doing things with words: Arabic vocab boosters
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 14, 2007
In one of my more recent geeky moments, I subscribed to Arabic Word a Day’s email service, which I love as much for the utter randomness of its selections as for the vocabulary boost.
The words seem to be chosen with no particular authorial position on the anticipated level of knowledge of the reader – recent posts have ranged from the very basic (عند) ‘inda, which means “at”, to the very specialized (مقرمش) – muqarmash, which means “crunchy”. The sample sentences exhibit a similar range, from the very basic “he is a handsome man” (illustrating the word ‘handsome/pretty’) to beautiful but challenging Qur’anic verses like “Say: It was revealed to me that a group of jinn listened and said, “We have heard an amazing recitation” (illustrating the verb ‘to listen’).
Anyway. I love the daily emails, although I was a bit stung to receive this one yesterday:
(تأشيرة) ta’shi_rah, noun
- yalzamu ‘l-musa_fira ikhra_ji ‘l-ta’shi_rati qabl riHlatihi
(يلزم المسافر إخراج التأشيرة قبل رحلته )
Travelers must obtain a visa before their trip.
Hmm. Timely word, that. I do not enter Lebanon on a visa – I have an iqama, a residency permit, which I renew every spring. To do so, I take my application, assorted photographs and official documentation, and passport to the General Security office, and leave them all.
For the past two weeks, I have been passport-less. Instead, I have a little green slip of paper with my name scribbled on it.
My iqama is, or at least should be, ready. I was planning to pick it up yesterday, but between work and the bombing, I ran out of time. Today, of course, General Security is closed – or at least closed for passport pickup. I’m not the worrying type, but … I’m traveling Saturday morning, and I doubt that US immigration will look kindly on my presenting a little green piece of paper with Arabic and English scribbles instead of a passport. For this and many other less selfish reasons, I hope tomorrow is a more normal day.