Blog · Speak Arabic

Vocab Series: People and Places

Welcome to the Vocab Series!

We are back with the next post from the Vocab Series, where we present new Arabic vocabulary under a common theme. In this post, we’ll learn the words for people and places in Arabic. We’ll also share some memory techniques in the end, which will help us remember the foreign vocabulary.

Vocab Series: People & Places

Knowing places and people in Arabic can be extremely useful if you’re living in an Arabic-speaking country. Anyone who has lived in one, will have experienced the challenges involved. Knowing these words can be life-saving at times. So let’s take some time and learn these words.

Remember, that vocabulary building is the longest process of learning a language since it mainly involves memorising a lot of words. But the key to succeeding in this area is to be consistent and patient. You don’t have to know all the words, but whatever you do memorise, know them well. This will build up gradually. The more often you see and recognise the words, the better they will stick with you.

Following image shows how to use the words for people and places in Arabic:

Vocab Series: People and Places
Vocab Series: People and Places

How many words do you need to know?

There’s no limit to how many words you can learn in a language. Remember, language-learning is not a race, it’s a marathon. You should utilise your energy and motivation efficiently to carry-on, and not just burn it out all at once. The more you move forward with it, the more you will absorb. The grammar of the language is the engine, and the vocabulary is the fuel. The more fuel you have, the further you can go in terms of comprehension or expressing yourself. But the important thing is to keep building your vocabulary on a regular basis – daily if it’s possible. Find out the number of words that will work for you.

Memory Techniques

There are many memory techniques that you can find online via. a simple Google search or YouTube. However, what most of them summarise to (and from my experience) is as follows: break down the new foreign words that you learn, and connect it to animated, vivid, funny, crazy and sometimes wild imaginations – whatever that might make you remember those words (the sound of it and the meaning) – and connect them somehow. This could be drawn from any number of personal experiences. Recall them (for example, with flash cards) on a regular basis using those connections. You will find that after a couple of attempts, you won’t need to use those connections. The words will just come naturally. But this requires regular practice of the language.

Another tip that I would like to share is, to stop translating everything to/from your native language. For example, to remember قَلَمٌ, you would first translate the word in your head to your native language (in this case, pen in English) and then link it to the Arabic word. This is alright at the beginning stage where you just want to link everything to something you know. But as you progress, try to avoid this habit as it’s going to delay your response time. Imagine, you have to translate a whole sentence every time you hear someone say something and then translate back from your native language to respond! Instead, just try to understand the spirit of its meaning: for example, in the case of قَلَمٌ, it can simply be something you write with. In fact, in Arabic, that’s exactly what it means! (and not just a “pen”)

Doing this has two main advantages: First of all you don’t end up translating each and every thing. You can remember things as they are in Arabic, which quickens your response time. Secondly, you have a deeper understanding of the meaning of the words, which helps you feel the beauty and spirit of the language.

Hope these tips will help you memorise better. Keep calm. Keep learning. Allah bless.

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