Over the past two weeks, I’ve gotten a few emails and messages from different readers who’ve asked: Can I use your Anki deck?! I don’t have time to make my own.
Honestly, I get it.
As much as I’m #teamAnki, at the end of the work week, or even simply at the end of the work day, sometimes one of the last things I have time to do is create new cards for my Anki deck.
While I’m not really ready to share my entire personal Anki deck with the world yet, I wanted to start sharing sentences I pick up during the week while immersing, so that you can add new sentences to your deck too no matter how busy your schedule is.
Because if it’s between not making any new cards this week, and just adding these 7, at least now you can learn one new sentence per day.
Ultimately, the point of using Anki is so that we stop directly translating from English to Arabic, and so that we start to speak in ways that native speaks express themselves.
With that in mind, I’ve accompanied each sentence with an explanation that highlight the ways that English and Arabic differ in expressing simple phrases.
[Bonus: These are all sentences I heard in from Icerde, my new favorite tv show. 🙂 ]
بَسّ شُوْ مْشَان المَوْعِد؟
But what about the appointment?
If you look up the word “مْشَان” it means because or due to.
That’s not the case in this contexts. In this sentence and in sentences where you’re trying to inquire about the status of something, “مْشَان” means about.
.مِمْكِن صَبلَك فَخّ
Maybe he’s set a trap for you.
To express “setting a trap”, you must use ” صَب فَخ” together.
While “صَب” technically means to “pour”, in this context it means “to set”.
“فَخ” is always a trap.
You’ve crossed the line. / You’ve overstepped your boundary.
This is used to describe when someone has taken an inappropriate action and needs to back off. This sentence is actually a good example of how English and Arabic express an idea in a nearly identical way.
شُوْ بتسَمِّي هَاْد الشِي؟
What is this thing called?
Arabic doesn’t use the verb “to be/is” as frequently as we do in English.
So we English speakers can get distracted looking for the word “is” in order to understand the meaning of the word.
In most sentences, like this one, the “is” is implied, but not explicitly written/spoken.
Instead, focus on the main verb of the sentence to find out the sentence’s meaning. In this case, it’s سَمِّي or “to be named”.
.انا عَم اخُد مِن وَقِتكُم كتير
I am taking up a lot of your time.
See that كتير comes at the end of the sentence here and not in the middle as it would in English.
نِحْنَ ليش عَم نِحْكِي عالوَاقِف؟
ًWhy are we talking [while] standing?
In English, we almost never start a question with a pronoun, like this sentence does with using “نِحْنَ”. But I hear native speakers do this all the time.
Listen out for that in your immersion so that you start to get used to the difference.
I invented a personality. / I created a false identity.
Take note how little words you actually need here to express an idea that might take 4 or 5 words in English, but takes only 2 in Arabic.
Always keep that in mind.
Because verbs can be conjugated to identify gender and tense, there is usually a much shorter way to express what you’re trying to say in Arabic.
The Main Takeaway
In short, add these sentences to your Anki deck and just start swiping on them. They’ll always be stickier to remember the more you immerse, so don’t forget about that too. Most of all, give yourself some grace. You’re on your way!