"Far away there by the camel stands an owl."
Translation:שם הרחק ליד הגמל עומד ינשוף.
is the order of the first two words important? I reversed them and was marked wrong.
It is שם הרחק - That הרחק is a single word; the ה is not the definite article.
It is not שם הרחוק - that would be meaningless.
It is a word that means "very far away". It's kind of strange the way they used it because it usually goes with the prefix מ on the following word, indicating what that thing is far away from. Example:
הרחק מכאן - far away from here
I assume it was "אי שם" which means "somewhere", pronounced "ey sham".
Not unknown, just unspecified
"אי שם במרחב נבחו כלבים לירח"
Somewhere in the area dogs barked to the moon
"אי שם בלב, פרח מלבלב"
Somewhere in the heart, a flower blooms
This is a really weird idiom. "אי" is a question word meaning "where" as in "אי הבל אחיך". sham means "there". So somehow "where there" became somewhere.
Seems to me that making distinctions with regard to the pose of an animal do not seem to carry over from one language to the other with utter strictness - at least where birds are concerned;
If anything, a translation of "ommed" would be anything but a blindly literal one to have an idiomatic ring; both of the following seem much more reasonable options:
Literally, what you wrote means "very far from here" so you've added the idea of "from here". It's more of a translation issue than a communication issue--the Hebrew is fine and if you want to suggest it as an alternate translation, click on "report a problem".
I wrote: הרחק שם לגמל עומד ינשוף
It was marked wrong, but I don't understand why. The answer they gave me was שם רחוק סמוך לגמל עומד ינשוף. What does that mean exactly? The hints didn't give any clue about this solution. Thank you.
So let's start with what is wrong about your answer. Why do you have this lamed before the word camel? That would be like "far away there TO the camel...". Not what you wanted. The lamed is the wrong preposition here.
The word סמוך is a preposition that means "next" and does go with the letter ל. Alternatively you could use ליד with no additional prefix letters. So in summary all of the following should work:
הרחק שם, סמוך לגמל, עומד ינשוף
הרחק שם, ליד הגמל, עומד ינשוף
I put the second of your two sentences that "should work" and was marked wrong.
Nobody has really answered the question about why הרחק שם ליד הלמל עומד ינשוף. The English sentence is definitely odd, but why does the place שם״" come before the distance adverb "הרחק"? Is that a general rule?