74 results in English
Brief Principles of the Arabic Language
Philippo Guadagnoli (1596–1656) was a Franciscan priest and Italian orientalist. A native of Magliano in the province of Tuscany, he joined the Franciscan order in 1612 and devoted himself to studying Arabic and other languages of the Middle East. He served as professor of Arabic and Aramaic at Università “La Sapienza” in Rome. His writings include an Arabic translation of the Bible (said to have taken him 27 years to complete) and a polemical work entitled Apologia pro Religione Christiana (In defense of the Christian religion), published in Rome ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Fabrica, or Dictionary of Vernacular Arabic and Italian Language
Dominicus Germanus de Silesia (1588–1670) was a German priest and missionary. Born in Schurgast (present-day Skorogoszcz, Poland), he entered the Franciscan order in 1624 and devoted himself to learning Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. In 1630 he went to Palestine as a pastor, where he continued with his language studies. In 1635 he returned to Rome where he joined the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda de Fide (Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith). In 1636 he became a teacher at the Mission of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, and ...
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Coptic Language Primer
This manuscript is a basic introduction to the alphabet, pronunciation, and grammar of the Bohairic dialect of the Coptic language written for Arabic speakers by Iryan Moftah (1826–86). It is copied in a commercial notebook. The author divides each page vertically with text in Coptic script on the left and Arabic translation or explanation on the right. The manuscript is written in a bold black ink. Title and author are given on a label pasted on the front cover. The work is undated, but it is most likely from ...
Coptic Grammar
This manuscript consists of a portion of a Coptic primer by Iryan Moftah (1826–86). It lists useful phrases, with the Coptic in the left column and the Arabic on the right. Moftah avoids explanation of linguistic complexities or conjugations. This, along with the simple, everyday phrases, leads to the conclusion that the book is aimed at schoolchildren or young seminarians rather than advanced learners. Although the textbook is aimed at Arabic speakers, there is no assumption that students are acquainted with the complexities of classical Arabic grammar. There are ...
Untitled Notebook of Coptic-language Lessons
This manuscript contains a Coptic grammar and vocabulary notes compiled by Father Girgis Murqus of Akhmīm, Upper Egypt. It includes lists of common phrases in Coptic with Arabic translation.  It probably was used by the author as a teaching guide for beginning Coptic classes. It is similar to the primers of Iryan Moftah (1826–86), a prominent teacher of Coptic and linguistic reformer, but it also includes verb exercises. The notebook is missing several pages and the binding is in poor condition. Arabic words are occasionally misspelled. The exact date ...
International Conference Regarding the Use of Esperanto
Esperanto is a synthetic language devised by Polish eye doctor Ludwik Lazar Zamenhof (1859–1917), who in 1887 published a pamphlet in Russian, Polish, French, and German describing Esperanto and proposing it as an easy-to-learn second language. An international Esperanto movement developed in the 1890s, culminating in the first world congress of Esperanto speakers in 1905. After World War I, the League of Nations considered adopting Esperanto as a working language and recommending that it be taught in schools, but proposals along these lines were vetoed by France. The League ...
Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning
This mid-19th century publication is a basic textbook of Arabic grammar and syntax. Originally written by Jirmānūs Farḥāt (1670 or 1671−1732 or 1733), it was edited by the famous Lebanese teacher and scholar Buṭrus al-Bustānī. Jirmānūs, Maronite bishop of Aleppo, composed his work at a critical time in the history of the Maronite rite of the Catholic Church as it sought to develop a national identity. With the help of scholars and writers such as Jirmānūs, a solution was found in the Garshuni script, that is, the native Arabic ...
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Soothing the Desire to Learn About Speech from Other Languages
This publication is a dictionary of words, idioms, and proper names taken into Arabic from other languages. It includes personal names from scripture and literature, their supposed derivations, and examples of usage. Place-names are included, along with guides to variant pronunciation. With its intriguing title, Shifa’ al-Ghalil fi-ma fi-Kalam al-‘Arab min al-Dakhil (Soothing the desire to learn about speech from other languages)  is a fascinating lexical history of classical and colloquial Arabic. The author, Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad Al-Khafājī (1571 or 1572−1659), was born in Egypt and received his ...
