"Ali is a fast Syrian translator."

Translation:عَلي مُتَرْجِم سورِيّ سَريع.

July 10, 2019

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What are the rules for adjective order in Arabic? (Background fact: all languages have rules about the order of adjectives - for example, English allows "fast red car" but not "red fast car" - and these rules are transparent to the users, but difficult to learn for foreigners). Now I have a problem with translating sentences like "Ali is a fast Syrian translator" into Arabic: "translator fast Syrian" is wrong, and "translator Syrian fast" is right. So I have a few gripes here:

gripe 1: it would be nice to have some explanation about this, because it's very difficult to discover these rules by experimentation (there are, let's say,, 4 or 5 different classes of adjectives, so that's a lot of orders to try out)

gripe 2: if you get it wrong, it doesn't say anything sensible like "you have put the adjectives in the wrong order", it just says "you have used the wrong word". Even though I've used the right words (I checked), just in a different order.

So, can anyone help me out here?



"Fast" modifies "syrian translator" and modifiers always go after the word/phrase they modify.

You can use this logical rule to add stack literally countless adjectives. But stacking them in the correct order is more a logical issue than a hard ans fast rule.

This makes translation consistent, as we translate always to match the order presented.

Otherwise in forming an idea from scratch it is about intended meaning. "fast syrian translator" means he is a translator first, a syrian translator secondly, and a fast syrian translator thirdly. Putting them in a different order in Arabic isn't necessarily technically (grammatically) wrong but just modifies the meaning of the statement.

Caveat: it has been over a decade since I have done any formal studies in the language!


For me experimentations is the best method to learn. Is tricky but clear. Grammar comes later .Duo comes first !


So confused. I chose the word syria in arabic that had the 't' letter at the end and chose the word for 'fast' in arabic that had the 't' letter at the end. It told me i was wrong. Is it because you choose the 't' letter words only for when you're talking about girls and women? And for men it is without the 't' letter? Please help.


Yes, gender must agree.


I wish it would let you click on the words and listen to them after you get it wrong. That would definitely help!


The 'ع' at the end of the male-specific 'سَريع' makes 'سَريع' sound like the female-specific 'سريعة'. What is the exact pronunciation difference?


I've always heard the name Ali pronounced with the stress on the first syllable. Is the way it is said in this exercise an alternative pronunciation?


It's not alternative pronunciation, it's just pronounced accordingly to how it is spelled. It begins with the alphabet 'ayn' ع, which has a nasal throaty sound. If it were to begin with for example, an alif hamza أ, then it will be pronounced as a "normal sounding" Ali without the nasal sound.


Thank you. I was referring to syllable stress, though. I usually hear 'Ali' pronounced the Lebanese way or like the Egyptian and Algerian pronunciations on the following site: https://forvo.com/word/%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%8A/#ar

That is, 3ali, not 3alii.


To say Syrian, is it Suurya or Suurii?


Depends on the gender, suurii is for male, and surya is for woman

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