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Applying Peratos Principle To Learning Arabic

You might have heard of Paretos principle, if not here is a quick overview. Paretos principle, often mistakenly coined Paretos law, states that 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes. For example we get 80% of our complaints from 20% of our customers, we receive 80% or our returns from 20% of our investments, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. You get the picture.

So how does this relate to learning Arabic? You might have noticed some students of Arabic doing various Arabic courses at colleges and universities around the country yet they still struggle to understand Qur’an or decipher classical texts, that because they have not harnessed the power of Paretos principle.

When it comes to understanding Qur’an we get the most exponential results from learning morphology and grammar. Otherwise known as ‘Sarf’ and ‘Nahw’.

Today I want to share with you a little gem from the science of ‘sarf’. Think of all the places that begin with مَ ‘ma’ in Arabic.

Ma-ktab (desk)

Ma-sjid (mosque)

Ma-t’am (restaurant)

Ma-khraj (exit)

Ma-dhkal (entrance)

What do you notice? Have you noticed they are all places, Maktab (place where you write) Masjid (place of sajda, prostration), Mat’am (the place where you eat) Makhraj (exit, or the place where you exit) Madhkal (entrance, place where you enter) that’s because an Arabic word beginning with مَ ‘ma’ is an ‘adverb of place or time’. So the next time you hear a word beginning with ‘ma’ assume it’s most likely a place or time where something takes place. To know what place it is or what’s taking place you need to know the meaning of the root it carries.

As I keep reminding my kids Arabic is a language of patterns, once you start to make sense of these pattern you will really taste the beauty and sweetness of the Arabic language, it’s absolutely amazing. Until next time Allah bless.

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About the Author Q4R4n11

2016-02-08 11:27:08
Mashallah, beautifully explained, studying Arabic at the moment, iA the aim is to teach it some day, please do dua, thank you. Haris
2016-02-25 07:58:09