"Why are you walking backwards?"

Translation:למה אתה הולך אחורה?

July 17, 2016

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ynhockey

This sentence is a bit problematic. The Hebrew למה אתה הולך אחורה? would be translated to "Why are you going backwards?" or figuratively "Why are you remembering past events?". If one wants to say "Why are you walking backwards?", that would usually be למה אתה הולך אחורנית? However, that answer isn't currently accepted (reported).

So it's not that the given translation is incorrect, but it's heavily context-dependent, and could be interpreted differently.

February 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamOlean

Thanks, I was wondering about this. Besides the translation "Why are you going backwards?", could it perhaps be translated, "Why are you walking[/going] back?" Either way, the English translation is less important than the meaning(s) that the Hebrew clause can be used to convey. A lack of context certainly doesn't help resolve the ambiguities!

אחורה seems to (prototypically) convey spatial direction or trajectory of motion/movement (e.g., with verbs of motion/movement). (It can also be used of course in other contexts, such as, with verbs of perception [cf. Gen 13:14], etc.)

אחורנית seems to (prototypically) convey spatial orientation (or arrangement) of the participant moving/ in motion, or how they're moving (i.e., the participant is walking facing backwards, with their back oriented toward or in the direction of their motion/movement and their front facing the opposite direction). Here's an ancient, biblical-Hebraic example from Noah's sons Shem and Japheth in Genesis/Bereshit (9:23f):

ויקח שם ויפת את-השמלה

וישימו על-שכם שניהם

וילכו אחרנית

ויכסו את ערות אביהם

ופניהם אחרנית

וערות אביהם לא ראו

August 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/i_want_to_know

I would think that this sentence would mean (translating from the Hebrew) "Why do you walk behind?"

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/adisuissa

why do you walk behind = למה אתה הולך מאחורה.
מאחורה = behind.
לאחור / אחורה = backwards

March 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BarakG2

that would be "Lama Ata Holech MeAchora"

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Laurie-F7

When I clicked on the words, they appeared on the screen from left to right instead of from right to left.

April 9, 2018
Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.