Ribbity Blog

baqqa mqarqra
A Frog's-eye view

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Saturday, April 19, 2003
 
READING ARABIC

I admit it - I've got battle fatigue. I'm just bored of reading Al-Jazeera's nonsense or Al-Bawaba's jokes. I decided to tackle something else.

For several years now I have been making my way through Maimonides' Commentary on the Mishna in Arabic. I decided it was high time to have a look at his Guide of the Perplexed, of which a superb modern Hebrew translation was recently published. The Arabic is difficult, and often full of unfamiliar philosophical terms, but I think the effort will be worth it.

In the meantime, if you fancy a bit of lighter and easier Arabic, how about this edition of Sinbad. This work has interesting memories for me. I remember seeing the film as a tadpole, and, when I was a young frog just starting out on my language studies, I remember seeing a copy of "A Thousand and One Nights" in an important oriental studies library. I didn't think that I'd ever be able to read it. In fact, it's fairly straight-forward. And it beats the fantasies of Al-Jazeera any night of the week.


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