Category talk:Arabic language

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Arabic words - organizing by root - proposal[edit]

The English-Arabic dictionary section has the potential to be a very useful section for English speaking students of Arabic. However, the fact that virtually all Arabic words are based on a three (very rarely 4) letter root, with standard prefixes, suffixes and infixes, presents unique problems for organizing an english dictionary of Arabic. Simply organizing the dictionary alphabetically would be unwieldy and difficult to use; when looking up an arabic word, one typically identifies the 3 root letters, then the "form" of the verb it is associated with (there are 10 common forms) and looks up the entry alphabetically by the root letters, to find the definition.

The advantage here is that all related words are grouped together instead of being spread throughout the dictionary. Also, if a dictionary is not organized by root, most words would begin with one of three letters: the equivalent of "Y", "M" or a glottal stop.

I propose the following variation, then, to the standard Wiktionary word page, for arabic words:

Word This would be the entire word, which could still be searched for directly, without deciphering the root letters, for instance منظمة

Arabic Language, as per wiki normal

ROOT in the above example, this would be ن ظ م without the prefix "m" letter and the suffixed "a" sound.

PATTERN NUMBER The above word is form II, or as arab dictionaries describe it:wazn فعّل

Part of Speech --here I don't know whether it makes sense to use English grammar terminology, which only loosely describes arabic grammar functions, or whether it would make more sense to also include the arabic grammar terms (masdar, etc).

pronunciation 'munathama' Definition. 'organization' References etc...

The advantages of this minor variation on the normal definition page will be obvious to students of arabic I think.

>>So my first question, then, is the following: on Wiktionary, how do we go about imposing a fairly radical change in organization of one part of the dictionary? In other words getting people to include two extra indexes (root and pattern) to the arabic words they enter...

>>And second: are we really supposed to hand code every word definition, then rewrite two or three other pages (the front end of the Arabic-English dictionary, etc) to link to every word we enter? Or is there some slightly more automated process for entering and linking to word definitions? --Jackbrown 13:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Sample Code here - you can "edit" this page (use the tab at the top of the page, not the ones below), then cut and paste the code below to make a template for your new word definitions, filling in the appropriate headlines -

Actually I agree with Jack about this way of organization , it is the best way to make the English-speaking students feel the sense of Arabic language and the great capability for derivation and relationship between the related words . We have firstly to make good list of Arabic words arranged by the first letter , then these words should also categorized according to their root . maby we can make later 2 indexes : one by first letter , and other by root --Chaos 12:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I suggest doing both (the root page and the word level page), because sooner we will have other pages trying to link to specific derivations and vocalizations of the same root. To give an example, I created the page عبد, when I found out that the entry slave doesn't have a link to the Arabic word but then I thought it would be less confusing to link direclty to عَبْد, which I then created. I think both can serve different complementary purposes. Interlinking and categorization can improve things. Thoughts?.--Hakeem.gadi 09:25, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe that having a separate page for the root, which lists all the derivative words linking to their own pages. In this case the root should be written in isolated letter forms (e.g.ن ظ م ) for the the reason that many existing words would look exactly like their roots.Hakeem.gadi 06:23, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

While I know next to nothing about Arabic, I do have a small understanding of Semitic languages through some study of Hebrew. I think that organizing words by the tri-letter roots is an excellent idea. I would suggest considering an approach similar to what Hebrew is doing. If you take a look at Category:Hebrew roots, you'll see some of their roots. The root pages can be probably be formatted in a similar fashion to hypothetical language entries, such as Appendix:Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr, with a brief definitional note and perhaps a further etymology, and a list of all words using that root (probably organized in some intuitive way). Then, you just put a link to the root in the etymology, and you're all set. You can keep the nice organization, which is specific to Arabic, while still conforming to Wiktionary formatting conventions. Because I gotta tell you, trying to go against formatting conventions is an arduous uphill battle (and with good reason too, there are a great many benefits to standardization across languages). Also, it might be worthwhile to move this convo to Wiktionary:About Arabic, as that's really where it belongs. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:35, 16 May 2008 (UTC)


ROOT (then the three or sometimes four Arabic letters of the root)[edit]

Form (then the Pattern Number I-X and the Arabic فعل pattern)[edit]

Part of Speech[edit]


  1. Definition.

Part of Speech (a second one if appropriate)[edit]


  1. Definition.