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ARABIC PROVERBS pdf download

Book Title Arabic Proverbs
Book AuthorJohn Lewis Burckhardt
Total Pages298
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Arabic Proverbs Ed. 2nd Illustrated from their proverbial sayings current at cairo; translated and explained by the late john lewis burckhardt.


The translator found those Proverbs written upon nine or ten leaves in the common-place book of a sheikh, with whom lie was acquainted in this city:

but they wanted explanation or commentary. Of those he has omitted a considerable number, many being altogether uninteresting, and others so grossly indelicate that be could not venture to lay them before the public, although it must be acknowledged that they excelled in wit.

Several sayings which appear to have been popular in the time of lbn Asad, are no longer current;

and these the translator has marked with an asterisk.

The original collection he has augmented by some hundreds, committed to paper as he heard them quoted in general society or in the bazar.

Where the sense of a Proverb did not seem quite clear, he has explained it, or at least noticed the meaning commonly assigned to it, as well as any peculiarity of language wherever the provincial idiom differs from the learned Arabic. In this labour he was assisted by many intelligent Arabs of Cairo.

The natives, in general, are so fond of figurative language and of witty allusions and comparisons taken from low life, that these sayings are constantly quoted on every common occasion, and express the tendency or moral of an event much better than could be done by a long or flowery speech. Many of these sayings are rhythmical, and sometimes the rhymes are extremely happy;

but the drollery is lost in a plain translation, which has been rendered as literal as possible, and in which the true sense has never been sacrificed to elegance.

They are written in the vulgar dialect of Cairo, such as every inhabitant understands and every one uses, except perhaps a few which affect to despise the language of the lower classes.

These Proverbs offer a genuine specimen of the Arabic at present spoken in the Egyptian capital, and the same, or very nearly the same, as that used in the towns of the Delta.

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