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The Commentary of al-Allāma Ibn ʻAqīl on “al-Alfiya” by al-Allāma Ibn Mālik
This work is a commentary by Ibn ʻAqīl on the famous 1,000-line poem on the principles of Arabic grammar, al-Alfīya by Ibn Malik. ʻAbd Allah ibn ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʻAqil was born in Cairo in about 1294 and died there in 1367. He was a leading grammarian of the Arabic language and wrote prolifically, but not much is known about his life. In addition to his commentary on al-Alfiya, his works include Taysīr al-istiʻdād li rutbat al-ijtihād (The facility of preparedness for the capacity of independent reasoning ...
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Rubbings of the Stone-drum Inscriptions on a Stone Ink Slab
This scroll contains rubbings of the inscriptions originally found on ancient stone drums. During the Jiajing reign of the Ming dynasty (1522−66) Gu Congyi (1523−88) carved the inscriptions on a stone ink slab, following the exact number, the same order of the characters, and shape as they appeared in a Song rubbing. He proportionally reduced the size to fit the surface of the ink slab but preserved the original features of the Song rubbing of the stone-drum inscriptions. Because the Song copies are all in collections now overseas ...
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Collected Literary Works of Li Taibai
Li Bo (also called Li Bai, 701−762), courtesy name Taibai, style name Qinglian Jushi, was called, among his other nicknames, Shi xian (Immortal poet) and Shi xia (Poet-knight-errant). His work Li Taibai ji (Collected works of Li Taibai) has been handed down from generation to generation. The earliest edition was compiled by Wei Hao, Li Yangbing, and Fan Chuanzheng, three Tang scholars, but these works did not survive. The first printed edition dated back to the third year of Yuanfeng (1080) of the Song and was printed by Yan ...
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Explaining and Analyzing Characters, in 15 Juan
Shuo wen jie zi (Explaining and analyzing characters), often abridged as Shuo wen, was compiled by Xu Shen (circa 58−circa 147), a Confucian scholar and linguist of the Eastern Han dynasty. This is the first Chinese dictionary to use the principle of organization by sections with shared components, called bu shou (radicals), and to analyze the form, meaning, and pronunciation of each character, using the liu shu (six categories of Chinese characters) theory, to give the rationale behind them, as well as their interrelation. It is the forerunner of ...
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The Art of the Aymara Language: A Compendium of Phrases in the Same Language and Their Equivalent Meanings in Spanish
Arte de la lengua aymara, con vna silva de phraʃes de la miʃma lengua, y ʃu declaración en romance (The art of the Aymara language: A compendium of phrases in the same language and their equivalent meanings in Spanish) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1612. The book is by Ludovico Bertonio (1552−1625), an Italian Jesuit missionary who labored among the Aymara Indians of southern Peru and Bolivia, and who wrote several important works about the Aymara language. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima ...
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The Art of the Quechua Language
Arte de la lengva qvichva (The art of the Quechua language) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1619. The book is by Diego de Torres Rubio (1547−1638), a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who came to Peru in 1579, where he devoted himself to the study of Indian languages, especially Aymara and Quechua. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico City. This book is part ...
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A Pleasing Supplement to the Excellent Coverage Contained in the Essay “The Intellectual Hearth and Awakener of the Drowsy”
This manuscript, Tadhyil latif bi-dhikr masa’il hisan min risalah “Mawqid al-idhhan wa mawqiz al-wasnan” (A pleasing supplement to the excellent coverage contained in the essay “The intellectual hearth and awakener of the drowsy”), by an unknown author is a commentary on, or supplement to, a short grammatical treatise by the famous scholar Ibn Hisham al-Ansari (1309−60). The text about which this commentary is written, Mawqad al-Izhan (The intellectual hearth), treats of difficult points of Arabic grammar. Ibn Hisham was not a widely travelled person, having made only two ...
Commentary on Witnesses: Ibn ‘Aqil’s Commentary on “al-Alfiyah” of Ibn Malik
This manuscript is a copy of the commentary by Ibn ‘Aqil (circa 1294–1367) on Ibn Malik’s famous al-Alfiyah, a 1,000-line poem on the principles of Arabic grammar. Both al-Alfiyah and the commentary are standard texts in the traditional Islamic curriculum. The title of the commentary, “Witnesses,” refers to the search by scholars for ancient and dependable shawahid (witnesses) on whom to rely for authentication of the grammar and lexicon of Arabic. Ibn Malik (died 1274) intended his poem as a teaching tool rather than a work of ...
Treatise and Notes on Prayers
This manuscript treats prayers used universally by Muslims. The first section covers al-hamdu lil-Allah, recited on many occasions when recalling God’s grace for some benefaction, such as safe arrival from a journey. The phrase literally means “Praise be to God,” and is used in various forms by people of all faiths. After discussing meaning and usage in light of grammarians Sibawayh and Khalil ibn Ahmad, eighth-century pioneers of Arabic linguistics, the author distinguishes between “proper” use and everyday speech. The work includes discussion of mutaradifat (synonyms) of praise, such ...
