Asking the way in Arabic

Asking the way. Asking the way is a very common situation for the foreigner abroad. In the Arab world the situation can lead to very useful opportunities to speak Arabic.  Normal caution should be exercised and it would be sensible for a woman to ask another woman and...

Negotiating a taxi fare in Arab countries

Getting home by taxi After a night out in an Arab city you will probably make your way home by taxi, since public transport is not always what you would like it to be. All the world over there can be problems dealing with taxi-drivers, and the Arab world is no...

Visiting an Arab family home

The ideal way to experience another language and culture is to live with a family that belongs to that culture. You will absorb knowledge and impressions about a new society through the things you see and the things you hear, even the things you eat. As a visitor to a...

Why ArabicOnline has no adverts

One of the most prevalent business models on the Internet is ad-supported content. This is popular with sites that offer content. There are a few reasons why we refuse to include adverts on our site. 1 The adverts distract you from your learning. When learning a...

The Importance of Etymology in Language Learning

As any learner of Arabic will know, Arabic words can be deciphered according to their root (often a three letter combination). It is a fascinating exercise to look up words to discover their true meaning. To illustrate an example of etymology using the English...

Shura Decision Making – Arabic and Islamic Culture

The word ’shura’ (شورى ) is an Arabic word with the sh-u-r root conveying the concept ‘to seek council’ or ‘to take out the honey’. It is interesting to note how, in the Arabic language, ‘seeking advice’ is given the same status as ‘extracting honey’ - one of the most...

How many roots are there in Arabic?

Most words in the Arabic language are derived from a root. A word is created by applying vowels, prefixes and suffixes in an often predictable manner to the original root. According to Karen Ryding in ‘A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic’, there are between...

From Qahwa to Coffee

Today, coffee is enjoyed throughout the world and throughout the day. The coffee plant has its origins in Ethiopia. From there the plant was imported into Yemen where it was cultivated and inherited the name ‘qahwa’ (قهوة) which originally meant ‘wine’ in Arabic....