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Comparing English & ArabicA Translator’s Perspective April 7th, 2015 Dania A. Salamah Translator’s Club College of Languages & Translation, KSU
Contents • Articles • Nouns and adjectives • Translating “Be” and other linking verbs • Translating “Have” • Subject-Verb Agreement • Practice • References
Articles in Arabic.. • Definite article: ال التعريف • همزة وصل • اتصال ال التعريف بالاسم يقتضي الاستغناء عن التنوين • Indefinite article: لا يوجد • التنوين دليل على التنكير
Articles in English.. • Definite article: • the • when the noun is known or clear to the listener/speaker • with certain words (e.g., the doctor, the bank, the army, the police, the airport • Indefinite article: • A • an • when referring to something for the first time • When the noun is not known to the reader/listener
Examples: • I had a steak for dinner. The steak was delicious. • When we were on vacation, we stayed at a very nice hotel. However, the problem was that the hotel was very expensive. • The teacher told Amal to sit on a chair. So she sat on the chair near the window. • The window is opposite the door in our classroom.
The vs. A/An vs. ∅ • Use “the” when there is only one of something • The moon, the sun, the universe • The longest, the shortest, the biggest • The only… • The sea, the sky, the ground • When we mean voyage sea with no “the” • No article with space (i.e., outer space) BUT The space is big enough for the sofa.
The radio, the theater, the cinema • BUT no “the” with television We watch television • UNLESSwe mean the television set Please turn on the television • No “the” with the names of meals (i.e., breakfast, lunch, dinner) • We have breakfast at 9:00 every morning. • Dinner is always a family event. • BUT I had a nice dinner with my friends
Use “the” with singular countable nouns to mean something in general • Types of animals/plants: • The elephant is a huge animal = Elephants are huge animals • The rose is a fragrant flower = Roses are fragrant flowers • Type of machine/invention: • The telephone was invented by Thomas Edison. • The car is the most common means of transportation in Saudi Arabia.
The + adjective • The meaning is always plural • the rich, the old, the blind, the sick, the injured, the poor, the young, the unemployed • But a blind man, not a blind
The + nationality words • With some nationalities to mean the people of that country • the British, the English, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Irish, the French, the Swiss • the Chinese, the Japanese • (the) Italians, (the) Arabs, (the) Scots, (the) Turks, (the) Russians
The hospital vs. hospital • Hospital (the idea of hospital) someone goes to hospital or is in hospital if he is ill • The Hospital (a specific hospital) to visit someone there • No “the” with School, university, college, prison (the idea of these places) • BUT: She went to the school to apply for a job. (not as a student or to study) • BUT: Where is the university? (the location/building) • No “the” with bed, work, home • Go to bed.. She is in bed the bed (furniture) • Go to work.. Be at work.. Start work.. • Go home.. Come home.. Stay at home..
Geographical Names • Continents no the • Asia, Africa, North America • Countries and states no the • France, Saudi Arabia, Japan • BUT: Use the with names including republic, union, kingdom, and states • The United States of America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of China • BUT: Use the with plural names • The Philippines, the Netherlands
Cities no the • Cairo, New York • Exception: The Hague (in the Netherlands) • Islands (groups) the • The Bahamas, the Canary Islands • Islands (single islands) no the • Bermuda, Sicily
Nouns and adjectives in Arabic.. • الصفة تتبع الموصوف في اللغة العربية • الصفة تتوافق مع الموصوف في اللغة العربية من حيث: • التعريف والتنكير • التذكير والتأنيث • العدد (الإفراد والتثنية والجمع)
الحقيبة الكبيرة حقيبةٌ كبيرةٌ • الطبيب الماهر طبيبٌ ماهرٌ • المعلمات الحريصات معلماتٌ حريصاتٌ • الفنجان الزجاجي فنجانٌ زجاجيٌ • العاملين النشيطين عاملين نشيطين
Nouns and adjectives in English.. • Adjectives occur before the nouns they modify in English • English adjectives do not agree with the nouns they modify • Blue ball • Small room • Hard-working student
Omitting the verb • Linking verb • I am a student. • She is kind • Helping verb (present continuous tense) • I am leaving now. • We are speaking English.
