1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "נשאלת השאלה מה הוא משיג מזה?"

"נשאלת השאלה מה הוא משיג מזה?"

Translation:It begs the question what does he get from this?

June 25, 2016



Some would claim "begging the question" has a very specific meaning in terms of argumentation. The more general idea expressed here could be "raises the question" perhaps.

  • 533

The term "beg the question" is very much mis-used in English. The real definition is about a faulty premise, and that in no way matches the Hebrew "נשאלת השאלה"

Still, English speakers do use the phrase like that, so it should be accepted. This course is about teaching Hebrew, not about teaching correct English. English is just a tool for this course.


But giving an incorrect English translation might suggest to someone that the sentence means what the translation actually means, which would be wrong and misleading. So there is no reason to retain "begs the question."


Agreed. I was asking about supplementing with a valid alternative that may go over better for some. There is no way to tell (at least in the mobile version) what valid answers are available beyond the one attempted, so I don't know if idiomatic "raises" is one of them.

[deactivated user]

    Allow me to disagree. The translation is like a key to the meaning of the original statement. How can the correct meaning be conveyed by an incorrect rendering or a faulty one?


    Not that it's misused per se but that it has a very specific technical meaning which is entirely different from the colloquial meaning it's taken on; because of this it has different meanings to different native speakers, and so should be used much more sparingly in language-learning contexts than a more universal alternative like "raises the question"


    I wrote "it raises the question what does he get from it", and was marked wrong.


    I agree. I just tried "It raises the question: what does he get out of this?" It was marked wrong, as I expected, and I have flagged it, that it should be accepted. We'll see if they ever add it as an acceptable answer.


    "Get out of it" should be accepted just as "Gets from it".

    • 533

    also "gain"


    Reported again, August 2020

    • 533

    Reading all the comments here, I've noticed that nobody really explains what the phrase "נשאלת השאלה" means in Hebrew. The "official" translation is that it's "begs the question", while the hint says "the question remains" and someone suggested, "it raises the question".

    The thing is, that this phrase is hardly ever used in these contexts. I would never say "נשאלת השאלה מה הוא משיג מזה" and then go on to ask, "Does anyone know?". There is nothing wrong grammatically, but it's just not used that way.

    This phrase is used as part of a rhetorical argument. The question that follows is almost always a rhetorical question. So if I say, "נשאלת השאלה, מה הוא משיג מזה" (and notice that you don't need a question mark because this is an indirect quote), I will follow it up with an answer. So it's going to be something like this:

    נשאלת השאלה מה הוא משיג מזה. הוא משיג מזה יותר כסף


    The hint also says, the question remains...but they count that wrong even though the hint says it...


    אני חושב Does הוא מיותר! המתרגם צריך להיות "it begs the question what he gets from this."


    Is the subject of this sentence השאלה, or is there an implied "it" that is the subject? In the first case, why don't we say השאלה נשאלת, with the subject first? In the second case, then השאלה is the object of the verb, so why isn't there an את? In other words, which of these is the correct literal word-for-word translation:

    Is being asked the question what he gets from this

    (It) asks the question: what he gets from this

    P.S. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question for an explanation of both meanings of the English phrase begs the question.

    • 533

    It's the first.

    The verb נשאלת is in the נפעל binyan, so it's passive. נשאלת השאלה just says "the question is asked".

    As to why the verb comes first, both forms are acceptable. This phrase is usually used in this order for emphasis - to make the question follow the word "השאלה", but either way would mean the same thing.


    I would have guessed that the translation would be, the question is asked, not the question remains. I would have thought that the question remains would have been in Hebrew, נשארת השאלה. Guess I would have been wrong.


    Yes, I thought of it as meaning the question is being asked, as in people are asking what he gets out of it -- would this be a valid way of understanding the sentence? Or does נשאלת השאלה only appear as a rhetorical device as described here? Maybe Yoav (synp) can add to his already very helpful comments please ?

    • 533

    It's a rhetorical construct. If I'm the speaker, it's a question that I'm putting in the mouth of either you, the listener, or my imaginary side-kick. I then may or may not answer it.

    Since I don't know of an exact match in English, I'll use (the question is asked) in some examples:

    President Trump was taken to the hospital and given steroids. Steroids are usually given to Covid patients as a last resort, so (the question is asked:) is the president's condition more severe than we have been led to believe?

    Duo is green, and lizards are also green. (The question is asked:) does this imply that Duo and lizards share a recent common ancestor? Well, the answer is no, and the green color is an example of convergent evolution.

    History can have no paradoxes. And yet it is impossible to imagine time travel that will not lead to paradoxes. So (the question is asked) does this mean that time travel is logically impossible? It might be, but it can also be a failure of our imagination to think of time travel without paradoxes.

    Ignore the factuality of the above examples. The first is a question that I introduced without answering. The latter two are answered. That's how you might use the expression in Hebrew. So the question is asked, do you understand it now? I think you do, but as you don't have a commonly used equivalent in English, you are not likely to use this rhetorical device in regular speech. That's OK. You're not required to use every obscure expression. Only to understand them when you hear them.


    תודה רבה! נשאלת השאלה: היית צריך לתת תשובה כל כך ארוכה? ' Darn it, can't get the ? to stay at the end

    • 533

    זה בסדר. דואולינגו משלמים לפי מילים, לא?


    Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.