Cool stuff this site has:
- An Egyptian Arabic dictionary
- A Levantine Arabic dictionary, including words from the Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian dialects
- A Classical Arabic or Fusha Dictionary
- Search features:
- Arabic-English by root
- Arabic-English by word
Also, courtesy of the one and only Heba Salem there is an audio recording of Khaled Khamesy's book تاكسي. You can access it here or through the "Recordings" link in the navigator bar.
What is this site?
This site is an effort to show Arabic as a living language by allowing users to search in both a Classical Arabic dictionary and a dialect dictionary at the same time. I'm actually thinking of renaming the site to "Picture Arabic" to emphasize how this site is about changing how we conceive of Arabic. This is no small task, but technology, combined with Arabic's structure as a Semitic language, can make this happen. Often Classical Arabic, or Modern Standard Arabic or اللغة العربية الفصحى , is the only aspect of Arabic that is taught, and the dialects are often ignored or only taught minimally. There are reasons for that, some practical, some not. The dialects are not as well studied, what dialects can be taught depend on what faculty is available to teach it, etc. Some see the dialects as not being real languages and not deserving to be taught and "formal" Classical Arabic is the only real Arabic. However, because of these reasons and others, often only Classical Arabic is taught. And in the Arab countries, it is seen as an abomination to teach dialects. Because of this, though, Classical Arabic is often criticized as being a "dead language."
Despite long periods of silence, this site is still being worked on. And I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. The site has over 3000 unique visits a month, and hundreds of searches are conducted daily. It's slow going, but changing how Arabic is conceived, improving education, and strengthening cross-cultural communication are things worth working on.