Posts tagged “Arabic”

The Arab-Nahuatl Jinn

Recently something about the animal axolotl popped up in my Twitter timeline. Following my typical curiosity, I looked it up on the English Wikipedia, then on the Arabic Wikipedia. The Arabic Wikipedia talked about a water ʿifrīt [ʿifrīt al-māʾ] and a Mexican salamander [samandal al-maksīk]. This was getting a bit odd for me. A ʿifrīt […]

Underestimating a linguistic variety

It is no secret to anyone in the Arabic-speaking societies that Arabic has many varieties, so many varieties. As I have previously discussed, even within the relatively small region of the Gulf there are many varieties. It is not unusual for people to assume of their spoken variety to be of a lower quality than […]

MA Thesis: Ideology in the Translation of Legal Treaties

In April, I completed my MA studies at the American University of Sharjah. My thesis is now available online for viewing at the following address:, direct PDF link here and here. My thesis advisor was Dr. Basil Hatim. The abstract is quoted below, with links added: The British Colonial Era produced a number of international treaties, such […]

Language Diversity in the Gulf: The Arabics

This is the first of a two-post series related to the linguistic situation in the Gulf region. The next post will be on the variety of indigenous languages of the region that are not Arabic. The communities of the Gulf region across the last century have witnessed many changes. The political and economic aspects of […]

Izutsu on Arabic terminology

I finally got a chance to read Toshihiko Izutsu‘s God and Man in the Qur’an (the edition I just read is from 2002 published in Kuala Lumpur, though it was first published in 1964). This is an extremely interesting work on the semantics of the Qur’an, specifically how the Qur’anic text appropriated concepts from several […]

Angelika Neuwirth on Qur’anic Rhetoric

Angelika Neuwirth, of the Corpus Coranicum, discusses, in a half-hour lecture, the philological study of the Qur’an. She focuses on its “historical, literary and theological entanglements”. This lecture was given at the Warburg Institute of the University of London. The lecture is quite interesting and focuses on the philological study of the Qur’an. At 20:00, she […]

Detecting Arab Dialects on Twitter

I recently found out about a search tool called (on Twitter: @Detect_Dialect), that allows users to search in four general Arabic dialects, Egyptian, Gulf-Iraqi, Maghrebi, and Levantine. The website’s interface is easy to use. It would be interesting to see how this tool develops, especially if we can add more search parameters, such as […]

Qatar University, in Arabic once again

I had just taken a short (but great) trip to Egypt, and while I was there I heard of the news that Qatar University (QU) is going to be adding more degree programs in Arabic, and exempting students from the Foundation requirements if they are entering Arabic-taught programs. This decision is huge. In a region where many public […]

The Arabic and Eurabic scripts

Thomas Milo, the typographer, sent to the Arabic-L mailing list a link to his talk at the recent ATypI Conference in Reykjavík. He discusses the difference between the Arabic script, and one created in Europe to imitate it (but failed to do so) which he calls Eurabic. He mentions that Eurabic does not include the script grammar that is […]