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Comparing English & Arabic A Translator’s Perspective

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1 Comparing English & Arabic A Translator’s Perspective
April 7th, 2015 Dania A. Salamah Translator’s Club College of Languages & Translation, KSU

2 Contents Articles Nouns and adjectives
Translating “Be” and other linking verbs Translating “Have” Subject-Verb Agreement Practice References

3 I Articles

4 Articles in Arabic.. Definite article: ال التعريف
همزة وصل اتصال ال التعريف بالاسم يقتضي الاستغناء عن التنوين Indefinite article: لا يوجد التنوين دليل على التنكير

5 Articles in English.. Definite article: Indefinite article:
the when the noun is known or clear to the listener/speaker with certain words (e.g., the doctor, the bank, the army, the police, the airport Indefinite article: A an when referring to something for the first time When the noun is not known to the reader/listener

6 Examples: I had a steak for dinner. The steak was delicious.
When we were on vacation, we stayed at a very nice hotel. However, the problem was that the hotel was very expensive. The teacher told Amal to sit on a chair. So she sat on the chair near the window. The window is opposite the door in our classroom.

7 The vs. A/An vs. ∅ Use “the” when there is only one of something
The moon, the sun, the universe The longest, the shortest, the biggest The only… The sea, the sky, the ground When we mean voyage sea with no “the” No article with space (i.e., outer space) BUT The space is big enough for the sofa.

8 The radio, the theater, the cinema
BUT no “the” with television We watch television UNLESS we mean the television set Please turn on the television No “the” with the names of meals (i.e., breakfast, lunch, dinner) We have breakfast at 9:00 every morning. Dinner is always a family event. BUT  I had a nice dinner with my friends

9 Use “the” with singular countable nouns to mean something in general
Types of animals/plants: The elephant is a huge animal = Elephants are huge animals The rose is a fragrant flower = Roses are fragrant flowers Type of machine/invention: The telephone was invented by Thomas Edison. The car is the most common means of transportation in Saudi Arabia.

10 The + adjective The meaning is always plural the rich, the old, the blind, the sick, the injured, the poor, the young, the unemployed But  a blind man, not a blind

11 The + nationality words
With some nationalities to mean the people of that country the British, the English, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Irish, the French, the Swiss the Chinese, the Japanese (the) Italians, (the) Arabs, (the) Scots, (the) Turks, (the) Russians

12 The hospital vs. hospital
Hospital (the idea of hospital) someone goes to hospital or is in hospital if he is ill The Hospital (a specific hospital) to visit someone there No “the” with School, university, college, prison (the idea of these places) BUT: She went to the school to apply for a job. (not as a student or to study) BUT: Where is the university? (the location/building) No “the” with bed, work, home Go to bed.. She is in bed  the bed (furniture) Go to work.. Be at work.. Start work.. Go home.. Come home.. Stay at home..

13 Countries and states no the
Geographical Names Continents no the Asia, Africa, North America Countries and states no the France, Saudi Arabia, Japan BUT: Use the with names including republic, union, kingdom, and states The United States of America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of China BUT: Use the with plural names The Philippines, the Netherlands

14 Cities no the Cairo, New York Exception: The Hague (in the Netherlands) Islands (groups) the The Bahamas, the Canary Islands Islands (single islands) no the Bermuda, Sicily

15 II Nouns & Adjectives

16 Nouns and adjectives in Arabic..
الصفة تتبع الموصوف في اللغة العربية الصفة تتوافق مع الموصوف في اللغة العربية من حيث: التعريف والتنكير التذكير والتأنيث العدد (الإفراد والتثنية والجمع)

17 الحقيبة الكبيرة حقيبةٌ كبيرةٌ
الطبيب الماهر طبيبٌ ماهرٌ المعلمات الحريصات معلماتٌ حريصاتٌ الفنجان الزجاجي فنجانٌ زجاجيٌ العاملين النشيطين عاملين نشيطين

18 Nouns and adjectives in English..
Adjectives occur before the nouns they modify in English English adjectives do not agree with the nouns they modify Blue ball Small room Hard-working student

19 III Translating “Be” and other linking verbs

20 Omitting the verb Linking verb Helping verb (present continuous tense)
I am a student. She is kind Helping verb (present continuous tense) I am leaving now. We are speaking English.

