Roots and Oceans: A Quick Guide to Arabic-English Dictionaries


Arabic dictionaries.

I just wanted to re-blog an excellent blog post one of my friends posted on her blog. In it, she gives her commentary on different types of dictionaries she used as an Arabic student. As I’m teaching Modern Standard Arabic grammar, at some point I will need to introduce the use of dictionaries to the teens.

Inshallah, I hope this blog post will prove useful for you for when you plan your lesson with dictionaries.

Katerina Nordin is a graduate from the University of Oxford (Islamic Studies and History MPhil) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (History BA Hons). She specialises in Islamic history, Muslim education, transmission of knowledge and gender. She currently resides and works in Oxford and writes at

That Elusive Word

Happy New Year all!

Amongst my plethora of resolutions for 2015, keeping up my Arabic language skills is one I’m most determined about. Despite studying Classical Arabic for years, I wouldn’t call myself an Arabist by any means. My MPhil classes often entailed my colleagues and I being propped up, crutch-like, by dictionaries (sometimes multiple) to help us hobble through tricky classical texts. The Arabic word for dictionary is mūs literally meaning “ocean”, and so I thought I would write a quick post about dictionaries to save Arabic students from drowning in the formidable task of navigating these tomes. I won’t go into the technicality of looking up words in Arabic dictionaries as this is usually acquired organically through studying Arabic, particularly when it comes to weak roots. Instead, here is the low-down of the main Arabic-English dictionaries that are useful for anyone interested in the Arabic language, especially for…

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One response to “Roots and Oceans: A Quick Guide to Arabic-English Dictionaries

  1. Umm Saaliha wa Haadi...

    assalaam o alaikum can u try to do ur online arabic grammer classes to may be videos about teaching it i find ur material very helpful and i really want to learn Quranic arabic.


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