EA: يعاكس - يتحرش / معاكسة - تحرُّش

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Pathawi, May 13, 2013.

  1. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    Since the Revolution, the New York Times has had an occasional interest in Egyptian youth culture. Today, they ran an article entitled "Out of Egypt's Chaos, Musical Rebellion" about مهرجانات music. If you're interested, you can read it on-line here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/world/middleeast/egypts-chaos-stirs-musical-revolution.html

    I wasn't familiar with this genre before today, so I did some looking around to try to figure out how to spell "mahragan" in Arabic: I wanted to know how to pronounce the word properly. I found this interview with Sadat from last month: http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/qa-leading-mahraganat-singer-sadat

    Both articles make reference to songs by Sadat about the sexual harassment of women in Egypt. The Times links directly to it, while the Independent interview just references it. The song titles in English are quite different, but it seems likely that they refer to the same song. The Times calls the song 'Hit on Her, Yes. Harass Her, No.' The Arabic title in the YouTube video that the Times links to is «اعاكس اه اتحرش لا». The Independent refers to a song that it translates as 'I'll Catcall, But I Won't Grope.' Good to know that chivalry's not dead.

    The terms are ones I'm not familiar with, so I'm wondering how precise these translations are. Martin Hinds' Egyptian dictionary translates عاكس as "to bother, hassle, pester, annoy" for its first definition. For اتحرّش, it gives 'to act provocatively, pick a quarrel'. Hans Wehr gives basically the same definition for عاكس ('to molest, vex tease, harass') & for تحرّش ('to pick a quarrel, start a brawl, provoke').

    I can imagine those translations of عاكس applying to behaviour I've seen young men engage in against women on the street in Cairo & Alexandria, unfortunately. But the definitions given don't correspond quite to catcalling (which is more specific than pestering), or hitting on (which involves actual romantic or sexual intention, rather than just annoyance). Does the term imply either of those things in current Egyptian usage?

    The second word is more perplexing: Both Hinds' and Wehr's definitions involve terms that would suggest, in English, the intention of starting a fight. But the Times' translation refers to something more like being a nuisance. The Independent's translation indicates direct physical contact. It doesn't seem like Sadat's singing about trying to start a fight. Is either of these translations closer to actual Egyptian usage today?

    Much thanks for any help.

    ---
    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2013
  2. Silla Stacy New Member

    Arabic
    To my humble knowledge, تحرش means to 'Harass someone sexually'. But we have to take into consideration that the song is in Egyptian ( Egyptian accent ) while the dictionary would give you defenitions for formal Arabic words.
     
  3. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Egypt's youth certainly don't have one 'culture' so be careful.
     
  4. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    I did not mean to imply that mahraganat was the music of Egyptian youth culture, or that all youth in Egypt had the same musical tastes or attitudes toward politics, gender, or public behavior. I suppose I was exporting a perhaps problematic notion from US culture, in which cultural phenomena that pertain largely to youth are described as "youth culture", even though they may apply to different subcultures—not to say that all such phenomena are one, indistinguishable mass, but that the collective phenomena are generationally distinct from the culture of older generations.

    The Times article identified mahraganat as "youth-driven", and put it in the context of a "huge youth population searching for voices that address issues they care about."

    I did not think, and did not mean to say, that either mahraganat or the title of one particular song were characteristic of all Egyptian youth. I'm sorry if that's what I expressed.

    ---
    Bob Offer-Westort
    Oakland, California, USA
     
  5. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    At any rate, a مهرجان is any festival / expo / fair.
    I usually don't take offense either, so don't worry about that, but be careful not to make a mistake in characterising the situation if you're working on a journalistic piece for example. I wouldn't take any English-language press as a primary source for my understanding; the writers tend to make sweeping statements and there aren't that many Egyptian outlets to get a balanced view; it's a very liberal viewpoint. Notice how the concert pictures in the articles you looked haven't pointed the camera at the audience. Notice also how the writer's PoV is presented without justification when they say that band is 'rising talent' (or some similar expression).
    Read everything critically is what I'm saying; precious little is coming out in English about Egypt despite the important events going on there.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  6. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Let's get back to "words" here, please.

    مهرجان is festival. But it's also the name of a new type of music that started to sweep the streets of Egypt recently. (Iskandarany, you're lucky that you don't get to be forced to hear this noisy garbage everywhere).

    As for the topic of the thread:
    The basic difference between mo3aksa and ta7arrosh is that mo3aksa is verbal, while ta7arrosh is physical. I hope I don't need to give details here. But I would say that the 2 translations offered are both correct. The term تحرش جنسي is translated as/from "sexual harrasment". Maybe this is why one of the translators chose "harrass", while the other went for a more explanatory (?) translation "to grope".
     

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