Reading Arabic
- part 1 ba lam dal ya

How hard is it to learn Arabic? Very. Why bother? Apart from politeness and extending your cultural understanding, it enables you to at least take a stab at what a song is about "habibi" - beloved, "arousa" - bride, "beledi" - my community. However, it can be fraught - the words you don't know can be a minefield. "Tanoura" - skirt, yes - but what if the rest of the words are about how short it is and how slutty the girl is!

A lesser task is to learn to read Arabic. Why? Well, it means you can actually read your CD covers - and won't have to refer to all your music as "squiggle squiggle".

Where to start? Let's start at the very beginning:

So, "beledi" (or "balady") is spelt ba lam dal ya.


To see how they fit together:

bdly words

Attar, S. (1997) Modern Arabic - An Introductory Course for Foreign Students, Beirut:Librairie du Liban
Wehr, H. (1994) Arabic-English Dictionary, 4th ed, Ithaca, NY: Spoken Languages Services

Article 2 - the Dark S

Also see Common Arabic Words and Dance Terms
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