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Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Josh_, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    In the following Arabic passage how would the word مراتب be best translated into English, given the context?

    But before doing that here is a little background information: T
    his is a passage from the book تخليص الإبريز في تلخيص باريز by رفاعة رافع الطهطاوي , an Egyptian teacher and intellectual who lived in Paris for 5 years in the 1820's and 1830's. While living there he went to Marseilles and this passage is from his experiences there, probably written after attending dinner parties. For more information on Tahtawi look here.

    I argued with myself about whether or not to include the first sentence, as I do not think it is necessary for the context of the the word I asked about, but in the event that it may be seen as useful I included it. Even though this was written in the 1830's I do not think this excerpt is terribly hard, except for a few words which are all in the first sentence. Since I do not think it is necessary I took the liberty of offering a quick translation:

    From what is seen among the French is that they do not eat on copper dishes or any copperware, even if whitened, for it is for cooking only. Rather, they always use coated/overlaid dishes.

    ومما يشاهد عند الافرنج أنهم لا يأكلون أبدا في صحون النحاس بل ولا في أوانيه أبدا ولو مبيضا، فهي للطبخ فقط، بل دائما يستعملون الصحون المطلاة. وللطعام عندهم عدة مراتب معروفة، وربما كثرت وتعددت كل مرتبة منها، فأول افتتاحهم الطعام يكون بالشوربة، ثم بعده باللحوم، ثم بكل نوع من أنواع الأطعمة، كالخضراوات والفطورات ثم بالسلطة، وربما كانت الصحون المطلاة بلون الطعام المقدم...​
  2. zahret el zenbak Senior Member

    Although I am not English but I think this word can be translated as "dishes", you know like when the waiter says: "this is our main dish today". I think our auther used the word مراتبbecause in that time we have´nt had yet the foreign influence that made us use the word: طبق، طبق رئيسي
    So this is my suggestion for the word مراتبin your context:
    ....They have several known dishes served in certain order...
  3. Tajabone Senior Member

    French, Berber (Kabyle), Arabic (classical and dialectal)
    True, مراتب in this context refers to the "order" of the dishes (or courses).
  4. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Yes, Tajabone figured out what I was looking for -- courses.

    I thought this was interesting and figured I'd share it with you guys for two reasons -- firstly, one would not normally associate the word مراتب with courses (of a meal), and secondly, the concept of meal courses was not found in the Arabic world (and even today is generally not found in more traditional Arabic restaurants) and thus there was no word for it and so Tahtawi had to find a word that could be used to express this concept.

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