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ل - لام الأمر

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by jack_1313, May 8, 2013.

  1. jack_1313 Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Can anyone shed some light on the use of the particle ل to start sentences in this paragraph?

    ليذكر لي أحدكم أن بان كي مون كان رجلاً حقيقياً في موقف واحد مهما كان , سواء كان على صواب أو خطأ , وليذكر أحدكم لهذا الكائن موقفاً واحداً تجاه أمر ما .. أي أمر , عبر عنه أو أعلنه زمنياً .. قبل أن يعبر عنه الناطق باسم الخارجية الأميركية أو يعلن موقف أميركا منه . لا بل ليخبرنا أحدكم عن موقف أو إعلان لم يذهب فيه بان كي مون أبعد كثيراً مما ذهب إليه الأميركيون أنفسهم
    In the context of the article, the author seems to be addressing a counter-point to his argument, which is that Ban Ki Moon is essentially unimportant. Here's my preliminary translation:
    One of you will mention to me that Ban Ki Moon was a man true to one opinion, whatever it was, whether right or wrong. One of you will mention one of this creature’s positions on some issue, any issue, that he expressed or announced chronologically before the spokesman of the American foreign ministry expressed it or announced America’s position on it. No, one of you will tell us about a position or announcement in which Ban Ki Moon didn’t go much further than the Americans themselves had gone.

    As far as I can tell, the ل used here is la, not li. Is it used to intensify the sentences, as in "surely," or is it more like "let," as in "let one of you say so-and-so to me [because I'll still stick to my original opinion]"?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Moreed New Member

    Arabic
    It combines both meanings you mentioned at the end. Like, let someone say so-and-so, and I'm pretty sure that no one can. This gives the sentence a sense of confidence. It is pronounced as "li".
     
  3. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I agree with Moreed (welcome to the forum, Moreed :) )

    The meaning is more like "let them try to do it and I'll prove them wrong" or "let them try, and they'll see that they can't".
     
  4. jack_1313 Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Hi guys, thanks very much for your input.

    It turns out that this function of ل is actually in Han Wehr, it's just buried at the very end of ل's section.
    In this case, I think I'll use the word "try" in the translation to show the meaning that you two have expressed. I.e. "Let them try to tell me about..."

    Edit: Given this, I'm a bit confused by the first sentence. I think I'll start a new thread to discuss it.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  5. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    It's not quite common in English to use this sort of imperative-like construction. The 'may he write' or 'let him write' sound a little stilted although they are perfectly correct.

    I would actually rather translate this and change it to second person using a normal English second person imperative.

    ليذكر لي أحدكم أن بان كي مون كان رجلاً حقيقياً في موقف واحد مهما كان , سواء كان على صواب أو خطأ , وليذكر أحدكم لهذا الكائن موقفاً واحداً تجاه أمر ما .. أي أمر , عبر عنه أو أعلنه زمنياً .. قبل أن يعبر عنه الناطق باسم الخارجية الأميركية أو يعلن موقف أميركا منه . لا بل ليخبرنا أحدكم عن موقف أو إعلان لم يذهب فيه بان كي مون أبعد كثيراً مما ذهب إليه الأميركيون أنفسهم

    Someone tell me Ban Ki Moon was (ever) true to one opinion, whatever it may have been, right or wrong. Tell me one of his positions on an issue, any issue, which he .... Better yet*/Rather*, tell me about a position in which he did not go (much) further that the Americans themselves....

    I took some liberties, but it sounds more natural to me.
     

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