Negative numbers الأعداد السالبة

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Serafín33, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member


    Call me crazy but I got an interest in it. :)

    1. How do you pronounce negative numbers in Arabic?

    Let's say: -5. In English it's "negative five". In Spanish it's "menos cinco".

    2. Is the word that adds negativity the same as the word for substraction?

    In English it's not. -5 - 5 is pronounced "negative five minus five".
    In Spanish it is. The pronunciation would be "menos cinco menos cinco".

    So to make matters short, I'm just asking you how you would read "-5 - 5".

    3. Would it have been more adequate if I had I written in the title "ﺎلعربية..."?
  2. ashraf_gawdat Member

    Cairo - Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt)
    1- It is saleb (سالب), so -5 is pronounced saleb khams (سالب خمس).

    2- No it is not the same. The term used for substraction is naqes (ناقص), so -5 -5 is pronounced saleb khams neqes khams (سالب خمس ناقص خمس).

    This is in MSA (i.e. formal and written Arabic), but note that in some dialects - like Egyptian - the term used for "negative" is not saleb, but naqes (though saleb will be correct but not commonly used), just like the term for "minus". It is pronounced na'es in Egyptian slang as the letter qaf (ق) is pronounced hamza (ء).

    3- I don't know, but you are welcome in any language :) (as long I can understand it :D ).
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  3. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Iraq it's basically the same as Egypt, except that the qaaf is pronounced qaaf not hamza.
  4. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member

    Thank you very much! :D This is something you definitely can't find in Western grammars.

    So in فصحى it would be pretty much like English, while in the Egyptian vernacular it would be like Spanish! =oooo (Not suggesting anything here, just mere coincidence. :))
  5. azeid Senior Member

    Egypt مصر
    It is commonly سالب in mathematicians and engineers language for the negativity but ناقص is commonly used for subtraction process just like you mentioned about MSA.
  6. kifaru Senior Member

    Here's some math terms I copied from a website a few years ago. Might help you. Might not.

    Arabic Math Terms
    Difference Al-Farg الفرق
    Divided by Maksooman ala مقسوما على
    Product Asala al Darb حاصل الضرب
    Percentage Nisbah MaHwe’eh نسبه مئويه
    Minus Nagis ناقص
    Equal to Eesawee يساوي
    Not Equal La Eesawee لا يساوي
    Addition al jameH
    Total al Majmoo (asala al jameh) المجموع (حاصل الجمع)
    Subtraction at-tareH
    Multiplication al darb
    Subdivision al gasmah
    Square root Jezer Tarbeh جذر تربيعي
    Multiplied by Madrooban Fi مضروبا في
    Squared Tarbeh تربيع
    Cubed Taka’eeb تكعيب
    To the power of Marfoo’ lilqoowah مرفوع للقوه
    Exponentiation al oosoos al combyootor الاسس الكمبيوتر
    Greater Than Akbar min أكبر من
    Smaller Than Asgar min
    أصغر من
    Greater Than or Equal
    أكبر من أو يساوي
    SmalThan or Equal
    أصغر من أو يساوي

    Division القسمة
    Union أتحاد
    Intersection تقاطع
    Member عضو
    Subset جزئي او جزئية
    Natural Number الاعداد الطبيعية
    Whole Number الاعداد الكلية
    Integers Number الاعداد الصحيحة
    Rational Number الاعداد النسبية
    Real Number
    الاعداد الحقيقية
    Even زوجي
    Prime Number العدد الذي لايقبل القسمة الاعلى نفسه
    Exponents الاسس
    Base الاساس
    Squared تربيع
    Cubed تكعيب
    Denominator المقام
    neominator البسط
    Function الدالة
    Equation المعادلة
    Inequality المتراجحة
    Linear Function المعادلة الخطية
    Quadratic Function معادلة الدرجة الثانية
    Factoring التحليل
    Completing the Square أكمال المربع
    Quadratic Formula القانون العام
    Common Factor العامل المشترك
    Absolute Value
    القيمة المطلقة
    Intervals الفترات
    The Slope
  7. ashraf_gawdat Member

    Cairo - Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt)
    This is correct in academic language, but in day to day use they are both ناقص. I am an engineer by the way.

    These terms you copied have some pronunciation issues in their writing in Latin letters. Some have their pronunciation inaccurate, and some are written in slang not fosha (replacing q with g).
  8. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    This is the first time I've heard that ناقص خمسة is considered wrong in MSA! I don't really see anything "un-FuSHa" about it, but oh well.

    We used to call them أعداد سالبة (saalibah) in general, but the individual numbers we referred to as ناقص واحد, ناقص اثنين, (naagiS wa7ed, naagiS ithneen) and so on.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  9. azeid Senior Member

    Egypt مصر
    Welcome :).

    We are not talking about the right and the wrong here,The both are right.The common usage from each one perspective depends on his community and how they used to say that,right?
  10. ashraf_gawdat Member

    Cairo - Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt)
    I agree. I don't think that naqes is wrong for "negative" in MSA. It is just not common.
  11. be.010 Senior Member

    Arabic (Syrian)
    Not common?! That's probably the only one we use in Syria... I've never heard "saalib #" before! (I'm still talking about fuS7a here!)... Does that mean that the way of saying a negative number in Arabic has not been unified!!!?:confused:
    Anyway, what about other regions' "fuS7a", so to speak?!! Do you use naaqis or saalib in math references?!
  12. Serafín33

    Serafín33 Senior Member

    Well, there never seems to be any absolute right or wrong, just some terms that are more appropriate because they're more common, and this thread is another proof that what is "appropriate" can change depending on the region! (An issue both Spanish and English also have thanks to being spoken in such a large area. ;))

    Thanks for all the responses far.
    Of course they're useful!
    Did he copied any with the short vowels wrong.?

    Since he wrote the Arabic spelling next to it then it doesn't matter if the romanization is not appropiate for fo97aa regarding consonants and long vowels, but I do get worried about the short vowels.
  13. ashraf_gawdat Member

    Cairo - Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt)
    I totally agree with that. Anyway I didn't say that using naqes for minus is wrong , it is just not common. I should have followed this by "in Egypt".

    But does this mean that in Syria you never use the term saleb? If you are talking about poles - like electrical poles - or electrical charges, do you say mugab (positive) and naqes also?

    Yes. Here are what I found incorrect in short vowels:

    Product Hasela (not Asala) al Darb حاصل الضرب
    Percentage Nisbah Me'awyyah (not MaHwe’eh) نسبه مئويه
    Addition al jam' or you can write it jam3 (not jameH) الجمع (i.e. meem م letter has sokoun on it not kasra)
    Subtraction at-tarh (not at-tareH) الطرح
    Subdivision al qesmah (not gasmah) القسمة
    Square root jazr tarbee'i or tarbee3i (not Jezer Tarbeh) جذر تربيعي
    Cubed Tak’eeb (not Taka’eeb) تكعيب

    And I don't know what الكمبيوتر has to do with Exponentiation here:
    Exponentiation al oosoos al combyootor الاسس الكمبيوتر
  14. be.010 Senior Member

    Arabic (Syrian)
    Of course we use saalib, but not in the form of "saalib (number)." Yes, these are a3daad saaliba, (e.g. 5amsa saaliba sounds fine), but we just don't say "saalib 5amsa," we use "naaqiS 5amsa" or sometimes "5amsa ta7t SSifr" instead to call it;)

Share This Page