Browsing All posts tagged under »Arabic«

Osama bin Laden: slippery characters

May 6, 2011

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While the world is deciding whether it wants to return Barack Obama to “hero” status after the capture and killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, or bay for his blood for not releasing the “gory, inflammatory” photos of bin Laden’s lifeless, bloodied corpse – one thing seems to be troubling both politicians and reporters […]

Has Libya’s Majnun come between Russia’s Tandem?

March 21, 2011

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So it’s come to this. Fork in the road. The tiny cracks that were once so easily “paperoverable” have festered and are conspiring to part the wall apart. Maybe. Although there have been a few very, very played-down cases of ruffled feathers between Russia’s ruling tandem, this is the most public negative comment President Dmitry […]

Bahhhhrain, but not Frrrrrance. Why Anglicise selectively?

March 17, 2011

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As the news swings back from earthquake- and tsunami-hit Japan, casting its gaze back on events in the Arab World, one of my favourite things about newsreaders is back on our screens. Ever notice how some people who read the news change accents when reading some foreign cities or names? If you have, you’re not […]

How Japan gave the world tsunamis

March 11, 2011

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Today’s events in Japan will likely ricochet around the news for the next few days: as with events such as these, the death total will never be “final” as too many people will have been swept away – never to be found. The 8.8-magnitude (MW 8.8) earthquake hit just off the north-east coast, off Japan’s […]

Gesundheit! Yì Băi Suì! We all fall down.

February 28, 2011

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One of the delights of moving to a new country is learning how to react to events in the local way, with all the things that come with learning a new language. What do you say, for example, if you stub your toe? Get a fright? Or smell something untoward? And my favourite, what you […]

Gaddafi? Qaddafi? Kaddafi? Let’s call the whole thing off!

February 21, 2011

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Have you ever been lost in transliteration? You’re not alone. And you don’t need to tell me about it. Russian’s 33 letters do not fit perfectly into English’s 26. Arabic fits even more awkwardly. Chinese can be fun, too. Why? Well, for one – alphabets don’t match because the underlying sound systems don’t match. We […]

Iran lurking at the heart of Tahrir Square?

February 16, 2011

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If you don’t know where Tahrir Square is, then you’ve probably had your head in a bag – at least since 25 January. One of Cairo’s central squares, Tahrir Square is of course where mass opposition protests recently led to the resignation of Egypt’s long-reigning president Hosni Mubarak. Fittingly – although find me a city […]