Wiktionary:About Arabic

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See also Category:Arabic language


We use all hamazāt and tāʾ marbūṭa (required reading)

أ and إ at the beginning of a word should or else never be written with plain ا, although words spelled this way can be entered as lemmas with {{alternative spelling of}} used to redirect to the proper spelling, which is a bot job though.

When to use initial أ/إ and when to use initial ا? Most words require أ/إ, except the following:

  1. The definite article ال.
  2. Verbs in forms VII and higher in the past tense, imperative or verbal noun. Note that form IV verbal nouns do require إ (e.g. إِضْرَاب (ʾiḍrāb), إِضَافَة (ʾiḍāfa)), as do all borrowed words, including words such as إِنْجِلِيز (ʾingilīz), إِسْبَان (ʾisbān), إِفْرِيقِيَا (ʾifrīqiyā), which look somewhat like form VII+ verbal nouns.
  3. Verbs in form I in the imperative (those with hamza-initial roots do require hamza in the imperative)
  4. The words اِبْن (ibn), اِسْم (ism) and اِسْت (ist).

If a word can have ة, the entry has to use it, not ه.

ʾiʿrāb – final short vowels and nunation (required reading)

We use the following system for deciding whether to include ʾiʿrāb (final, normally unpronounced short vowels and nunation, e.g. the third-person masculine singular past-tense ending -a or the indefinite nominative singular ending -un) in headwords, which generally follows Hans Wehr:

  1. Verbs are shown with full ʾiʿrāb, e.g. كَتَبَ (kataba, he wrote) and يَكْتُبُ (yaktubu, he writes) rather than #كَتَب (katab) and #يَكْتُب (yaktub).
  2. Triptote and diptote nouns, adjectives, and participles (those ending in -un and -u in the indefinite nominative singular, respectively) are normally shown without the ʾiʿrāb, e.g. قَلْب (qalb, heart), مَكَاتِب (makātib, desks) rather than #قَلْبٌ (qalbun), #مَكَاتِبُ (makātibu).
  3. Duals and sound masculine and feminine plurals omit the ʾiʿrāb, e.g. بَيْتَان (baytān, two houses), مُسْلِمُون (muslimūn, Muslims), أُمَّهَات (ʾummahāt, mothers), مُعَمَّوْن (muʿammawn, disguised (masc. pl.)) rather than #بَيْتَانِ (baytāni), #مُسْلِمُونَ (muslimūna), #أُمَّهَاتٌ (ʾummahātun), #مُعَمَّوْنَ (muʿammawna).
  4. Other declension types include full ʾiʿrāb, e.g. قَاضٍ (qāḍin, judge), مُسْتَشْفًى (mustašfan, hospital), دُنْيَا (dunyā, world). Note that pages for words ending in -in such as قَاضٍ (qāḍin, judge) and وَادٍ (wādin, valley) are found under e.g. قاض and واد rather than #قاضي or #وادي, although the latter may be created as non-lemma (construct state) forms; see the example for وَادِي (wādī).

The same forms are copied into the declension and conjugation tables which automatically display full ʾiʿrāb. For participles and verbal nouns listed in conjugation tables the above rules about ommission of nunation apply. Usage examples may or may not include ʾiʿrāb, depending on how formal they are.

When is manual transliteration needed?

Primarily in the following situations:

