Learn to talk about your city with video: مَدِينَة مَرْيَم

Is there a school in your town? A church or mosque? Maybe a factory, too? Learn to say some basic things about your city by watching a simple story video by Nadia Selim, entitled مدينة مرْيم madiinat maryam ‘Maryam’s city’. This video is ideal for someone who has just worked through the Bite-Size Arabic book. In this article I present the vocabulary used in this video. Look here for supplementary information on other videos in this series.

The video is available both here on her Arabic with Nadia website and here on YouTube. Here is the video:

In the following, I’ll guide you through vocabulary used in this video, by category.


Here are all of the prepositions used in this video.

مَعَ أَمام بِجانِب
maʕa ’amaam bi jaanib
‘with’ ‘in front of’ ‘next to’
فِي عَلى
fii ʕalaa
‘in’ ‘on’

‘There is’

You are probably already familiar with the Arabic word هناك hunaaka, meaning ‘there’. This word can also be used to mean ‘there is’ or ‘there are’, as in these examples:

هُناكَ مَدْرَسة في مَدِينَتي.
hunaaka madrasa fii madiinat-ii.
‘There is a school in my city.’
هُناكَ سَيّارات كَثِيرة في الْشّارِع.
hunaaka sayyaaraat kathiira fii sh-shaariʕ.
‘There are many cars in the street.’


Maryam lives in Suez, which is a city in the north of Egypt:

الْسُّوَيْس مَدِينة
’as-suways madiina
‘Suez’ ‘city’

Here is a list of other words for places mentioned in this video:

كَنِيسة مَسْجِد بَحْر
kaniisa masjid baḥr
‘church’ ‘mosque’ ‘sea’
شارِع جَبَل مَدْرَسة
shaariʕ jabal madrasa
‘street’ ‘montain’ ‘school’
مَصْنَع مُسْتَشْفى بَنْك
maṣnaʕ mustashfaa bank
‘factory’ ‘hospital’ ‘bank’
وَسَط الْمَدِينة وَسَط
wasaṭ il-madiina wasaṭ
‘downtown, city center’ ‘center, middle’

Other nouns

حارِس عائِلة شَجَر
ḥaaris ʕaa’ila shajar
‘guard’ ‘family’ ‘trees’ (mass noun)


كَبِير صَغِير كَثِير
kabiir ṣaghiir kathiir
‘large, big’ ‘small, little’ ‘much, many’
بَعِيد عَنْ قَرِيب مِنْ
baʕiid ʕan qariib min
‘far from’ ‘close to’

Odds and ends

مَعَ الْسّلامة أَيْضًا أَعِيش
maʕa s-salaama ’ayḍan ’aʕiish
‘goodbye’ ‘also, too’ ‘I live’

What next?

Once you have mastered these words, why not check out some of the other useful learning materials on the Arabic with Nadia website?


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