Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

English-Arabic Language Exchange: Meeting 1

# Correct the following sentence:
– This has been going on since 6 years.
– If you specified the duration of an action, then you don’t use “since” but use “for”. The correct form is:
– “This has been going on for 6 years.” Or, “This has been going on since 2003”


#Do you pay attention to what is written on the clothes you buy? Some people wear clothes without paying attention to what is written on them. Sometimes, this can cause you a lot of embarrassment not to expect humiliation.

A friend of mine once saw a Syrian girl wearing a pair of jeans that had a two-word sentence written on them. The sentence read: “Spank Queen”!!!

Does the girl understand what that sentence means? In our conservative societies, I don’t think so. Nonetheless, there is a?? good news. How many people have good English enough to understand the meaning of this sentence? I don’t think there are many!

Are you one of the “few” or one of the “many”? In other words, did you use or will use a dictionary to find out the meaning of this sentence? What about me, I am one of the “many”. I had to be told the meaning of this sentence. It means,???:??? “Slap buttocks” with sexual connotations of course!

There could be an honor crime is on the way!



# [Itinerary]
– We didn’t worry what places to visit, the tourist guide had already prepared an ideal itinerary.

– When Mr. Smith read the itinerary of the journey, he didn’t only sign up, but also, invited some of his friends.

list of places to be visited: a plan for a journey listing different places in the order in which they are to be visited

– There is a famous publishing company that publishes itineraries. The name of this company is “Lonely Planet”. I love their itinerary of Jordan.

There is a famous publishing company that publishes itineraries. Its name is “Lonely Planet”.



# [Epiphany]

– I was watching TV when I had this unbelievable epiphany of what I wanted to accomplish in my life; to become a skillful physician.

– The physician claims that he was able to come up with this cancer drug in an epiphany!

– It came to Moabite in an epiphany that the post about Peace Corps Volunteers learning Arabic is offending.

sudden realization: a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence
It came to him in an epiphany what his life’s work was to be.



# [Epitome]

I will work hard to become an Epitome of a hardworking Medical student.

– Do you think that he deserves to be called “The Epitome of Honesty”! For God’s sake, he is as cunning as a fox.

– Peace Corps volunteers who taught me in Mu’tah University are the very epitome of selflessness!

typical example: a highly representative example of a type, class, or characteristic
Isn’t she just the epitome of elegance?


# [Irregular Plural]

The plural form of some nouns is not formed by adding “s”, “es” or “ies”… I can’t recall more! To be more precise, I don’t want to!

Example of irregular plural in English:

– Ox –> Oxen
– Goose –> Geese
– Tooth –> Teeth


# [Tangent]

– Can I bring up a tangent? There is a lot of time left!
– Can you explain more. I believe that you started a big tangent!
– I recommend this doctor, he spends all of the lecture time teaching. He never bring up tangents!

digression: a change of topic that is not relevant to the subject currently under consideration


# [Diagonal]

A diagonal is a line connecting two angles in a square or rectangle.

line joining angles: a line that joins two opposite or nonadjacent angles or corners of a straight-sided geometric figure



# [Elvish]

– The student said that he was advised not to study Arabic. He was told that Arabic is harder than Elvish language. This advice is the epitome of putting-off others!

– Just a J. R. R. Tolkien invented new languages, I want to invent new set of social duties. Just because a diagonal can’t connect two adjacent angles, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore your neighbors.

J. R. R. Tolkien invented two languages he referred to as “elvish.”



# [Nuance]

the nuance of using “care to learn Arabic” in the post talking about Peace Corps volunteers in Jordan brought me bad reputation!

subtle difference: a very slight difference in meaning, feeling, tone, or color

For Arabic Learners

Mr. and Mrs. Arabic Learner, here are a few sites that I hope will help you in your studies:

1. Google translation: Google gives you free translation from English to Arabic and vice versa. However, it is still a BETA version.
2. Arabic Keyboard: This is a page where you can type Arabic letters. It is of a great help especially if you don’t have a keyboard with Arabic letters.
3. Learn Arabic For Free: This site is totally free. It has a lot of good information. It is very good for someone who wants to practice every-day (common) words. It is true that it is packed with ads, however, I believe that it is a good bargain.

Some Great Sites!

You probably have an account on one of the community sites like: face book, hi5, x, y, z… there are a lot of them. I don’t know if there is any really positive thing that can be gained from those sites, but the thing that I am quite sure of, is that they won’t be as useful as the sites that I am gonna be typing below.
In the recent few days, I came to know some kind of community sites, where you can’t only get to meet people from all over the world. But also, be able to practice the other person’s language. And find people who are interested in learning your language, you will teach them the language(s) you speak, and in their turn, they would do the same. A great bargain, don’t you think so?

The list starts from, then my best favorite: Last but not least, the site that I discovered today thanks to,

Till this moment, I have been enrolled in since at least 5 months, sharedtalk from maybe a week, just hours ago…

My friends score: A very intelligent young Moldavian girl who has been living in Canada for the last 6 years, an Afghani lady from the USA, a very fluent Arabic Speaker who is from Pakistan and lives in the US. Before I mention the fourth person whom I met just today, did you notice a common thing between the previous 3 friends of mine who are learning Arabic? Except that they all know me, they are all, what did you say? Yes, not originally born in the US, all of them were born in the coutries where they parents (them too) came from… Quite interesting, isn’t it? Going back to my 4th new friends, she comes also from the US, and guess what? She wasn’t born somewhere outside the US, she is a real American. How could this happen? I don’t know, she is the first American among not least than 30 whom I have sent invitaions for who simply accepted my adding her to my contacts list. She is not only nice and modest but also very smart, she already knows Spanish and Japanese. How lucky I am to have all of them as language exchange partners?! I won’t judge it so quickly, so as it always proven to me to be a bad omen.