  1. Whenever a word ending in ة occurs as other than the final word. In that case, the automatic transliteration will render the ending as (t); the manual transliteration should render it as either t or nothing, depending on whether it's in the construct state. Note that manual transliteration is not necessary when the ة is followed by ʾiʿrāb such as ً (-an); in such a case the ة will automatically be rendered as t. (Analogous considerations apply to the ending اة, which should be rendered either āt or āh in manual translit.)
  2. When a word is preceded by a clitic prefix such as وَـ (wa-), بِـ (bi-) or لِـ (li-), so that the hyphen can be written. The automatic transliteration will also have problems with some prefixes followed by the definite article, e.g. وَالْكِتَاب (wa-l-kitāb), rendered as وَالْكِتَاب (wālkitāb) without manual transliteration, and وَالشَّيْء (wa-š-šayʾ), which without manual transliteration is rendered وَالشَّيْء, without any transliteration. Note that manual translit is not necessary in words beginning with the definite article, e.g. الكِتَاب (al-kitāb). Note also that as a special case, words with bi- + definite article are automatically handled correctly, e.g. بِالكِتَاب (bi-l-kitāb) or بِالتَأْكِيد (bi-t-taʾkīd).
  3. In borrowed words where written long vowels are pronounced short, e.g. فِيلْم (film, film); where the vowels e, ē, o or ō occur, e.g. بِيَانُو (biyānō, piano); or where a letter has an unexpected pronunciation such as g, e.g. إِنْجْلِيزِيّ (ʾinglīziyy, English).
  4. In the small number of native words not pronounced as spelled, mostly archaic spellings like أُولٰئِكَ (ʾulāʾika, those), مِائَة (miʾa, hundred), عَمْرو (ʿamr, Amr), صَلٰوة (ṣalāh, prayer).

How the romanization works and some guidelines to it

Arabic transliterations (that is, romanizations) are not words. Arabic entries should only be written in the Arabic script. Normally the transcriptions are automatically and correctly provided by the module ar-translit if you use the correct templates and enter the words with their Arabic vowel signs, but for details how this works:

The Wiktionary romanization system as well as the orthography for Arabic is based on the system found in Hans Wehr A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 4th edition, with the following modifications:

  1. Hamza (ʾ) is always written at the beginning of a word, except when the word begins with an elidable hamza (hamzat al-qaṭʿ).
  2. -iyy-, -uww- are used in place of -īy-, -ūw-. This is because automatic transcriptions can be more easily done this way.
  3. -ay-, -aw- are used in place of -ai-, -au-.
  4. Words with the nisba ending ـِيّ are transcribed with -iyy instead of .
  5. The third-person masculine singular object pronoun is always written -hu/-hi with a short vowel (Hans Wehr writes -hū/-hī following a short vowel, -hu/-hi following a long vowel). Again, even though the vowels are technically long as in هذه, there is no way for programs to know this.

Other important points:

  1. ة gives a normally, but at in an ʾiḍāfa construction.
  2. اة gives āh normally, but āt in an ʾiḍāfa construction.
  3. Similarly, آة, as in e.g. مِرْآة (mirʾāh, mirror), gives ʾāh normally, but ʾāt in an ʾiḍāfa construction.
  4. Hamzas are always written ʾ regardless of which letter they sit on.
  5. Orthographic, silent و and ا occurring at the end of certain words are not transliterated. For example, the third-plural ending ـُوا is transliterated , and the name عَمْرو is transliterated ʿamr in accordance with its pronunciation. (Note that the silence of these letters appears in the Arabic spelling, indicated by the lack of any diacritic over the previous letter when fully vocalized.)
  6. Assimilation and elision of the definite article is shown; hence al- may appear as ad-, aṭ-, etc. before a sun letter or as elided l-, d-, ṭ- etc. after a vowel and before a sun letter. (Assimilation and elision is also reflected in fully vocalized Arabic spelling.)
  7. The character - is used to separate articles and other clitics (e.g. bi-, wa-, al-, etc.). However, allāh and related forms of this word are written without the hyphen.
  8. Stress is not shown, since different dialects have widely varying stress systems and it conveys no distinction whatsoever in Standard Arabic.
  9. Capitalisation of proper nouns or beginnings of sentences is dispreferred, e.g. اَلْقَاهِرَة is transliterated as “al-qāhira”, not “al-Qāhira”.

