arabic internet acronyms

Is there an Arabic equivalent to English Internet acronyms, such as the ones listed here?

Here are the ones I use:

  • AFAIK - as far as I know - على حد علمي او على قدر علمي - ع ح ع لو ع ق ع
  • IIRC - if i recall correctly - ان كانت ذاكرتي صحيحة او على ما اتذكر - ان ك ص او ع م ا
  • IMO - in my opinion - في رأيي - ف ر
  • WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get - anyone?

Please help out on a live site!

Some interesting Egyptian verbal forms

The form فـِــعـِــلْ is an Egyptian form that denotes a subject who is an expert at doing the action.

For example, حـِــرِ كْ and رِ وِ شْ are purely Egyptian words that indicate expertise at their respective actions, namely maneuvering and dazzling.

The Egyptian dialect also changes existing forms.

Arabic verbal forms

NOTE: Please excuse the poor quality of Arabic typography. It is not trivial in the open source world.

By verbal forms I mean syntactic variations on the 3-letter roots that generate both new verbs and new nouns. These variations are used by convention among Arabic speakers.

Such forms qualify the root verb, its primary actors (the subject and the object), and how they relate to the web of facts. In Arabic, "verb" translates as فـﹺـعل literally the "deed" or "action". The relationships between the actors and the facts (places, things, states) are altered in each verbal form.

Translating "Information"

Very quickly: How do you translate "Information"? معلومات ? This plural term more likely refers to "Data" as in more than one "Datum" (معلومة - literally "known" as opposed to "unknown"). "Information" carries more meaning than "Data", specifically the idea that not only are there facts, but they are also structured in some logical network of relationships. Where's the Arabic term for that? Most probably the Arabic computer science, information theory and theoretical physics literatures would contain many terms suitable for information theory. Let's start a glossary!

International ads for the Arab region

Some sites try to serve me targeted ads based on my geographical location. Because I live in the Middle East, most ads I get on American sites are the two reproduced below. For non-Arabic speakers, the campaign encourages people to apply for a working visa to the US.


Click the attachment to see the full thing.

Globalization from the point of view of the globalizee.

That's how I'd like Arabic to be rendered

Leaving aside the religious content (for the sake of this discussion), check out the Arabic text on this page. You'll have noticed it is an embedded image, but see how clearly the writing and diacritics are displayed. One would wish that Arabic text were rendered this way on a browser.

What does it take to do that, I wonder.

Teaching Arabic to Latin readers


The western world has a tough time learning Arabic. Here's a suggestion to make it a bit easier:

Arabic words have no vowels: alif, waw, and ya' play ambiguous roles that are outside the scope of this discussion. Consonants are stringed together, with diacritics providing pronunciation and more precise meaning. So let's do the same with Latin consonants, which provide as much meaning as their Arabic counterparts. This will give something like:

k_t_b_ al w_l_d_ b_q_l_m_h_

Now it remains to choose Latin diacritics that will perform the same functions are the Arabic counterparts. Unfortunately, it seems that the current Unicode Latin script does not contain all possible combinations between letters and even the basic Arabic diacritics (fatha, kasra, damma). So what follows is only an approximation:

Rheomode: an Arabic construct

David Bohm was a quantum physicist who tried to reconcile the philosophical implications of new discoveries in physics (chiefly quantum behaviour) with art, society, and eastern mysticism. Retaining scientific rigour all the while, which earned him near-universal respect.

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