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Games People Play: Arab Sports Vocabulary

Arab-Sports-Vocabulary

Games People Play: Arab Sports Vocabulary

No matter where you travel in the world, you’ll find people that love playing riyaaDa (sports), and this is also especially true of Arabs. Whether it’s individual sports like ملاكمة mulaakamah (boxing) or team sports like كرة القدم الامريكية kurat alqadam al’amreekiyah (rugby), you’re sure to find an Arab audience for it.


Without a doubt, however, the most popular sport in the Arab world is كرة القدم kurat alqadam  In fact, it is the closest thing every country in the Middle East has to a national sport, and if you really want to experience this  رياضة تعتمد على المتفرجين riyaadhah t’atamid  ’alaa almutafarijeen (spectator sport) at the local  ملعب mal’ab (stadium) with a couple of other friends who are مشجعين رياضيين mushaj’een riyaadhiyeen (sports fans), you’re going to have to learn a little about the مباراة mubaaraah (game). So, هيا بنا نلعب كرة القدم/ hayyaa binaa ‘ilaa mal’ab kurat alqadam (Let’s go to the soccer field)!


Typically, in a  مباراة كرة القدم mubaaraat kurat alqadam (football match), each  الفريق alfareeq has 11 players and plays against another fareeq  with the same amount of players. Fans of each fareeq follow the  نتيجة nateejah (score) closely, hoping that their fareeq manages to kick the كرة kurah (ball) in the net to score a هدف hadaf (goal) and give their fariiq the فاز faaz (win). Fans can get rather emotional and react to every خطأ khata’ (foul) that the حكم hakam (referee) calls, especially if it cost their favorite fareeq a  خسارة  khasaarah (loss).


So, how do you pick a favorite fariiq? Well, some people choose a team simply based on the الألوان al’ alwaan (colors) of the fareeq’s (فريق) malaabis riyaadhiyyah (uniforms), while others may choose their favorite (لاعب) laa’ib (player) (or (لاعبة) laa’ibah if it happens to be a female soccer match that is being played).


kurat alqadam is only one of many sports popular in countries with native speakers of the Arabic language. You might have friends who enjoy سباحة sibaaha (swimming). Other sports can include:


horseback riding / furoosiyyah /(فروسية)
volleyball / al
kurat attaa’irah/  الكرة الطائرة
basketball / 
kurat assallah /  كرة سلة
tennis / 
kurat almidhrab / (كرة المضرب)
gymnastics / 
jumbaaz / (جمباز)
ghulf /
alghulf /(الجولف)


Going to the الجمباز aljumbaaz (gym) and practicing الفنون القتالية المختلطة alfunoon alqitaaliyah almukhtalatah (mixed martial arts) are also growing very popular in the Middle East.
One of the most commonly used verbs when talking about sports is  لعب la’iba (play), so it’s important to know how to conjugate the verb in both the (ماضي) maadhi (the past tense) and the (مضارع) mudhaari’ (both the present and future tenses) when you speak Arabic, especially when talking about sports and recreation.

Please keep in mind that we will illustrate its use in the maadhi  in this articleand we will show you its use in the mudhaari’  in a future article on music So, here’s the verb la’iba in its maadhi  form:


EnglishArabicTransliteration
I playedأَنا لَعِبْتُanaa la’ibtu
You played (masculine singular)أَنْتَ لَعِبْتَanta la’ibta
You played (feminine singular)أَنْتِ لَعِبْتِanti la’ibti
He playedهُوَ لَعِبَhuwa la’iba
She playedهِيَ لَعِبَتْhiya la’ibat
We playedنَحْنُ لَعِبْناnahnu la’ibnaa
You played (masculine plural)أَنْتُمْ لَعِبْتُمْantum la’ibtum
You played (feminine plural)أَنْتُنَّ لَعِبْتُنَّantunna la’ibtunna
They played (masculine plural)هُمْ لَعِبواhum la’iboo
They played (feminine plural)هُنَّ لَعِبْنَّhunna la’ibnaa
You played (mixed masculine/ feminine plural)أَنْتُما لَعِبْتُماantumaa la’ibtumaa
They played (dual/ masculine plural)هُما لَعِباhumaa la’ibaa
They played (dual/ feminine plural)هُما لَعِبَتاhumaa la’ibataa


Now that you’re ready to be a team player, go out there and enjoy some Arabic sports with your friends!
At kaleela.com, we are always good sports when you want to learn Arabic, so if you have any questions about this article or any other article posted on our website, please feel free to drop us a line.