21 Translating the verb Main verb The child was ill.
The boys were one team. Helping verb (past continuous tense) Her mother was preparing lunch. The guests were praying.

22 Linking verbs: become , seem , appear , get, turn, grow, feel, look, smell, taste, sound
They perform linking functions and need to be translated according to the meaning they represent in the sentence.. They seem upset because of what happened. The food smells delicious. The children feel happy. The weather became cold.

23 IV Translating “Have”

24 As a helping verb  disregard the verb
The workers have already left. The patient has seen the doctor. As a main verb  understand the meaning and translate it accordingly She has money. He has breakfast at 8:00 every morning.

25 V Subject-Verb Agreement

26 Subject-Verb Agreement in Arabic..
When the verb occurs before the subject and it is in 3rd person (الغائب) singular كتب الولد يكتب الولدان كتب الأولاد gender agreement كتب الطالب كتبت الطالبة يكتب المعلمون تكتب المعلمات كتب الأستاذان كتبت الأستاذتان

27 With broken plurals (جمع التكسير)  feminine form of verb
Example: ظهرت النجوم UNLESS the plural refers to male human beings! حضر الرجال True gender is taken into consideration أمر الخليفة بسجن السارق وليس أمرت الخليفة بسجن السارق

28 When the verb occurs after the subject
gender and number agreement البنات دخلن إلى الغرفة الأولاد فتحوا الباب المهندس حضر الاجتماع الطبيبة فحصت المريض

29 Using the 3rd person plural verb..
When the plural subject is not mentioned ذهبوا – أكلوا – درسوا When the subject is placed first for emphasis الطلاب خرجوا عندما انتهى وقت المحاضرة When the subject has already been mentioned اختبر الطلاب ثم ذهبوا لمنازلهم.

30 Subject-Verb Agreement in English..
Subjects and verbs must agree in number The student is present. The students are present. She has spoken to her teacher. They have finished their homework. Third person singular subjects Verbs that occur with third person singular subjects must take the (s) suffix The student comes to school everyday. She eats lunch with her family after school.

31 VI Practice

32 Translate the following sentences into English:
في الفصل طالبٌ طالبٌ في الفصل طالبةٌ ذكيةٌ الطالبةُ الذكيةُ الطالبة ذكيةٌ

33 الشارعُ الضيقُ شارعٌ ضيقٌ الشارعُ ضيقٌ المدرسةٌ العالميةُ الجديدةُ مدرسةٌ عالميةٌ جديدةٌ المدرسةُ عالميةٌ وجديدةٌ

34 Translate the following sentences into Arabic:
You are her father. He is eating an apple. She is invited to the party. The bird was beautiful. My brother was writing a letter. The two students have missed class. Have a seat.

35 We grew tired as we were climbing the mountain.
The weather turns hot in July. It sounds like they did not enjoy the trip. Have fun! Amal had a nice vacation.

36 Complete the following sentences with a/an, the, or ∅:
We went out for _______ meal last night. _______ restaurant we went to was excellent. _______ President of the United States is elected every four years. After _______ lunch, we went for a walk by _______ sea. When I was _______ child, I used to be very shy. He has _______ very long hair. I visited _______ Bahamas, but I have never been to _______ Cyprus. Have you finished with _______ book I lent you last week?

37 As I was walking along the street, I saw _______ $10 bill on _______ sidewalk.
_______ moon goes around _______ earth every 27 days. I invited Amy to _______ dinner next week. Can you turn _______ television down please? It's too loud.

38 References Azar, B. S. (1999). Understanding and using English grammar (3rd ed.). New York: Longman. Haywood, J. A. & Nahmad, H. M. (1976). A new Arabic grammar. UK: Lund Humphries London Khalil, A. M. (1999). A contrastive grammar of English and Arabic. Jordon: Jordon Book Centre Company Limited..

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