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  5. "اَلْرُّطوبة الْعالْية صَعْبة…

"اَلْرُّطوبة الْعالْية صَعْبة."

Translation:High humidity is difficult.

June 26, 2019



High humidity is taxing; High humidity makes things/life difficult; High humidity is difficult to cope with, but not High humidity is difficult. This choice of translation is not only unnatural in English, but is an illogical statement and is wrong.


I suppose this was the only possible way of translating a meaningful sentence in Arabic into English, without confusing beginners like me. Therefore, they seem to be trying to keep it as literal as possible. You are looking at it as a one dimensional structure. A language can never truly be translated into another.


I'm a beginner too. And I understand the point you're making. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. Taking your viewpoint into consideration, I still think DL should give a meaningful English translation of the Arabic content in the sentence, High humidity is difficult. Humidity cannot be difficult. But we think we know the meaning they are conveying. High humidity makes life difficult or something like that.


Yeah, that's a fair point. But again, that would make things confusing. Imagine them giving different words for each sentence, for just صعب. And there might even be cases where one English word wouldn't suffice, like this one. The chaos it would create would be too much for a free AI based application. Also, we are here to learn Arabic, not English hahhhha

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Things are confusing as they are. I know that صعب means ‘difficult’ in many contexts, so I figured that a literal translation might mean ‘High humidity is difficult’, but I couldn't get myself to type this because I thought it didn't make sense and the correct translation would be a less literal one.


I agree this whole weather section needs more work. I think they are going beyond our level with this phrase...also who teaches humidity before numbers!


why is this not "the high humidity is difficult?"


It's wrong to use the adjective "Hard = صعبة" to describe the humidity.


It's possible. Like, if you're are suffering from an illness for example, then high humidity can be difficult for you.


Well said, Ibimisai.


Again 'difficult' should be replaced by 'unpleasant'. This is incorrect English. I just hope that the Arabic is correct!


As an English speaker, I'm all in favour of unnatural English sentences if using them helps to keep the meaning easy to understand for second language English speakers who might be confused by our idiomatic expressions. Certainly it sounds strange for us, and I think Duolingo is learning to accept our more natural answers, but I'm happy with the given translations so far with the verifications in the discussion forum.


If we use the definite article to talk about specific things in English (The high humidity (e.g. today) is difficult), how does it work in Arabic? Why is this sentence talking about humidity in general? Does رطوتة عالية mean anything?


It would be good to have this answered by an Arabic speaker. I suspect the definite article is used to refer to a generic concept, like used to be the case in English - have you seen those documentaries from the 1950s that said things like: 'The frog is an interesting animal.' instead of like we'd say today: 'Frogs are interesting animals.' There's a Looney Tunes cartoon (Goofy Motor Mania) that starts: 'The motor car in the hands of the average man...' (yep, pre-gender neutral language, but that's another point). Anyway, 'the motor car' is not referring to a specific vehicle, but all cars.


Why is the audio saying "ar-rutubati", instead of "ar-rutuba"?


IvanPopov, Good Question!

First - Duolingo tries hard to make all ending sounds "die" (in sukun) but it couldn't be done here because ta marbuTa ة in ar-ruTuuba is the middle of sequent words. So ta sound meet ال and become til. I don't know it looks like a very stubborn way that slams Standard Grammar :)

Another spelling (but without destroying Standard Grammar) will be ar-ruTuuba al-3aaliya. This is a preferred solution.

Second - if we follow the Standard Grammar, the sound will ar-ruTuubatul 3aaliya / ar-ruTuubatul 3aaliyatu / ar-ruTuubatu al-3aaliya.

So, it should be: -tul and not -til.


Actually, ة is pronounced as "ah" only when it comes at the end of a sentence. If it's before some word which is part of the same sentence, then it's pronounced as ت only.


Is that the case - as KatieC993112 asked - for consonants too? If it were الرطوبة شيء صعب would you still say the 't'?



If we follow the Formal way, we say: "ar-ruTuubatu shai2un Sa3b." We pronounce '-tu'. It doesn't matter if it's a consonant or vowel after the word.

If we follow the Informal way, we say: "ar-ruTuuba shai2 Sa3b." (even though ta marbuTa is in the middle of the sentence). So, here t becomes h. ar-ruTuubah. All endings are off.

Nb: in Duolingo's transliteration, people don't write the ending h (ar-ruTuuba).


Great! Thanks for clarifying.


You're welcome, Erika0852! :)



*shai2un ?


Alexey914898, thanks for your correction, it's a typo, I've edited it :)

الرطوبةُ شيءٌ صعبٌ


Thanks very much, Away54. So, is this right: if you speak with case endings, in this case "u", the ة unfolds because of this, not because it's followed by a word starting with a vowel, and its inner ت becomes explicit. But if you use the informal/local language, without case endings, this doesn't apply, so the ت would only become explicit if the ة is followed by a word starting with a vowel. Is that right? (it's difficult to explain!)



For First Part: Yes! (I hope I've understood your English-English correctly)

For Second Part: I don't study Slangs. It should be answered by locals, why they like to kill all endings. :D

As far as I know: if the endings are omitted, it should not be influenced by whether there is a vowel or not after the respective word.

So, it's like:

الرطوبةْ العاليةْ

1) ar-ruTuuba al-3aaliya or 2) ar-ruTuubatil 3aaliya

I often hear the first pronunciation "ar-ruTuuba al-3aaliya" by Standard Speakers while the later pronunciation looks like spoiling the Arabic Grammar :) merusak


Yes! I mean, yes, I too am interested in the answer to this. I bet there'd be no ت sounded if the ta marbuta was followed by a consonant, as in Erica0852's excellent example - الرطوبة شيء صعب. What do you say about that, some learned person?


Yes, that is my question. My audio sounds a T between اَلْرُّطوبة and الْعالْية. Is that anything to do with the ta marbuta being follwoed by a vowel ( the alif of the article)? ie, does it force the ة to get "untied" and thus make the taa explicit?


the audio has case endings and is not representing " less- formal,spoken arabic"


Here is MSA being learned,or so it should be.


Formal Arabic stays the same in Morocco, Egypt and Qatar. That's why many people want this 'lingua franca'. Dialects are only usable in one or two countries. This course teaches MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), so off course the audio has case endings.


actually when (ة) comes at the end of the sentence it is pronounced as (ah).


Thanks for pointing this out, but i am aware of when ة is spoken and when not. that isn't /wasn't the Problem. In “my“ audio the grammar ending “un/on“ was pronounced.


الرُّطُوْبَةُ الْعَالِيَةُ صَعْبَةٌ.

ar-ruTuuba(tu) al-3aaliyya(tu) Sa3ba(tun).


Why it doesn't mean 'The high humidity is difficult'. Somebody already asked this but i couldn't find answer


Erika0852 suggested an interesting explanation involving generic concepts. It makes sense, but I'm not sure that's what Duolingo meant. at leady, I haven't seen this here so far and it seems out of character. If do, that still leaves us with your question. I would also like an answer to that...

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I think it should, actually.


ohhhhhhhh quantity, got it got it


Just difficult?! It's a nightmare!

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