Translating the verb • Main verb • The child was ill. • The boys were one team. • Helping verb (past continuous tense) • Her mother was preparing lunch. • The guests were praying.
Linking verbs: become , seem , appear , get, turn, grow, feel, look, smell, taste, sound • They perform linking functions and need to be translated according to the meaning they represent in the sentence.. • They seem upset because of what happened. • The food smells delicious. • The children feel happy. • The weather became cold.
As a helping verb disregard the verb • The workers have already left. • The patient has seen the doctor. • As a main verb understand the meaning and translate it accordingly • She has money. • He has breakfast at 8:00 every morning.
Subject-Verb Agreement in Arabic.. • When the verb occurs before the subject and it is in 3rd person (الغائب) • singular • كتب الولد • يكتب الولدان • كتب الأولاد • gender agreement • كتب الطالب كتبت الطالبة • يكتب المعلمون تكتب المعلمات • كتب الأستاذان كتبت الأستاذتان
With broken plurals (جمع التكسير) feminine form of verb • Example: • ظهرت النجوم UNLESS the plural refers to male human beings! • حضر الرجال • True gender is taken into consideration • أمر الخليفة بسجن السارقوليس أمرت الخليفة بسجن السارق
When the verb occurs after the subject • gender and number agreement • البنات دخلن إلى الغرفة • الأولاد فتحوا الباب • المهندس حضر الاجتماع • الطبيبة فحصت المريض
Using the 3rd person plural verb.. • When the plural subject is not mentioned • ذهبوا – أكلوا – درسوا • When the subject is placed first for emphasis • الطلاب خرجوا عندما انتهى وقت المحاضرة • When the subject has already been mentioned • اختبر الطلاب ثم ذهبوا لمنازلهم.
Subject-Verb Agreement in English.. • Subjects and verbs must agree in number • The student is present. • The students are present. • She has spoken to her teacher. • They have finished their homework. • Third person singular subjects • Verbs that occur with third person singular subjects must take the (s) suffix • The student comes to school everyday. • She eats lunch with her family after school.
Translate the following sentences into English: • في الفصل طالبٌ • طالبٌ في الفصل • طالبةٌ ذكيةٌ • الطالبةُ الذكيةُ • الطالبة ذكيةٌ
الشارعُ الضيقُ • شارعٌ ضيقٌ • الشارعُ ضيقٌ • المدرسةٌ العالميةُ الجديدةُ • مدرسةٌ عالميةٌ جديدةٌ • المدرسةُ عالميةٌ وجديدةٌ
Translate the following sentences into Arabic: • You are her father. • He is eating an apple. • She is invited to the party. • The bird was beautiful. • My brother was writing a letter. • The two students have missed class. • Have a seat.
We grew tired as we were climbing the mountain. • The weather turns hot in July. • It sounds like they did not enjoy the trip. • Have fun! • Amalhad a nice vacation.
Complete the following sentences with a/an, the, or ∅: • We went out for _______ meal last night. _______ restaurant we went to was excellent. • _______ President of the United States is elected every four years. • After _______ lunch, we went for a walk by _______ sea. • When I was _______ child, I used to be very shy. • He has _______ very long hair. • I visited _______ Bahamas, but I have never been to _______ Cyprus. • Have you finished with _______ book I lent you last week?
As I was walking along the street, I saw _______ $10 bill on _______ sidewalk. • _______ moon goes around _______ earth every 27 days. • I invited Amy to _______ dinner next week. • Can you turn _______ television down please? It's too loud.
References • Azar, B. S. (1999). Understanding and using English grammar (3rd ed.). New York: Longman. • Haywood, J. A. & Nahmad, H. M. (1976). A new Arabic grammar. UK: Lund Humphries London • Khalil, A. M. (1999). A contrastive grammar of English and Arabic. Jordon: Jordon Book Centre Company Limited.. • http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/linkingverb.htm