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Lesson Transcript

Simon: Hello and welcome back to the ArabicPod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Arabic. I'm joined in the studio by Hala.
Hala: Hello, everyone. Hala here.
Simon: Welcome to Basic Boot Camp. This five pod series will help you ease your way into Arabic. We’ll go over all the basics that will really help you understand Arabic much quicker and easier, and we’ll have fun doing it.
Hala: Yes. In this lesson, you will learn how to use the all-important verb “to be” in Arabic. We’ll go over one of the essential building blocks of learning Arabic and that is word order in Arabic.
Simon: So let’s listen to these Arabic students talk about their nationality.
Hala: And while you’re listening, try to guess their nationalities.
هالة: أهلا ، أنا هالة ، أنا مصرية.
سايمون: أهلا، أنا سيمون ، أنا انجليزي.
Simon: Let’s hear it slowly now.
هالة: أهلا ، أنا هالة ، أنا مصرية.
سايمون: أهلا، أنا سيمون ، أنا انجليزي.
And now, let’s listen to the translation.
هالة: أهلا ، أنا هالة ، أنا مصرية.
Hala: Hello. I’m Hala. I’m Egyptian. (female)
سايمون: أهلا، أنا سيمون ، أنا انجليزي.
Simon: Hello. I’m Simon, I’m English. (male)
Simon: Hala, where do you think most people who want to learn Arabic come from?
Hala: That would have been easy to answer before, but now with how important Arabic is becoming, we have demand from all over the world. Of course, USA and Europe takes the greatest [rate? 00:01:07], but also Japan, China, Russia are joining is with as much interest as the rest.
Simon: I believe that’s because it’s required in any political career for trading and commerce, for education and living in the Arabic countries, plus having big number of Arabic people living in any country.
Hala: Well said, Simon.
Simon: So my next question is this: what languages will help you learn Arabic if you already know them from before?
Hala: That would be all languages related to the Somatic family starting with Hebrew, Persian and Turkish.
Simon: Now this is very important to know: how will knowing English help learning Arabic?
Hala: English is not similar to Arabic, except in small things, but mostly it’s very different. The only way English will help you, I think, is making comparison between the two languages. It does make it easy somehow.
Simon: Well, apart from the grammar, does English help while learning Arabic?
Hala: Yes, I would say yes. In great deal as well as part of the changes that has happened recently we have more of what we call foreign words right now and many of it comes directly from English.
Simon: Such as? Can you give me an example?
Hala: That’s easy. We say “computer”, “laptop”, “cellphone”, “mobile”, “CD”, “DVD”. Do you see a pattern here?
Simon: Obviously all related to technology.
Hala: Correct. We hardly ever change any new vocab related to technology.
Simon: Brilliant. Well, what else can you tell me about it?
Hala: Well, we don’t do this with standard Arabic, but we are starting to use English words now in Arabic as part of our normal speech.
Simon: And how’s that?
Hala: We have two ways to do it. Just insert it as it is, for example I would say [ده كويس سو عايزة تاني] which means “That’s good so I want more”. We simply used “so” as part of the normal sentence here.
Simon: Interesting. Does it expand more than that?
Hala: Yes. We take English words and conjugate it into Arabic.
Simon: Conjugate it? Wow, are you serious?
Hala: Yes, that’s the effect of the media. For example, the word “cancel”, I would say [أنا حَكانسل] [ʾanā ḥakānsil] which means “I will cancel” or [أنا كنسلت] [ʾanā kansalit] which means “I have canceled and so on.
Simon: So knowing English will help.
Hala: For sure. Even if you don’t know a lot about Arabic, you will manage perfectly to find ways to communicate with people.
Simon: No complaints here, I'm already enjoying this.
Hala: I thought you would.
Simon: Now let’s take a closer look at the vocabulary used in this lesson.
Hala: [أنا] [ʾanā]
Simon: “I” or “I am”.
Hala: [أمريكي] [ʾamrīkī]
Simon: American.
Hala: [مصري] [maṣriī]
Simon: Egyptian.
Hala: [إنكليزي] [ʾinkilīzī]
Simon: English.
Simon: Now let’s take a closer look into these phrases of learning Arabic. Hala, how can I say “Egyptian” in Arabic.
Hala: Ok, [مصري] [maṣriī] and for a female [مصرية] [maṣriyah]. We will always have this E sound at the end for a male and [ea] for females.
Simon: So “Spanish” would be…
Hala: [إسباني] [ʾisbāniī] and for a female [إسبانية] [ʾisbāniyah].
Simon: How about “American”?
Hala: [أمريكي] [ʾamrīkī] and for a female…
Simon: [مريكية] [ʾamrīkyah]?
Hala: Perfect. And that goes for all nationalities. It’s the masculine and feminine rule.
Simon: Ok. How about you test me with some more nationalities?
Hala: Ok. So if [لبناني] [libnaānī] is “Lebanese”…
Simon: Feminine form would be [لبنانية] [libnaānyah]?
Hala: Sure. That is correct. And to say [سوري] [suūrī] which means “Sirian”?
Simon: [سورية] [suūryah] for a female?
Hala: How about [سعودي] [suʿūdī]?
Simon: That’s tricky. [سعودية] [suʿūdyah]?
Hala: That’s correct. But why did you say it’s tricky?
Simon: If I'm not mistaken, [سعودية] [suʿūdyah] is the name of the country in Arabic, is that right?
Hala: You’re right. That is just Arabic having fun with us, but good job noticing this. Ok, last two, [مغربي] [maġribī] which means “Moroccan”.
Simon: And for female [مغربية] [maġribyah]?
Hala: You’re becoming an expert. And the final one, [كويتي] [kuwayitī].
Simon: Very obvious, I think. [كويتية] [kuwayityah].
Hala: Great job, Simon.
Simon: Just remember, guys, for a male it always ends with E and for a female replace it with [ea].
Hala: Well said.

