the Arabic language (العربية / عربي)

  • cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Yes sir :) but we need a context. "Arabic" is and adjective, and adjectives in the Arabic language are variable.
    So if you want to say Arabic language, it's اللغة العربية
    If you want something else, please let us know :)
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    That still doesn't help. Look at many Arab member's profile. It says عربي which translates as "Arabic". اللغة العربية means "the Arabic language", as Cherine pointed out, and some people use العربية to refer to the language, too.

    As you can see, there are too many possibilities to generalize it. :)
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Also, it is my understanding that while 3arabi عربي is ok in the dialects when referring to the language, it should really be العربية in modern standard since the word لغة is feminine.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    العربية sounds too formal to my ears. I think عربي sounds friendlier.

    For example, on a menu where I could choose what language I wanted something in, I would prefer عربي to العربية.

    It's the same reason you see "français" on menus and not "le français," and "Deutsch" and not "das Deutsche."
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    And that was the point -- العربية is used in formal registers, whereas عربي is used elsewhere. If you came here to Dearborn you would see streets signs advertising lawyers, accountants, and the like, who speak العربية , but you might see a restaurant saying عربي . If you were writing a paper, though, say for school, you would only write العربية , right?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Josh, yes, if I were writing a paper I would write only العربية.

    Whodunit, on the form I could go both ways - it doesn't really matter there as long as the meaning is communicated. Thinking about it now, I think I'd be more likely to write عربي, because it sounds much friendlier. In other words, if I were asked to list the languages I could speak, I would write عربي، إنجليزي، فرنسي، إسباني، ألماني and not العربية، الإنجليزية، الفرنسية، الإسبانية، الألمانية - which sounds way too stilted. I wonder what Cherine and others think.

    However, it would be either العربية or عربي - not عربية. I assume that was a typo.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    elroy said:
    I would write عربي، إنجليزي، فرنسي، إسباني، ألماني and not العربية، الإنجليزية، الفرنسية، الإسبانية، الألمانية - which sounds way too stilted. I wonder what Cherine and others think.
    Although I am not a native speaker, I can kind of feel the difference. I would agree that it sounds too formal, stilted, and maybe even somewhat impersonal. It may be because I learned a dialect before MSA and was used to sayingعربي . In fact it kind of came as a shock to me when my professor told us that عربي was not acceptable in the class and in MSA, generally speaking.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Precisely, adding the definite article (al) makes the word more formal. This is why I'd, personally, fill a form (I expect a form to be something formal) with العربية : simple and formal. عربى is informal, so I could use it in a non formal, or colloquial, context : باتكلم عربى، بيعرف عربى.... While in a formal (i.e. written text) I'd say : أتحدث العربية، يعرف العربية

    So, after all we're all right :) It's only a matter of context.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Josh Adkins said:
    It may be because I learned a dialect before MSA and was used to sayingعربي .
    Exactly, Josh. Like you, all native speakers of Arabic learn a dialect before MSA - so عربي sounds personal and friendly whereas العربية sounds formal and academic.

    Interestingly enough, though, in Palestinian Arabic if we want to say "your Arabic is good" - we use the feminine plural - so we would say "3arabiyyaatak imnaa7." Is this done in Egypt?
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Yes, Egyptian Arabic frequently uses the preposition bitaa3 so it is easier, or sounds better, to use the masculine (at least in my opinion). I suspect that they say 3arabiyyaatak because 3arabiik sounds strange. In fact, I sometimes wonder how words that end in ي have possessive pronouns attached to them. Like how would you say your chair -- would it just be kursiik? I just always say il-kursi bitaa3ak. to me it sounds better.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    Whodunit, on the form I could go both ways - it doesn't really matter there as long as the meaning is communicated. Thinking about it now, I think I'd be more likely to write عربي, because it sounds much friendlier. In other words, if I were asked to list the languages I could speak, I would write عربي، إنجليزي، فرنسي، إسباني، ألماني and not العربية، الإنجليزية، الفرنسية، الإسبانية، الألمانية - which sounds way too stilted. I wonder what Cherine and others think.
    The reason why I asked is that most of the native Arabic speakers here write عربي in their profile (as you did once), but they never use العربية. However, when I search some website on which you switch the language to Arabic, you'll often read العربية. And an Encarta language program suggests العربية for Arabic, too, whereas it says that "Deutsch" (and not "das Deutsche") is the translation of "German". Strange, isn't it? :)

    However, it would be either العربية or عربي - not عربية. I assume that was a typo.
    Of course, it was. :)
     

    Hibou57

    Senior Member
    french & english
    elroy said:
    العربية sounds too formal to my ears. I think عربي sounds friendlier.

