Let's be productive and learn some Arabic.
Granted, I'm not The World's Best Arabic Teacher.
Sometimes, however, not being good at something means that you've found a lot of techniques to cope with your inability. These coping mechanisms for memorizing Arabic numbers I can pass on to you.
Lots of times we don't tackle new things because we assume it will be too hard; like those times when we read a news article with a tricky name. We gloss over that strange set of letters because it's not familiar. We ignore what could make us smarter. We limit ourselves---not because it actually is too hard but because jumping over the chance to learn is too easy.
Arabic numbers really aren't that difficult. Afterall, like our Western version of numbers (which we call "Arabic"), there are only 10 possibilites. It's a limited scope.
This is from a phone app in which you can learn Arabic numbers. Here is the link if you're interested.
If you take a look at the numbers listed above on the chart you'll recognize a few. However, only two of them stand for the same numbers used in the West.
This looks like one and has the same value as one.
This looks like nine and has the same value as nine.
So, actually you don't have to learn 10 numbers. You already know two numbers in Arabic! Yaay for you!
There is another number which LOOKS like a number you know but it's not. That's something that has taken me a while to get used to as I shop in Egypt.
is NOT a zero. Think of it as a fist.
How many fingers are in that fist?
Okay, we can't see all five of his fingers but we are going to hope that he's not had any chainsaw accidents.
So, that circle stands for five.
If that big circle stands for five, then what stands for zero?
I want you to imagine something very small----smaller than a zero. Imagine a little dot.
THAT is zero; just a little dot!
On the set of numbers I showed you above, they didn't show the zero and that's too bad. The numbers we need to teach are 0-9. That's true in both number systems. When you realize that those are the numbers (and not 1-10) it makes everything easier. I'm constantly amazed as an elementary teacher how many number displays eliminate the zero. ZERO is key to understanding how the number one can become a ten.
Here's the number ten in Arabic.
That's what you see on the chart above.
Time for a little test!
What's this number?
Remember that even though the Arabic letters are read from right to left, Arabic numbers are read just like our Western numbers. So...this is...
Good! (You did get that right, didn't you?)
Come on! If you can't tell me this number...
Psst! It's the same number in the West...
Yes! It's nineteen!
If your brain hurts, stop here and come back another day.
If you feel brave, like a kilted Scottish warrior, carry on!
You can see that number and know it's a number two, right?
This is how the number two looks when it's lying down.
What if it stood up so it was more vertical than horizontal?
Can you still see that it's a number two?
The same is true for the number three.
But this is how it looks when it stands up
Yes, you can see see the number three...if you...kind of tilt your head to the right. Go ahead and try that. No one's looking. Do it fast though, because you're supposed to look like you're busy writing that report.
Now you can see that the number three is little. It's not big. You know who is bigger?
Four! Four is bigger than three. Okay, I know that it looks like a backwards three but that's because it's a little on the immature side (like most 4-year-olds). It is, I insist, a four. It's big! It's a four. It's just might seem like a three...but it's not.
are little. They like to lie down and take naps
Can you also plainly see what number this is? It's the number 23
Hey, Two and Three! WAKE-UP! I'M TRYING TO TEACH HERE!
Thank you. Now that they are standing straight up, can you still see that it's the number 23?
What's this number?
Thirty-four! 34 is the correct answer.
Do you remember this number?
It's a five.
Okay, now six is going to be another one of those numbers which LOOKS familiar.
I know it looks like a seven but it's NOT. It's a six.
It's a six! Really. It is. It's trying to fool you into thinking it's a seven but it's a six.
THIS is a seven.
Two fingers up like victory. Try it yourself. Yaay! It's a seven. It's cool. You know how people feel good about lucky number seven? They feel so good about it that they want to raise their fingers up.
Miley loves seven.
Will Smith loves seven.
Volleyball teammates in Japan love seven.
President Obama loves seven.
Okay, basically everybody loves seven.
Put your two fingers down.
Up is seven...
And eight is down. If you know the alphabet for ASL (American Sign Language), you'll remember how"G" is up and the same fingers going downward is "Q". It works that wasy for "K" being up and later "P" is the same fingers but going downward. Whatever comes beforehand is up and whatever comes afterwards is down.
And you already know nine.
It's a good idea to play around with the numbers. Have fun with them! Write them out.
Answer some questions on a pad of paper. Refer to the lesons above.
1. How old are you?
2. How long have you lived at your current address?
3. If there's a big pizza in front of you, how many pieces can you eat without feeling too full?
Playing around with the numbers is key. If you don't play then they don't stick.
Up until now, I haven't told you the names of the numbers. So, with no further ado, here they are:
Can you read that? The print is a little small.
Here's another list of numbers. This one goes all the way up to 20.
See how they left out sifr? Sifr is zero. Always forgotten!
You'll see that there are going to be different ways of spelling these number names phonetically. Basically, you say it like you see it.
Here are the numbers on this book cover with the written Arabic and the transliterated Arabic. Visuals help.
I'm also going to post this video. Yes, it's for kids but you don't have to be a kid to enjoy it. I like how the numbers wahed and etneen are praying!
Go ahead and sing out the names of the numbers. Moving your mouth helps your brain to remember. Even if the song goes quickly, you can catch those moments to say the number names.
What's great is that if you know the number then you basically know the days of the week too.
The Word Collector did a post on it.
The days of the week in Arabic-speaking countries start with Sunday. It's important to know this and commit this to memory. The week ends on Saturday and the new week begins on Sunday. So, the first day is Sunday.
- Sunday Al-Aḥad
- Monday Al-Ithnayn
- Tuesday Ath-Thulaathaaʼ
- Wednesday Al-Arba’aa’
- Thursday Al-Khamīs
- Friday Al-Jumu’ah
- Saturday As-Sabt
Do you get it? Most days of the week is only ever so slightly different than the numbers. Friday would be the exception. It means, "gathering" because that's when the Muslims gather together for communal prayer.
To speak very formally, you would say Yaom Al-Ahad, Yaom Al-Ithnayn and so on.
Here's a video to help you with pronunciation.
Catchy tune, eh? I bet you will never forget the number seven in Arabic now!
Time to review!
Please use the list of days to answer some simple questions.
1. What day is it?
2. What day is it tomorrow?
3. Where you live, what is the first day of the work week?
4. Which day do Jews have their sabbath or day of rest?
5. Which day do Christians go to church?
I hope you were able to answer those questions.
Have you liked learning? I feel so alive when I learn something new. Alhumdulillah for the ability to absorb and remember information. Truly, our brains are miraculous creations. We might as well use them!
If you would like more, then check out http://studioarabiya.com/blog There are free Arabic downloads available including number cards. Mashahallah they are well done. One thing I like with Studio Arabia is that I had trouble downloading the files, wrote to them and got an immediate email reply with the files. That's very nice and appreciated.
May Allah reward you for all the time you've taken to learn the language of The Holy Quran.
Light and Love!