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  5. "هَل غَسّان مُهَنْدِس؟"

"هَل غَسّان مُهَنْدِس؟"

Translation:Is Ghassan an engineer?

June 27, 2019



Apparently questions are asked by prefixing one of the particles أَ (aa) or هَلْ (hal): A.S. Tritton, Arabic (Teach Yourself Books) 26. It's similar to the "he interrogative" of Hebrew and Aramaic.


Could this name be transliterated as Hassan?


Nobody's bothered to answer. So I hope I can assume that was a stupid question, and only Ghassan will do?


It's a fine question. I just didn't know. I googled Hassan and the Arabic name given is حسن. The names share two letters but there are two different letters if we look carefully: غسان. Have a lingot for the good question.


Hassan and ghassan are two different names.


Thank you very much for looking into this, and for the lingot. I think part of the difficulty is that GH isn't a good way of rendering that letter. As far as I understand, it's more or less like the French R, which is never rendered as GH. What do you think?


I'm confused by the DL efforts to transliterate Arabic because it's not the same as academic transliteration for Semitic languages. Using numbers, for instance, to represent letters is interesting but confusing to me. To add to the confusion, the way the letters are pronounced in DL does not always correspond to whatever letter is being assigned. I'm OK with gh for ghain / غ. It's not like French R. Here's a video in which a guy discusses pronouncing the ghain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTxesEluPWQ Here is Maha giving a lesson on ghain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0ro6b50-Lk [follow-up: I now see what you mean about French R. I had forgotten about that connection. https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/arabic-%D8%BA-vs-french-r.649464/ Pronouncing Chartres is indeed difficult for English speakers comparable to ghain. Thanks for the reminder.]


Again, your reply is much appreciated. It didn't have a REPLY option, so I hope you see this message anyway. I'd be interested to know why you say غ "isn't like French R". It sounds at least very similar to me. Could you tell me why you think it isn't like it? Oh, and is there an accepted academic of transliterating the Arabic abjad (we mustn't call it alphabet, must we?)?


For some reason I only saw your 7-month old reply just now. Thank you for the lingot and for calling my question a fine one, but mostly for making me read Arabic more carefully. I've been at it almost a year, and feel ashamed at how inept I still am at deciphering it. Huh. So one is Hassan, and the other should be Ghassaan, innit. ("innit" isn't an affectation. I think it's a useful addition to the vocabulary of English. We haven't got an equivalent of the French "n'est-ce pas?".)


Is هل a question word?


Mambo rafiki (sorry… I am still thinking of Swahili)!

Is هل a question word?

I think yes, but هَلْ is used for yes/no questions.

I hope it helps. :)

Edit: Here is some info.



I think I understood, thanks!


Translet the word هل please , i don't understand this lesson


It's used to ask yes/no question. 'hal anta ...' = 'are/do/did you ...'


Duolingo has "tips and notes", but only when you use desktop / webversion.

For this lesson: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ar/Youandme/tips-and-notes

"Well, in Arabic, yes/no questions begin with the word هَل (hal). هَل doesn’t have a translation in English — it just means, “hey, I’m a yes/no question!” هَل you ready for this?"


هل غسان مهندس ؟


My answer is also correct.


Is ghassan an engineer

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