    For example, on a menu where I could choose what language I wanted something in, I would prefer عربي to العربية.

    It's the same reason you see "français" on menus and not "le français," and "Deutsch" and not "das Deutsche."
    Well, so this depend on the context... one should use العربية when used with the verb takalam (as an exemple) and one should use عربي when talking about the language for itself alone.

    There is nothing strange in it, this is the same in many other language... and then giving that, using العربية to talk about the language for itself should normally be a mistake... Am I right ?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi Hibou & welcome to the forum :)

    Actually, when I was speaking of context, I meant formal-informal context, not the meaning.
    So when we're «talking about the language for itself alone» we can either say عربى or العربية according to the "nature" of the context, not its context.

    Just my humble opinions, others may have a different one.

    Cherine
    Whodunit said:
    The reason why I asked is that most of the native Arabic speakers here write عربي in their profile (as you did once), but they never use العربية. However, when I search some website on which you switch the language to Arabic, you'll often read العربية. And an Encarta language program suggests العربية for Arabic, too, whereas it says that "Deutsch" (and not "das Deutsche") is the translation of "German". Strange, isn't it? :)
    Here's another example of what I meant by the "nature of the context" : when speaking informally, we say : بتكلم عربى batkallem 3arabi (I speak Arabic), so it's not strange at all to simply put عربى in a user's profile on a "friendly" site/forum :) but in a more formal context (Encarta or any other site, book, reference....) it's more common to say العربية or اللغة العربية (though the first is shorter, simpler and o less correct than the former, longer form).
    As for using the article with Arabic and not with Deutsche, I think it's due to the peculiarities of each language. We say "le français" but not "français"; while we say "English" and not "the English" (speaking of language names)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Hibou57

    Senior Member
    french & english
    Thanks for your reception Cherine :)

    Ok, so something else comes into my mind : the use of the article is a kind of esteem mark ? As the use of « yaa » is before a name in arabic ? (I mean like in « yaa mohammad »)

    May it be that ?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Not esteem, it's rendering the thing definite. When we say عربية it's not clear what is Arabic (because 3arabeyya is an adjective) but when we add the article (al) it define what is Arabic : it's the language.

    As for yaa, it's a vocative mark or interjection, it's a way to show not esteem but calling the person whose name follows the yaa. When you say "ya Mohammad" it means : I call Mohammad.

    I hope it's clearer now. If not, don't hesitate to ask, but if you'll ask about something far from the subject of this thread, you'd better open a new one.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Josh Adkins said:
    Yes, Egyptian Arabic frequently uses the preposition bitaa3 so it is easier, or sounds better, to use the masculine (at least in my opinion). I suspect that they say 3arabiyyaatak because 3arabiik sounds strange. In fact, I sometimes wonder how words that end in ي have possessive pronouns attached to them. Like how would you say your chair -- would it just be kursiik? I just always say il-kursi bitaa3ak. to me it sounds better.
    We have an equivalent of "bitaa3" - we say "taba3" or "taa3" - so we could say "il3arabi taba3ak/taa3ak" but it sounds weird. I don't know if the "i"-argument holds because we do in fact say "kursiik" (although we could, of course, also say "il-kursi taba3ak/taa3ak").
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Yeah, I was just throwing it out as a suggestion. So you could conceiveably say 3arabiik, right? Or would that just sound strange (not generally, but just with the word 3arabi)?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    If you say 3arabiik, you'll turn the word 3arabi (3arabeh?) which is feminine into masculine; something not known in Arabic talking (as much as I know).

    In Egypt we say 3arabiitak, kursiik, maDiik, mo3gabiinak (your fans)... :)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Josh Adkins said:
    Yeah, I was just throwing it out as a suggestion. So you could conceiveably say 3arabiik, right? Or would that just sound strange (not generally, but just with the word 3arabi)?
    I can't think of a situation in which I'd say "3arabiik." I guess it could very theoretically be used to mean "your Arab (male being)" but in that case "il-3arabi taba3ak" sounds exponentially better.
    cherine said:
    If you say 3arabiik, you'll turn the word 3arabi (3arabeh?) which is feminine into masculine; something not known in Arabic talking (as much as I know).
    Cherine, I think you're talking about cars while Josh is talking about Arabs. ;)

    In Palestinian Arabic, we don't use "3arabiyyeh" to mean car but we understand the Egyptian "3arabiyya" (we say "sayyaara"). "3arabeh" is used and means carriage. "3arabaay" is a stroller. ;)
    In Egypt we say 3arabiitak, kursiik, maDiik, mo3gabiinak (your fans)... :)
    So do we, except for the first one. :) For the last one, we could also say "il-mu3jabiin fiik."
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    elroy said:
    Cherine, I think you're talking about cars while Josh is talking about Arabs. ;)
    Well, it could be Arabs, but I meant the Arabic language since that is what we were talking about -- your Arabic (3arabiik).

