يردّ التحية بأحسن منها

eskandar

Moderator
English (US)
I wasn't sure how to understand this line in a novel: العنصر الذي يقف قرب الحاجز يردّ التحية بأحسن منها

Does يردّ التحية بأحسن منها mean it returns the greeting with the best of greetings? Could it be reworded يردّ التحية باحسن التحيات or something?

Or does it mean a better greeting? Like someone greets with مرحبا and the response is even better: مرحبتين , or they greet with السلام عليكم and the response is وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله , etc.?
 
  • Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    Or does it mean a better greeting? Like someone greets with مرحبا and the response is even better: مرحبتين , or they greet with السلام عليكم and the response is وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله , etc.?
    :thumbsup: "a better greeting"
    "return the greeting/prayer with what is better than it"
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I understand تحية here to mean 'salute', not just any old greeting. So you might loosely translate it as 'he responded with an even more enthusiastic salute' (or whatever particular quality you want to understand it as referring to).
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I understand تحية here to mean 'salute',

    I highly doubt it. If he was a small solider or low ranking policeman based on the fact that he's posted at the حاجز as a guard! not to mention that he was referred to as عنصر rather than ضابط, then he would be the one that salutes and not the one being saluted, right?

    Also, it's very common in Arab countries that when people pass by a guard/doorman sitting at door/entrance/gate/barrier/whatever they say السلام عليكم even if they have no intention of talking to him or going in; it's even more common if the person passing commonly passed through that way (for example, he lives or works near by); generally speaking, people do not expect a great reply; a murmur implying that the guard acknowledged their greeting is good enough.

    I understand from the passage above that the guard replies to any greeting clearly and with a better or more elaborate one, implying that he's not merely being polite, rather he has a sort of a positive outlook in general and does more than merely acknowledge, he notices and responds positively.

    Anyhow, further context would probably help in determining what the writer meant.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I highly doubt it. If he was a small solider or low ranking policeman based on the fact that he's posted at the حاجز as a guard! not to mention that he was referred to as عنصر rather than ضابط, then he would be the one that salutes and not the one being saluted, right?

    Sometimes soldiers both salute one another. I'm not sure what the reason for this is.
     
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