"اَلْجامِعة جامِعة في أَلْمانْيا."

Translation:The university is a university in Germany.

July 7, 2019

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/StanleyVanHinsel

Why wouldn't I translate "The university is in Germany"?

July 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bryson610892

Because the word for "a university", jaami3a, appears after "the university", al-jaami3a.

To say what you said, it would just be a al-jaami3a, by itself, plus "(is) in Germany."

July 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/StanleyVanHinsel

OK, let's adjust the question. Why would someone say so in English? I mean, if it's so in Arabic we do not have to translate it literally. Why won't we just say e.g. "The university is a German university"?

July 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bryson610892

Because in both Arabic and English, "The university is in Germany," "The university is a university in Germany," "The university is German", and "The university is a German university," all have slightly different meanings.

The first two give the location. And the second two just say it's German. But you could potentially have a German university that's not actually in Germany.

2 and 4 also heavily imply that there are other universities that fit the description. You would use those sentences if you were talking about German universities or universities in Germany and wanted to specify that this particular one is one of them.

And while 1 or 3 do allow for the possibility that other universities fit the description, you would use them if you were already talking about this specific university and just wanted to say something about it, without alluding to the possibility that there are others.

Having learners translate literally helps test all the little grammatical nuances in the Arabic sentence so people know which of these four very similar sentences are appropriate or not appropriate for a particular situation.

July 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/StanleyVanHinsel

Thank you very much for the explanation.

July 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bryson610892

Of course! Thanks for the good questions.

July 17, 2019
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