Arabic Language Picture Dictionary

E.C. Parnwell, Oxford English-Arabic Picture Dictionary (English Language Teaching for the Arab World, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1978).

This is another book I bought all those decades ago when I thought I’d try to learn Arabic. As this book’s title says, it’s a picture a bilingual picture dictionary. It consists of a series of colourful drawings of objects, events and activities with their names in English and Arabic, along with a couple of pages giving the English and Arabic words for numbers, weights and measures, and guides to English pronunciation and stress. The Arabic used appears to be the literary language, as the Arabic alphabet is used throughout and there are no transliterations.

It’s short, only about 81 pages of text, followed by English and Arabic indices. It was written to help Arab students learn English, but I think it could equally be used to help English-speakers learn Arabic, especially those with a good visual memory. It looks like it’s for children, but sometimes materials written for them are the best because of the simple clarity with which they present the information. As it’s written in standard Arabic, it really can only be used by people who have already learned the Arabic alphabet. Apart from that, it looks like a simple, useful resource for people wishing to learn the English and Arabic languages.

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9 Responses to “Arabic Language Picture Dictionary”

  1. trev Says:

    It’ll come in handy for reading the name “Allah” inside tomatoes etc.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I remember that turning up a few years ago! I think it was the ’90s. Ah, takes me back!

      • trev Says:

        Yes there was a famous case at my local corner shop that made national (perhaps international) news, can’t recall what type of fruit or vegetable it involved but it caused quite a stir at the time. It’d be about 1996.

      • beastrabban Says:

        I think I remember that one from the Fortean Times! Along with the person, who found a picture of Jesus in their toast!

      • trev Says:

        Holy vegetables and culinary Saviours were big in the 90s, man cannot live by bread alone! There was also a Ganesh idol weeping milk, think that was in my hometown too. As for Arabic though I think I’ll leave that for the Muslims and Academics amongst us, I need to master Latin first.

      • beastrabban Says:

        It’s not an easy language by any means, which is why I never got around to learning it. I don’t remember a statue of Ganesh weeping milk, but I’m sure it was around. And then there was the high weirdness of the crop circles. Was it fakers, or a message from the planet warning us about the ecological crisis? Yes, it was a strange decade, but also a far more optimistic one, even with its problems than today.

      • trev Says:

        Come to think of it the Ganesh statue might have been drinking milk not weeping it. The jury’s still out on Crop Circles, which are still appearing, in a short space of time often overnight without the landowners permission across at least four counties every week between Spring and Autumn, but one thing is fairly certain it wasn’t all the work of Doug & Dave the two old codgers who were obviously paid by MI5 to say they were responsible for doing it after a few pints in the local. Mind you there was also a resurgence of LSD in the 90s too so anything’s possible!

      • beastrabban Says:

        I think there were a number of different groups faking them, quite apart from the infamous Doug ‘n’ Dave. One of them was Jim Schnabel, I think, the American journo who wrote ‘Round in Circles’.
        I’ve been flicking through one of the books of old ‘Fortean Times’ stories I’ve got lying around here looking for the story about the mystic Islamic tomatoes. I didn’t find it, but I did find two about the word ‘Allah’ appearing in aubergines, one in Leicester and the other in Nottingham. Were you thinking of one of these?

      • trev Says:

        No it was in Huddersfield, could have been an aubergine though can’t remember but it was the corner shop just around from where I was living and it definitely made the news at the time.

        Regarding crop formations, I was under the impression that the faked ones are obvious as they are crudely trampled /flattened whereas others feature crops swirled into circular woven patterns but without damage to the crop stems, which are bent at the nodes as though they had grown like that. But I don’t know, it’s all very mysterious, who is doing it for all these years (decades), how and why.

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