Comparative table of romanizations preferred and dispreferred by the English Wiktionary

Letter Rom. Dispreferred alternatives
(incl. Arabic chat alphabet)
IPA Notes
ا ā aa áa ā́ In initial position, it is used to spell a short vowel (a, i, u) without a preceding glottal stop; elsewhere it is used for long ā. Make sure to use أ or إ when appropriate, e.g. أكبر not #اكبر, although the latter can be created as an "alternative spelling" of the former, using {{alternative spelling of}}.
أ ʾa ʾu ʾ a u ʔ ' ʼ 2 ʔa ʔu ʔ In initial position, it is used to spell a combination of glottal stop and short vowel (ʔa, ʔu), elsewhere just a glottal stop (ʔ). Always transliterate the glottal stop, including in initial position (using the ʾ character, a half-ring; do not use an apostrophe). Always use أ rather than ا in initial position when it is called for.
إ ʾi i ʔi Only used in initial position, where it is used to spell ʔi. Always transliterate the glottal stop (using the ʾ character, a half-ring; do not use an apostrophe). Always use إ rather than ا in initial position when it is called for.
آ ʾā 'aa 'áa 'ā ʼā ʾā́ aa áa ā etc. ʔaː Always transliterate the glottal stop, including in initial position (using the ʾ character, a half-ring; do not use an apostrophe).
ب b b
ت t t- t dispreferred alternative t- used when transliterating the cluster t+h to avoid confusion with th (ث)
ث th θ θ
ج j ǧ d͡ʒ Older versions of the Hans Wehr dictionary used "ǧ". The classical pronunciation, especially in Qur'an recitations is only d͡ʒ. Regionally also ʒ, ɡ and ɟ
ح H ħ 7 ħ
خ ḫ kh x 5 x
د d d- d dispreferred alternative d- is used when transliterating the cluster d+h to avoid confusion with dh (ذ)
ذ dh ð
ر r r
ز z z
س s s- s dispreferred alternative s- is used when transliterating the cluster s+h to avoid confusion with sh (ش)
ش š sh ʃ
ص S sˤ 9
ض D
ط T 6
ظ Z ðˤ ðˁ
ع ʿ ʕ 3 ʻ ʕ
غ ġ gh ɣ
ف f f
ق q 8 q
ك k k- k dispreferred alternative k- is used when transliterating the cluster k+h to avoid confusion with kh (خ)
ل l l
م m m
ن n n
ه h h
و w ū o ō uu úu ū́ / oo óo ṓ w o and ō are used in some loanwords and dialectal terms.
ؤ ʾ ʔ ' ʼ 2 ʔ Generally used in the vicinity of a u or ū sound, although the exact rules are complex (see Hamza).
ي y ī e ē ii íi ī́ / ee ée ḗ j e and ē are used in some loanwords and dialectal terms.
ى ā aa áa ā́ Only used in final position. Only use ى in words where it represents or -an. Do not use the Egyptian style where final is spelled ى.
ئ ʾ ʔ ' ʼ 2 ʔ Generally used in the vicinity of a i or ī sound, although the exact rules are complex (see Hamza).
ء ʾ ʔ ' ʼ 2 ʔ
ة a at ah Normally, use -a, but use -at in the construct state (إِضَافَة (ʾiḍāfa)).
اة āh āt ā aa aah ā́h / aat ā́t etc. Normally, use -āh, but use -āt in the construct state (إِضَافَة (ʾiḍāfa)).
ـَ a á a
ـُ u ú u
ـِ i í i
ـًا, ـًى an an Note the position of the ـً diacritic over the second-to-last letter as in مَرْحَبًا, not the last one. (Do not use the spellings ـاً or ـىً with the diacritic over the last letter.) This is believed to be more standard in fully vocalized text. In relaxed or colloquial Arabic pronounced only in most adverbials, often dropped as accusative ending.
ـٌ un un Not pronounced in relaxed or colloquial Arabic, and in pausa in strict Arabic.
ـٍ in in Not pronounced in relaxed or colloquial Arabic, and in pausa in strict Arabic.
ـَو aw áw au áu aw
ـُو ū uu úu ū́
ـَي ay áy ai ái aj
ـِي ī ii íi ī́ Note that a nisba ending ـِيّ (-iyy) has a shadda. In other texts where ى is used in place of the dotted ي ‎ in the final positions ى after a kasra ـِى is identical to ـِي but Wiktionary always uses ـِي.
ـٰ ā a superscript alif, dagger alif or ʾalif ḵanjariyya. Not optional in Wiktionary, always written (with or without a fatḥa), e.g. رَحْمَٰن (raḥmān) or رَحْمٰن (raḥmān).
ٱ (nothing) (nothing) (nothing) No sound, used optionally to show that there are no vowels after an ʾalif, especially when it can be ambiguous.