    Thanks for the explanations and I am definitely one of your mu3gabinkum, guys.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    And I'll repeat what I said earlier - we say عربياتك. :)

    I though you meant the word عربي in general - no matter what it meant, that is, if عربيك could be used at all, in any context whatsoever. That's why I said that it could theoretically be used to mean "your Arab (male being)" - but not "your Arabic (language skills)." In that case, we would use only the feminine plural.

    Shukran 3al-kalimaat il-7ilwe. Ay inte bti3jeb balad ya l-Amirkaani taba3na! ;)
     

    Cynthia F

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - UK
    [Moderator note: merged with the previous thread about the same topic.]
    Hello!

    Please could you kindly help with a translation of the word Arabic for me? This is probably a very silly question, and I apologise in advance, but I do not want to add the wrong word or cause offence or upset.

    I am arranging for some translated documents to be added to a website and have to add the correct name of the language in the language it is written (I hope that makes sense!).

    Therefore, please could you tell me the correct way to say: Arabic in Arabic (you would then click on the word and be taken to some translated text).

    I have an old document I found at work which provides the translation of Arabic as:

    1. عربي

    However, the title of this forum says: العربية (this may be the same as the text below - but it is very small (my eyes are failing!) and I'm not familiar with any semitic languages)

    3. Wikipedia suggests:
    Arabic - Wikipedia

    I am sorry that the text is so small. But please could you confirm which word I should use for Arabic?

    Many thanks for your help. :)

    Cynthia
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi Cynthia,

    Both العربية and عربي are correct, and are mentioned in the second link you provided.

    I think العربية is more commonly used, so you might go for it as a safer choice. But again, if you're restricted by space or characters count, then going for عربي is still correct.
     

    Cynthia F

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - UK
    I'm so sorry AndyRoo, is that - عربي - the first example I gave? The text is so small and I have a completely untrained eye in this language.

    I want to make absolutely sure that I use the correct version, it is for a national website! :D
     

    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    A probable reason for عربي being predominant over the MSA العربية is that the classical word for language was لسان not لغة, and in fact this is probably still strictly the case (one of many 'mistakes' in MSA; don't old books use لغة for 'synonym'?). In fact, the Qur'aan itself never says العربية and says لسان عربي
     

    Abbe

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Isn't it possible to assume that the word الكلام is intended instead of اللغة? Or maybe some other masculine word?

    أنا مترجمة من الكلام العربي إلى الكلام الفرنسي
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Bahrain), Persian
    وكل عربى “and it is all (correct) Arabic”. (Kitāb Sībawayh, passim).
    In his time, لسان was the most common word for language while لغة mainly meant dialect. So he probably wrote it with the word لسان in mind, correct?
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    وكل عربى “and it is all (correct) Arabic”. (Kitāb Sībawayh, passim).
    Can you give more context, just saying وكل عربي doesn’t really show what he meant exactly.

    Having said that, عربي does describe language in certain contexts, for example one would say: هذا كتاب عربي، هذا حرف عربي.
    The Quran also says إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ - سورة يوسف آية ٢
    نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ*عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ* بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ - سورة الشعراء

    You must note however that in all these cases عربي is an adjective describing something masculine hence it follows the gender of الموصوف. If you want to use it as a noun that is not an adjective to refer to a language, then in standard Arabic it must be feminine.

    This doesn’t really apply to Arabic only, it also applies other languages. The example given in the first post seems to be affected by the local dialect, proper MSA should say من الفرنسية إلى العربية.

    I think it’s worth noting that in the dialects I know it’s masculine, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in the future using the masculine becomes acceptable but it hasn’t yet.
    In his time, لسان was the most common word for language while لغة mainly meant dialect. So he probably wrote it with the word لسان in mind, correct?
    possible, it’s also possible that he was describing something else (as in the examples from the Quran), a third possibility is that referring to a language in masculine or feminine were both acceptable in Classical Arabic (frankly I don’t know but I’ve never come across such a thing). But, I was under the impression that we were talking about MSA because the example was MSA and elroy clearly said:
    Not in MSA.
    Correct me if I’m wrong :)
     
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