إجازة / عطلة

  • Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Hello Haroon,

    I have always been under the impression that إجـــازة is pronounced with a kasra, so the hamza should be underneath.

    Anyway, to your question. I really am not sure, but my guess is that the difference has to do with the main meaning of the root. With the word إجازة the root is ج-و-ز and has to do with permission, so an إجازة would be a leave/vacation taken with permission, that is one needs to ask and be granted to permission before taking an إجازة . On the other hand is عطلة from the root ع-ط-ل with the overall meaning of being idle, not working, etc. So an عطلة is a vacation/holiday with the meaning that one is just not working (because he/she is not required to work or there is just no work for whatever reason). No permission is required to take an عطلة because one is not required to work. So, if my reasoning is correct, then the technically correct translation of weekend, as well as any other day when work is not required, like a scheduled day off from work, a government sanctioned day off such as a national holiday or any other day where work is not required) would be عطلة , whereas a leave of absence, in which one would normally be at work, such as a sick day, a soldier taking time off from the military, a professor taking a sabbatical, etc. would be an إجازة .

    So to sum up:
    إجازة -- leave/vacation taken by permission.
    عطلة -- vacation/holiday taken because work is not necessary for that day.

    Thinking about this more 'leave (of absence)' would only be translated as إجازة as it implies permission. 'Holiday', on the other hand, would only be translated as عطلة since the word implies a day where work is not required. "vacation' could be either, I suppose (depending on context), but I would probably lean towards translating it as عطلة . Again, this is on the basis that my explanations are correct.

    One final thing: What I wrote out above, if correct, might be the original meanings of the words, but in today's Arabic it seems they can be used more or less interchangeably, with a few exceptions.

    Thanks for an interesting question, Haroon.:)
     
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    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I have always been under the impression that إجـــازة is pronounced with a kasra, so the hamza should be underneath.
    You are correct, it is of the wazn إفْعَالَة which is always the masdar of the verb af3ala uf3ilu.
    So to sum up:
    إجازة -- leave/vacation taken by permission.
    عطلة -- vacation/holiday taken because work is not necessary for that day.
    Right on the spot :) (at least for the uses I know, both in colloquial and MSA).

    Ijaaza: leave of absence, whether from work of from school (it works for school too if your mum calls the school to tell them you are sick today) and whether you went on vacation or stayed home and it applies to sick leaves too.

    3uTla: basically, it a day-off; it applies to public holidays, bank holidays, summer holidays (for schools)...etc.

    However, in colloquial an Ijazaa may imply a vacation although technically it does not mean "vacation"; example, you may hear people say: أخذنا إجازة للمغرب meaning "we took a vacation in Maghreb" although technically it means "we took a leave of absence for [on behalf of] the Maghreb!" (go ahead, tease people about it, I do!)
     
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