Rare letters

  • Letters with a limited usage, sometimes used in Arabic texts for words borrowed from other languages and not present in the first layer of Arabic keyboard layouts, may be used in Wiktionary entries according to the usage in the world and are transliterated as follows:
  1. پ: p
  2. ڤ: v
  3. ڨ: v
  4. گ: g
  5. چ: č
  6. ژ: ž

Regional letters

  1. ڢ: f (Moroccan Arabic)
  2. ڧ: q (Moroccan Arabic)
  3. گ or ݣ: g (Moroccan Arabic)
  4. ڥ‏: v (Moroccan Arabic)
  5. ڜ‏: č (Moroccan Arabic)

Templates pertaining to Arabic

How to welcome new users editing Arabic

{{subst:ar-welcome}} may be placed on the talk page of new Arabic-speaking contributors.

How to describe derivations

I want to link words in other languages to Arabic words

The template {{der||ar}} should be used in the etymology section of entries in non-Arabic languages whose origin is derived from an Arabic word, and specifically {{bor||ar}} if the non-Arabic word is known to be directly from Arabic. For example, on the page for the English word djinn, the Etymology section may contain the following code:

From {{bor|en|ar|جِنّ||a mythical race of supernatural creatures}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Arabic جِنّ (jinn, a mythical race of supernatural creatures).

The template does the following things:

  1. It displays the name of the language of origin;
  2. It links to the Wikipedia article about Arabic; and
  3. Automatically categorizes the entry in the Category:English terms derived from Arabic as well as in Category:English terms borrowed from Arabic if {{bor}} is used.

This template also works for languages other than English if the first parameter is changed. So, for the Spanish word cero, the Etymology section contains the following code:

From {{bor|es|it|zero}}, from Biblical Latin {{m|la|zephyrum}}, from {{der|es|xaa||ṣifr}}, from Classical {{der|es|ar|صِفْر||zero, nothing, empty, void}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Italian zero, from Biblical Latin zephyrum, from Andalusian Arabic ṣifr, from Classical Arabic صِفْر (ṣifr, zero, nothing, empty, void).

and classifies the entry in Category:Spanish terms borrowed from Italian, Category:Spanish terms derived from Italian and Category:Spanish terms derived from Arabic.

I want to write اِشْتِقَاقَات

The templates {{bor}}, {{der}} can and shall be used in Arabic entries. But in Arabic entries you also might like to use {{inh}} for words which Arabic hasn’t loaned but from earlier times if there is evidence for those words in other Semitic languages. Examples of both in خَوْخَة (ḵawḵa) and فَأْر (faʾr):

From {{bor|ar|gez|ኆኅት|tr=ḫoḫət}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Ge'ez ኆኅት (ḫoḫət).
From {{inh|ar|sem-pro|*paʾr-}}, from {{inh|ar|afa-pro|*paʾir-}}.

Which produces the following display:

From Proto-Semitic *paʾr-, from Proto-Afro-Asiatic *paʾir-.

But the most important template you will use in etymology sections is the template {{ar-root}}. It supports the following two syntaxes:

From the root {{ar-root|ك و ن}}.
From the root {{ar-root|ك|و|ن}}.

Both result in:

From the root ك و ن (k-w-n).

If you use it outside of words which belong to the root, you are supposed to give |nocat=1, because else the page gets categorized as in Category:Arabic terms belonging to the root ك و ن.

It is true that sometimes it is an overkill to even show the root in an etymology section: In those cases you can use |notext=1.

But if you want to show something in the etymology section, you can use specific Arabic templates as found in Category:Arabic etymology templates to mark derivations by classical prefixes and suffixes. In cases of a specific template missing you can fall back to {{prefix}} and {{suffix}}.

