Risala: The Arabic Learner’s Weblog

August 6, 2007

Learn to read and Arabic Newspaper with WordChamp.com’s WebReader…also…

Filed under: Uncategorized — muhammad aziiz palmer @ 3:37 pm

Follow this link to give WordChamp.com’s WebReader a test drive!!! Enjoy;-)


May 23, 2007

SCREENSHOTS of: Brand New Multi-Lingual Search Feature: Very AWESOME…..read-on….awesom new tool NOTHING YET LIKE IT

Google Multi-Lingual Search <——–< THIS LINK TAKES YOU RIGHT TO THE ACTION….see for yourself!!!

New Multi-Lingual Search Interface brought to you by GOOGLE TRANSLATE

Google Multi-Lingual Search  <——–< THIS LINK TAKES YOU RIGHT TO THE ACTION….see for yourself!!!

Google Translate has a BRAND NEW Multi-lingual Search Interface…..It is on a second TAB just added to the old Google Translate Page

This entry containst Screen Shots of the news feature….BUT ALSO the background info on what else is like it and why it is unique…I’m so glad that I WAITED until NOW to write a post about Babelplex.com Multi-Lingual Search because is also used the Google Search API for its service. So what is so special about these two services and expecially Googles New MULTI-Lingual Auto Search:

Here are the screenshots: I’m going to add the extra into later I just wanted to get the GREAT NEWS to YOU, my readers ASAP, so here you go!!! Enjoy!!!

Where:  2nd TAb—–>   http://google.com/translate_s?hl=en

How Google Translate’s Multi Lingual Search Interface Works!!! Explained by Google Right on the PageThe Big Picture….uhhhh…i mean screenshot;)


The Big Picture….uhhhh…i mean screenshot;)

April 25, 2007

aziizkeez v4.0…an Arabic Qwerty keyboard layout for Students & Educators

Filed under: Uncategorized — muhammad aziiz palmer @ 1:33 am

Download aziizkeez v4.0 for WINDOWS

Download aziizkeez v4.0 for MAC

aziizkeez is:

  • Intuitive…..i.e. fatha & fathatan and kasra & kasratan positioning (and much more)
  • Tested….my Arabic TA couldn’t believe how fast i could type notes in class
  • to be continued….(cuz it is 2:30 am)

April 1, 2007

Finding Arabic Multi-Media: University Teaching Materials, Arabic News Archives, & More!

Here is the thing…..you know how sometimes you run across an old class website from some DOT—>edu, that looked really promising in the search results pages but low and behold…..you get there and :(( all the links on the site are dead, broken, useless!!! Well, don’t lose all hope…..because sometimes…..just sometimes—the “Internet Wayback Machine” aka The Internet Archive comes to the rescue……check it out sometime it may just come in handy for like it has for me!!!

Ok…..now i’ll get right to it……i’ve been working on one of those Google Custom Search Engines for a number of topics in Arabic….however they don’t work as well as I hoped thanks to Big Brother (aka Scrooge MacGOOG). Any way……tell me if you like the the type of content that you find in this post and I’ll add more like it in the future?

I didn’t find Google very helpful for finding a lot of the Content I was looking for……so I had to branch out a lil…… MetaCrawler Video Search: keywords: Arabic Site:edu. I had a problem though…..i hate it when awesome educational material once available to ALL…….get stashed behind some password protected Intellectual Fort Knox…..and that is where The Internet Archive comes in:-)

The following is an example of a broken link……hiding on the Wayback Machine: Wisconsin’s Al-Kitaab Materials (oldies but goodies)

Here is more Al-Kitaab….and if you ever find that this link goes bad……it is prolly on the Way Back Machine too (just like the one above)!

Don’t forget the three links in the post preceding this one:)

Those two (along with all the ones i’m not listing from MetaCrawler whose links do work) will have do for now…..i’m a bit tired…….i’ll have more if people like this type of thing….otherwise…..i dunno…Enjoy!!!

P.S. ~ If you didn’t take my word for it before…….ima ganna say it again…..the best thing you’ll ever do for your Arabic……is read the paper EVERYDAY…..using noneother than the Assistance of Google’s URL MACHINE TRANSLATION TOOL (not the copy past tool, full page html translation is the only one that works you’ll understand why if you take the trouble to use it)

till next time…..masalama

March 31, 2007

Use These Links (to Google Search Results Pages) to find Arabic Audio and Video Content from Al-Jazeera etc…

Click on the links below in order to find find archived audio & video content in Arabic from Aljazeera.net, BBCArabic.com, & arabic.cnn.com!!! The links will take you to the appropriate Google query results pages, so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the Arabic with just a click of your mouse! JUST CLICK on the LOGO LINKS below!!!

March 23, 2007

Windows XP & Typing Arabic on a PC…What to do if you don’t have a MAC;-(

First of all it is my recommendation to all those Arabic Learners out there that want to get started with typing Arabic, get a Mac…i mean you don’t see all those reporters in Iraq with Mac’s because they look cool….anyway….As you probably know by now…Mac’s make Arabic keyboarding a cinche. I mean, the standard Arabic Keylayout is literally “STANDARD” meaning pre-installed…and if you want to modify the Mac Qwerty or even Standard Keylayout then all you need is Ukelele (described on a previous posting, see below).

Ok….enought of that….i’m sorry i went on so long about that Mac VS. PC stuff………but the point i’m trying to make is…….this is an area where IT REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFF WHICH ONE YOU GOT:-)

If you are a PC “buff” or if you are stuck with a PC, and still can’t keep yourself away from Unicode Scripts like Arabic: Then follow this link!!! You’ll be doing this stuff like this: أنا أُحِبُّ ماكينتَوش ولُغَةِ العَرَبيةِ in no time!!! Especially if you go with a QWERTY setup. And of course the Qwerty setup i recommend most…..is aziizkeez (you can download the latest version below). Reach all the most important haraket/tashkeel without HITTING SHIFT….I call it “Qwerty for Educators and Students” cuz I don’t think anyone else almost ever uses all those cool looking vowels….enjoy here is the link to get you PC people in the game;-)







al-Husein N. Madhany

The University of Chicago (Graduate Student)

The above article is now available as a POWER POINT presentation!!! ALSO the both links are as of NOW UP TO DATE…..meaning if you downloaded it before…..it might be worth a another shot.


aziizkeez_v2_2……..UPDATED keylayout……for Mac


March 22, 2007

The Amazing Automatic Arabic Verb Conjugator!!!

Acon Verb Conjugator

March 4, 2007

My First Open Letter. . . . . Al-Jazeera On Training Wheels!!!

404047767_44a60c50cb_o.pngScreenShot 2404047767_44a60c50cb_o.pngScreenShot 1404047793_96c7903792_o.png

يا أُسْتاذٌ ,

This is my first post to this blog, and as such, I would like to dedicate this spcieal post to a subject I have become quite passionate about—the Arabic language;-) This first post is directed toward both Arabic learners and those teaching the subject….but especially the latter.

It is clear that university level Modern Standard Arabic courses are geared toward preparing students to acquire language proficiency such that they may “read the newspaper” and consume other news media resources. Thus the standand text (Al-Kitaab by Karen Brustad) strongly emphasizes such content as reading examples. Reading an Arabic newspaper is an arduous task (probably even for 3rd year Arabic students) however it is precisely doing this on a daily basis that allows a student to maintain his/her active recall of vocabulary and further his/her understanding of common grammatical structures.

Due to the difficulty of just “picking up an Arabic newspaper” both online or offline, many students are unable to partake in this vital part of language learning (routine exposure to the language in its native form).

Please read this to the end or stop here, because the key to this idea isn’t unlocked unti…..”happily ever after.”

Use Google Translate. This is NOT to say that Google Translate can be considered a reliable translation tool by any means. On the contrary, all “Machine Translation” is highly unreliable and often riddled with error. However, mostly what a student needs when reading something like a newspaper is just a rough idea of what is going on (i.e. a reference vocabulary). This will allow the student to start “soaking up” the grammar, content, and novel vocabulary words right away, without the need for constantly referring to a clumsy hardcopy dictionary ten times in a row for an overkill definition.

Thus, if a student goes to this page and adds the——> Arabic to English <——just drag browser button link [yes, the one the arrows are pointing at] to his/her browser favorites toolbar then s/he can press this button while at any online news source (i say news because there is no point in reading non-MSA for our purposes here), and the page will be automatically machine translated.

Al-Jazeera on Training Wheels
Here is the key! After translating a page (such as http://www.bbcarabic.com) with the “Browser Translate Button” the following happens:

Not only is the page Machine Translated but Google also provides a very unique and useful FEATURE: when a the mouse cursor hover’s over any block of translated text such as a short paragraph or a link…..Google automatically hilights the block of text in light blue AND THEN A LITTLE WINDOW POPS UP (Web 2.0/java/ajax that sort of thing) and VOILA!!! sitting right there before the students eyes is THE ORIGINAL ARABIC (pre-translation) THAT GOES WITH THE CORRESPONDING HILIGHTED PARAGRAPH!!!

This allows the student to use the Machine Translated garbled English as a REFERENCE POINT/psuedo-vocabulary list etc. while reading the paper.

I have tried it and it is amazing!!!

Download a great introductory Arabic grammar book!!!

A Hundred and One Rules!. . . . . Download It Below!!!

PDF Version

Word Version

HTML Version

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