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3180 Arabic November 2008

Paper 3180/01

General comments
The overall performance of the candidates on this paper was good.
The standard was similar to last year's paper.

Candidates must remember to pay particular attention to grammar, especially the use of gender,
dual, singular and plural. They should also master the use of tenses, especially the past tenses, and
personal pronouns.


Candidates should be made aware of the importance of keeping to the word limit.

Comments on specific questions
Section A - Letter, Report, Dialogue or Speech

This question proved popular. Certain greeting phrases were repeated in many answers.
Candidates need to learn a variety of new words and phrases to be used in letter-writing.


This question proved less popular. Some candidates narrated the incident and did not write a
report as was required in the question.


This was a popular question and candidates who chose this topic did well on the whole. Most
candidates were aware of the need to write a dialogue in an appropriate style.

Section B - Essay

Many candidates successfully tackled this topic and wrote freely about the happy occasion and the
family rituals that prevailed at that time.


The candidates who chose this topic generally handled it well. The majority of candidates used
familiar vocabulary related to their School days.


Many candidates chose this popular topic to write about an outing with friends. The description of
the outing was well expressed, but some candidates only focused on the outing and ignored the
part of the question regarding the incident.


This was a popular question which was approached sensibly. Responses included the positive and
negative aspects of watching television and the role it plays in the education of the candidates


© UCLES 2008

3180 Arabic November 2008

Paper 3180/02
Translation and Reading Comprehension

General comments
The overall performance of the candidates on this paper was satisfactory.

Candidates should be given more practice in the use of correct past and present tenses.


Candidates should be given lists of vocabulary (i.e. names of animals, flowers, vegetables,
sounds...etc.). Such lists can be found in bilingual photo-dictionaries.


To attain a higher standard of translation, candidates need practice in translating texts in a range of
different subject matters. Previous examination papers can be very useful for this purpose.

Comments on specific questions

A large number of candidates managed to translate this passage. Some answers were inaccurate. It
was noted that some candidates translated imaginary passages unrelated to the questions. Some
weak candidates wrongly translated thieves as chinese, because the word had a similar sound.
Donkey was translated into: horse, bird, and snake. Plate was translated into bucket, basket, box,
and plastic bag.


The majority of candidates understood this question and translated the passage accurately. Again a
minority of weak candidates encountered problems with certain vocabulary. For example: bark was
translated into cry, weep, shout, commotion, and uproar. Fox was translated into wolf, lion, and
sheep. Kitchen was translated into restaurant. Stable was translated into horse and animal home.

Questions 3 – 10
Most candidates did well on these questions which proved to be relatively accessible. Future candidates
should be encouraged not to lift a complete sentence from the passage and use it in their answer,
particularly when it may require a change in the syntax or use of personal pronouns. Candidates should be
given practice in responding to questions using their own words.


© UCLES 2008

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