We often drop the -un sound at the end while reading or speaking, and in this course, they are trying to strike a balance between Modern Standard Arabic and spoken Arabic, so in some sentences, they drop it, too.
I don't think the inconsistency is a good idea, it makes it like learning two languages at a time. It's going to be very hard to learn with two sets of rules
Life is inconsistent. Duolingo strives to teach real-world skills more than academic ones, and I agree with that approach. What’s easier isn’t necessarily what’s more useful. Your brain will eventually find the patterns with enough practice, and you’ll be grateful for the variety once you start using your skills in real-life :-)
It's true that there is variance, but not within a phrase. Grammatically, nouns and the adjectives that describe them must be declined the same way and agree, but the computer frequently prounounces them so they do not agree, producing sentences where adjectives disagree with their nouns in formality.
Ideally, to "strike a balance", students should be able to focus on a spoken register or two, and then be able to switch to the formal register when necessary.
Giving students umgramatical sentences where nouns and adjectives disagree in declension and formality and expecting students to just know they should all agree and just intuit which forms are formal and informal doesn't seem appropriate.
I tend to agree with hugh____ here tbh, there reeeeeeeeeeeeally is no such thing as a 'balance between MSA and spoken Arabic' (or rather, there is no such thing as 'spoken Arabic' - that would be dialects, or MANY kinds of spoken Arabic...).
better to stick to MSA.
However, maybe some more advanced grammar rules like tanween and mubtada2-khabar may be covered at a later stage. They are actually, pretty essential in MSA.
The makers of the course referenced the way an TV interviewer would use MSA as an example of that balance. In practical terms, a TV interviewer would rarely pronounce nunations and would replace rarely used MSA vocabulary with well pronounced ones from well known dialects around the Arab world, like the Levantine dialect.
As Samir mentioned!
It's also because it's not a full sentence. It could have been nominative, accusative, dative, or genitive, so it's neutral because it's on its own.
גֵר = جار for any Hebrew learners out there. Your NEIGHBOUR is the person who LIVES/resides next to you.
Jar karim... I know someone who is called Karim. How cool. He is not that generous, though
In the recording the "ا" in "جار" sounds like IPA a (like at the doctor's say aahh), but when I mouseover just the word in the lesson it sounds like IPA æ (like in at). Are both pronunciations for "ا" ok, or is there a difference depending on e.g. whether an adjective follows?
There is a tendency for the short and long "a" vowel to be pronounced more toward the back of the mouth, as in, "bought" or "bot", when it is adjacent to and especially when it's immediately after the consonants ح خ ر ص ض ط ظ ع and غ (but not ز). Here it's pronounced that way because it's right before ر.
In most other cases it's closer to the vowel in "bat" and even "bet".
It also varies by dialect, and can affect the u which can be pronounced more as in "book", and the i which can be like "bit" or even "beta", when they are in the vicinity of those specific consonants.
A search term to Google for more information on this is imāla, إمالة, meaning "slanting". Some people classify three levels of imāla. Others say there are up to five.
Got to learn something. I think it's because they're starting by only using the letters that have a similar pronunciation in English.
If there is no "be" in Arabic, how can I distinguish a descriptive sentence from a descriptive phrase? Like, how can I say whether it's "a generous neighbor" or "a neighbor is generous"?
If "a neighbor is generous" is a general statement about neighbors and how they should behave (meaning, "neighbors in general are generous", in Arabic, we'd say "the neighbor is generous" = الجار كريم
Which is different from “Al-jaar al-kariim” that refers to a certain neighbor that is generous. Am I right?
Arabic actually does have a verb for "to be". It's probably the most used verb in the whole language. كان, meaning "he/it was", along with it's other possible conjugations, which everyone reading this should look up on Wiktionary. It is used for most of the compound tenses, just not for the two most basic conjugations, the present imperfect and the past perfect, or for simple noun-adjective sentences about the present.
I think the inconsistency in nuniation comes from the TTS (automatic text to speech) system used. At least for me it appears inconsistent.
I found discussions from 2 years ago on Reddit arguing for TTS over recorded speech. See also https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/machine-learning/powering-language-learning-on-duolingo-with-amazon-polly/
So, why is كريم pronounced as gariim? As far as I know, ق can be pronounced as g in Egypt (correct me if I'm wrong), but ك is always pronounced as k.