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I am what I will be - I am what I am

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by john welch, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    It appears that /ana/ means "I am" but I can't find the pronunciation for "I will be" (or I will become).
    What is the phonetic form please?
     
  2. JeppeStavnsbo New Member

    Copenhagen
    Danish
    I would make that a VS and just say:
    سأكون - سوف أكون
    or maybe
    يصبح؟
     
  3. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    انا /ānā/ doesn't mean 'I am'… It's a pronoun, basically equivalent to just 'I' in English. I think that maybe where your confusion comes from is that English & Arabic handle what linguists call copula differently. When talking about the present, Arabic doesn't use any verb to mean 'to be': just a pronoun or noun or noun & pronoun, followed by another noun phrase. In the past & future, you use كان/يكون /kān, yukūn/, like JeppeStavnsbo did.
     
  4. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    Thank you.
    I'm comparing Hayyul-Qayyum with Heb "eyer asher eyeh" ( I am what I will be). Maybe Ar. "ana ...yukun" is close.
     
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In Exodus 3:14 God addresses Moses with the words: ʼèhyè ʼăšèr ʼèhyè, אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, which means “I am what I am”. There is no change of tense. It is actually very difficult to translate this into Arabic, as you can convince yourself by looking at the available Arabic Bible translations (the widely used BFBS version simply transcribes the letters of the Hebrew verb into Arabic script and writes أهيه الذي أهيه ). You might try something like: أنا هو الذى أنا هو
    I wonder whether this would be understood?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  6. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    It's strange that it seems "very difficult to translate this into Arabic" as well as Heb>English.
    [ "ehyeh" is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as "I will be" (or "I shall be"), for example, at Exodus 3:12. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as "I Will Be What I Will Be", with attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, this phrase is rendered as I am that I am."]
    Possibly the concept is meant to be a struggle for believers to comprehend, as a spiritual exercise for the mind..
     
  7. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    For "I am what I am", I suggest أنا مَن أنا.
    And for "I am what I will be", I suggest أنا مَن سأكونه, though I admit the structure with the future is a bit difficult. I also thought of أنا ما سأكونه.
     
  8. Pathawi Junior Member

    Oakland, California, USA
    English - USAian
    Bible translations are generally pretty interesting, cross-linguistically. I looked at the two Arabic version of the Bible at biblegateway.com, & found this: The "Easy-to-Read" Arabic version has simply a transliteration of the Hebrew, but that has a footnote which glosses the transliteration as اكون الذي اكون. The Arabic Life Application Bible does the same thing, but glosses it (within the text) a little differently: انا الكائن الدائم. That latter seems to me not just to translate, but to interpret the phrase.
     
  9. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    Thanks. It's over my head as I don't read and so asked for phonetic pronunciation. It would appear that Ar. /Hayyul-Qayyum/ has a different sense..?
     
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, that is an excellent suggestion: ʼana man ʼana.
     
  11. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
  12. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    England
    English
    I fear the Latin transcription has misled you. The "h" in "الحي القيوم [al-ħayyu l-qayyuum]" and the "h" in "אהיה אשׁר אהיה [ahya ashar ahya]" (excuse my transliteration of Hebrew vowels; not my area of expertise) are different phonemes in both Arabic and Hebrew. The former is ح/ח and the other is ه/ה.
    Incidentally, the phrase "al-ħayyu l-qayyuum" means "the living, the eternal".
    Arabic "حي" is related to Hebrew "חי", both meaning living, alive, etc., and not to the verb "היה".
     
  13. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    Yes, I was inquiring as to whether "al-ħayyu l-qayyuum" had either a phonetic similarity or a semantic similarity to "ahya ashar .." . There is a distant but not a close link, apparently.
     

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