Levantine Arabic: more and more (We find more and more pesticides in apples.)

WannaBFluent

Senior Member
Français
I'd like to say: We find more and more pesticides in apples in Levantine Arabic.

منلقى أكتر وأكتر مبيدات الأفّات بالتفّاح

Is this ok?
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Palestinian:

    A fairly literal translation would be كل مالها ما عم بتكتر المبيدات بالتفاح.

    What you’re much more likely to hear: كل مالو ما عم بكتر التفاح المرشوش.
     

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    Elroy, could you please explain this structure? Because I've never it. I don't understand what is كل مالها/مالو.
     

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    I should have searched. Anyways though, is it not idiomatic to say اكتر واكتر? Because that's how I have been talking until now - translating from both Hebrew and English. I can just use كل ماله altogether.
     

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    Here are two examples I found in my chat history:
    انا مطوّل بساعة النوم اكتر واكتر كل ليلة
    الطاقات بقللو اكتر واكتر كل سمستر
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Hm...neither of those sounds idiomatic to me. In the first one, the verb should be بطوّل, not مطوّل, but بطوّل بساعة النوم doesn't sound idiomatic to me, and neither does الطاقات بقلّوا (it actually took me a little while to realize what was meant; my first reading of الطاقات was "windows" :D).

    I would say:

    عم بسهر أكتر وأكتر كل ليلة
    همتي عم بتخف من سمستر لسمستر

    In the second example, there's no need to explicitly say "more and more" because this is implied.

    In the first example, كل مالي wouldn't work. I think this is because كل مالي is used with a state, not an action. In the second example, كل مالها would work if you didn’t say "from semester to semester": همتي كل مالها عم بتخف. I think this is because كل مالها is used to "report" on the current state of affairs, without any specific time references.

    The two sentences starting with "I think" are tentative conclusions based on this small amount of data, so don't quote me on this. ;) But I'm pretty sure they're valid.
     
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    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    Thank you for the corrections! Alright so there's another layer of complexity. I just want to make sure - is there any chance that if you deconstruct the saying كل مالو you get "as long as it is itself"/"the more it is itself"? I am basically feeling like the "time expression" of the sentence is hidden in كل مالو and that's why it doesn't work with من سمستر لسمستر. So basically is the idea behind همتي كل مالها عم بتخف like saying "my energy, as long as it is itself/the more it is itself, keeps decreasing"? Obviously it's not idiomatic in English to say that but I'm just trying to wrap my head around the logic of the expression instead of building rules for how to use it.
    That may also explain why you don't use كل مالي in the first one, because me sleeping at a later hour every night is my choice, it's not something that happens to me "as long as I am myself/the more I am myself". Going by that logic I'd assume it's idiomatic to say: كل مالي عم بصير احلى.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I'd assume it's idiomatic to say: كل مالي عم بصير احلى
    كل مالي عم بحلَوّ is much more idiomatic, but yes, you can say that ;) (انشالله تضلك حلو :D).

    Okay, here's my second attempt to explain this كل مالي business:

    I think كل مالي is only used with verbs that inherently imply gradation. If you say, in English, "the prices keep going up," the implication is that each increase yields a higher price than the one before it. But if you say "he keeps eating," all you're saying is that he constantly eats, with no implication that he is eating more each time. Same in Arabic.

    So you can say كل مالو عم بحلَوّ/بكبر/بغلى because these verbs inherently imply gradation. But you can't say كل مالو عم بوكل/بلعب/بشرب.

    You can use كل مالو with an action verb if it implies gradation: كل مالهم عم بغلّوا البندورة. So the distinction is not so much action vs. state as it is gradation vs. no gradation.

    The other aspect is time references. I think the reason we don't add time references to a كل مالو expression is that with a كل مالو expression, time references are irrelevant. What a كل مالو expression is saying is that "X keeps increasing/decreasing" in general, with disregard for whether these changes occur on a semesterly basis, on a monthly basis, or whatever.

    If you want to include a time reference, you say: الأسعار عم بتغلى من شهر لشهر.

    If you want to say "more and more" with a non-gradient verb, you can say: الولد عم بوكل أكتر وأكتر OR you can use a gradient verb, thus allowing you to use كل مالو: الولد أكلو كل مالو عم بكتر. (The latter is more idiomatic in my opinion.)

    And if you want to use a time reference together with a non-gradient verb, you can say: عم بدخّن أكتر وأكتر كل أسبوع.

    I don't know if that helps or only muddies the waters. :oops::eek:
     

    She'lock Holmes

    Senior Member
    Northern Lev. Arabic (mostly Syrian)
    عم نلاقي مُبيدات [حَشَرِيِّة] أكتر وأكتر مرشوشِة عالتفاح.

    If you mean saying this as a general fact and not as a recent finding (although أكتر وأكتر here isn't very natural to me):
    منلاقي [نحنا] مُبيدات [حشريِّة] أكتر وأكتر مرشوشة عالتفاح.

    Some natives will use بنلاقي with a regular ب for the present first-person plural instead of م but this is considered 'less correct' than the irregular م. Nevertheless, both are 'native'.

    Personally, if I want to say it as a general fact I'd use فينا نلاقي مُبيدات حشرية أكتر مرشوشة عالتفاح.

    What's between [] is optional and أكتر وأكتر should be stressed.
     
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