Novel Reading Excercise–Tilka al-Ra’iha

Tales of Horror in Arabic—Nosferatu (A Lesson Plan)

Hello Arabic Learners,

Have you enjoyed the stories from موسوة الظلام? Well here is a lesson plan to help you improve your Arabic Readings skills, using both the “Encyclopedia of Darkness” & the daunting Hans Wehr dictionary. Don’t worry I’ll walk you through it. This time we have a few more steps for working through the text.

  1. Read the text below (without reading the translation). For help I have placed European proper nouns that have been transliterated into Arabic in green. As usually potential unfamiliar words are in red.
  2. Look at the list of roots to help you understand an Arabic dictionary and see if you can find them on your own using the Hans Wehr link below. Write down what you think the word means based on your findings.
  3. Check your translations against the word bank.
  4. Check your translation against the English at the end.

I hope you enjoy!

القصة عن نوسفيراتو (The Story about “Nosferatu”)

عندما قدم مورناو معالجته السينمائية الشهيرة لقصة ستوكردراكيولا” كان يواجه مشكلة القضايا التي سترفعها عليه ارملة ستوكر، لانها كانت تمنع اي فنان من استعمال قصة زوجها. لذا قدم القصة باسم نوسفيراتو ومعناها “الذي لم ينام”. برغم هذا رفعت عليه الارملة قضية. قدم هذا الفليم الذي عرض عام 1922 شخصية دراكيولا (الممثل ماكس شريك) بشكل لم يتكرر ثانية، حيث يبدو شاحبا يشبه (الطحالب التي تنمو على جدران الكهوف) ذا ماكياج يجعله اقرب للقوارض. و تصوير الفليم ينتمي للمدرسة التعبيرية الامانية له جو كابوسي مميز. فيما بعد قدم هريزوج معالجة اخرى بالالوان لذات الفيلم وان ملاها بالاسقاطات الساسية، و جعل نوسفيراتو مرادفا للنازية

القاموس (The Dictionary)

Arabic dictionaries work differently than they do in English. Instead of looking up every word alphabetically you look up the 3 letter (or in rare cases 4 letter) root. Use this link  to access the online Hans Wehr dictionary. In case you cannot figure out what the root letters are, I have provided them below (by try to figure them out on your own first). Then write down what you think the word you are looking for might mean.

  1. مشكلة = ش ك ل
  2. ترفع = رف ع
  3. ارملة = ر م ل
  4. تمنع= م ن ع
  5. شاحبا = ش ح ب
  6. الطحالب ==ط ل ح ب (this is a 4 letter root)
  7. كهوف == ك ه ف
  8. قوارض == ق رض
  9. الاسقاطات == س ق ط (This one has a very metaphorical meaning)
  10. مرادفا== ر د ف (this one is in the third Wazn)

المفردات (The Vocabulary)

  1. مشكلة == problem
  2. ترفع == she raises
  3. ارملة == widow
  4. تمنع == she forbids
  5. شاحبا == pale
  6. الطحالب == algae
  7. كهوف ==caves
  8. قوارض == rodents
  9. الاسقاطات == projections
  10. مرادفا == synonym

الترجمة (The Translation)

When Murnau presented his famous film adaption of Stoker’s story “Dracula” he was facing legal problems that would be raised against him by Stoker’s widow because she was forbidding any artist from using her husband’s story. So he (Murnau) presented the story with the name “Nosferatu” which means “that which doesn’t sleep.” Despite this, the widow raised a lawsuit against him (Murnau). This film, which debuted in 1922, presented the character Dracula (actor Max Shrek) in an unrepeated way, where he seemed (appeared) pale and resembles (algae that grows on the walls of caves) and the same makeup makes him (appear) closer to rodents. The cinematography of this film belongs to the School of German Expressionism which has a distinctive nightmarish ambiance. After that, Herzog presented another adaption in color and filled it with political projections making Nosferatu a synonym for Nazism.

Quiz Time!



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