"They are answering me."
Translation:הם עונים לי.
After listening to some Israeli and thinking about it:
This is quite philosophical and biblical. And that's the short explanation ;-)
For a longer one read one: If you give an answer, there has been a question asked beforehand. Therefore you give the answer to the asker. This way it becomes an answer. It is like a transfer.
It is different the other way round. You ask a question and do not know if you will get an answer to your question. Either the person asked does not know it or there is no answer. Thus you do not need a specific receiver to ask a question. You can ask anyone. There isn't even a word for this person in general. This makes asking much more unspecific. And it leads to the concept that an answer is like a present given to you.
Think about your native languages. Any "answerers" around to answer the asker? ;-)
Thanks. So there's no short answer, but there is a long one. :-)
Come to think of it, there's a slight difference between ask and answer in English. Ask takes both a direct object (the question) and an indirect object (the person being asked). I ask you the question. Answer only takes one object. I can answer the question (direct) or answer you (probably technically direct, but functionally indirect), but I can't answer you the question.