Arabic Cheat Sheet Suggestions
April 12, 2007 11:01 PM   Subscribe

What would go on your Arabic cheat sheet?

There are still words and phrases I come across in Arabic that I consistently draw a blank on, including (and especially) the nonintuitive connection phrases like مع ان, ("however"), في حين, ("whereas"), and من حيث, ("regarding"). My solution is to put together, once and for all, a full-color, laminated, two sided Arabic cheat sheet that will contain the most important stuff I need. I'm basing this idea off of similar such sheets for Latin and French I've seen sold in my college bookstore.

I'm soliciting the Arabic-dabbling sector of the hive mind for this question: What absolutely indispensable words, phrases, grammatical crutches, etc. would you want on a sheet like this?

Naturally, this will be open source and freely available when it's done. (Though I might try to make a buck or two selling it in its printed version.)
posted by awenner to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would DEFINITELY pay a buck or two for that... although the tricky part is that the handy phrases would be different for MSA as opposed to dialects (Levantine, Egyptian, etc.). The idea is good though & would be SUPER handy... there definitely aren't as many such learning resources available for Arabic as there are for other languages.

Anyhow, since I'm still in the process of learning MSA, I won't make word suggestions... I'll leave that to people who speak it better than I but I'm seriously interested to see what people say.

posted by miss lynnster at 11:22 PM on April 12, 2007

Response by poster: This sheet will be strictly fusHa, and is aimed at the reading and writing set.
posted by awenner at 11:30 PM on April 12, 2007

Colle Française is an example of what you're looking for, but for French. You could borrow some expressions from here for your cheat sheet.
posted by Succa at 5:59 AM on April 13, 2007

Unfortunately, the most useful grammatical crutch for beginners like me — some way to deal with broken plurals — probably wouldn't fit on a sheet of paper.

Verb inflections, though, you should list: the inflectional prefixes and suffixes and the vowel templates for different verb forms.

And yeah, I'd buy one.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:30 AM on April 13, 2007

One thing you'll want to consider is how your phrases are going to differ from Arabic, A Language Map. (A full color, laminated cheat sheet, that folds like a map... which I have, in addition to many others...)

The Language Map has mainly basic phrases specifically aimed at the casual visitor market. Your proposed words seem a bit more high level, perhaps in an educational setting.
posted by Liosliath at 6:54 AM on April 13, 2007

Response by poster: As you say, Liosliath, the Language Map is primarily designed for the casual speaker - it deals with basic questions, numbers, etc. Since fusHa contains so many rules, as well as some nonintuitive phrases, I think a different kind of reference sheet could be very useful.

I already have the awzaan chart, ie, the list of all verb forms in the perfect, imperfect, active and past participles, but I like the idea of including the 14 broken plural forms. Keep the suggestions coming!
posted by awenner at 7:44 AM on April 13, 2007

I don't have the awzaan chart... is it on Amazon?
posted by miss lynnster at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2007

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