Dancers: Do not Do These Issues with Arabic


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

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

Now, I don’t count on newer dancers to know these guidelines and distinctions immediately.

However for those who’ve been dancing some time, it’s good follow 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 be sure that we no less than perceive the essential tenants of Arabic after we’re working towards 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 is just not plural. So, to say “Raq On” or “You raq” (or worse, “Rak on!”)  is simply… it’s like saying that you just take pleasure in going to “stomach danc class.” It doesn’t make any sense. The basis for raqs is R-Q-Ṣ (ر-ق-ص), which really 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 moderately 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 is just not “sharki.” Whereas this hardly bothers me as a lot as my raqs peeve, the letter qaff is completely different from kaff, so we must 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 kind. We may no less than attempt to get it slightly nearer to the unique Arabic.

3. “Q” is just not at all times adopted by a “U.” Not like in English, when a “Q” is sort of at all times adopted by a “U” (besides within the Australian airline identify Qantas, which continues to be pronounced “Kwantas”—I’m positive 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 notably rampant after September 11, 2001, when each American information outlet was fighting not solely tips on how to pronounce “al-Qa’ida” but additionally tips on how to spell it. Significantly. Al-Quaeda? What?

4. Taqsim is just not “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) that means a partition or break. So, in a musical context, it’s an improvisational break in a tune 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 folks. That is tangentially associated, however for those who’re speaking about folks, they’re Arab, not Arabian. The language is Arabic, and a gaggle of persons are Arabs. Save “Arabian” for the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Nights, and Arabian horses.

6. Additional phlegm. Not all letters want further phlegm. In reality, I’d error on the aspect of no phlegm for those who’re simply studying. Solely the “kha” or خ is pronounced means down within the throat and may get slightly phlegmy.

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

8. Not attempting. I get it. Arabic is a tough language, however that’s a clue that possibly 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, tune title, singer identify, or phrase.

On the finish of the day, for those who’re making an effort to know, pronounce, and write Arabic in Roman/Latin script as precisely as you’ll be able to, you then’re doing the correct factor.

However for those who’ve been doing a few of these issues (and I believe many people have), then you’ll be able to just be sure you don’t do them sooner or later. It would present that you just care not solely in regards to the language, but additionally in regards to the folks and tradition from which it, and all of its dialects and accents, comes.



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