93 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 ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Textbook on Arabic Grammar and Usage
This manuscript is a guide for Christian students of the Arabic language. It was written by Jirmanus Farhat (circa 1670–1732), a prominent Maronite clergyman, and copied after his death for use as a school text. The Lebanese Maronite Church was and remains united with the Roman Catholic Church. However, there was tension in the church, at some times more acute than others, over matters of “Vaticanization” of language and form of worship. Farhat took a leading part in these debates, and helped to advance the use of better Arabic ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
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 (circa 1670–1732), 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 of the Maronites ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
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 ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Book of Literary Expressions
Published in 1885 by the Jesuit Fathers’ printing press of Beirut, the present volume contains an edition of one of the three extant versions of Kitāb al-Alfāẓ al-Kitābiyya (The book of literary expressions) by the tenth-century grammarian, ‛Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‛Īsā al-Hamḏānī. This work presents a collection of difficult words and expressions found in classical Arabic literary texts. For each word or expression, the author offers a number of synonyms and paraphrases intended to guide the reader to a better understanding of the lexical, grammatical, and syntactical peculiarities of the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Fragrant Blossom: A Work on Manners, Society, and Letters
Arij al-zahr: kitab akhlaqi, ijtima’i, adabi (The fragrant blossom: A work on manners, society, and letters) is a collection of essays by Shaykh Mustafa al-Ghalayini, a Lebanese Muslim teacher, writer, and authority on Islamic law. The essays cover a number of subjects presented in a readable style. Ghalayini discusses what it means to be an elegant speaker and writer in the “proper Arabic way,” avoiding the influences of what he calls a‘ujmah (non-Arabic) or afranj (European) style. In other essays, he treats the nature of mankind, the obligations ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Secrets of Metaphor in Rhetoric
This book is a modern scholarly edition of the seminal work by al-Jurjani (died circa 1078) on Arabic rhetoric, Asrar al-balaghah fi ‘ilm al-bayan (The secrets of metaphor in rhetoric), especially the branch called al-bayan (use of metaphor and figures of speech), of which he is considered the founder. In the classical context, ‘ilm al-balaghah (rhetoric) is divided into three interconnected arts, al-ma’ani (clear expression); al-bayan; and badi’ (embellishment and beautiful style). Al-Jurjani’s study of the stylistic and psychological importance of metaphor received widespread acceptance by classical Arabic ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
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 ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Attainment of Fluency in “Al-Muthallathat” Poetry
Nayl al-arab fi-muthallathat al-‘Arab (Attainment of fluency in al-muthallathat poetry) is a manual of poetics for students. It discusses the use of triple short vowels (muthallathat) in a manner conforming to Arabic morphology and authoritative practice. The author, Hasan ibn ‘Ali Quwaydir (1788 or 1789−1846), does not tell us how he came to select the words and phrases in the book. In its idiosyncratic choice of examples and its prescriptive directions for use, this is a highly personal work. The verses of the main text, framed in a ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Last Word on the Foundations of the Language of the Arabs
Faṣl al-khiṭāb fī uṣūl lughat al-Aʻrāb (The last word on the foundations of the language of the Arabs) is an introductory grammar of classical Arabic by Nasif al-Yaziji, one of the founders of the renaissance of Arabic culture in the 19th century. In design and presentation it differs markedly from traditional descriptive grammars and pedagogy by Sibawayh (died 796), Ibn Malik (died 1274), and Ibn Ajarrum (died 1324). In format, al-Yaziji’s textbook provides rules and paradigms for memorization along with exhaustive explanations. In a short preface he explains that ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Book of Adornment in the Rhetorical Arts
Kitāb al-tarṣīʻ fī ʻilm al-maʻānī wa-al-bayān wa-al-badīʻ (The book of adornment in the rhetorical arts) is primer on Arabic rhetoric. The author, ‘Abd al-Qādir ibn Muḥammad Salīm al-Kīlānīlal-Iskandarānī, states he will be “brief, useful, and simple.” In this he is largely successful. Kitab al-tarsi’ was printed at the government press in Damascus in 1922, presumably for use in schools, although there is no evidence that it formed part of the official syllabus. A note on the title page says that the book was distributed “for love of the Prophet,” from ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Excellence in the Rhetorical Arts
Al-Khawāṭir al-ḥisān fī al-ma‘ānī wa-al-bayān (Excellence in the rhetorical arts) is an introduction for students to the elements of Arabic composition. The work emphasizes the correct choice of words and the importance of the sentence as the basic building block of written composition and formal speech. The author, Jabr Dumit (1858−1930), was a teacher at the Syrian Evangelical College in Beirut. In this primer of grammar and usage he introduces students to the various kinds of sentences (declarative, interrogative, and so forth), giving examples of grammatical construction and ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Correspondence of the Masters of Eloquence
Rasa’il al-bulagha’ (Correspondence of the masters of eloquence) is a compilation of classical epistolary writing assembled by the famous modern authority on the Arabic language Muhammad Kurd ‘Ali. It focuses on the writings of the eighth-century literary master ‘Abd Allah ibn Muqaffa’ and contains shorter pieces by other writers whom Kurd ‘Ali judged to be exemplars of style, such as ‘Abd al-Hamid ibn Yahya al-Katib and Ibn Qutayba. ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Muqaffa’, whose prose style is regarded as a model for writers to this day, is represented by ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Perfection of Eloquence: The Letters of Shams al-Maʻali Qabus ibn Washmakir
Kamāl al-balāghah wa huwa rasāʼil Shams al-Maʻālī Qābūs ibn Washmakīr (The perfection of eloquence: The letters of Shams al-Maʻali Qabus ibn Washmakir) is a critical edition of a little-known collection of letters by Ibn Washmakir. The letters demonstrate the writer’s badi’ (virtuosity), especially in rhymed prose. They were transcribed by one ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Yazdadi, who gave the compilation the title Kamal al-balaghah. The current edition is based on two manuscripts discovered in Baghdad in the early 20th century by bookseller Nu’man al-A’zimi. The work was extensively annotated ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
History of Afghanistan: Official Text-Book for the Examination of Military Officers in Interpretership Pushtu
Tārīkh-i-Afghānistān (History of Afghanistan) is a translation into Pashto of G.B. Malleson’s History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak of the War of 1878 (1879). Published in Peshawar in 1930, the book was used as a textbook for British military officers serving in the Pashto-speaking areas of northwestern India (present-day Pakistan) and Afghanistan. Its purpose was to provide a language learning text that would at the same time introduce its readers to the history of the Pashto lands. The translation was done by Ahmad Jan ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
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 ...
