writing portion of the Arabic lessons

psyntific4lyfe September 1, 2016, 3:31 am
Hello,
​I am just starting the Arabic language and I have completed my first lesson except for the writing portion of the lesson. it says to type in what I hear. there is a Arabic keyboard but I do not know the characters/alphabet as of yet in Arabic so how should I go about completing this part of the lessons? I tried typing it in using the English phonetic sounds of the words but I am sure that is not what is being asked of me...Any HELP....
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
Ph0t0n September 21, 2016, 4:25 am
I would definitely suggest learning the Arabic alphabet as one of the first things you do (see the Writing Lessons menu at the top).  Believe it or not, using the Latin alphabet turns out to be harder than the Arabic one because at least with Arabic script there is a (sorta) standard way of writing words so you don't have to sound everything out and can read common words at a glance.  In the Roman script, you have to try and guess what people mean because everyone will write things differently.  It's like saying "spell cool" and someone writes "kool", another guy writes "kewl", another puts "kule", and another uses "cule".  Don't get me wrong... Egyptian Arabic is like that too since it doesn't have a standard written form, but on the whole, I'd say you run into it a lot less often...Read MoreI would definitely suggest learning the Arabic alphabet as one of the first things you do (see the Writing Lessons menu at the top).  Believe it or not, using the Latin alphabet turns out to be harder than the Arabic one because at least with Arabic script there is a (sorta) standard way of writing words so you don't have to sound everything out and can read common words at a glance.  In the Roman script, you have to try and guess what people mean because everyone will write things differently.  It's like saying "spell cool" and someone writes "kool", another guy writes "kewl", another puts "kule", and another uses "cule".  Don't get me wrong... Egyptian Arabic is like that too since it doesn't have a standard written form, but on the whole, I'd say you run into it a lot less often.

Reading using the Arabic alphabet turned out to be much easier than I thought. I hit it hard for a day and a half on a weekend and was reading (slowly of course) almost right away.  It's a  great feeling to make sense of a sentence when two days before it was just a bunch of gobbley-gook!

A bit of warning though... The Rocket Arabic Writing Section has spelling mistakes where they write a word multiple ways or they mess up the translations.  You'll find yourself typing in something that it rejects even though you wrote the answer it correctly according to the lesson.  Until they fix it, there are better courses out there to learn writing.  Don't be discouraged though: there are still tons of good resources like reading, vocabulary, grammar, audio, etc. that Rocket Arabic has to offer.
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
psyntific4lyfe September 25, 2016, 12:56 am
okay..so I finally got thru the entire Arabic alphabet...That was definitely a good feeling..So i have moved onto the vowels....And I then move to the Fly like an eagle portion of the writing lessons where you actually are suppose to see the vowel usage and it is giving a description of the Fatha, karsa etc but It doesnt appear in the arabic words...Meaning I cant see how they are being used....I see and can recognize the arabic letters somewhat but I dont see any vowels...any help out there....
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
Ph0t0n September 26, 2016, 5:23 pm
Unfortunately, it appears there are mistakes in that "Fly like an eagle" lesson as well.  

Mistake # 1:
They are actually writing a "Ha marboota" (ه) which is rarely used by Arabs (even though the lesson text claims it is using the common "tay marbootah" - don't believe them, they are lying).   To make matters worse, they spelled it incorrectly it as "tay mabootah" but it should be tay maRbootah -- and even then it should really should be "Tāʼ marbūṭah" which is how Wikipedia spells it.  Anyway, despite the incorrect information they give, ة and ه are pronounced the same (when at the end of a word) so you can use them interchangeably.

Mistake # 2
As you said, they left out the diacritical markings even though the lesson text acts like they are there...Read More
Unfortunately, it appears there are mistakes in that "Fly like an eagle" lesson as well.  

Mistake # 1:
They are actually writing a "Ha marboota" (ه) which is rarely used by Arabs (even though the lesson text claims it is using the common "tay marbootah" - don't believe them, they are lying).   To make matters worse, they spelled it incorrectly it as "tay mabootah" but it should be tay maRbootah -- and even then it should really should be "Tāʼ marbūṭah" which is how Wikipedia spells it.  Anyway, despite the incorrect information they give, ة and ه are pronounced the same (when at the end of a word) so you can use them interchangeably.

Mistake # 2
As you said, they left out the diacritical markings even though the lesson text acts like they are there. They say "Notice also the fatah over the feh and the Hah" but then you look and clearly you can't "notice" it because it's NOT THERE!

Unfortunately, the entire website is ridden with mistakes in the Arabic script like this, which is why many of us ignore the writing sections.  My advice is to learn and practice writing with a different learning program and use this one for grammar and audio.

One important thing to note - there are two main ways of writing!  

Method 1) In the formal MSA written form, the diacritical markings are shown, which is super-handy for beginners because it's really easy to see exactly how a word should be pronounced.  Whenever I see writing with diacritics it's like finding a glass of cold lemonade on a hot day... ahhhhhhh.  A lot of religious writing has the markings (unfortunately, they aren't very easy to read though because they use a lot of older words).  Fortunately, a lot of kids books are written this way.  Diacritical markings are sort of like training wheels on a bike

Method 2) The informal spoken form that is written, more often than not, does not have any diacritical markings so you have to memorize what the short vowels are.  On the internet these days, you don't see the diacritics very often because they take much longer to type out.  You'll almost never see them on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, or even Al Jazeera news.  People can still understand it though - it's like if I write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" without vowels... "Th qck brwn fx jmps vr th lzy dg"...  You can sorta guess what I meant.  The long vowels help too, but there are still lots of ambiguous cases where context is the only way to determine the correct word and pronunciation.  For many learners with a native language that explicitly writes vowels, this is one of the hardest obstacles to get over.
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
psyntific4lyfe October 1, 2016, 12:07 am
Thank You PhOtOn...i would appreciate all the help i can get!..Do you know of a way to practice with others that know the language and like to teach it or others like yourself learning and want to try out what they have learned etc...? Please let me know and maybe we could chat or email...NO NOT email...im not there yet..but just practice the little pharases, alphabet, numbers etc...
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
Ph0t0n October 4, 2016, 11:05 pm
I don't really have any concrete ideas as far as chat/conversation goes.  I use Swiftkey on my phone and I'm getting pretty decent with typing on the Arabic keyboard so chat via messaging is definitely possible.   I use my phone to SMS in Spanish with several friends all the time, but I don't have any friends that speak Arabic.   I think it would be interesting to have a chat-room scenario with several people contributing.
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
llevendofske October 28, 2016, 4:47 pm
I just bought this course, partly due to answer given in chat here yesterday about teaching the diacritical marks/short vowels.  Then, once able to access those lessons in premium noticed as you say that they say they are using them but they are not there!  Upset.
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
orffstarr November 25, 2016, 2:11 pm
I'm trying to type in the written Arabic words on the "typewriter" in the lower right portion of my screen, but nothing happens.  Help, please? 
 
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
Ph0t0n December 1, 2016, 12:31 am
It works for me using Chrome...  maybe try a different browser?
writing portion of the Arabic lessons
orffstarr December 1, 2016, 9:28 pm
I cannot install Chrome;  my laptop is vintage 2006.  Alas.
 
writing portion of the Arabic lessons

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