conditional clauses

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Whodunit, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I think I know how to form "realis conditional clauses" in Arabic (If you help me today, I will help you tomorrow. ~ اذا تساعدني اليوم، أساعدك غدا), but I'm not sure about the potentialis and irrealis. How would you translate the following sentences into Arabic?

    I would read the book, if you gave it to me.
    If you gave me the book, I would read it.

    I would have read book, if you had given it to me.
    If you had given me the book, I would have read it.

    Furthermore, I would like to know when you have to add a "لـ" (la-) to the following sentence. Is there a rule when to put it? Example:

    .لو أعطيني الكتاب، لقرأته

    :) .شكرا جزيلا
     
  2. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Well Daniel, this is not a very easy question, but I'll try to help you as much as I can.
    I'll try to translate, though I'm not very sure about what I'm putting here.
    As for the grammatical rule, I'll copy it from my school grammar book :)


    If you help me today, I will help you tomorrow.
    ~ اذا تساعدني اليوم، أساعدك غدا
    إن تساعدنى اليوم، أساعدك غدًا
    إذا ساعدتنى اليوم، سأساعدك غدًا

    I'm not sure about the potentialis and irrealis (I don't even know what these are :eek:).

    I would read the book, if you gave it to me.
    قد أقرأ الكتاب إذا أعطيتنى إياه

    If you gave me the book, I would read it.
    إذا أعطيتنى الكتاب قد أقرأه

    I would have read book, if you had given it to me.
    كان من الممكن أن أقرأ الكتاب إذا كنت قد أعطيتنى إياه

    If you had given me the book, I would have read it.
    لو كنت أعطيتنى الكتاب لكنت قرأتـُه

    Furthermore, I would like to know when you have to add a "لـ" (la-) to the following sentence. Is there a rule when to put it? Example:

    .لو أعطينتي الكتاب، لقرأته
    My grammar books says : يقترن جواب لو باللام لأنه ماضٍ مثبت
    i.e. we put (L) with the past affirmative form of the verb
     
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Hmmm... I don't agree with these translations.

    The first one says "I might read the book" and not "I would read the book." Same goes for the second one.

    The third says "I may have read the book" and not "I would have read the book."

    "Would" in English indicates certainty and not possibility; it is certain that something would have happened, had something else happened.

    I would translate the second one as لو أعطيتني الكتاب، لقرأته and the third as أنا كنت قد قرأت الكتاب، لو (أنك) كنت أعطيتني إياه. I am having trouble with the first one because with such a construction, I think it's more usual for the condition to come before the result, and not the other way around. And you can't just switch the two clauses from my translation of the second one. Perhaps someone else has a better idea for that one.
     
  4. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I agree with you, I admitted having trouble translating these examples myself :)
    I prefer your translation of the second sentence. Very well.
    As for the third, it may "look" better if we switch it, specially that it sound strange : the first part means : I definitly read the book. If we switch it
    لو أنك كنت أعطيتنى الكتاب لكنت قرأته
    What do you think ?
    And still waiting for other opinions
     
  5. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Well, that would be a translation of the fourth one, which I didn't comment on the first time because I liked it. :)

    I agree that the third one is awkward. As I said, I think the usual order in Arabic is "condition - result" and not "result - condition." I think my suggestion is an "acceptable" translation for the third one, but I can't seem to come up with even a passable one for the first one. :)

    I'm looking forward to other opinions as well.
     
  6. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Now you said it all Elroy :thumbsup: I think that's what made these translation attempts so difficult, they go against the "logic" of Arabic language, and in our attempt to respect the order of the English examples we only give ourselves -or more precisely Daniel gave us;) - very hard time. :)

    And still we are waiting for further contributions :)
     

Share This Page