Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by greg from vancouver, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. greg from vancouver

    greg from vancouver Senior Member

    vancouver, canada
    Canada, Vancouver
    Wow... am I glad to find this forum. I have been searching in vain for a place where I can post questions.
    I am 28 years old and have been studying Arabic for about 1.5 years. I worked with a Palestinian tutor for the first year, but am on my own now. My favourite modus operandi in studying the language is to translate newspaper articles with my Hans Wehr. Not only does this build vocabulary, but I also find that I learn grammer subconsciously (and it's fun). I have a university-level grammar book that I consult occassionally.
    Well, enough of the babble. If anyone would like help starting out, I can perhaps provide some pointers. I think I have a good set of resources at hand. I am, however, very much still a neophyte.

    Here's my first question... I have run into various pairs of words that mean much the same thing. Could someone please tell me the difference between the two?

    دماغ / مخ -the first letter is a "daal"- not sure why it's connected to the "miim"

    مركب / زورق

    برق / صاعق

    Also, can anyone provide some tips for writing in Arabic on this forum? Best font to use?
  2. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Hello Greg, and welcome to the forums. I found this place a few months ago and enjoy it also. There are some very nice and knowledgeable people here.

    As to your question, like in English, Arabic has synonyms also but I have noticed that for some Arabic words there are many synonyms. Sometimes it is difficult to know which word to use in a given context. For example the word man or person in Arabic can be نفر, إنس , إنسان , بشر , رجل , إمرء , واحد . There might be a few others I am forgetting. I really don't think there is too much of a difference between them. Likewise, I don't think there is too much of a difference between the words you listed. If there are slightly different connotations I am not aware of them. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

    Another synonym for مركب and زورق would be سفينة but you could say that the connotation of safiina is a large boat or a ship, so here there is a different nuance in meaning between otherwise synonymous words.

    I usually type my posts in a Word document first and then copy and paste in here. I know how it is frustrated when trying to highlight Arabic text here and as you go over it with the cursor each individual letter goes into its isolated form and you can never seem to highlight the whole word. With more practice it will become easier.

    I believe Lucinda Sans Unicode is the best font for Arabic and other non-Latin scripts.
  3. missmagnet New Member

    Qatar - Lahore

    Hi & Good Mrng,

    I dont know weather It would help you or not, but I'm born and live in an Arab country so know arabic quite well, I'll try to explain it the way I understand in Arabic.

    دماغ / مخ there isn't much differentce between the meanings but "دماغ / demagh" normally means "brain" only. But when we say "mukh/ مخ" it means "common sence" that we have or we use.

    مركب / زورق These both are used for sailing, مركب means a bigger boat which normally can sail with around 10 or more number of people, and زورق means smaller boat which normally is used to cross rivers etc , can sail with few people (2-4) boats used in big ships in emergency for rescues are also known as زورق in Arabic.

    برق / صاعقة In this برق / Barq means only lighting but صاعقةsaiqa' means thunder or storm.

    I hope it would be clear now.
  4. greg from vancouver

    greg from vancouver Senior Member

    vancouver, canada
    Canada, Vancouver
    Thank you Josh and MissMagnet for your great replies!

    Regarding the word "brain", I am curious to know which word is used in a medical sense to refer to the actual organ in our head?

    Also, regarding lightning, my Palestinian tutor once told me that barq is used to refer to the bolts that hit earth and start forest fires, kill people, etc. Saa:iqa is used more in a general sense to refer to the wider concept of thunder and lightning, which is basically what MissMagnet said. I just wanted to see how correct my tutor was ;)
  5. missmagnet New Member

    Qatar - Lahore

    So your tutor was correct ofcourse :)
  6. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    مخ is used in a medical sense to mean brain or cerebrum. The diminuitive مخيخ is used for the cerebellum.

    I noticed you said you have a good set of resources. Do you have the "Oxford-Duden Pictorial English Dictionary with English-Arabic Index?" If not, I highly recommend it. It has technical terminology in Arabic (including some medical terminology, which comes in really handy at times.

    رعد is also a (more specific) word for thunder.
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