Let’s stay with the Near Eastern languages theme for another day.  Today’s assignment in the blogging exercise is dogs.  Dogs are not highly regarded as domestic animals in the Near East because they are considered unclean, as Fr. Peck’s article illustrates.  In Arabic, the name for dog is kalb (think of the Hebrew name Caleb – Joshua’s fellow spy – which also means dog and is from the same root).  The word for heart is qalb, with the only difference being the voiceless uvular plosive at the beginning rather than the k sound that we now in English.  The qaf sound is difficult to do without practice, so if you are learning Arabic and want to call someone “my heart” or whatever, be careful – substituting k for qaf makes it into an insult!

%d bloggers like this: