"king" in Arabic and Hebrew (pronunciation)

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by Shlama_98, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. Shlama_98 Junior Member

    Syriac Aramaic/Iraq
    I think Melek and Malek would sound similar, anyways this is what I meant in Arabic just incase,

    I dont know how to do it here but the meem has a fat7a and the lam has a kasra.....
    But why does Hebrew turn into Melekh? I know a Jewish friend of mine who uses Melek rather then Melekh, and I know sometimes kap can be KH in Hebrew, this even happens in Aramaic, but I was't aware of Melekh....

    Anyways, I don't wanna go off-topic and be a troll, so I'll just stop here :)
     
  2. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Hello Shlama :)

    Is your Jewish friend who says Melek instead of Melekh an English-speaker? He just may not ever have learned the proper way to say things, especially today when many non-Orthodox Jews don't pray in Hebrew. When my family moved to the US when I was a kid I was first shocked then hysterically amused at the things my Jewish friends said, thinking they were Hebrew.
     
  3. Shlama_98 Junior Member

    Syriac Aramaic/Iraq
    Yes Nun, he's Jewish-Canadian but his family is Orthodox so I don't know why he says it Melek, I even remember him saying some kind of prayer where a part says "Aveenu Malkainu" and that's exactly how he said it, so I don't know which is valid since I'm not a Hebrew speaker myself, but either way I would'nt be surprised because like I said, the kap can be khap sometimes and this even happens in Aramaic with some words.
     
  4. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    My native language is Arabic so I knew what you were talking about. ;)

    It's pronounced "malik" in standard Arabic and "malek" in colloquial Arabic (in my dialect, at least). Either way, the first vowel is an "a."
     
  5. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    It all becomes clear. This is the very beautiful prayer אבינו מלכנו, "Our Father, Our King", which I'll transliterate avinu malkeinu. The -nu at the end is the first person plural possessive suffix, like -na in Arabic (she said proudly after her third Arabic lesson). The khaf in melekh gains a dagesh (the little dot in the middle of the letter), making it a kaf, before the possessive suffixes when it comes after a consonant. As you say, just the way it happens in Aramaic.

    So: malki, malkenu (my king, our king), but the noun standing on its own is melekh.

    I'm sorry that I do not know the proper terminology in English. If it's too confused Yuvali or amikama or someone else will do an excellent job of unravelling my סבוך.
     
  6. Shlama_98 Junior Member

    Syriac Aramaic/Iraq
    Ahh I see, yes indeed it sounded like a beautiful prayer, I'm aware of the nu part (Just like Ammannu-el which is God is with us)....

    But the Melekh part I was't aware of much, thanks for the info Nun :)
     
  7. konungursvia Senior Member

    Toronto
    Canada (English)
    Well the Hebrew pronunciation may in part be something of an artificial reconstruction; it's a wonder the Israelis were able to revive their language, hats off to them, but its phonology is now heavily Europeanized.
     
  8. DrLindenbrock Senior Member

    Italy
    Italy; Italian & Am. English
    What about stress?
    Màlik in Arabic and mèlekh in Hebrew (stress on the first E), right?
    Cheers
     
  9. yuvali Junior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew, Israel
    You are right about the hebrew.

    About Melech and Malkenu:
    It seems that hebrew non-verbs with two syllables ending with a soft ך (actually there are no hard ךs; words that end with a 'K'-sound always end with a ק) - when transformed into the pertinence (שייכות) form - the כ becomes 'hard'.
    Melech becomes Malkenu, Malkam, Malki etc.
    Derech (דרך = 'a way' or 'a road') becomes Darkenu ('our way'), Darki ('my way') etc.
    likewise with ברך (knee)
    and so on...

    I don't really know the grammatical reason for that, and I'm not sure if that's a 'golden-rule' for all words of that form...


    - Yuval
     
  10. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    And about the Arabic, too. :)
     
  11. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    You may have a point, but are you aware of the centuries old corpus of Rabbinic responsa in Hebrew and the unceasing liturgical use of Hebrew? In addition to the responsa, Jews never did stop reading the Torah in Hebrew, even when it was necessary to have a translation immediately following the reading in the synagogue because the common people didn't really understand.

    "Revive" is the closest term we have, but it's not entirely accurate. But that's another thread...
     
  12. PianoMan

    PianoMan Senior Member

    California, U.S.
    United States, English
    Nun-Translator is correct on this, I had my Bar-Mitzvah a year ago and while that does not include me learning Hebrew, it requires my ability to read the alphabet well and thus, me reading the Torah in a completely foreign language. About the pronunciation, I know many here are native Israelis and/or other Arabic speakers but for those who are unaware on how the "ch/kh" is pronounced, it is somewhat like "Ich" the way people in Northern Germany say it and uses the same ideas or the throaty "r" in French. Otherwise, its an acquired pronunciation.
     
  13. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Actually, it's like the "ch" in "ach" and not in "ich." :)

    Welcome to the forum!
     
  14. PianoMan

    PianoMan Senior Member

    California, U.S.
    United States, English
    Thank you, and your actually right about that. I'm sure you know that in South Germany most "ch" are pronounced like a "sh" and in the North like "kh", but "ach" as in machen and acht are perfect examples....I knew there was a better example. ;)
     
  15. aries44 Junior Member

    English
    wadi el-Melek is it the salt road or the king's road??
     
  16. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Wadi 'l-malek means "the king's valley" in Arabic.
     
  17. Assur New Member

    Spanish - Colombia
    I think it can also be a reading problem, as the final chaf ך when writen, could be confussed with kuf ק (their shape is very similar) and if additionaly you have a semitic base and know the word in Arabic, which ends in k, is easy to get confussed. If this is true (I am guessing) this kind of "mistake" could be typical in sepharadic jewish, who spoke Arab.

    However, again, is just a guess. The only thing for sure is although they are similar, the Hebrew and Arabic versions of "king" have a slight difference.
     
  18. charkshark New Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    English - Canada
    I speak Hebrew fluently and I see what you are saying BUT, "Aveenu Malkeinu" has the root "Melech" but is a different form meaning "Our Fathers, OUR KINGS"
     
  19. charkshark New Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    English - Canada
    Yes, i do know sephardic jews who speak arabic as well as hebrew that do end up pronouncing a final chaf as a K. I do not know arabic though.
     
  20. PianoMan

    PianoMan Senior Member

    California, U.S.
    United States, English
    Yes, he's absolutely right about that.
     
  21. SofiaB Senior Member

    English Asia
    Comparing queen Hebrew Malka, Arabic Malika
     
  22. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    仏(佛)法語צרפתית Clodoaldien
    Melekh in hebrew, which turns to malka(h) for queen, arabic malika . In both cases the K (not the KH ) stands.
    The word melekh has given the word moloch in european languages.
     
  23. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    仏(佛)法語צרפתית Clodoaldien
    Do not confuse melekh = king and melakh = salt (as in yam hamelakh = Dead Sea);) .
     
  24. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    And let us not forget malah, a sailor. Spelled differently but pronounced similarly by Ashkenazim and learners.
    :)
     
  25. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    This confusion is not likely to occur in Arabic because the respective final letters are pronounced distinctly: malik (colloquial malek) vs. milH (colloquial mileH).
    While it contains the same final sound, the Arabic mallaaH is also unlikely to be confused with milH/mileH. ;)
     
  26. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    What is H? Is it 7, what I transliterate as h?
     
  27. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Yes. H is another transliteration possibility. I avoided 7 because I thought some people in the Hebrew forum might not be familiar with it (in the Arabic forum I assume you've read the sticky! :D).
     
  28. maxl Senior Member

    Hebrew, Israel
    Wrong. It means "our father out king". Our fathers our kings would be - avoteynu melakheynu.
     
  29. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Just thought I'd add that we have the word in Panjabi and Hindi too!
    Malik is the leader or owner. And the female equivalent: malikiin.
     
  30. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    You're off-topic, but your word comes from "Maalik" (which means "owner") and not "malik." Yes, the only different is the vowel length, but they're two totally different words (although they come from the same root). :)
     
  31. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Nun-Translator,

    What you say may have some relevance, but the fact that the language was not spoken widely for about 2000 years tends to suggest that the modern reconstruction of Hebrew is just that, a reconstruction. Its phonetic accuracy can be largely disputed and one only needs to look at other similar examples to know that it's very likely what we hear today differs radically from what someone sitting in Solomon's temple would've heard.

    Just look at Hebrew's sister language, Arabic, and its divergence over the past few centuries of just not having one unified political force to maintain it. The variations in pronunciation, selection of varying synonyms etc. throughout the Arabic world since the demise of the Arabic/Islamic Caliphate have left colloquial dialects which differ greatly from one another. One would assume that such variation would've also existed amongst the last Hebrew speakers who then continued the liturgical use of Hebrew. After 2000 odd years you'd end up with something quite distorted from the original I'd think. This would all be compounded by the fact that Jews lived mostly in small isolated disapora communities around the world in a time when not a lot of communication occured over such distances.

    Then if you consider how modern Hebrew was reconstructed, largely by non-native Hebrew speakers (Ashkenazim I believe) who would've added their own European (Yiddish) influence to the reconstructed form.

    I once read that one of those reconstructers added (coined) 4,000 of his own new terms for Modern Hebrew. Although many were probably technical terms not relating to the basic structure of the language, the fact that one man (An Ashkenazi I believe) had so much input alone to the reconstruction indicates that it would've had linguistic bias peculiar to his particular language skills.

    As has been mentioned it was certainly a great feat to have achieved, but I think the claim that it's anything other than an artificial modern reconstruction is at best fanciful.
     
  32. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I bow to your superior knowledge, Abu Rashid.
     
  33. Shuki New Member

    England English
    It's all to do with the בגד כפת (BeGeD KeFeT) rule. When any of these letters are at the beginning of a syllable they almost always take a dagesh, a dot, in the middle. In the case of sephardi and modern Hebrew ב is pronounced 'v' without the dagesh and 'b' with, כ 'kh' without and 'k' with, and פ 'f' without andd 'p' with. this is why 'melekh' becomes 'malkenu'

    The same changes are true in Ashkenazi pronunciation, but additionally ת is pronounced 's' withiut a dagesh and 't' with, whereas to Israelis and Sephardim it is always 't'

    There are theories that in ancient times there were distinctions for other letters eg ג , today always 'g' was 'j' if it had a dagesh, and ד (now always 'd') was pronounced more like the Greek 'delta' if it had no dagesh.
     
  34. JaiHare Senior Member

    Israel (ישראל)
    English (American)
    No. אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ avínu malkénu is the wording of the prayer.

    While it is true that אֲבוֹתֵינוּ avotéinu means "our fathers," the vowelization of מלכינו ("our kings") is very similar to the singular: מַלְכֵּינוּ malkéinu (with the yud for the plural, whereas the singular has no yud).
     
  35. JaiHare Senior Member

    Israel (ישראל)
    English (American)
    One minor correction: ג never had the sound of [ǰ] (j) at any point in History. At one time, it sounded like the Arabic غ (ghain) when it was not hard. Hard (גּ) was like [g], soft was like غ. Otherwise, good post and explanation. :)
     
  36. Macnas Junior Member

    English and Russian, United States
    Historically-speaking, the shift between /x/ in "melech" and /k/ in possessive forms (such as malki) wasn't always there.

    The Hebrew word "melech" comes from the Proto-Semitic word *malakum. This regularly became malik in Arabic and melech in Hebrew (the /k/ weakening to /x/ due to its position at the end of the word). This was originally a completely regular noun in proto-Hebrew (pre-Biblical), having a possessive form "melechi".

    However, the reason Biblical and Modern Hebrew have "malki" instead of "melechi" was due to analogy with a number of other nouns known as segolates. An example is Proto-Semitic *kalbum "dog", which gave Hebrew kelev and Arabic kalb (if I remember correctly). In proto-Hebrew, the nominative ending -um was lost, but at this stage Hebrew didn't like ending its words in multiple consonants, so the early form *kalb became kaleb (later kelev through a number of other changes). However, its possessive form is "kalbi" (my dog) - the vowel changes and consonant weakening never occurred here because the suffix -i meant that the /lb/ was no longer final. This is where the CeCeC > CaCCi alteration came from.

    Now "melech" by coincidence happened to have the same vowel pattern as segolate nouns such as "kelev" in its singular form, and eventually became a segolate noun by analogy: kelev > kalbi, melech > ?, with "malki" replacing the earlier "melechi".


    That's way too much information, isn't it?
     
  37. maxl Senior Member

    Hebrew, Israel
    To me this sounds as way too much speculation.
    Questions: 1. Why *malakum and not *malikum?
    2. "melechi" is not preceded by an asterisk, hence, unlike *malakum it is presented as an attested form. Where and when is it attested? And if the asterisk was omitted by mistake, then what is the basis for assuming such form?
     
  38. Macnas Junior Member

    English and Russian, United States
    Ack, I need to be more careful. Yes, I did mean *malikum and *melechi.

    The assumption is because we have no reason to think that *malikum was irregular in Proto-Semitic, which would call for a regular first person singular possessive *malikiya, and a plural oblique form *malikiima (the Hebrew plural -im derives from the Proto-Semitic oblique plural). Run these through the Proto-Semitic > Hebrew sound laws and you're not going to get malki and melachim, which are perfect segolates.

    A logical conclusion would be that the word was influenced by the true segolates and thereby adapted its pattern it match them.


    Note that the exact opposite has happened in some Arabic dialects, or so I am told, that words such as kalb "dog" are being pronounced kalib (cf. malik).



    Alternatively, it is also possible that the /i/ in *malik- was dropped at an early stage in Hebrew for some reason, leaving the stem as *malk-, which would then be susceptible to the same de-clustering change that affected *kalb-. I don't know nearly enough about Semitic comparative history to know which of the above paths is more likely or accepted, however.
     
  39. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    仏(佛)法語צרפתית Clodoaldien
    The answer to post #36 can be found in Shuki (welcome to the forum !) post # 33 "retroactively", because the rules concerning vowel changes (daguesh) apply here also.
    Melekh becomes malakhim/malkei [ysrael] ...
     