How to show pronunciations

It is easy to add transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet. Just use {{ar-IPA}} with the vocalized word (and the transcription in |tr=, if there is an irregular pronunciation).

This way:


It produces

IPA(key): /χaw.χa/

How to add regional pronunciations

The template {{arabic-dialect-pronunciation}} can be used to display pronunciations in the modern dialects of Arabic. See for example قابلة.

How to display headwords

Numerous templates are available for headwords. For nouns, {{ar-noun}} should be used, or a more specific template like {{ar-proper noun}}, {{ar-coll-noun}}, {{ar-sing-noun}}. For verbs, use {{ar-verb}}. For adjectives, use {{ar-adj}} or {{ar-adj-sound}}. See Category:Arabic headword-line templates for more.

How to show inflections

For verb inflections, use {{ar-conj}}. For noun inflections, use {{ar-decl-noun}}; {{ar-decl-gendered-noun}}, {{ar-decl-coll-noun}} and {{ar-decl-sing-noun}} are handy to show paired nouns. For adjective inflections, use {{ar-decl-adj}}. The template {{ar-prep-auto}} is used to show prepositions with bound pronouns. See for example ل and ب. That’s all. But you can regard Category:Arabic inflection-table templates for an overview.

How to add references to sources

If one feels the need to point to a page or an entry outside Wiktionary, there are the general templates {{cite-book}}, {{cite-journal}}, {{cite-web}} available, for which you can regard their documentations with succeess. But they are too fiddly for sources one uses often. Thus Arabic has, as all languages covered by Wiktionary use to, templates for specific sources you might consult. They are listed on Category:Arabic reference templates and here the freedom is taken to describe their contents for users who are not familiar what is available on the market.

What general dictionaries there are

In Arabic larger dictionaries are unavoidable to check vocalizations, plural forms, verbal nouns, for one naturally does not find all information one needs for an entry when one picks up a word. You usually only need to call the books by a short name and use the parameters |page=, |pages=, and {{1}} for a specific entry – if the entry referred to is different from the pagename.

There is the dictionary of Hans Wehr as the standard for the modern literary Arabic language.


  • Wehr, Hans (1979), “Entry name”, in J. Milton Cowan, editor, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 4th edition, Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services, →ISBN

The online dictionary Al-Maʿānī is fairly comprehensive, especially in its Arabic-Arabic version:


You can also check classical Arabic dictionaries. These are held accessible at Lisaan.net. But this is in itself not quotable, obviously, because there is a whole lot of dictionaries in it. For now there is:

{{R:Lisan al-Arab}} {{R:ar:Qamus}}

  • ابن منظور. «Entry name»، لسان العرب.‎
  • Fīrūzābādī (1250 Rumi calendar [=1834 AD]) Al-uqiyānūs al-basīt, translated from Arabic into Ottoman Turkish by Aḥmad ʻĀṣim, 2nd edition, Constantinople

You might want to look into Abit Yaşar Koçak’s short treatise Handbook of Arabic Dictionaries from the year 2002 (Berlin: Hans Schiler) to get an overview what dictionaries there have been.

Edward William Lane’s dictionary is thought to be the most complete one for Classical Arabic, but ends somewhere at the letter ق and is somewhat hard to read for its subtile distinctions and referrals to later or former entries.


The Lane is predeceded by Georg Freytag. This one is a clear read – if one reads Latin.


  • Freytag, Georg (1830–1837), “Entry name”, in Lexicon arabico-latinum praesertim ex Djeuharii Firuzabadiique et aliorum Arabum operibus adhibitis Golii quoque et aliorum libris confectum (in Latin), Halle: C. A. Schwetschke

For words assumed to be current in his time one is lucky with Francis Joseph Steingass’s dictionary:


For a collection different from Steingass one can use Albin Kazimirski de Biberstein, which is very similar to Freytag but glosses in French.


