رفضت مساعدة أختها

Josh_

Senior Member
U.S., English
How would the following sentence be translated?



غضبت والدتها منها لأنها رفضت مساعدة أختها في إعداد العشاء
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    cherine said:
    Her mother was mad at her because she refused to help her sister in preparing dinner. (of course you can put it in better English) :)
    Your translation is clear and precise, but here is a slightly "tweaked" version ;):

    Her mother got mad at her because she refused to help her sister prepare dinner.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    I forgot to give the context. This is just a sentence out of an Arabic textbook.

    This is just a simple sentence, but the reason I asked for translation is because I was wondering how others would translate it.

    غضبت والدتها منها لأنها رفضت مساعدة أختها في إعداد العشاء

    The underlined part is what interests. We all know that مساعدة is a مصدر (maSdar). Now, the maSdar can be used in an infinitive fashion after a verb, such as:

    رفضت مساعدة she refused to help

    But مساعدة can also be used in an إصافة (iDaafa), or genitive construction, such as:

    مساعدة أختها her sister’s help

    So the sentence could be translated as:

    Her mother got mad at her because she refused to help her sister prepare dinner.

    or

    Her mother got mad at her because she refused her sister’s help in preparing dinner.

    Of course these two sentences have different meanings. So, in this kind of wording, where a verb phrase or a possible iDaafa construction are both possible would the maSdar be preempted by the verb? Most people would probably translate the sentence the way you guys did, so I assume it would, or at least, that's how people would interpret the context.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Josh Adkins said:
    I forgot to give the context. This is just a sentence out of an Arabic textbook.

    This is just a simple sentence, but the reason I asked for translation is because I was wondering how others would translate it.

    غضبت والدتها منها لأنها رفضت مساعدة أختها في إعداد العشاء

    The underlined part is what interests. We all know that مساعدة is a مصدر (maSdar). Now, the maSdar can be used in an infinitive fashion after a verb, such as:

    رفضت مساعدة she refused to help

    But مساعدة can also be used in an إصافة (iDaafa), or genitive construction, such as:

    مساعدة أختها her sister’s help

    So the sentence could be translated as:

    Her mother got mad at her because she refused to help her sister prepare dinner.

    or

    Her mother got mad at her because she refused her sister’s help in preparing dinner.

    Of course these two sentences have different meanings. So, in this kind of wording, where a verb phrase or a possible iDaafa construction are both possible would the maSdar be preempted by the verb? Most people would probably translate the sentence the way you guys did, so I assume it would, or at least, that's how people would interpret the context.
    Josh,

    I suspected that that was what you were getting at - you are, of course, totally right. I immediately recognized both possibilities, but context led me to go with the one I chose. I can't imagine a mother getting mad at her daughter for refusing her sister's help; in fact, that would mean the one daughter is self-confident and it would free up the sister to do something else! :) It is theoretically possible, though, and I wouldn't say one translation is preempted by the verb - it all depends on the context.

    Thanks for an intriguing question.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    An idea just occured to me know : If the meaning was that the other girl's refusing help, the sentence would probably, and more conveniently be :
    رفضت مساعدة أختها لها meaning refused to take help from her sister.
    Besides of course what Elroy has said, that it's not very logical that a mother would be angry for such a reason.
    So we have the logical reason :) , the contextual one, and the stylistic one too.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top