Archive for the Category: Arabic

Little quiz on lesser-spoken languages

Just thought I’d share this with you here: – see how good your knowledge of endangered and lesser-spoken languages is. In other news, Arabic has become the language of choice for Facebook in the Middle East and North Africa, according to this report. It’s overtaken English in popularity and left French behind. What language […]

Also posted in English, French, Language 11 Comments

Gilets et camisoles

Last night at the French Conversation Group we were discussing various words for clothing in French. One word the seems to cover quite a few different types of clothing is gilet /ʒi.lɛ/, which on its own means a sleeveless jacket similar to a waistcoat (vest in American English), and apparently comes from the Maghrebi Arabic […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Language, Latin, Turkish, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Arabic puzzles

These images was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what they mean. Can you help?

Also posted in Language, Puzzles, Writing 3 Comments

Ingrown languages

In an interesting book I read recently, What Language Is by John McWhorter, the author discusses why some languages appear a lot more complicated or ‘ingrown’ than others. He gives the example of Persian and Pashto, two Iranian languages spoken in a number of countries in western and central Asia. Whereas Persian has more or […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language acquisition, Language learning, Spanish 7 Comments


This sentence in Judeo-Arabic was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what it means. האדא כלאמהום. אלדי יגאוובון עלא האדה מסלכהום. ומא ענדנא גוואב נגרח להאדא גוואבהום Can you help? I put it into Google translate and got this transliteration: Hada Achlamhum. Baldi Igaauubon Ala Shahada Msllachhum. Ma Endana […]

Also posted in Language, Translation 7 Comments


This picture was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what the inscription means. The writing is looks like Arabic, but I can’t make any sense of it. Can you help? [Update: The image is now the right way round, thanks to Christopher]

Also posted in Language, Puzzles, Writing 10 Comments


The owner of the knife pictured below would like to know what script is written on it, and what it says. Can you help? The writing looks like Arabic to me, but I can’t make any sense of it.

Also posted in Language, Puzzles, Writing 5 Comments


There’s a popular myth that each Arabic word can denote itself, its opposite, and a kind of camel. Another version of this is that “Every Arabic word has a basic meaning, a second meaning which is the exact opposite of the first, a third meaning which refers to either a camel or horse, and a […]

Also posted in Language, Words and phrases 11 Comments

Arabic dish

Can anyone decipher the writing in the photo below? It appears on a set of dishes.

Also posted in Language, Puzzles 16 Comments

Language quiz – Arabic

Here are some recordings of people for a number of different countries speaking Arabic. Can you work out where they’re from and what types of Arabic they’re speaking? Recording 1 Recording 2 Recording 3 Recording 4 Recording 5

Also posted in Language, Quiz questions 17 Comments
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