  • Kazimirski, Albin de Biberstein (1860), “Entry name”, in Dictionnaire arabe-français contenant toutes les racines de la langue arabe, leurs dérivés, tant dans l’idiome vulgaire que dans l’idiome littéral, ainsi que les dialectes d’Alger et de Maroc (in French), Paris: Maisonneuve et Cie

You can use the latest Arabic-Spanish dictionaries well too:

{{R:ar:Cortés|ed=1|Entry name}} {{R:ar:Cortés|ed=2|Entry name}} {{R:ar:Corriente|Entry name}}

  • Cortés, Julio (1996), “Entry name”, in Diccionario de árabe culto moderno (in Spanish), 1st edition, Madrid: Gredos, →ISBN
  • Cortés, Julio (2008), “Entry name”, in Diccionario de árabe culto moderno (in Spanish), 2nd edition, Madrid: Gredos, →ISBN
  • Corriente, Federico (2005), “Entry name”, in Diccionario avanzado árabe (in Spanish), 2nd edition, Barcelona: Herder

And if a word is in the Qurʾān, one can make points with the newest dictionary of Qurʾānic usage (it takes |page=, |pages=, |entry=):


  • Badawi, Elsaid M.; Abdel Haleem, Muhammad (2008) Arabic-English Dictionary of Qurʾanic Usage (Handbook of Oriental Studies; 85), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN



  • Farid, Malik Ghulam (2006), “Entry name”, in Dictionary of the Holy Qurʾan, Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., →ISBN

Perhaps one finds something about the frequency of a word in Buckwalter/Parkinson:


  • Entry name” in Tim Buckwalter and Dilworth Parkinson (2011), A Frequency Dictionary of Arabic: Core vocabulary for learners (first edition), London and New York: Routledge, →ISBN

A source of a different kind is Reverso Context. It can help you modulate the meanings you understand for terms you search by giving equivalent Arabic and English texts matching your search terms, and often it is also the fastest for finding out what words mean. It requires you to be logged in though to load more than a few rows, and with regard to the representativeness you should be wary of texts being gathered from subtitle databases, and of course it technically cannot be cited.

And there are also dictionaries dedicated to verbs which are templatized, the one by Nabil Osman which takes pursuant to its actual ordering the parameters |pages=, |page= and |Tafel=, and the one of John Mace.

{{R:ar:Osman-Verben}} {{R:ar:Mace}}

  • Osman, Nabil (1996) Konjugationslexikon arabischer Verben (in German), Ismaning: Max Hueber Verlag, →ISBN
  • Mace, John (2007), “Entry name”, in Arabic Verbs, New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc., →ISBN

There are some dictionaries for specialist areas; one might consult them because common usage as well as the general linguistic material might exhibit wild misperceptions about which words are used for specific legal concepts or which meanings terms current in specific administration areas have.

Therefore there are:

{{R:ar:Conference}} {{R:ar:Diplo}}

  • Abdallah, Hassan (1982) A Dictionary of International Relations and Conference Terminology. English-Arabic with English and Arabic Indexes and Appendices, Beirut: Librairie du Liban
  • Fawq al-ʿĀda, Samūḥī (1974) A Dictionary of Diplomacy and International Affairs. English-French-Arabic, Beirut: Librairie du Liban, →ISBN

How one can ascribe Arabic words to outside origins

The etymological treatment of the Arabic language is destitute. There is no etymological dictionary for Arabic; etymological studies are scattered across journals and isolated monographs of scope limited by author knowledge. Generally you have to apply your own reason to determine if words and meanings can be attributed to genuine Arabic origin and your own studies to state etyma; in an amount of cases you can check if some of the scholars of all epochs and countries opine similarly; if their works are lexica, they often take as parameters also |page=, |pages= but |entry= instead of |1=:

Firstly, if you find that the form is un-Arabic, you can check the index of Siegmund Fraenkel’s dictionary for a possible Aramaic origin:


  • Fraenkel, Siegmund (1886) Die aramäischen Fremdwörter im Arabischen (in German), Leiden: E. J. Brill

Or if you are really ardent you can jump into the specific Aramaic respectively Syriac reference templates, looking if a word makes more sense as Aramaic.

