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Arabic in bite-sized parts

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152 messages over 19 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 13 ... 18 19 Next >>
Zireael
Triglot
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Poland
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, Spanish
Studies: German, Sign Language, Tok Pisin, Arabic (Yemeni), Old English

 
 Message 97 of 152
12 August 2014 at 10:13am | IP Logged 
I've watched Where do we go now? (original title: وهلّأ لوين؟) yesterday.
The movie is a bit heavy-handed with the message, rather like hammer-dropping it, but I had lots of fun reading bilingual credits and the dedication at the end:
اًم لنحن
'to our mother(s)'
Funnily enough, the word mother was in singular and not in plural...
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Luso
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 Message 98 of 152
12 August 2014 at 5:35pm | IP Logged 
Zireael wrote:
I had lots of fun reading bilingual credits and the dedication at the end:
اًم لنحن
'to our mother(s)'
Funnily enough, the word mother was in singular and not in plural...

This is a tough one. Let me try to be concise, as I believe we are talking about an exception to a difficult rule.

So, we know that Arabic nouns inflect according to five different features, one of them being humanness. If a plural noun refers to nonhuman entities, it takes the feminine singular ending.

But "mothers" is as human as it gets, right? Well, there are exceptions to this rule, and I believe that's the case here. In fact, when human plurals are abstract in meaning, the rule reverts to its original form. I believe "our mothers" could fall under that category.


Disclaimer #1: I'm doing this a posteriori, that is, assuming that: a) you're quoting correctly (sorry about that), and that b) the original text is correct.

Disclaimer #2: I'm not sure I'm interpreting this well. I just wanted to use this example to illustrate a difficult and unusual grammar point. I suggest you to go and check it yourself.

Edited by Luso on 12 August 2014 at 6:55pm

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fiolmattias
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 Message 99 of 152
13 August 2014 at 6:17am | IP Logged 
Zireael wrote:
I had lots of fun reading bilingual credits and the dedication at the
end:
اًم لنحن
'to our mother(s)'
Funnily enough, the word mother was in singular and not in plural...


I did the unreliable google test :)
اًم لنحن got zero hits
أمهاتنا got almost two million hits

My guess is that it is plural that is the norm :)

Edited by fiolmattias on 13 August 2014 at 6:17am

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Zireael
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Poland
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, Spanish
Studies: German, Sign Language, Tok Pisin, Arabic (Yemeni), Old English

 
 Message 100 of 152
13 August 2014 at 12:20pm | IP Logged 
fiolmattias, I'm pretty sure it was two words and that the second began with a lam, not a ha.
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Zireael
Triglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 3049 days ago

518 posts - 636 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, Spanish
Studies: German, Sign Language, Tok Pisin, Arabic (Yemeni), Old English

 
 Message 101 of 152
17 August 2014 at 11:38am | IP Logged 
Not directly Arabic-related, but:
I had a trio of friends, siblings (Polish mother, ? father I never met). The boy was named Mustafa, the older girl was Aisha and the younger Binta.
Therefore theirs were the first names I'd asked Sarah to spell when I started learning Arabic in Jan 2013. I was very surprised to learn that while Mustafa and Aisha are indeed Arabic names, Binta is not.
I did a bit of research that year and it turned out Binta is a name which is used solely in Senegal, with some tentative links to Arabic بنت or maybe something else I forgot, too.

A day ago, I was watching Zurich 2014 and there was a Belgian athlete named Nafissatou Thiam - I googled her name and her father is Senegalese.

The catch? Aisha's name was either polonised (Aisza) or spelled as Aissatou.

Therefore I am reasonably sure the father of the trio was Senegalese :) It's been years since I've seen them, though.

Edited by Zireael on 17 August 2014 at 11:38am

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Talib
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
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171 posts - 205 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (classical)
Studies: Arabic (Egyptian)

 
 Message 102 of 152
18 August 2014 at 7:58am | IP Logged 
Zireael wrote:
I've watched Where do we go now? (original title: وهلّأ لوين؟) yesterday.
The movie is a bit heavy-handed with the message, rather like hammer-dropping it, but I had lots of fun reading bilingual credits and the dedication at the end:
اًم لنحن
'to our mother(s)'
Funnily enough, the word mother was in singular and not in plural...



It is kind of hard to tell why it says اًم لنحن. Maybe it is some colloquial thing because it would normally be أم لنا (a mother for us). The pronoun form نحن is used when it is not connected to another word and نا is used when connected to another word as in this example where it is preceded by the preposition ل.

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Zireael
Triglot
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Poland
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, Spanish
Studies: German, Sign Language, Tok Pisin, Arabic (Yemeni), Old English

 
 Message 103 of 152
18 August 2014 at 12:46pm | IP Logged 
Might be it was أم لنا - it was dark in the cinema and I couldn't write it down immediately and only jotted it down when got back home.
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Zireael
Triglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 3049 days ago

518 posts - 636 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, Spanish
Studies: German, Sign Language, Tok Pisin, Arabic (Yemeni), Old English

 
 Message 104 of 152
26 August 2014 at 6:43pm | IP Logged 
What does nasara نصارى mean? I've came across it on a friend's FB feed but he doesn't know any Arabic (it was a reference to the Christians in the Middle East).

Help?


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