بالنسبة

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by linguist786, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    السلام عليكم

    I often hear this word on Arab channels (not that I understand much, but it's interesting to listen to to work our small chunks!) What does it mean exactly? I figure it means something like "for", but I need an explanation about its uses. Example sentences would be useful!

    شكرًا لكم
     
  2. Tajabone Senior Member

    Paris
    French, Berber (Kabyle), Arabic (classical and dialectal)
    Hi Linguist,

    The expression means mainly "regarding", "concerning" and sometimes " in compraison to".
    I guess it simply derives from the French expression "par rapport à".
    Some conservative grammarians tend to "index" this expression since it is not used as such in old grammar books.
     
  3. suma Senior Member

    USA
    English, USA
    liguist786 it's also equivalent to tems like "with regard to", "as for", "as far as... is concerned". As in English it's used to link to a previously mentioned topic that you now intend to speak about.

    Tajabone I don't understand what you mean by "index"?
     
  4. Tajabone Senior Member

    Paris
    French, Berber (Kabyle), Arabic (classical and dialectal)
    To indicate it (the expression in Arabic in this case) as a negative/bad form of Arabic (it is a normative stance among some people who consider books like Lisan Al-3arab as a definitive reference for Arabic).
    Sorry by the way for "index", I was playing with a Catholic cultural reference which is clearer in French.
     
  5. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    The right use of word(بالنسبة) is only when you want to compare two different sizes.
    For example:
    * The sun is big compared to the moon

    (أما) as for/as to
    Many people often use the word"binnisabah" instead of using the correct word"amma".
     
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    This may have seemed too obvious to mention, but I just want to make things crystal clear. The full expression is بالنسبة لـ, and that as a whole corresponds to "regarding," "concerning," etc.
    It's not that simple. Sometimes a sentence with بالنسبة لـ cannot be rewritten as a sentence with أما. What about the following sentence?

    .سوف أتصل بك عندما أصل إلى قرار بالنسبة لهذا الموضوع

    Or would you consider this usage wrong?
     
  7. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    سوف أتصل بك عندما أصل إلى قرار بخصوص/بشأن/فيما يخص/حيال هذا الموضوع
     
  8. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Yes, I am aware that there are many other alternatives. :D

    I was only asking whether you would consider بالنسبة لـ wrong in that sentence.
     
  9. Tajabone Senior Member

    Paris
    French, Berber (Kabyle), Arabic (classical and dialectal)
    Well, the expression I'm used to is بالنسبة إلى . You would use the laam with possessive pronouns.

    Now, there are only two ways:
    1/ what grammar (being a normative activity) says about it
    2/ what linguistics (being a descriptive practice) says about it.

    Many contemporary grammarians condemn all sorts of Arabic expression (from MSA) as being "deviant" regarding lexicographic works from ancient times established as "standards".
    So if the meaning -which is subject to evolution but do they admit it ! - is not mentioned in such books (Lisan, Al Mu3jaam, ASiHaaH, etc.), our contemporary grammarians (who are not linguists) will draw up a list (a never-ending one actually) of "unorthodox" words and expressions.

    Those "grammarians" simply don't care if we already use such words in a daily and effective way. The capital offense is that the meanings we dare to give to such words were not registred and approved by Ibn Mandhuur or Ibn Faaris.

    Yet it is good to keep in mind that words were not always used so and that expressions have evolved from their pronunciation to their syntax.

    ps: note that Al Mu3jaam Alwasiit lists a possible meaning to our expression as بالنسبة إلى كذا: بالنظر إليه
     
  10. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    As you well know, that is not the only usage of the laam. :)

    Now, I'm not sure which of the two is "officially" correct, but بالنسبة لـ is certainly very commonly used; according to a couple Google searches, it is in fact more common than بالنسبة إلى.

    Either way, your point about the difference between a descriptive approach to evaluating this usage and a prescriptive one is well made.
     
  11. Tajabone Senior Member

    Paris
    French, Berber (Kabyle), Arabic (classical and dialectal)
    Hi folks,
    You slept well ? :)

    I guess that everything is clear about this issue: Linguist has access now to the different meanings of the expression he asked for. We also provided other synonyms (thanks, Ayed!) and we discussed the major criteria at stake that would lead to either reject or accept the meanings of the expression.
    Curiously, Elroy, I "googled" the two expressions and the result was a little higher for "ila" than for (l=Laam). Anyway, there is, I guess, a consensus about this false lexicometrical process which can change data in a second.
    In general, I rather prefer to do searchs within a good website (for instance Asharq Al Awsat is a valuable reference).

    I just want to end my post by adding this sentence (paradoxically found in a conservative religious/linguistic forum ! Certainly a realistic confession ) : الصحّة أعمّ من الفصاحة :)
     
  12. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    I'd be interested in knowing how you performed the Google search, because as far as I know it's impossible to perform a general search for a phrase that includes a prefix like لـ and get all words that begin with that letter. When I did it, I did it with specific words (بالنسبة لهذا vs. بالنسبة إلى هذا, for example).

    And yes, I am aware that Google is not 100% reliable, but it does serve as an indicator of usage.
     
  13. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Thank you so much, everyone.
    Like Tajabone said, I have been given an insight into its various meanings.

    However, I would still like some example sentences with the word (or expression, shall we say) in it.
     
  14. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Elroy, write the word as this" between quotation marks ":
    "بالنسبة إلى"
    then google it .I'll give the "exact word"
     
  15. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Yes, I know that, but the point is to compare بالنسبة إلى with بالنسبة لـ. :)
     
  16. Tajabone Senior Member

    Paris
    French, Berber (Kabyle), Arabic (classical and dialectal)
    Frankly, I fail to see where the problem is. You said it was "impossible" to perform a search directly. I wonder why you say so. You just have to write/paste the expression and you get the results ! (at least, in my case).The search engine includes the laam (in contrast to many prepositions in English or French which are generally neglected).

    Since the last time I did the request, the data has changed again in favor of بالنسبة إلى , widening its score with more than a million of additional occurrences.

    The fact is the two forms exist and we would be well-advised to give Linguist a couple of useful examples (I don't think that scores and results are his major concern so I prefer to continue with this topic in private, if you don't mind).

    Here is a headline (source: Red Cross)

    الصومال: جرحى الحرب يشكلون تحدياً واضحاً بالنسبة إلى المستشفيات

    The ICRC gives the following equivalent in English:​

    Somalia: war-wounded present distinct challenge for hospitals.

    Another example with the alternative form is:​

    هذا لا يعني شيء بالنسبة لنا

    I would loosely render it as : it doesn't matter to us, that means nothing to us, etc.​

    The Google results show that you can use بالنسبة لـ with another morpheme/lexeme than a possessive pronoun.​
     
  17. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Tajabone, the problem is that if you search for "بالنسبة ل" or "بالنسبة لـ" you do not get results for phrases that include words that are actually connected to the preposition to form a new word (such as لهذا, للولد, للموضوع, etc.). Just look at the results and you'll see what I mean.
     
  18. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Thanks for the examples, Tajabone!
     

Share This Page