Commentary on Grammatical Distinctions
This manuscript, the Sharh al-hudud al-nahawiyah (Commentary on grammatical distinctions) by Jamal al-Din Al-Fakihi (1493 or 1494−1564 or 1565), is a summary clarification of grammatical issues. The author, a Meccan, spent part of his life in Cairo. Not much else is known of his life, travels, or teaching. He was praised by contemporaries, but his scholarship was limited to a few works on grammar, which do not appear to have had a lasting impact on the field. The Sharh is known by the alternative titles Sharh Kitab al-Hudud fi ...
Careful Study of Authentic Revelation
This 14th-century manuscript of a work by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Qurqul (1111−74) is an analysis of lexical problems arising from the canonical hadith texts of al-Bukhari and Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. Ibn Qurqul’s work is modeled after the better known work by Qadi ‘Ayad, Mashariq al-Anwar `ala Sahih al-Athar (A dawn light upon authentic revelation). This is the third and final portion of a set that begins with the letter ‘ayn and continues to the end of the alphabet. The text typically begins with a review of the ...
Khmer Alphabet
On April 27, 1858, Alexandre Henri Mouhot, aged 31, sailed from London to Bangkok with the aim of exploring the remote interior regions of mainland Southeast Asia. He was particularly interested in ornithology and conchology, but he also had a passion for philology, photography, and foreign languages. Born in 1826 in Montbeliard, France, Mouhot became a Greek scholar, and at the age of 18 went to teach Greek and French at the Military Academy in Saint Petersburg, where he quickly picked up Russian and Polish. At the same time he ...
Contributed by The British Library
NZD185: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
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NZD186: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China, is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
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NZD187: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China, is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
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NZD188: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China, is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
NZD189: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China, is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
NZD190: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China, is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
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Zhu Category D: Romance and Love-Related Ceremonies - Ji Feng
The Naxi language spoken by the Naxi people of Yunnan Province, China, is the only pictographic writing system in the world still in use. A member of the Tibetan-Burman language family, Naxi has many of the tonal and symbolic aspects of Chinese. The Naxi language has four tones; each sound complex has many different meanings based on its tone. The Naxi Dongba script is used exclusively by the dongba (shamans/priests) as an aid to the recitation of ritual texts during religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals. Many of the individual ...
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Dictionary and Grammar of the Kongo Language, as Spoken at San Salvador, the Ancient Capital of the Old Kongo Empire, West Africa: Preface
William Holman Bentley (1855–1905) was born in Sudbury, United Kingdom, where his father was a Baptist minister. After working for a time as a bank clerk, he was accepted by the Baptist Missionary Society for its new Congo mission and, in April 1879, he sailed for the Congo with three other missionaries. In January 1881, Bentley and H.E. Crudgington became the first Europeans to establish a route inland from the mouth of the Congo River to Stanley Pool, site of present-day Kinshasa. While building mission stations and traveling ...
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Codex Totomixtlahuaca
This indigenous pictographic document is a colonial-era map from the Mixtecan, Tlapaneca, and Nahua cultural area in the present-day state of Guerrero, Mexico. It refers, principally, to the settlement called Totomixtlahuacan and states that the document was written in 1584. It is an indigenous colonial map that makes abundant use of Mesoamerican pictorial conventions and includes many texts written in Nahuatl, the most widespread Mesoamerican language. The map describes a geographical area, framed by various identified towns and crossed by two rivers. Different individuals, probably noble landowners, are mentioned in ...
Chronicle of a Javanese Court in Yogyakarta
This illuminated page in Javanese script is from a chronicle of a Javanese court in Yogyakarta. Located in central Java, Yogyakarta was one of two main pre-colonial royal cities in Java and a center of Javanese culture. The history of local leaders and royal families was recorded in chronicles such as this one. The document is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Primer with Various Instructions
Beron’s Primer with Various Instructions is the first modern Bulgarian primer. Used by children throughout the 19th century, it contained, in addition to the rules of grammar, general information about nature and basic arithmetic. The book is better known as the “Fish Primer” for the picture of the whale at the end. Beron is considered the father of modern Bulgarian.