Contributed by National Library of China
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 ...
Contributed by National Library of China
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 ...
Contributed by National Library of China
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 (1555−1628), 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 ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
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 ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Grammar and New Art of the Common Language of All of Peru, Called Quechua or Language of the Inca
Gramatica y arte nveva dela lengva general de todo el Peru, llamada lengua Qquichua, o lengua del Inca (Grammar and new art of the common language of all of Peru, called Quechua or language of the Inca) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1607. The volume is an early record of a language that had no written form until the Spanish conquest. It is a grammar of Quechua, the predominant language of the Incas, in its original form at the time the Spanish first arrived in Peru, compiled by the ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Art and Vocabulary in the Common Language of Peru Called Quechua and in the Spanish Language
Arte, y vocabvlario enla lengva general del Perv llamada Quichua, y en la lengua Eʃpañola (Art and vocabulary in the common language of Peru called Quechua and in the Spanish language) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1586. The book is one of the earliest accounts of Quechua, the predominant language spoken by the Inca people of South America. It consists mainly of a glossary of Quechua words and their Spanish equivalents. At the end are notes on the grammar of the Quechua language. The first printing press in South ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Dictionary of the Common Language of Peru Called Quechua, Also in the Spanish Language
Vocabvlario enla Lengva general del Perv llamada Quichua, y enla lengua Eʃpañola (Dictionary of the common language of Peru called Quechua, also in the Spanish language) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1604. The book is a comprehensive dictionary, running to more than 400 pages, of words in Quechua, the predominant language spoken by the Inca people of South America. Words in Quechua, expressed phonetically in the Latin alphabet, are listed in alphabetical order, with their Spanish equivalents. An overview of Quechua grammar appears at the end of the book ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Catechism in the Spanish Language and Quechua: Ordered by Authority of the Provincial Council of Lima in the Year 1583
Catecismo en la lengva Española y qvichva: Ordenado por auεtoridad del Concilio Prouincial de Lima el año de 1583 (Catechism in the Spanish language and Quechua: Ordered by authority of the provincial council of Lima in the year 1583) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1613. The council had recommended the preparation of pedagogical materials, including catechisms, in Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara to instruct the indigenous people of Peru in the Christian faith. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606 ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Art and Vocabulary in the Common Language of Peru Called Quechua and in the Spanish Language: The Most Extensive and Elegant as of the Present
Arte, y vocabvlario enla lengva general del Perv llamada Quichua, y en la lengua Eʃpañola. El mas copioso y elegante, que haʃta agora ʃe ha impreʃʃo (Art and vocabulary in the common language of Peru called Quechua and in the Spanish Language: The most extensive and elegant as of the present) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1614. The book provides an extensive overview of Quechua, the predominant language spoken by the Inca people, with an introduction covering pronunciation and grammar, followed by a dictionary of Quechua words with their ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Book of the Life and Miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ in Two Languages, Aymara and Romance, Translated from the Book Compiled by Alonso de Villegas
Libro dela vida y milagros de Nvestro Señor Ieʃu Chriʃto en dos lenguas, aymara, y romance, traducido de el que recopilo el licenciado Alonso de Villegas (Book of the life and miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ in two languages, Aymara and Romance [i.e., Spanish], translated from the book compiled by Alonso de Villegas) was published in Juli, Peru, in 1612. The book is an extended life of Christ, in 51 chapters, printed in two columns, with Aymara on the left, and Spanish on the right side of the ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Dictionary of the Common Language of the Incas of Peru Called Quechua Language. Corrected and Improved According to the Standards of the Court of Cuzco
Vocabvlario dela lengva general de todo el Perv llamada lengua Qquichua, o del Inca: corregido y renovado conforme ala propriedad corteʃana del Cuzco (Dictionary of the common language of the Incas of Peru called Quechua Language. Corrected and improved according to the standards of the court of Cuzco) was published in Juli, Peru, in 1608. The book is one of several grammars and dictionaries of the Quechua language published in Peru in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. It has been attributed to Diego González Holguín (1560−circa 1620 ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Dictionary of the Aymara Language: First and Second Part
Vocabvlario dela lengva aymara: Primera y segvnda partes (Dictionary of the Aymara language: First and second parts) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1612. The book is by Ludovico Bertonio (1555−1628), 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 by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
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 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
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 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
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 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress