Inspired by the unusual and creative clocks that you often see shared on Facebook, like the handful below, I wondered how I might apply the same kind of creativity to an Arabic-themed clock face…
I knew it wouldn’t be anything new or novel simply to use Arabic numbers, or to write out the numbers as words in Arabic (…although that’s not a terrible idea). So, I came up with something infinitely more original, as well as practical for those learning Arabic… a clock made from the Arabic “verb forms”!
Click here to view the clock for sale on Zazzle.com!
For those unfamiliar with the Arabic verb forms or “awzaan” of the verb, they are a set of different verb forms (or patterns) derived from a single root, and each verb form carries its own distinct meaning, which is a slight variation on the base meaning of the root.
There are actually up to fifteen verb forms, but Arabic textbooks normally focus on only forms 1-10, as the others are extremely rare.
In the case of this clock, the verb forms I have used are based on the trilateral root “f-ع-l” (ف – ع – ل), which carries the meaning “to do”. This root is the root that is most commonly used in Arabic grammar references and textbooks to present all of the different word forms possible in Arabic.
Another example of a root in Arabic is the three consonants ك – ت – ب (k – t – b), written in that order, which carries the meaning of “writing” and produces various words, such as كتاب (kitaab) = “book”, مكتبة (maktaba) = “library”, and أكتب (aktub) = “I write”. For a fully comprehensive and user-friendly map of this root, see my post: The Arabic Verb Map …Revamped!
It is important to note that if the order of the root letters is changed then the meaning will also change completely. When the “verb forms” are generated, the order of the root letters never changes. Instead, there may be a doubling of a root letter, as in form numbers 2, 5, 9 & 11, or the addition of other letters, such as ت (tā), ا (alif), س (sīn), and even و (wāw), as in the rare verb form number 12. Whether used as a clever way to revise Arabic grammar, or used as a unique conversation piece, this novel design for a clock is sure to draw attention.
For more designs available by Nigel of Arabia, visit: www.Zazzle.com/NigelofArabia
Hi Nigel, I am sorry I haven’t replied to your emails about Arabic. I haven’t had a lot of time for a while but I still have them on my computer and I can read them a bit at a time. Thankyou. They are very interesting.