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Winds of the Four Directions
This oracle bone from around 1200 B.C. contains 24 characters in four groups in a vigorous and strong style, typical of the Bin group of diviners in the reign of Wu Ding (circa 1200-1189 B.C.). It records the gods of the four directions and of the four winds. The winds of the four directions reflect the spring and autumn equinoxes, the summer and winter solstices, and the changes of the four seasons. The four winds are the east wind, called Xie; the south wind, called Wei; the west ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Kangxi Dictionary
This book was compiled by Zhang Yushu, Chen Tingjing, and other famous philologists and linguists from all over China in response to an edict from Emperor Shengzu in the 49th year of the Kangxi era. The work was completed in the 55th year of the Kangxi era. Through diplomats, missionaries, and the 1904 Saint Louis World Exposition, the Library of Congress acquired editions of the Kangxi Dictionary published in 1716, 1780, 1827, and 1878.
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Correct Words and Variations in the Persian Language
This 16th-century manuscript is a Persian dictionary, written at the time of the Mongol expansion into Persia (present-day Iran). The format of the dictionary follows that of older Arabic dictionaries, in which words were arranged according to the last consonant. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript ...
On the Art of al-Aroodh
This manuscript book from 1554 is in two sections. The first section is a grammatical work by an unknown author that compares the conjugation of verbs in Arabic and in Farsi, indicating changes in the forms each time a different tense is used, and that also contains a list of the singular and plural forms of many Arabic nouns. The second section of the book is a brief article, in Ottoman Turkish, by an unknown author, on the metrics of Arabic poetry. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of ...
Grammar and Its Standards
This anonymous work from 1553 is a Persian grammar, written in Arabic. It includes some Arabic adjectives translated into Persian, and is written in a poor nasta’līq script. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of Islamic ...
On Substantiation Through Transitive Relations
This work by the prominent Shafi’i theologian Muhammad al-Amidi (died 1233 [631 AH]) consists of three parts. The first part, on pages 1 and 2, discusses the difference between metaphors and similes in figurative speech. The second part, on pages 3–10, deals with the use of analogies and transitive relations to prove a case. Al-qiyas, or the use of transitive relations to substantiate a case, is one of four pillars in Islamic jurisprudence. It is also widely used by grammarians. The last part, on page 11, is the ...
Comparisons in Arabic Grammar
A considerable portion of this untitled work by an unknown author is devoted to a discussion of al-qiyas, or comparison, in Arabic grammar. The work also contains excerpts from a work by Muftizade and disquisitions about logic, as well as other references to Muftizade. The manuscript was transcribed by Abdallah al-Hamshini. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet ...
Annals of Creation
The cover of this work by an unknown author bears the title Translation of the Entire Text of the “Yao Annals of Creation.” In this bilingual text, the Dongba text is in color and the Chinese text is in black. The Dongba glyphs are ancient characters that were used to record the dialect of the western Naxi nationality centered around the Li River in Yunnan. They were developed in approximately the seventh century. The Annals of Creation reflect the understanding of the Naxi people concerning the natural world and the ...
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The Xiping Stone Classics
These engravings of the seven Confucian classics were set up outside the National University Gate, located on the south side of Loyang, the capital city, in the Eastern Han dynasty. They were created between 175 and 183, after Cai Yong and a group of scholars successfully petitioned the emperor to have the Confucian classics carved in stone in order to prevent their being altered to support particular points of view. They are also called the “Han Stone Classics” and the “Single-Script Stone Classics." The seven classics -- The Book of Changes ...
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Stele of the Army of Inspired Strategy
This rubbing of a stone stele records the inspection of the Army of Inspired Strategy by the Tang emperor Wuzong (Li Yan). The text was composed by Cui Xuan and written by Liu Gongquan, both of the Tang dynasty. The stele was erected in the third year of the Huichang era (843 A.D.), but within a century was damaged by soldiers and soon disappeared. Because the stele was erected within the Imperial Palace, rubbings were not easily taken, even when it was still intact. These Song dynasty rubbings, also ...
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Stele of the Spread of the Assyrian Teachings of the Great Qin to the Central States
This stele was erected in the second year of the Jianzhong era of the Tang period (781 A.D.), by the Persian missionary Yazdhozid, in the Great Qin Temple. The text was composed by the Persian missionary Jingjing; the calligraphy is by Lü Xiuyan. The text of the stele describes the propagation of the “Luminous Teachings" (of the Assyrian Church of the East, sometimes erroneously referred to as Nestorians) in the Tang dynasty, including the translation into Chinese of the Assyrian religious text Sutra of the Teachings of the World-Honored ...
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