Friday, July 29, 2011

*EASY* Egyptian Articles, Nouns & Plurals!

Arabic just has "the" the definite article. It does not have the indefinite articles, such as "a, an" (but are expressed in as a plural form below-- i.e. collective plurals). Arabic, though, has what is called moon and sun nouns. The article is affected based on which noun it proceeds. 

* 7 = ح (haa) - sounds like an aspirated "h"
* 2 = أ (hamza) - glottal stop
* 3 = ع ('ain) - a "choked" letter sounding like an "a" you can't represent with the English alphabet


"The" translates into "el" in arabic. 

book - kitaab
the book - el kitaab 

girl - bint
the girl - el bint


If the noun starts with the letters d, n, r, s, sh, t, or z then the "l" from "el" is dropped and the first consonant of the noun takes its place.

Masalan (for example)...

sun - shams 
the sun - ish shams 

back - dahr
the back - id dahr

dog - kalb
the dog - ik kalb 

In Arabic: nouns are either feminine or masculine. 

Feminine nouns mostly end with an "a" or "ya"
Masculine nouns end with any letter

Masculine nouns:
book - kitaab
morning - saba7 

Feminine nouns: 
table - tarabeeza
year - sana 

** However, there ARE exceptions!! Some masculine nouns can end in a "a" and some feminine nouns end is random letters! (mostly from parts of the body or countries). 

Exceptions for feminine nouns:
Egypt - masr
hand - eed
sun - shams
mother - omm
sister - okht

Exceptions for masculine nouns: 
air - hawa

Three types of plurals: 

1. standard
2.  dual 
3.  collective 

1. The standard takes some memorizing. Regular masculine nouns have the ending "-een." This is added directly after the noun. For regular feminine nouns, you take off the ending of "a" and add the ending "-aat"

engineer (m) - mohandis     --> engineers (m) - mohandiseen
engineer (f) - mohandisa     --> engineers (f) - mohandisaat

** Irregular plurals need to be memorized. 

house - bayt               --> houses - boyoot
school - madrassa      --> schools - madaaris
day - yom                  --> days - ayaam 

2. The dual is used when you are talking about two of something. If it ends with an "a," then you take off the "a" and add "-tayn." For every other ending, just add "-ayn" to the end of the word. 

library - maktaba      --> two libraries - maktabtayn 
book - kitaab            --> two books - kitaabayn 

3. The collective plural is used when talking about a group or class of items (such as fruits or vegetables). You use this when talking about a specific number or amount of something. It is also what can be translated into the indefinite article as "a" or "an". For form a collective plural, you just add "-a"to the end

eggplants - bitingaan        --> an eggplant - bitingana
apples - tofaa7                  --> an apple - tofaa7a
trees - shagar                    --> a tree - shagara

Credits to Lonely Planet - Egyptian Arabic  

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