A bit better it is with Geʿez. Wolf Leslau, known for his knowledge of Ethiopic Semitic languages, could, to the reprimand of some but to the benefit of the Arabic lexicograph, not refrain himself from comparing all of Semitic in his dictionary, in so far as there were any comparisons with Geʿez possible.


  • Leslau, Wolf (1991) Comparative Dictionary of Geʿez (Classical Ethiopic), 2nd edition, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, →ISBN

For some random words also including Geʿez one can read Theodor Nöldeke. {{R:Nöldeke:Beitr.}} {{R:Nöldeke:Neue Beitr.}}

  • Nöldeke, Theodor (1904) Beiträge zur semitischen Sprachwissenschaft[1] (in German), Straßburg: Karl J. Trübner
  • Nöldeke, Theodor (1910) Neue Beiträge zur semitischen Sprachwissenschaft[2] (in German), Straßburg: Karl J. Trübner

There happens to be a somewhat dated and epitomal work for tracing words to Akkadian by Heinrich Zimmern. It can be adduced:


  • Zimmern, Heinrich (1915) Akkadische Fremdwörter als Beweis für babylonischen Kultureinfluss (in German), Leipzig: A. Edelmann

But there is another work tracing Akkadian words on a better state of research:


  • Kaufman, Stephen A. (1974) The Akkadian Influences on Aramaic (The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago Assyriological Studies; 19)‎[3], Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, →ISBN

For Iranic sources we have:

{{R:ar:Siddiqi}} {{R:Eilers:1962}}

  • Siddiqi, Abdussattar (1919) Studien über die Persischen Fremdwörter im klassischen Arabisch (in German), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
  • Eilers, Wilhelm (1962), “Iranisches Lehngut im arabischen Lexikon”, in Indo-Iranian Journal (in German), volume 5, issue 3

If a foreign word is in the Qurʾān, one gets reliable judgments from Arthur Jeffery, which has been the seal in a row of some books tracing its vocabulary beginning with Abraham Geiger about Jewish loans and concluding with Karl Ahrens about Christian loans.

{{R:ar:Geiger}} {{R:ar:Rudolph}} {{R:ar:Ahrens-Christliches}} {{R:ar:Jeffery-Foreign}}

  • Geiger, Abraham (1833, 1902) Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume aufgenommen? (in German), 2nd edition, Leipzig: M. W. Kaufmann
  • Rudolph, Wilhelm (1922) Die Abhängigkeit des Qorans von Judentum und Christentum (in German), Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer
  • Ahrens, Karl (1930), “Christliches im Qoran. Eine Nachlese”, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft[4] (in German), volume 84
  • Jeffery, Arthur (1938) The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qurʾān (Gaekwad’s Oriental Series; 79), Baroda: Oriental Institute

And if one can compare with a Hebrew word, there is an etymological dictionary for Hebrew:


  • Klein, Ernest (1987) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English[5], Jerusalem: Carta, →ISBN

Then there is the specific field of names for entities in the flora and fauna. This topic is very obscure: It is already an accomplishment to ascribe to Arabic plant or animal names correct meanings if the words aren’t the most current ones – even the meanings given for plants and animal names used in the Qurʾān are often plainly wrong.

The best place to get plant names is perhaps Immanuel Löw. From him one can use:

{{R:arc:Löw-Flora}} {{R:arc:Löw-Pflanzen}} {{R:arc:Löw-Färberpflanzen}} {{R:arc:Löw-Lurche}} {{R:arc:Löw-Schlangen}}

  • Löw, Immanuel (1924–1934) Die Flora der Juden[6] (in German), Wien und Leipzig: R. Löwit
  • Löw, Immanuel (1881) Aramæische Pflanzennamen[7] (in German), Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann
  • Löw, Immanuel (1922), “Semitische Färberpflanzen”, in Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete[8] (in German), volume 1
  • Löw, Immanuel (1912), “Aramäische Lurchnamen”, in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete[9] (in German), volume 26
  • Löw, Immanuel (1909) Aramäische Schlangennamen[10] (in German), Szegedin

Then there is:


