12 responses to “Classical Arabic 101 – Transcript and Translation”

  1. 3aaleeyah

    “One subject I know almost nothing about is the contribution of Christian Arabs to the Arabic language. I assume that the Bible was translated into Arabic long before the rise of Islam, but I haven’t seen any classical Christian Arabic literature. ”

    Incorrect. The bible was translated into arabic long after Islam, just as it was translated into english and many other languages long after Islam. Thank you.

  2. Raed

    Hi Linda,

    First of all nice website. This maybe a late reply, but on the subject of Arab Christians:

    They were among the first to contribute to the massive translation movement to the Arabic language that begun after the spread of Islam. Among the most well known:

    يحيى بن عدي وابن زرعة عيسى أبو علي وأبو الخير الحسن بن سوار ابن الخمّار واسحق بن زرعة ويوحنا ابن ماسويه طبيب البلاط العباسي من أيام الرشيد حتى المتوكّل. وعمار البصري، وابن الطيب وايليا النصيبيني وحنين بن اسحق وثاودورس أبو قرة وقسطا بن لوقا البعلبكي

    Among the most famous Christian poets was

    الاخطل الشاعر العربي المشهور وهو من بني تغلب من ابناء الكنيسة السريانية ولقب بشاعر بني أمية. قصيدته الأكثر شهرة أسمها “خف القطين”

    As for the first translation of the Bible:

    عام 639 م أو حوالى هذا العام طلب القائد العربي عمر بن سعد ابن أبي وقاص من البطريرك اليعقوبي يوحنا أن يضع ترجمة الإنجيل في اللغة العربية.

    For the most part, Christian literature is not very distinct from the Islamic one. Living in the middle east you would know that Arabic is quite loaded with Islamic references, and Christian and even non-religious people tend to use them as well.

  3. Raed

    Hi Nadine

    Parts of the Bible definitely existed in Arabic before Islam. In Islamic traditions Waraqa bin Nawfal (the uncle of the prophet’s first wife Khadeejah) is told to have translated parts of the gospels, but only parts.

    Concerning the translation, I’m not sure whether it was carried out, I assume the only solid evidence would be manuscripts, but that’s unlikely to exist today as even Qur’anic manuscripts from that time are rare. The first translation which was definitely completed was in 675. As far as the Qur’an being the first book in Arabic, that’s true. But bear in mind that what Muslims mean by this is that it’s the first to be put between two covers. A work could exist, but not compiled between two covers and would not be considered a “book”. This was also before 635 AD; although the Qur’an was standardized at the time of Uthman, at least one complete manuscript (the Hafsah Qur’an) existed from the time of Abu Bakr, who died in 634 AD.

  4. Raed


    I have no idea who “Nadine” is! Linda.

  5. Abdul Kadir

    Alhamdullilah Thank You dear sister for your website especially The Classical Arabic 101 – Transcript and Translation which I find very useful for people like me who have some knowledge of Arabic but have no opportunity to hear and speak it. Dear Linda is there any more continuation of this or any other such website in the internet?

    Thank You.

  6. Abdul Kadir

    Dear Linda .Thank you for reply I would definetly prefer the classical Arabic. Having aquired substantial kowledge of classical Arabic I think one could some how follow the MSA or some dialetcs. Anyway any contribution from your part is very much appreciated.

  7. 3aaleeyah

    Hey Linda. Its me again. I’ve just finished using your other post about “qaat wa dukhaan” in a reading exercise with a native arab. He was helpin’ me boost up on my readin’ skills. I enjoyed it so very much and so did he. He did say it was a “difficult passage”, which is a compliment to you! Meanwhile,back at the barn, I just had to vist again and see what was new. I love this lil bloggie uve got goin. Linda, are you pretty much fluent in Arabic by now? Hello raed and Abdul. Salam to you al. The movie above seems right up my alley. Im gonna challenge myself, inshaa allah , and attempt to read and comprehend the transcription you have for the script. Wish me luck! and keep on blogging!

    ps: consider me SuBsCrIbEd O.0

  8. thom

    Thank you so much for the parallel scripts to accompany the audio. This is just what I was looking for, and I shall be using your site from now on for all my Arabic learning. Thank you.

  9. Anonymous

    Thanks for utilizing free time to post “Classical Arabic 101 – Transcript and Translation”. Thanks once again, Elizabeth

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