Sarah wa'sinjab

I have not done an update on my Arabic progress in a long time. It is not because I don't love you or because I don't love Arabic (though it does get harder and harder to catch up every time I go out of town and have to miss class). It is because with increased complexity comes increased difficulty in looking up all those danged letters. I can barely spell as it is, but doing so online means that I have to write a word out as باب to make it look like باب. And that's only a three-letter word. Once you write a whole sentence out of bizarre combinations of keyboard symbols and numbers, it isn't so much fun anymore. If someone will find me a website that automatically converts your Arabic letters into Unicode symbols, I'll take another crack at it.

I will report, however, that I am now able to greet people, introduce myself, ask how people are doing, count to ten, describe where some classroom objects are in relation to each other and create complete sentences, as long as they don't have any verbs in them (yes, in Arabic this is possible).

Today for the oral portion of our most recent exam, we had to perform dialogues with a partner. Like many of the other groups, we tried desperately to insert humor into our dialogue, though with our limited vocabulary this is difficult. We aren't exactly at the stage where we can write puns or have hilarious misunderstandings or get murdered or married or in a tricky situation over a pound note. So the extent of our humor was when I said, "Yes, I have a bookbag. My bookbag is in my car. In my bookbag, there is a book and a notebook and a pen and a newspaper and a squirrel." HA HA HA HA HA! The hilarity! There is a squirrel in her bag! Bookbags are not where squirrels belong! HA HA! Yeah, awesome. My teacher did not even react. Sigh.

So no, I shan't write out the entire dialogue, nor the entire sentence, but I will share with you the word سنجاب (sinjab), or squirrel. Go forth unto the world with this new knowledge, which will be of no use to you at all, ever.

srah - Monday, 20 November 2006 - 6:50 PM
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Comments (2)

gravatar David - November 23, 2006 - 3:23 PM -

I found your post on SIClops and can sympathize with Arabic being a pain to enter.

A while ago I wrote a little PHP script that transliterates English into Arabic. At one time, it was part of an Arabic flashcard program that I may try to get working again when I have time. If you want to try it out, you can see it here:

Just replace bAb with whatever you want to transliterate (if you View Source, it is the unicode escapes). It's based on the Buckwalter transliteration scheme (I think), which you can see here:

Hope it helps, and I can send you the code if you like.


gravatar srah - November 25, 2006 - 8:59 PM -

Thanks! I'll look into those!

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