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ArabicPod101’s video “How to Introduce Yourself in Arabic”

“How to Introduce Yourself in Arabic” is a video in ArabicPod101’s “Arabic in 3 Minutes” series. In it, presenter Carole introduces several phrases you can use to introduce yourself. Let’s look at the material presented in a bit more detail. Here is the video:

The easy stuff

Carole introduces the following elementary words and phrases.

مَرْحَبًا.
marḥaban.
‘Hello.’
أَنا كارول.
’anaa karool.
‘I’m Carole.’

Note that Carole’s name has a long oo sound that doesn’t occur in Classical Arabic. In Arabic this sound is written just like the long uu sound.

اِسْمي كارول.
’ism-ii karool
‘My name is Carole.’

Since these phrases are so basic and because they are also discussed in the Bite-Size Arabic book, I won’t discuss them further here.

“I’m pleased to meet you”

Carole introduces two ways of saying ‘pleased to meet you’. Let’s pick them apart a bit, which will give you a better understanding of how they are put together and make them easier to learn and remember.

The first phrase she introduces is this one:

سُرِرْتُ بِلِقائِكَ.
surirtu bi liqaa’i-ka.
‘I’m pleased to meet you.’

Very literally, this means ‘I was pleased with meeting you.’ The first word, surirtu is in the first person singular form (the ’anaa form) in the past tense, with the -tu ending. All ’anaa forms have this ending in the affirmative past tense. Compare this with some other verbs:

تَكَلَّمْتُ فَهِمْتُ رَأَيْتُ
takallamtu fahimtu ra’aytu
‘I spoke’ ‘I understood’ ‘I saw’

The word بِ bi in the expression is a preposition, the one used with the verb surira ‘to be pleased’. It is connected to the following word in the same way as all other one-letter function words, such as وَ wa ‘and’.

The word لِقاء liqaa’ in the expression means ‘meeting’. It appears in this expression with the suffix -i because it is in genitive case here. (A noun following a preposition is always in genitive case in Arabic.) If we were to pronounce this expression less formally, we could leave off this case ending and say liqaa’-ak to a man and liqaa’-ik to a woman.

You may know another phrase that has the word لِقاء liqaa’:

إِلى الْلِّقاء.
’ilaa l-liqaa’
‘Goodbye.’

This phrase literally means ‘until the meeting’.

“I’m honored to know you”

The remaining phrase that Carole introduces is this one:

تَشَرَّفْتُ بِمَعْرِفَتِكَ.
tasharraftu bi maʕrifati-ka.
‘I’m honored to know/meet you.’

Do you see the -tu ending on tasharraftu? This verb must be in the past tense. So, literally it means ‘I was honored’ or ‘I have been honored’. The word بِ bi is the same preposition as in the previous phrase.

The word مَعْرِفَة maʕrifa is the verbal noun (maṣdar) of the verb يَعْرِف yaʕrif ‘to know’. مَعْرِفَة maʕrifa becomes مَعْرِفَتـ maʕrifat… if we add more letters to the word, and there is an -i suffix for genitive case (the word follows a preposition). If we were to pronounced this word more informally, without the case ending, we would say maʕrifat-ak to a man and maʕrifat-ik to a woman.

I hope these comments help you get a bit more out of this video.



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