tsafar

Tetina

Senior Member
Greece / greek
Hi. It is very common for the greek language to use arabic words (and the opposite may i add), so in the greek forum somebody ask where the word "tsafari" -that means something like "flute" in our language- comes from. They replied:
[tsipowr , the bird, from its whistling (tspr, Arab. tsafar, R. tsp, cf. Arab. saffârat, the whistling of a bird), Arab. safar, whistler (with prosthesis, 'atsafwar, warbler, Psalm. p. 794).]
I know that "safar" in arabic means "journey".
Can you enlight me?

P.S. : In latin script please:eek:
 
  • Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi Tetina

    The Arabic word for “travel” is سفر (safar) with a siin, whereas “Safiir” (whistling, chirping of birds) and “Saffaaraat” (sirens), like in صفارات الإنذار (Safaaraat al-inthaar) = (alarm / warning sirens), are written in Arabic respectively as: صفير and صفّارات with a Saad and not a siin. Moreover, the root letters ص – ف – ر(S-f-r) in Arabic also has meanings of “yellowness”, “zero”, “copper” or “copper-like metal”, and then there is also the Arabic month of Safar.

    Another indication that “Safiir” means “whistling” like a bird is that in traditional Arabic phonetics the three letters (س ص ز) (siin, Saad, & zaay) are known as the “Letters of Safiir” (the whistling letters). I hope this clarifies the difference between (safar) for traveling and (Safiir or Saffaar) for whistling.
     

    Tetina

    Senior Member
    Greece / greek
    I understant now the written differences but the difference in the pronounciation is in the vocal a / i or in the s?

    :confused:
     

    Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    The difference is in the "s". The [s] in "safar" to mean travel is pronounced flat as any normal "s", where as the [s] in "Safiir" to mean "whistling" is pronounced with the lips rounded almost (but not exactly) like the "sa" and "so" in "saw" or "sorry" respectively. It is never pronounced like "su" in "sun". I think here in the forum the convention is to write the one as a small (s) and the other as a capital (S). I hope that clarifies it.
     

    Tetina

    Senior Member
    Greece / greek
    Yes, now it's clear.:) maybe that's why when i ask an Arab what "safar" means tells me "journey", because i pronounce the s flat and not fat.;)

    thanks for dealing with this Abu Bishr.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    The difference is not only in the "s", but in the vowels too.
    safar سفـر = travel, journey
    Safiir صفـير = whistle
    But a whistle (i.e. the instrument with which a whistling sound can be made) is also called Saffarah in Arabic (صفّارة).
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Another important difference is the way the two letters can affect vowels that follow them. In Arabic, the letter ا and the fat7a (the short version of the same) each have two possible pronunciations, and the pronunciation often depends on the preceding letter.

    Example:
    صَعيد (Sa3iid)
    سَعيد (Sa3iid)

    These two words differ not only in the pronunciation of the first letter but also in the pronunciation of the vowel following it. Whenever a fat7a follows a ص, it is pronounced like a shorter version of the "a" in the English word "father" (indicated above with a line underneath). When it follows a س, however, there are two possible pronunciations: the one just discussed and another one, kind of like the first "a" in the English word "banana" (indicated above as a normal "a"). Unfortunately, on this forum it is not common to differentiate between these two pronunciations. It would be nice if we started doing that, but we have a hard enough time trying to convince some of our long-standing members to stick to the clear and generally unambiguous transliteration system most of our members have tacitly agreed to use. :)
    [...]then there is also the Arabic month of Safar.
    Muslim month. :) There is no such thing as an "Arabic month." Discussion about this moved here.
     
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