quite, rather

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by a5ph, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. a5ph

    a5ph New Member

    Klingon, Ewokian
    Ahlan and salaam to all,

    This forum has really impressed me. Kudos to all for unselfishly sharing your knowledge.

    I've been lurking at this forum for quite some time, and finally registered to pose a question here. :eek:

    How do you say in MSA the word "quite"? As in, "quite big", or "quite happy."

    And does Arabic have the English equivalent of "rather," which has the same meaning as "quite", only that it is used in negative context, like "rather far" or "rather difficult."

    I really appreciate any help anyone can give. Cheers, and have a good day everyone. ;)
  2. djara

    djara Senior Member

    Sousse, Tunisia
    Tunisia Arabic
    Welcome to the forum a5ph.
    I'd use بعض الشئ or شيئا ما
  3. a5ph

    a5ph New Member

    Klingon, Ewokian
    Thanks for the reply. So how do I put it in phrase?

    بعيد إلى شيء ما

    In not so sure... Hmm what about the 3ammiya equivalent? Like ba3iid showayya = ba3iid qaliilan?

    Is there such usage in Arabic?

    Thanks! :)
  4. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Hi a5ph, and welcome to the forums,

    بعض الشيء and شيئا ما may be appropriate for 'rather', but I do not believe they are appropriate for quite. For that I would just use جدًا, or maybe تمامًا or إلى حدٍ بعيد depending on context.

    For example:

    He is quite wrong.
    إنه مخطئ تمامًا.

    The tree is quite big.
    إن الشجرة كبيرة جدًا.

    I am quite happy today.
    أنا سعيد إلى حد بعيد اليوم.

    "Rather" is a little more complicated because it can be used to mean either a great or small extent. So the appropriate translation depends on what one means by 'rather.' In your example you are obviously intending it to be a great extent, and so I believe جدًا could work and maybe إلى حد بعيد as well. However, I really don't like those as translations as I perceive 'rather' as being somewhat vague and non-specific. Thus, I think the best translation may be إلى حدٍ ما which is equally vague and non-specific and means something like "to some extent."

    For example:

    The park is rather far (away).
    إن المنتزه بعيد إلى حد ما.

    Swimming is rather difficult:
    السباحة صعبة إلى حد ما.
  5. a5ph

    a5ph New Member

    Klingon, Ewokian
    Thanks Josh for your reply. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that rather and quite has the same meaning, only that rather is for something negative, while quite is for something positive?

    Like, the lecture is quite good. Or, the lecture is rather boring.

    So in my understanding, rather and quite both denotes the description of the subject which does not exceed the adjective itself.

    This, to me, is different with very, which gives an impression that the description exceeds the adjective. Very = جدا , and both rather and quite can perhaps be translated as إلى حد ما.

    Of course, I could be wrong.

    Appreciate the help nonetheless. ;)
  6. aurelien.demarest

    aurelien.demarest Senior Member

    Hi guys,

    would it be correct to say "quite short" like this?

    عادةً المسافة للذهاب الى المطار إلى حَدٍّ ما قصيرةٍ

    Usually the distance to go to the airport is quite short

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  7. Hemza

    Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    I've read the thread and I think I misunderstood something: isn't "quite" like "a little"? Like, "the film was quite good" which based on my understanding, would mean that we enjoyed the film but not that much?
  8. aurelien.demarest

    aurelien.demarest Senior Member

    Hi Hemza,

    thanks for you suggestion, actually no no i did not make mistake on the thread (I hope :p )
    Just made a mistake in the typography of quite (in English) so I wanted to say quite short ("assez" in French) as it has been used above.

    Thanks for the correction

  9. Hemza

    Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Hello Aurélien,

    Sorry I didn't mean to correct you ahahah I meant that the thread is confusing for me, because " جدًا" means "very" while as I learnt it, "quite" means "assez" (sorry I know no synonym in English) in French. Or is it a difference between British and American/Canadian English (or even Australian xD)? I learnt British English at school thus it might be one of the differences, as many people on the forum are from America...
  10. PlanC

    PlanC Senior Member

    Hi a5ph and welcome aboard,

    I guess by "negative rather" when used for pejorative meaning with a connotation of exceeding for exemple
    جِدُ بكسر الجيم و ضم الدال
    Nice hotel but rather far from the city فندق جميل و لكنه جِدُ بعيد عن المدينة
    Those exercises are healthy but rather difficult هذه التمارين صحية و لكنها جِدُ صعبة
    It was rather a difficult question لقد كان السؤال جِدُ صعب
  11. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    I think it is indeed an issue of UK vs US English. In US English "quite" as in "quite big" means "very" (Ar جداً) whereas in UK English as far as I'm aware, "quite" means "somewhat, rather" (Fr assez​).
  12. Hemza

    Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Thanks :) because I was only aware of the UK English meaning.

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