Sudanese Proverbs (2)

1) ya’mil min al-Habba gubba (makes a dome out of a seed).

A similar proverb in English would be: to make a mountain out of a molehill. (this means that a person has turned a trifle matter into a major disaster!)

2) al-kheel tajaglib wash shukur li Hammaad (The horses run, prance and gallop about in the battle field but when victory is won, praise goes to Hammaad). Hammaad was one of Abdalla Jamaa’s sons and leader of the Abdallaab district.

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Sudanese Arabic Proverbs

Learning proverbs in a foreign language is a great way of expressing your sense of humour about certain situations without having to try and make jokes that might not really be appropriate.

While in England during the summer I heard an old proverb being used to describe the admiration that a mother had for her children: “all her geese are swans” Which means that in a mother’s eyes her children are the most beautiful and special children in the world. Of course all children should be lovely in their own mother’s eyes but there are occasions when some mothers lose their sense of reality!

This reminded me of a couple of very similar proverbs that we have in Sudanese Arabic. Continue reading

Hillelson’s Sudan Arabic

Hillelson's  Sudan Arabic

Sigmar Hillelson was an official in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from 1911-1933.
In 1930 his Sudan Arabic, English-Arabic Vocabulary was published by the Sudan Government. The book remains an good source for foreigners learning Sudan Arabic but today is quite hard to come by. I like the way the book includes vocabulary used in the provinces of Sudan as well as words that were then becoming a standard Sudanese Arabic- how Arabic was being spoken in Omdurman. Continue reading

Illustrated Arabic

Edit, check and proof read your book… again and again and again…

This seems to be the standard advice for anyone wanting to publish a book! During the last week I’ve been checking through my book on Arabic verbs; adding pictures here and correcting spelling. Then I’ll turn it over to my editor to check through one final time.

At least the end is in sight, or is it?

I’m hoping that I can publish it as an e-book. The advantages are that it would be affordable for readers and so reach a wider readership. The main problem will be formatting a book bursting with so many colourful illustrations so that it doesn’t get distorted in the conversion process. Wish me luck as I’m on a very steep learning curve here!

Oh I almost forgot… the title at the present time is: Illustrated Sudanese Colloquial Arabic Verbs