  • Bedevian, Armenag K. (1936), “Entry name”, in Illustrated Polyglottic Dictionary of Plant Names, Cairo: Argus & Papazian Presses

For animals there is Fritz Hommel:


  • Hommel, Fritz (1879) Die Namen der Säugethiere bei den südsemitischen Völkern als Beiträge zur arabischen und äthiopischen Lexicographie, zur semitischen Kulturforschung und Sprachvergleichung und zur Geschichte der Mittelmeerfauna. Mit steter Berücksichtigung auch der assyrischen und hebräischen Thiernamen und geographischen und literaturgeschichtlichen Excursen[11] (in German), Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung

There is a thick book that has narrowed down the weapon names of the oldest literature:


  • Schwarzlose, Friedrich Wilhelm (1886) كتاب السلاح. Die Waffen der alten Araber aus ihren Dichtern dargestellt. Ein Beitrag zur arabischen Alterthumskunde, Synonymik und Lexicographie nebst Registern (in German), Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung

And there is a dissertation about bakery-related words:


  • Mielck, Reinhard (1914) Terminologie und Technologie der Müller und Bäcker im islamischen Mittelalter[12] (in German), Hamburg: J. J. Augustin

And one can try for household items:


  • Vollers, Karl (1896), “Beiträge zur Kenntniss der lebenden arabischen Sprache in Aegypten”, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft[13] (in German), volume 50, page 607

For clothing names:


You might want to look into the Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics because there is are entries for each source language of loanwords of Arabic in it:


For an overview about what is available for Proto-Semitic, consult the 200-pages chapter Reconstructing Proto-Semitic and Models of Classification in Weninger, Stefan, editor (2011) The Semitic Languages. An International Handbook (Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft – Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science; 36), Berlin: De Gruyter, →ISBN ({{R:sem-pro:Weninger-Handbook}}).

How to make things pretty when working with Arabic

Arabic text in an etymology or usage section should be surrounded with {{m|ar|...}}, or the link template {{l|ar|...}}, if it is not nested in any other template. Ideally the text should be written fully vocalized, in which case a transliteration will automatically be provided, but a transliteration can also be specified explicitly using tr=.

For example, the code

*Arabic: {{m|ar|جَزِيرَة}}, {{l|ar|كِتَاب}} 


*Arabic: {{m|ar|جَزِيرَة|tr=jazīra}}, {{l|ar|كِتَاب|tr=kitāb}} 

produces the text:

Using the templates ensures that text written in Arabic script will display correctly on a wider range of computers and font problems will be bypassed, as well as that automatic transliteration will be provided in case of full Arabic vocalization.

In general, one does not need to write Arabic text untemplatized in the English Wiktionary. Either one has it in the headword or inflection templates or in {{m}} or {{l}}, or {{lang|ar|word}} if one does not need to link nor transliteration, as often in quotations or in image descriptions. The headword can use {{l-self}} and {{m-self}}. For example the already adduced entry خَوْخَة (ḵawḵa) has the following:

[[File:Śluza Gdańska Głowa na Szkarpawie - panoramio.jpg|thumb|right|{{l-self|ar|خَوْخَة|tr=-}}]]

It displays a nice picture with readable Arabic text:


Here the picture of course uses thumb|center and not thumb|right. The general rule for images illustrating lemmata is that they use thumb|right. Browse Wikimedia Commons to find images. You will most likely find fitting images there if it is possible to illustrate a word with a picture.

As you might find out by browsing Wiktionary:Namespace, you can just prefix your queries in the English Wiktionary with c: to be directed to Wikimedia Commons for any word you search – typically an English one, but you might search Arabic words to find more prototypical images for Arabic entries. You might also want to glean images from Wikimedia Commons systematically starting from c:Category:Arabic culture.

Monitoring devices applicable to Arabic entries

You can check Category:Arabic entry maintenance to find work for boring hours. You should definitely check into it if you are a native speaker of Arabic, for some of the categories touch points relating to exhaustion of experiential knowledge and references of editors.

You might like a watchlink for Recent changes to Arabic lemmas for ensuring the constant reliability of Wiktionary in Arabic entries.

See also