Dancers: Do not Do These Issues with Arabic


In my earlier posts in regards to the Arabic language, I’ve a number of the fundamentals of its historical past, grammar, and letters, in addition to why there are such a lot of spellings of well-liked phrases and songs, like “Enta Omri.”

All of that was actually main as much as this publish… My Arabic pet peeves.

Now, I don’t anticipate newer dancers to know these guidelines and distinctions instantly.

However when you’ve been dancing some time, it’s good observe to be sure that we don’t make these errors. And it’s as much as these of us who’ve been round longer to coach our college students, and make sure that we not less than perceive the fundamental tenants of Arabic after we’re training a dance for that’s primarily from the Arab world.

So right here they’re. My largest Arabic pet peeves.

Prime Arabic Pet Peeves

1. Raqs shouldn’t be plural. So, to say “Raq On” or “You raq” (or worse, “Rak on!”)  is simply… it’s like saying that you just get pleasure from going to “stomach danc class.” It doesn’t make any sense. The basis for raqs is R-Q-Ṣ (ر-ق-ص), which truly consists of two letters that don’t exist in Roman script, a “qaff” and a “saad” (ق and ص respectively) We also needs to make extra effort to spell it as raqs somewhat than “raks,” which might indicate a root of R-Okay-Ṣ (ر-ك-ص ), which doesn’t exist, or R-Okay-S (ر-ك-س) which is said to struggling a setback.

2. Sharqi shouldn’t be “sharki.” Whereas this hardly bothers me as a lot as my raqs peeve, the letter qaff is totally different from kaff, so we should always attempt to hold them distinct. Nonetheless, I do discover it a bit annoying, as a result of raqs sharqi is actually one of many main phrases that we use to call our dance type. We might not less than attempt to get it just a little nearer to the unique Arabic.

3. “Q” shouldn’t be at all times adopted by a “U.” Not like in English, when a “Q” is nearly at all times adopted by a “U” (besides within the Australian airline title Qantas, which remains to be pronounced “Kwantas”—I’m certain considered one of you on the market can clarify why?), Arabic doesn’t abide by this rule, and nor ought to it. I discovered this spelling mistake significantly rampant after September 11, 2001, when each American information outlet was scuffling with not solely the best way to pronounce “al-Qa’ida” but additionally the best way to spell it. Significantly. Al-Quaeda? What?

4. Taqsim shouldn’t be “taksim” (except it’s Turkish), and it’s definitely not “Taxeem.” See my peeves about “raks.” Taqsim comes from the room Q-S-M (ق-س-م) which means a partition or break. So, in a musical context, it’s an improvisational break in a track or between songs. The rhythm maqsoum comes from the identical root, due to its syncopated high quality.

5. Arabian refers to locations, nights, and horses… not individuals. That is tangentially associated, however when you’re speaking about individuals, they’re Arab, not Arabian. The language is Arabic, and a gaggle of individuals are Arabs. Save “Arabian” for the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Nights, and Arabian horses.

6. Further phlegm. Not all letters want further phlegm. In actual fact, I’d error on the aspect of no phlegm when you’re simply studying. Solely the “kha” or خ is pronounced means down within the throat and would possibly get just a little phlegmy.

7. Partial singer names. If you’re referring to a singer or composer use their entire title. Umm Kulthum isn’t simply “Umm” or simply “Kulthum.” The title means “Mom of Kulthum” so that you shouldn’t separate them.

8. Not making an attempt. I get it. Arabic is a tough language, however that’s a clue that perhaps we shouldn’t impose our phonetic interpretations to Arabic transcriptions. So let’s make an effort to get it proper. There are such a lot of dancers who would love that can assist you pronounce or perceive a phrase, track title, singer title, or phrase.

On the finish of the day, when you’re making an effort to know, pronounce, and write Arabic in Roman/Latin script as precisely as you possibly can, you then’re doing the best factor.

However when you’ve been doing a few of these issues (and I believe many people have), then you possibly can just remember to don’t do them sooner or later. It is going to present that you just care not solely in regards to the language, but additionally in regards to the individuals and tradition from which it, and all of its dialects and accents, comes.



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