Lesson focus

Simon: Hala, can you tell us what is the word order in Arabic. For example, in English, it’s subject, verb, object. “John is eating the apple.”
Hala: Well, in Arabic it’s the same but it can also be verb, subject, object. It gives the same meaning, but the first one is more common.
Simon: Sounds great and easy enough. Same as in English, [inaudible 00:06:19] with the object. Now how about the verb “to be”?
Hala: That’s a bit tricky in Arabic and it’s confusing for all new learners - we never use the verb “to be” in present tense [inaudible 00:06:32] say it doesn’t exist in it. We do use it in future and past quite a lot but never in present. Or what you used self-introduction, expressing mood like “I'm tired, happy” and so on.
Simon: You’re going to help me with that one. Give me an example.
Hala: To say “I'm American”, for example, we literally say “I American”, [أنا أمريكي] [ʾanā ʾamriīkī]. And to say “You’re American” it will be “You American”, [أنت أمريكي] [ʾanta ʾamriīkī]. Even in the most simple of cases, to say “I'm Simon” it will be…
Simon: [أنا سايمن] [ʾanā saāīmun]
Hala: Exactly. For us, verb “to be” is already implied on part of the sentence, no need to use it. If you did, it will sound so strange for a starter, then it will give the wrong meaning.
Simon: So basically all I have to do is memorize the subject pronouns, “I, you, he, she” and so on and use it with no addition.
Hala: That is correct. Couldn’t be easier, you just need to get used to it. Again, verb “to be” will be used a lot in the future and past tenses. Now, let’s try a basic conversation. [أهلاً, أنا هالة. أنا مصرية.] [ʾahlan, ʾanā haalah. ʾanā maṣriyah.] So “I am Hala. I am Egyptian.”
Simon: [أنا سايمن, أنا أنكليزي] [ʾanā saāīmun, ʾanā ʾinkilīzī] So “I am Simon. I am English.” Great, Hala, so any last tips?
Hala: Yes. A very important one related to what we just said. Don’t try to use or find verb “to be”. Don’t try to compare Arabic to any language. The rules will be different a little bit here.


Simon: Don’t forget that you can leave us a comment on this lesson.
Hala: So if you have a question or some feedback, please leave us a comment.
Simon: It’s very easy to do. Just stop by ArabicPod101.com.
Hala: Click on ‘Comments’.
Simon: Enter your comment and name.
Hala: And that’s it!
Simon: So no excuses, we look forward to hearing from you!
Hala: Thanks for listening!
Simon: Bye!