  40. JaiHare Senior Member

    Israel (ישראל)
    English (American)
    Vowel reduction in the first syllable makes the first vowel become sheva:

    מֶלֶךְ becomes מְלָכִים (not *malachim, but melachim)
     
  41. maxl Senior Member

    Hebrew, Israel
    I wonder what the experts have to say about the input to this discussion of the transliterated names in the Greek Septuagint. Thus, the Septuagint regularly transliterates names like Malki-tsedeq and the like by Melchisedek and the like.
     
  42. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    仏(佛)法語צרפתית Clodoaldien
    Right ! Taout sheli ...
    Still, in construction, malkei works .
     
  43. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Hei, in Turkish we have "melek" which means "angel". Does this word have anything to do with "king" in Arabic and Hebrew???

    Ciao
     
  44. JaiHare Senior Member

    Israel (ישראל)
    English (American)
    There is a similar word in Hebrew, מלאך mal-'ach, which means "angel." I don't the form in Arabic, but in Hebrew, the difference is made with the addition of an א (aleph):

    מלך 'me-lech "king"
    מלאך mal-'ach "angel"
     
  45. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    The Arabic word is ملاك, also formed by adding an alif.

    ملك - "malik" - king
    ملاك - "malaak" - angel
     
  46. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    A very old thread I know, but just came across it again in a Google search, and thought I might highlight that the two words mentioned here are not related.

    The words for king (in Hebrew & Arabic) come from the root m-l-k, whilst the words for angel come from the root l-'-k, although it is easy to assume they both stem from the same root.
     
  47. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    I just wanted to point out that although the modern pronunciation of Hebrew is in some senses not "organic", the vowel pointing has existed for a long time now and there are traditional pronunciations within different communities. Now, the vowel pointing was created at a time when Hebrew was already rarely a spoken language anyway, so if you want to say that it accurately reflects ancient spoken Hebrew, that's probably not the case.

    That said, the segol where Arabic has fatħa is not really that strange of a sound change to me. So as we know, the "traditional" state for the Semitic languages is to have a set of three vowels long and short, as represented in standard/Classical Arabic: a, i, u and ā, ī ū. Other vowels/vowel qualities arise do to the presence of certain consonants, stress patterns, simplification of length distinctions, diphthongs, etc. Some systems, such as the Masoretic pointing, chose to be very narrow in transcription. That's why we see the three-way length contrast, rules such as no shva under gutturals, etc.

    The segol in Tiberian pronunciation was probably [ε] (like the 'e' in English bed) which is not the Modern pronunciation of [e]. Note, this is the traditional Ashkenazi pronunciation and in general I believe that the Ashkenazi pronunciation better preserved the traditional vowels whilst the Sephardi pronunciation simplified the vowels and better preserved the consonants.

    This however is Tiberian Hebrew. In Yemeni Hebrew pronunciation there is no distinction between segol and pataħ (< the equivalent of Arabic fatħa) and they are both pronounced [æ]. This stems from the traditional Babylonian niqqud system which differs from the Tiberian system. In that system a single vowel point is used for where the Masoretic tradition has segol and pataħ.

    This to me says that segol and pataħ pronounced separately as [ε] and [a] is a divergence that occurred in ancient Palestine but not other parts Jewry such as in Babylon. This means they are etymologically descended from the same vowel phoneme, and this is (probably?) cognate with Arabic fatħa.

    It would be interesting to do a survey of Hebrew vocalization and see if stressed segol and pataħ are indeed in full complementary distribution which would support their being (at least, diachronically) allophones. Note that the segol in melekh actually becomes pataħ under certain circumstances as mentioned, such as the stress shift in the word malkeinu. In unstressed circumstances, I'm sure that segol could be a weakened pronunciation of a high vowel or could have been originally employed as an epenthetic vowel (which we find commonly in colloquial Arabic such as malik>malek, and baħr>baħer).
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  48. maxl Senior Member

    Hebrew, Israel
    Тhe root l-'-k sounds a bit unsound to me, given that there's only a 4th formation verb from it in Arabic, while in Hebrew there is no related verb at all.
     
  49. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    仏(佛)法語צרפתית Clodoaldien
    I had thought that מלאך mal-'ach "angel" in Hebrew was linked to sholeach, to send ... as "angel" in Hebrew means also "messenger" ?
     
  50. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Unsound?? The root exists in Ugaritic, Ge'ez & Amharic, how much sounder does it need to be?

    Why do you discount the fact it only exists in form IV in Arabic? The fact that Hebrew no longer has any trace of any form of the verb is hardly unusual, as many Semitic roots are completely lost to Hebrew, and nouns formed from them are all that remain.
     

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